Yesterday, I took my daughter on our first alone day together (we've done one other alone day, but I had the other twin).
We went to the library where it was 'family board game day' (not recommended, I was disappointed in this event.)
Anyway, she and I were playing happily this I Spy game, helping each other and generally bonding when Only Child came over.
Only Child had the demeanor of almost every only child I've ever met. She was sweet, cute, happy to be alive, utterly intrusive and slightly irritating. This is not her fault. She is alone ALL THE TIME and just wants to play with another little kid for cripes sake.
Dulce, however, was having none of it.
As a twin, she NEVER gets her mommy alone. This was, without exaggeration, the first time we've ever had one-on-one time together. She WANTED it. Needed it.
She was not rude, and neither was I, but it was super uncomfortable having to continually redirect Only Child away from us. Under normal circumstances, I'd have made my kids play with her.
When we explained Dulce was a twin and this was our special time together, Only Child (being only 7), kind of understood, but her understanding was not enough to overcome her desperate desire to have a playdate (or even a makeshift family...her mom was travelling in New York, she told me). She kept popping up, trying to play, and I tried to make room for her, best I could, gently trying to convince Dulce to play with her.
Finally, Dulce looked at her and said, "this is my special day with my mom. I never get one because of my twin sister. You're nice, but we don't want to play with you right now."
Only Child: You're lucky! I don't have anyone to play with ever. In fact, hardly anyone talks to me. I have to come to the library because Grandma needs her books. But I have to stay over here while she gets them. I'm really lonely. Hey! Let's play this Elmo game together, it looks really fun.
We eventually left to go make our own cupcakes, but I still feel bad for the girl. And while Dulce says all the time that she wants to be an only child, I don't think she really means it.
I mean, at the grocery store we had to buy a flower for Natalina, and a lollipop for Natalina, and we had to decorate a cupcake for Natalina, the way Dulce thought Natalina would like it.
And as soon as we got home, Dulce looked around and said, "I wish Natalina were here!" Then caught herself, shook her head, and said, "I mean, no I don't. I want to be an only child."
The grass. It is greener.