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December 1, 2010

Find Your Seats

I try to refrain from labeling our girls. I am too afraid of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect; I want them to each come into their own, without trying to fit into or climb out of a mold they may have heard mentioned.

But at the risk of breaking my own rule, I can’t help but observe certain behaviors.

In many respects, Baby B has always seemed the more verbal of the girls. As a newborn, she had all sorts of funny coos (and even a Three Stooges “whoop!”), and she babbled much earlier than Baby A. While the girls said their first recognizable word apart from “Mama” and “Dada” on the very same day, Baby B’s vocabulary outpaced her sister’s for several months.

Although today I’d put the girls on an even playing field in terms of language, Baby B is almost always the first one to speak up in answer to a question.

I am confident that both girls know their colors pretty well. Whether I ask an open question, “What color is the ball?” or I direct a question specifically towards Baby A, Baby B usually jumps in there with the answer.

My mind fast-forwards sometimes, and I picture her sitting in the front row of her class, middle seat, raising her hand to answer every question.

In contrast, I tend to picture Baby A in the middle of the class, maybe towards one side. She’s not in the back with the trouble-makers, but she’s content to let someone else take center stage.

When they’re a little older, I’ll be able to politely tell B that I was talking to A, to not interrupt her sister.

For now I try to make sure to have a little bit of one-on-one time with each of my girls…even just in the tub or on the diaper changing table…to make sure she gets her chance to be heard.

And on a related note – at least to classroom decorum – Baby B is becoming quite the tattle-tale. I know I’d better take note when I hear, “Sissy…not nice! Time out!” And as helpful as the notice actually is, I know I have to be careful with that, too.

I'll be more than happy for either of my girls to fill the front row, center seat, and for both of them to "know it all" long as they're not "know-it-alls".


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Quadmama said...

I've definitely noticed two of my girls are more outgoing than the others. The other two are still engaged in activities, but tend to let the others make the first move. As for tattling, my rule is: if I didn't see it and there are no visible marks I can't always discipline because sometimes they all point the finger at the wrong sister!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I said the same to D about Kendra being a tattle tail - I keep hearing her say to Connor, "no no no no no" when he opens cupboards they're not allowed in, etc.

Although he pays no attention to her :)

Anonymous said...

my little man T has taken to telling on himself, too. he usually does it BEFORE he does the infraction. he'll walk out of the kitchen repeating no-no to himself as he walks to the plant, touches it, and looks at me. it's like he's thinking, "i'm going to touch this plant that mom doesn't want me to" :) he's only told on M once, and it was actually helpful. for now i listen when he says no-no.

we try hard not to label the kids, too. i think that it is easier with b/g twins since there are OBVIOUS differences. i imagine that with same gender kids it is a lot easier for family/strangers/whatever to label them "the talkative one" "the athletic one" or whatever. good job being aware and trying to create two little individuals who just happen to share a birthday :)

Deanna said...

You could be talking about my girls with this post! Mackenzie is our talker, and oddly enough, she is my Baby B. Addison still doesn't form words very much at all, but I have found that when Mackenzie is not around, she 'babbles' almost constantly. Mackenzie also answers when I am trying to get Addison to answer something, and M tells her sister (and all of us lately, actually!) "No, No, Nooooo".

I see Mackenzie as the one who will get in trouble for talking with her friends in class...something her mama NEVER did! HA! ; )

reanbean said...

My Tiny is much like baby B, while Buba seems more like baby A. Tiny will often answer questions that are directed at Buba, but I just repeat the question and wait for his response. As you said, once they're a little older, I'll speak to her about interrupting or talking for her brother, but I'm not sure she'd get it at this point.

MultipleMum said...

They are all different and, while it is not seen as kosher to label your children, it is really hard not to. It is hard NOT to notice their skills and I reckon it would be remiss of us not to celebrate them. You just need to remain fair and praise both of them for legitimate reasons I reckon. :)