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?
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.
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?