Faux Twins: an Unintentional Side Effect

Yesterday I had just Wy and Rory in the car on an afternoon ride home (about 15 minutes) and, unusually, Wyatt fell asleep. Usually it is the other way around.

And Rory began to chatter. She told me a little about her day (Ava—I think—lost a tooth!). She had some commentary to offer on the snow (lots) and the day (warmer than usual) and our plans (can we go to the grocery store and buy … um … um … me: Popsicles? Yes!) and Daddy (home later) and babies (how do you make those again?) and even on the need to make a baby to have a kid (our babysitter just had a baby).

We even touched on her having a “birth mother” (often subject to some confusion around our house, because of her having a foster mother she remembers very clearly and who we know)—briefly, because Rory doesn’t like to be too introspective about China. And we got home, and all was as merry as can be, in spite of my having lost patience with her at the end of ice skating and her holding a grudge over a small incident with her coat that’s too dull and complex to explain here. Wyatt woke up (was I asleep? Where’s Sam? We dropped him off?) and the rest of the day was smooth.

And I realized I almost never get to have a conversation with just Rory. Wyatt interprets for her a lot, and gets his words out quicker, so that in any three way conversation he dominates. Rory contributes, but less, and subjects are usually chosen by her siblings. And just because of the circumstances of their lives–same school, same activities (by choice) and relatively few playdates—they tend to be with me at the same time. I make efforts to do bonding things with Rory (and just Wyatt too), but they don’t necessarily involve talking. Books, puzzles, cooking, stuff like that. And even if we go get a snack together or something like that, it’s harder, I think, to talk when it’s obvious you SHOULD be talking. And Rory doesn’t like being asked questions–as in, how was your day, what did you have for snack, who did you sit by. She likes to lead, and she just doesn’t get that many chances.

I think more one on one activities are in order, probably for everyone (I’m spending two nights with just Sam at a hockey tournament, so he’s pretty taken care of for a while). I used to be very good at having a specific time every week when all the other kids were at an activity and just one was home with me, but as there are more of them and they spend more time at school, that’s become a challenge. Anyone have any brilliant ideas for finding a way to just be together and, hopefully, talk?

3 Responses to “Faux Twins: an Unintentional Side Effect”

  1. I don’t really have any suggestions other than simple alone time. We have the exact same problem in our house!

  2. Flamingo says:

    well, i really think it’s more about the 4 kid thing than the twin thing at this point:) i don’t have anything brilliant to suggest except to suggest that you start off your new tradition “realistically”. maybe start with a once a month date time instead of weekly because we all know that we are going to flop on a weekly thing with 4 kiddos. once the monthly time is established and engrained then perhaps moving to bi weekly ect.
    set your goals low…then you will be successful. ;))))

  3. Tricia says:

    I tried, once a month, taking a different child out on an outing of their choice. Unfortunately, although we got a lot of talking time in, it was hard to keep up during different sports seasons or when their dad was away on business. Now, I just try to have each child accompany me on an errand, here and there, to let them have undivided attention (and to not have a sibling constantly interrupting).

    The hub has also started taking one child at a time on a yearly visit to see his mother so that he gets some one on one. This has been very exciting for the child in question and I try to liven things up at home, the week they are gone, so that the other kids feel they are getting a fun week out of it, too.