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Thursday, January 6, 2011

As Twins Grow Up

My girls are identical twins.  I have kept them on the same schedule since birth.  They sleep at the same time, eat at the same time, watch TV at the same time, play at the same time.  Everything is the same.  They even play on the same playground toys at the same time.  It's just easier for me that way.  Plus, they don't seem to mind.  Little did I know I was instigating a mindset that is unknown to most children and that my twins will have to overcome as they grow up.

I have somehow convinced them that on some level, they must be the same person.  They know there are two of them; they call each other by name.  They certainly know whose turn it is.  Or when one of them takes something the other wants.  So on most levels they do know they are two.

The confusion comes in when one of them wants to do one thing, and the other one wants to do a totally different thing.  So that as Dulce is dancing around the living room, if she looks up and sees Natalina instead sitting down and drawing, she must stop what she is doing and tell Natalina that they want to dance.  Natalina will reply, no, they want to draw.  Now they're both disgruntled and confused.  They are convinced the other one must want to do what they are doing because they want to do it.  They think they are the same person.  How could half of them want to dance when clearly they want to draw instead.

In these instances, all games stop.  The babies look around, confused.  Sometimes they ask for my help.

"Mama, Dulce draw!  Want draw.  Mama, mama Duuuulllllccce."

"Mama!  Lilly dance!  Lilly dance.  Mama, Lilly.  Dannnnnnnnnnce."

They try to convince me that the other one needs to do what they are doing, and my answer of "you can do different things, you are different people" is far from satisfactory.

It throws them for a loop and can leave them dazed for minutes.  They don't even get angry about it, that's how confused they are.  They simply cannot understand how their twin - essentially themselves - doesn't want to do what they want to do.  After all, they are the same person, and the first twin knows for a fact that they want to draw.

Babies develop so rapidly at age two that this is already subsiding as they quickly figure out that they are not the same person.  I consider myself lucky to have witnessed this phenomenon.  Plus, the more time they spend confused, the less time they spend fighting over crayons.


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