Some problems are exacerbated with twins.
I’m sure some twins are expertly behaved at all times, and some singletons have many more issues than my twins, but I’m saying that some issues exist purely in the realm of twindom.
I’m going to list our more frequent issues (some of these happen in any sibling relationship, noted.)
– The Quiet Instigator: As twins, they know what really ticks the other one off. And as four year olds, they know how to use that information to their ultimate advantage. I can’t count the number of times one has gotten slightly upset about something, maturely gotten over it, only to have the other walk by and quiet as can be ask a question about the original problem in such a way that the first just bursts into tears. Thanks, kid.
– The RAGEBEAST: Another result of instigation is ragebeast. And then, well, who do you punish? The little twerp who poked at her sister on purpose because she gets some kind of enjoyment out of her sister’s pain? Or the out-of-control kicker and/or biter who couldn’t take a good-natured ribbing and flipped her shit?
I just don’t know, people. I just don’t know. I’ll punish both for $800, Alex.
– The Interrupter: Sometimes it takes my girls a little while to think about and spit out what they are thinking. If one senses the other one having trouble, she’ll interrupt in one of two ways.
First, positively. She’ll try to help the first twin find the words she was looking for. She’ll ask, did you mean such and such? This usually results in screaming as the first twin really wanted to come up with it by herself.
Second, negatively. The other twin will begin singing nonsensically and loudly, just because she can, or even worse, she’ll start talking to me, too, with complete command of the language, frustrating the first to tears and rage.
– The Punishment Sabotageur: When one twin is doing something worthy of punishment, and you then put them in time out, take away a toy or a privilege, or keep them home from something fun, the other one flips out at the unfair treatment of the first, throwing herself between your punishment and your punishee. If one of them has been good enough to go rollerskating, for example, and the other has been hell on wheels and so clearly doesn’t need the skates, the first one will not do anything that the first cannot do. So that both must face the consequences. If you want them to follow you, and one of them is, if the other one doesn’t, the first will stop, or pull on your arm, screaming like a lunatic, Don’t leave my sister, don’t leave her, mom, mooooooom, stop, please, stop! Like you’d abandon the misbehaving twin. It’s a total killjoy for the ‘just walk away from them’ parenting technique. Also, it makes you look like a crazy person who’s obviously torturing your children. Thanks, kids.
– The Big Dealer: When you have two of the exact same age, they have trouble prioritizing. Everything is a big deal. Now, when it’s one child who thinks light blue instead of dark blue socks is a bigger deal than getting to preschool on time, you can usually reason with him. If you have two, the one being nuts has back up and thinks she’s totally in the right. And I’m the kind of parent who will. not. get. you. the. dark. blue. socks. because. that’s. fucking. crazy.
So, we’re late a lot. But I’m not giving into ridiculous demands if I can help it. I already live in a world of topsy turvy ridiculousness without giving in on the damn socks.