Christmas sale! $50 OFF every $200 you spend. Use code XMASPRIDE

Outnumbered

by Holly V November 30, 2011

By: Holly Vanderhaar

My daughters are monozygotic—i.e., “identical”—twins, and they spend a lot of time putting up with people who can’t tell them apart. We do what we can, the three of us. They almost never dress alike, and in fact have different tastes in clothes. Gracie favors dresses, ballet flats, and pink, pink, pink. Isabelle likes jeans, boots, and anything with a peace sign on it. Gracie has long hair; Isabelle wears hers in a chin-length bob. I have them in separate 3rd grade classrooms, so that they have some time to be individuals, and to cultivate their own friendships. I’m trying to minimize the time that they spend being viewed as a single unit. In the wider world, this is enough for most people to figure out who’s who, and it seems to be working out well enough.

At home though, twinhood poses a different set of challenges, and they’re not as easily overcome. It’s not because I can’t tell them apart, although (ahem) I may or may not have messed that up too, on occasion. It’s because they outnumber me. It’s always posed something of a logistical challenge, but in the early days, that challenge was easily met with any willing pair of extra hands to hold, feed, burp, or change. For the last several years, the real problem has been competition for a scarce resource: my attention. They’re starved for one-on-one time with me, and it causes no end of fighting, bitching, backstabbing, and whining. Meanwhile, I’m busy bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan, throwing a load of laundry in now and then when I can no longer step over the pile in the hallway. I think most parents—most people, even—have expressed a wish to clone themselves. There aren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, or cups of coffee in the pot to accomplish everything we need to do. Sometimes we need to be in two places at once. And, sometimes, two or more people really need our full, unharried, unhurried attention at the same time. I think to myself, “Hey, I pulled off human cloning once. In 2003 I produced two genetically identical individuals without even trying. What’s so hard?” But, try as I might, I have been unable to replicate the process on myself.

We have to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it could be, though. So I’m working on ways to solve this problem. Babysitter? Well, how do I decide who has to be the first one to stay with the sitter while Sister gets some quality time with Mom? Flip a coin, and put up with the tears, I suppose. I thought I had come up with a brilliant solution when we were spending Christmas with our family in Phoenix last winter: one of the girls could stay with their beloved Aunt S. while one spent a day with me. Win-win! The trouble was that they both wanted to spend the day with their auntie, and I had to pry one of them away from her with a crowbar, and drag the poor child away to “have fun” “enjoying” “quality time” with me. I kept reminding her how nice it was to be together, just the two of us; she kept asking when we could go home. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

The post Outnumbered appeared first on The Next Family.




Holly V
Holly V

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

e13db90f29f21c3e81584d04ee44408be273e7d61cb710479cf7_640_fitness-300x214@2x

Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment

SidsFamily

By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →