Saturday 3 September 2011

Recognising Twins as Individuals

I have always known that my girls are chalk and cheese but I think that without realising it I have still been coupling them together and keeping them a neat little pair.

Guess who is who?

They tend to wear the same outfit or if not the same they wear the same but different colours or matching designs or something like that. It is not even about the cute factor anymore (it was when they were little) it is more about practicality and making my life easy.  The night before I always get the girls clothes out for them and bring them downstairs so they can dress in the morning, imagine how easy it makes it when you just grab 2 of the same outfits.

They also go everywhere together.  Dh and I have no problem with separating the kids but it tends to be that one of us takes the girls and the other has JJ and normally this split is about age range and the activity we are going to undertake.  On holiday each of the girls had a day alone with their Grandparents and they loved this. Also sometimes when I go shopping I will just take one of them with me if dh is about, so they can have some alone time, but they are now getting to the age where it would be healthy to spend some more time apart.

Again on holiday the girls had separate rooms and Miss E was over the moon, she kept going on about how she did not have to share, the room was all just for her. This really seemed to strike a chord with dh and he commented on how Miss E came out of her shell and was much more confident in the last week or so and now because of this we have had a move around at home and we no longer have a playroom!  JJ has moved downstairs into the playroom and now has the biggest kids pad of all time and the girls have a bedroom each.  My days off over the next few weeks will be spent decorating and then we will get the carpets replaced and all the kids will be as happy as Larry! (whoever he may be).

So times are changing, the girls have their own bedrooms, they want they decorated in different colours, they have chosen which toys go in their rooms, they start school full time next week and will be in separate groups,  I expect they will start to want to attend clubs soon, their friends are different and I have just sorted their uniforms for school and they are different too. 

My world is about to be smashed! Mummy has to face up to the fact that she has two very different little ladies.  Still the same but oh so very different as well!

Most parents face the battle of teaching their young child how to effectively share, we have the task of teaching our less dominant child (Miss E) how to claim ownership of her own things and how to be confident standing on her own two feet without her twin as back up. Then there is also the opposite challenge of teaching Miss M to allow more freedom to those around her.

Here is a reminder for me of the differences of my twinnies, age 4 years and 2 months:

Miss E - Known as Poppet or Beauty (yes, yes I know very un-PC, what am I setting her up for?)
  • Tenderheart, give her a stern look and watch the tears appear
  • Little cutie, remembers her manners and tries so hard to please
  • Bit of a whinger, I think this becomes of being the least dominant of 3 spirited kids
  • Sulker, this is a new trait, if she cannot have what she wants then watch her plonk on the floor and sulk!
  • Cautious, scared to try anything new, needs lots of coaxing and hand-holding
  • Can be very shy when meeting new people, then gets silly and shows off
  • Content to be alone and happy to play quietly by herself. Loves drawing, sticking, small animals and dolls in their houses, Playmobile, Lego and Zhu Zhu Pets
  • Favourite colour is pink
  • Favourite person is Mummy or Nanny H
  • Still in night nappies, much to her dismay but sleeps so beautifully.  Pop her in bed, watch her curl up and snooze!
  • Very long, straight and gorgeous dark blond naturally streaked hair with she takes a real pride in and enjoys having in all styles.
  • Most treasured item is Alfie, her very scruffy teddy
  • Size 10 feet, average height
  • Favourite treat would probably be Haribo sweets and dinner would be Sausage and chips
Miss M - Known as Pixie, Mini Me or abbreviations of her real name
  • Nonchalant, nothing too much phases her, tell her off and watch for the teenage bored look or even direct defiance.  Hard work? Miss M? - never!
  • Can look as though butter would not melt. In direct opposition to her naughty behaviour she can be as sweet as anything as she climbs on your lap for a cuddle and kiss
  • Argumentative and opinionated, this 4 year old feels she knows better than most every adult!
  • Happy to meet new people, all the more people to pay attention to her! lol
  • Superb fun, Miss M is always up for a laugh
  • In to everything.  Mess, yes what is more fun that making a mess and if it may upset Mum, then all the better!
  • Not really interested in toys, wants to be on the go constantly.  Happiest with other kids at the park or doing something active, trampoline bouncing, dancing or just running looney with JJ
  • Favourite colour is yellow
  • I don't think she actually has a favourite person, she is fickle and happy to be with whoever is giving her the most attention
  • Been dry at night for nearly a year and hates going to bed, life is to be lived not slept!
  • Beautiful white blond fine hair that is still growing out the miscut from last time she hacked it.  Cannot even be bothered to have it brushed let alone wear a clip or hairband.
  • Most treasured item would probably be her Lelli Kelly make-up (which I have hidden!) but again she is fickle and this could change day to day
  • Size 12, as tall as can be, in age 6 clothes!
  • Favourite treat is crisps and favourite dinner is Macaroni Cheese

So there you see, my two girls are chalk and cheese, lucky I love them both equally.  Funny isn't it when you have one child you can not imagine you have enough love for any more and then in my case you get two more kids and your heart just expands and you then have enough love to cater for all three kids.  All so different and yet each so special and loved.

Any tips for me?  How do you encourage your children to be individuals?

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