Arthur and Brandon will soon be one and as the time goes on I am starting to think more about how to get the balance right between life as a twin and encouraging individuality. The hectic newborn baby days are behind us, we’re still pretty busy though and while encouraging them both as individuals isn’t my highest priority it is always in the back of my mind. Obviously, when you have twins you want them to be close, to make the most of that special bond but I have read so often that they need to be given the space to develop their own identity.
One of the best ways it is recommended to do that is to treat them as you would any other siblings. This seems a bit of a tricky one if I’m honest; I just love that I have twins and I don’t want to make them feel like they are just normal siblings because they are not! At this age they do everything together; they eat meals together, sleep at the same time they share bath time, playtime and cuddles. I love that they will always have a friend, that there will be someone there when they get into bed to tell their secrets to and that they will have a hand to hold when they have their first day at school. I wouldn’t want to lose the special way they look at each other and giggle, the way they come when they hear the other one crying or how they reach out their hands to one another in the pushchair.
I suspect I commit all the sins of twin individuality; I can’t tell you how may times a day I will say ‘the twins’ rather than say their names, I do dress them the same or similarly, they share toys and I don’t have one of everything for each child (the same goes for Lucas though!) When it is their birthday they will be having one cake, one party (I suppose as they get older this will change but let’s face it they won’t be eating much cake at this age). They are very rarely apart, I think I’ve only taken one out on their own for a doctors appointment and I couldn’t even imagine going for a day out with just one of them.
Maybe because they are identical twins, both boys, they are even closer and I find it harder separate them. I worry about pushing them too far the other way, to almost make them too individual and losing what is so special about being a twin. It is such a difficult one to get right and as they grow I become aware of it more and more. I would never stop them pursuing their own interests, having different friends or doing whatever they wanted as an individual. There will be times that they will be apart, they may join different groups or be invited to different parties. It breaks my heart to think there might come a time when one feels left behind. I want them to be happy as an individual but I still want to celebrate that they are twins.
So much of it is just a wait and see and there will be decisions to be made as they get older but I quite like this quote from Tamba. It just sums up how I’m feeling about it all at the moment;
“Given all the tasks you face as parents of multiples, don’t overburden yourself with anxiety about individuality. There will be plenty of occasions when treating your multiples the same is simply the practical option; your own wellbeing as well as theirs is important to the happiness of the family.”