Having had three single pregnancies before, I never even dreamt of getting pregnant with twins. Even though twins run in the family, I never thought I was going to be blessed with two angels at the same time.
After having three adorable boys, my husband and I made a wish for baby number four… and two came true!! At first, we were overwhelmed with the idea that we will jump from a family of five into seven. It honestly took me quite a while to grasp the idea of how we will be able to manage all five kids with different age groups, needs, and characters. I was scared I would fail in front of them and I dreaded the idea of not keeping up to their needs. So how do I do it? It is an everyday process where I just learn. After all there is a learning curve for everything!
The fact of having twins is completely a new kind of parenting experience, as if you are now living on a new planet. One of the most common worries amongst parents who have twins is the jealous attitude that might develop between them, especially those of the same gender. However, from my humble experience I think jealousy is a normal feeling that arises amongst all siblings. I also strongly believe that the way parents react to jealousy incidents either foster or discourage it.
Like all other twins, our little boy and girl are extremely attached to each other. When they play, fight, babble, argue, share, or even get annoyed from each other, they are still deeply connected. Despite the fact that they both survived the same situations and passed through the same consequences, they have their own special traits and characteristics that signify them as unique individualized beings.
Little Raphy and Dahlia complete and complement each other. While he guides her into mischievous boyish acts like climbing all around the sofas and tables, jumping on the stairs, and rocking wildly on their rocking toys, she showers him with hugs, kisses, and cuddles. I know he will turn her into a tough one, while she is helping him become a considerate male figure. Both of them will actually thank the other later in the years to come.
Looking at their development, like all other babies, each of them crossed certain milestones at their own readiness. I don’t know if it is the same with twins of the same gender, but here are the main differences I observed between them.
While Raphy was an expert in crawling at around seven months, Dahlia was more interested in sitting and observing objects around her. He also walked steadily before she did, and was able to go up and down the stairs with ease. (Around almost 14 months)
Dahlia seemed to enjoy dialect and knew how to use her tongue and lips properly to make appropriate sounds when she was still 7 months old. She even made bubbles using her saliva around 10 months. She was also able to blow a whistle after several trials. Raphy on the other hand, does not have the patience to do that and turns things into funny gestures.
Eating and Food:
While Raphy enjoys eating and devours his plate like a real man, Miss Dahlia is quiet picky. I do not know if this is a typical girl’s behaviour, but if she is not hungry then she would not open her mouth no matter what. This habit might serve her right in the future though! They both enjoy eating on their own where I give them the chance to do that when their brothers come from school and they join us at the table. You cannot imagine the mess they leave behind them, yet it is an essential practice for their growth and development.
One of the most exciting ways of playing on their own is to empty all the toys, cubes, blocks, and stuff found in their baskets on the floor. Raphy showed Dahlia just how fun it is to run through these toys kicking them in all directions! Yay, lots of fun times!
Luckily enough they both love books, songs, puzzles, and imaginative play. Even if Dahlia is advanced in her fine motor skills, Raphy’s progress is improving day by day. Just a few months ago he would tire from matching puzzle, and now he enjoys finishing one after the other.
Here comes my role as their mommy in finding games where they can cross those milestones with ease. It is essential that they do not feel stressed about it as that will create a barrier between them and might eventually lead to jealousy.
In my opinion, twins, like other siblings, should be aware of the fact that each one of them is unique and has special traits. They should learn on building these positive traits and in believing in their potentials. At the same time, they should learn to be responsible of each other and help one another when needed. I came across the following article where Lisa Devereaux discusses step by step on how to encourage individuality between twins (www.thelastdegree.com/how-you-can-encourage-individuality-in-raising-twins)
The amusing part of having twins is that you need to deal with the same issues twice and mostly at the same time. So whether they are having fun, causing trouble, trying to throw a tantrum etcetera it always comes in double. It is delightful and remarkable to see how they coordinate with each other. They have their own language and they know exactly what the other wants.
In comparison to moms who have had twins and passed this stage, my experience is still modest. Many say that despite the fact that they are twins, they are not really attached and others simply say the opposite. I am certain that specific conditions, parenting methods, and other factors affect their growth and development. One thing I am sure of though is that their presence in our life is such a delight. The way they stroll next to each other is adorable and their mischiefs are in fact hilariously witty. Bless all the twins and all the children out there.