Even though the girls are in different classes in school, and have been for a year now, they still exist in a weird continuum where they don't feel as if they can be a full, unique person. Every decision must be passed through the counsel of the sister, and every treat must be evenly divided. Not one individual thing is allowed to pass, because both twins feel that individual things mean better things. Particularly if they are not at the same time. So, if Dulce wanted an ice cream cone at 3 p.m. but Natalina didn't want one, either they would both have one or neither would have one. Either Natalina would cry about not getting a cone so much that Dulce would decide to forego it, or Dulce would badger Natalina so much that Natalina would decide to eat one. Either way, they would not, of their own free choice, do something different. So much so that if one gets one extra bite of graham cracker in the morning, she will throw it away. (This JUST happened). Or if one gets a candy while the other is sleeping or otherwise engaged, she will tell her twin immediately after she sees her again, so her twin can collect her prize.
It's weird. And it's hard to navigate.
My friends have been telling me for literally years that I have to take my children out separately. It's been impossible to pull off. My husband works until 8 p.m. every day, and on the weekends, we like to do things as a family.
Today, we are going to take the girls out separately.
And already I'm plagued with, 'what if one of us does something the girls deem 'more fun' at their outing than the other? How can we keep this as even as possible? Should my husband and I talk about this, plan where we're going, come up with ways to prevent tantrums? Each of us do the same number of activities during the outing? Leave and return at the exact same time?
It's taking everything in me to NOT do these things. I will not. We are going to take our kids out separately like regular people take their kids out separately.
In order for this to work, I must not cater to their instinct to compare at all. Otherwise it will just become another instance of strange twin equality competition. And we will have wasted our day.
The goal is for them to be able to have a Saturday when they are older, where one goes swimming at a friend's house, and the other stays home reading or goes to the movies with her buddies. End. Like it's a normal and okay thing to do.
Because right now, as we sit in this house today, that scenario is an utter impossibility.