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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Inviting Twins -- Etiquette

With the advent of my kids making friends, comes the individuality of one of them being better friends with one person, while the other is better friends with another.

So what happens if your kid only likes one of mine?

We had a close call yesterday, and before that I had been asked a question about twin invitations, so I thought I'd toss my two cents in, today.

Yesterday, Dulce went to pieces thinking her friend had invited her sister to a party, but not her. The girl would not calm down. I had to hold her for a long time.

Fortunately, it was just a drawing...her friend had been using an irrelevant invitation as scrap paper.

But it's not like this isn't going to come up, and soon. So I'd better batten down the hatches.

Here is what I would say, given my twins intense relationship to one another (more intense perhaps than most twins, as I think many others can separate without dramatically melting into a puddle at this point.)

1) If you are throwing a party, where lots of kids are going, and your child only wants to invite one twin, please, do not invite us. I would so much rather make up some lie to my kids about why we couldn't go or why we weren't invited than have to deal with

A) explaining to one twin why she can't go even though she's invited so that she'll blame her sister (although, to be real, this wouldn't be an issue for us. One twin will not go without the other.)

B) Having both go only to have one ignored because she wasn't really wanted.

C) Trying to separate them in a situation where one gets to go do a fun thing because she's liked more. Yes, I could arrange a super fun playdate for the other one, but firstly, they both would then want to go to both, and secondly, dude, it's not the same.

Okay, so, parties. Either invite them both because you like them, or pass. We're cool with that.

2) If your little darling is besties with only one of my children, and cannot open her heart to inviting them both over to play, please, please ask me first. I don't think it's weird, and I don't think it's mean. People, no matter how small, have friendships and preferences, and I get that my kids aren't a package-deal for everyone (just me...I'm so lucky). If I somehow think I can figure out a way to swing a one-on-one outing, I'll let you know. If I can't, I will be super nice to you, and understanding, but politely decline.

If you come to me first, before having your kid tell only one of my kids, I have some semblance of control over the issue and the outcome is a lot more likely (read .5 percent over 0 percent, at this point in time) to come to fruition. If you leave it to the kids, not only will one of my kids not be able to go, but I will have to deal with hours, and hours, and hours, AND HOURS of cleanup.

The other one simply will not understand. Not yet. We're working on this. I hope to report back to you in a year with entirely different rules, or better yet, no rules at all.

Unfortunately, we're not at that point yet. My four year olds have a sense of competition and justice that rivals the Fantastic Four. They will fight to the death if something is just a hair off, convinced that the other one has it better, is better, is more loved.

I don't know why. Like I said, we work on this every day.

For now, it works best for us if you invite both kids and if you come to me first. It's not a must. It's not an order. Just a request. From one mom suffering from first friendships to another.



  1. I can't even begin to imagine inviting one twin but not the other. Am I a rarity?!

    1. Oh, no. I don't think it's a commonplace occurrence, but it is something that happens. Little kids aren't delicate, and sometimes they like a person better than another. Some people might be afraid to even approach a twin mom about it, but I think they should. The twins may be able to separate easily. Others may not. Some people may not think about it and cause unmeaning drama. As far as the this stage it's not much of a worry. The only thing I can think of at four, is for boy-girl twins. If someone had a girl playdate, for instance, or a boy one...

  2. This seems pretty commonsensical. It's not like the girls are three years apart and you can invite one to an event while the other stays home without a problem because it's not her group of friends. They are right on top of each other ALL the time. Plus, they're four.

  3. I'm just starting to see the evidence of the intense twin relationship with my girls (almost 2). If one wakes up before the other or if I take one somewhere, leaving the other home, there's always a lot of questioning of where her twin is and asking about her. They ask about their older sister when she's not around, too, but not with the same frequency or worry.

    Anyway, a friend of mine with 6-yr-old twins didn't encounter the single-twin invite until her kids were in kindergarten and in separate classes at school. You probably have some time for your girls to mature and prepare. Either way, the first time will suck. Big time.

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