June 21, 2010

Being an Individual

Mothers babies get all sorts of unsolicited advice, particularly from mothers of babies.  Mothers of twins get more than unsolicited advice, they get twin-oriented nonsense spouted at them everywhere they go.  Particularly when those twins are small.  And there are lists that every mother of twins keep in their heads of the most obnoxious things that are said to them on a regular basis.  The mothers of twins that I know are particular annoyed by the question, "How do you tell them apart?"

The thing that irks me the most about these comments is that every member of the peanut gallery seems to want to label their twins as opposites.  On one walk with their grandma, the two different children were observed individually fussing, and for each the onlookers declared that the one fussing at that moment, you could tell SHE was the fussy one, and the other was the quiet one.

I hear this a lot.  Not just about fussing.  I hear that SI is so obviously intelligent while DD is so obviously social.  That DD is obviously more needy and that SI smiles more easily.  That SI seems to be the good sleeper and that DD is the good eater.

I have two beautiful girls, who have the occasional misfortune of being twins.  One is not the smart one and the other is not the pretty one, they are not two halves of a single unit.  My little girls are both people- complete, flawed, inconsistent people.  Just like everyone else.  Nobody is one side of a coin, not even a twin.

They each have good days and bad days, good nights and bad nights, good moments and bad moments.  They each have their own interests (as much as a baby can) and their own preferences, and although they might be very similar in size and in general appearance, they are not the halves of the same person.

This is something I worried about for them long before they were born.  I had decided not to dress them alike, although I've definitely failed on that count.  I had decided to do all that was possible to let them know, and to let the world know, that they are whoever they want to be.  Not each others' complimentary parts.

I've done a fair amount of reading on raising twins, and I've talked to a lot of adult twins, and what I worry most about is that twins who grow up behaving as each others' opposite half fail to build other relationships, other friendships.  Not that having a twin as your best friend and confidant isn't a wonderful thing, but there are other things.  I want them to have their own individual lives, so far as it's what they themselves want.

How do I tell my daughters apart?  One of them is DD and the other is SI.  Two entirely different people, two entirely different personalities.  Even if they were identical (which they're definitely not) I, their mother, would know them from anyone.  Twin or not.

Nobody is half of a coin.  We are all multifaceted, confusing heaps of character.  For the most part we were born this way, and most of us are lucky enough that nobody treated us as anything else during our formative years.  I hope very much that my children will learn to be their own people.  I hope they grow up happy and wise and fulfilled.  I hope they fall in love, make friends, lose touch with people, build and dissolve relationships... all those things we all do.  And I hope that being a twin is merely another part of the amazing people that they, individually, become.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!