Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New and confusing feelings

Our drive to the zoo yesterday morning was like most car rides. Music played and Teagan bopped her head. Quinn chatted non-stop. Both girls laughed and (happily) yelled in their own language. They cracked each other up. It was adorable. The girls were in great moods.

Teagan and Quinn were lucky enough to be born with a built-in best friend. From the day they finally noticed one another, they've entertained each other. Soon enough they started playing together, creating games and getting into trouble. Yes, they fight too. But, at the end of every day, Teagan gets into Quinn's crib and they have a cuddle. They hug, kiss and giggle. We move Teagan into her own crib, which inevitably ends up right next to Quinn's (they pull them together).

While we have had play dates and gone to drop-in centres from the time they were 6 weeks old, they only truly started playing with other kids around their second birthday. Prior to that, they played along side other kids, but that was the extent of it.

The girls are best buddies. Up until recently, they only had eyes for each other. They have always been on a level playing field. They knew where things stood and could count on the other to be there.

We went to the zoo with our friends and their 3-year old daughter. Within minutes of arriving at the zoo, the three girls were out of their strollers running around. "Why don't you grab one of the little girls' hands?" my friend said to her daughter. She was next to Teagan so she reached for her hand. Teagan happily took it and they walked off together. The girls let go of one another's hand to check out the tiger. After we put the kids down, their daughter went for Teagan's hand again. Quinn saw it this time. No TT! She unsuccessfully tried to push Teagan out of the way. Teagan and the 3-year old walked off hand in hand.

Teagan had made a new friend. She clearly loved having an older kid to follow around. Quinn's mood quickly changed. She tried shoving Teagan one more time. I got annoyed with Quinn for trying to hit her sister before I saw what was going on. Each time we checked out a new animal, Quinn went off into the corner. When we stopped at a play area, Teagan and the other girl ran through a tunnel laughing. Quinn went off to the side and rested her head on a rock. She looked sad. She looked like her best friend in the whole world had ditched her for someone new. She was quiet and not herself. Our friends, who hadn't seen the girls in several months, couldn't believe that Quinn was normally the chatty, loud one. After trying to talk to her and cheer her up, it was clear that she didn't have a clue what she was feeling.

Jealously over Mommy's attention is nothing new since they've had to share my attention from day one. Jealously over Teagan's attention was new and confusing. Quinn has never had to share her built-in best friend before. Seeing my youngest baby with hurt feelings was heartbreaking. Maybe because it was the first time. I doubt it gets any easier (Moms of older kids?). I guess I'll learn how to handle it because I know it's only the beginning!

After a few texts with my 'everything twin guru', Eva, I tried make Quinn feel special with one-on-one time. Eva also suggested trying to encourage her to be more independent.

The learning of an important life lesson started yesterday. My babies are growing up! (insert tear!)

Teagan and her new friend
Quinn and Mommy


  1. It seems so soon for this!
    Hopefully they're able to figure out how to make their relationships with other friends work without jeopardizing each others' feelings.

    1. I agree that it seems soon but twins are different (as you know!!). The girls have such an amazing connection.

  2. It's hard with multiple kids. Our daughter plays with the neighbour and our older son feels left out. It's hard with 3 kids of any age--someone is always left out of the equation.

    1. It's true. 3 is a hard number. I even see that with the dogs!

  3. One of the hardest things to watch is my twins making friends. It's different with both sets. Lucky for my 2nd set I've already gone through it with my first set.
    Also, my best friend is a twin and helps me see the point of view of the twin.
    Basically....you have the job of balancing this ever so complicated boundary of built in twin/best friend/sisters and giving them some healthy socializing them with others.
    Having separate play dates is a good thing. (nearly impossible with twins) but good.
    I think you just wait in the sidelines as a place of comfort for the child left behind. because chances are that friendship won't last. and they will always be there for each other in the end.

    What happens more than not with my twins....one will go out and seek out new friends....sometimes leaving the other behind...but when the friendship is cultivated a little (meaning, after that 1 playdate at the other kids house :) The kid comes to our house and they all end up playing and the next play date at the other kids house includes both twins. :)
    Girls might be different though.

    1. I was thinking about you actually since you've been through it twice. I definitely think twins are a bit different. Separate play dates do sound like a good idea at some point. We have also thought about signing them up for their own class/sport. That way they would also get one-on-one time with one of us.