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Observe, Compare, Contrast

Too much chub for one tub

As much as I try not to, I frequently find myself comparing my identical twin boys Luke and Cole with each other. Sometimes I feel really guilty about it, because I don’t want to create competition between the two of them. But at this early stage of their life they are more a like then they are different. By learning how they are different from the other, we are able to know them a little more as individuals.

How can two little people look so alike, yet be so different?

Sweet Baby Cole

Now that we have reached the six month mark (adjusted), their unique personalities are starting to bud and bloom. We have only caught glimpses of their individuality, but it is a treat every time we do. When they started to smile and laugh we learned that Luke is easy to get to smile, he loves to flirt. Cole is a little harder to crack; he is very physical and loves being ticked and playing peek-a-boo.

Lately I have started to see some differences that concern me a little, but if they didn’t have a twin I wouldn’t be concerned about it because all babies reach milestones at their own pace. For example, we ventured into the world of solid foods a week ago and Luke has been much more receptive. Both of my babies are big, but Luke is at least a pound heavier than Cole. It’s been like that since they were born, and he may have gotten a head start if they developed twin-twin transfusion syndrome prior to delivery.

The Love-able Luke

When Cole wasn’t interested in eating from the spoon, I was immediately afraid that maybe there was something wrong with him that hasn’t revealed itself yet. Luke was SO ready for solid food; he could’ve been confused for one of Pavlov’s dogs every time we sat down to eat at the dinner table. What if Cole decided not to eat solids until a month down the road, would Luke get more of a head start? Would Cole ever catch?

Thankfully, after letting Cole play chew on clean spoon once while I fed Luke, I figured out that he just needed time to get used to a spoon in his mouth and he wasn’t as ready to experiment with new textures of food as his brother.

The other major difference is how Cole seems to be ahead in what he can do physically. He can stand up in my arms a lot longer than his brother, who quickly buckles after only five or six seconds. My favorite thing right now is to watch them in their jumperoos at the same time. I can’t help but smile when see Cole happily bouncing up and down and then look over to see his brother Luke jollily swaying side to side. I don’t think my description really covers it, so enjoy the video!

I don’t think this tendency to compare is a unique challenge to mothers of multiples, but to mothers of multiple children as well. I think having twins+ just makes a mother more aware of it. I still compare my twins to their older brother. I think it’s a natural thing to do because we go with what we know. I can’t tell you how many times I wish I would have written down how I did things with Will (naps, what his routine was like at various ages, when he wore what size). I am surprised that I don’t remember more, but it’s probably a good thing.

So how do we discover our children’s uniqueness without creating an atmosphere of competition between siblings?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a creative-techie mom, raising three boys under three (twins!) with her husband in Pennsylvania. Jamie now writes at The Red Robinson, www.theredrobinson.com

Comments

  1. This is hard for me as well. I remember Marley walking several months before Willow and thinking there was something wrong with her. Now that they can play on their own I try to let them do just that…not forcing them to play together or the same thing cause they are so different in the way they play. I haven’t compared them to each other in awhile but I have definitely compared them with their older sister recently. I know it is a fact of parenting that I hope I can do less of.

  2. Your post made me think of this article I read about a set of quadruplets that are all high achievers. This is what they said in regards to sibling rivalry and competing with one another:

    “I don’t feel much competition among us. It’s not like we line up our grades and compare them to see who’s the smartest. It’s not like that,” Moria said.

    “We tend to work together more often than not,” Patrick added. “It’s better that way.”

    Here’s the link to the article:

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/31/17-year-old-quadruplets-accepted-into-american-mensa/

  3. I keep trying to remind myself that most of the time, what my children do is more related to their interest than their ability. For instance, yes, Miles started reading at 2.5 — does he have some superability or is he just really interested in reading? Spencer has a great sense of humor and seems to understand much more of what we’re saying than Miles did at his age and I think it’s mostly because his interests are more social.

    When they get older, probably one of them will excel more in sports and the other in academics. Not because of them is inherently smarter, it’s just where their interests lie.

    I don’t know if that makes any sense, but in my head, it keeps me from getting caught up in the comparisons.

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