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April 25, 2011

Another Case of Nature vs. Nurture...

…where Mother Nature reminds me she’s not to be dismissed!

I have often thought that having multiples highlights the “nature” side of the developmental equation.

If I had only one child, I surely would think that so much of what she did – or didn’t do – was a result of my influence over her...

…she doesn’t like asparagus? Clearly I didn’t eat it frequently enough when I was pregnant.

…she often prefers to hop like a bunny instead of walking in a straight line? I haven’t been playing enough classical music to allow her to properly organize her thoughts.

…she religiously skips the number fourteen every. single. time? Obviously I’m not enunciating when I count aloud.

…she whimpers like a puppy if bathwater gets anywhere near her face? I should have booked those infant swimming lessons after all.

But with twins, there’s a certain reassurance when you see that at least one of your kids can stack up blocks almost as high as her head, while the other can recite countless nursery rhymes.

It’s a reminder that – even with very similar stimulation – every child is different.

Our recent Potty-capades have been a great example of this. If you’d asked me a year ago about potty training, I would have told you that I hoped to have the girls trained by the time they were two. And of course I would do it at the same time.

Over the past year, I’ve continued to experience the ease of certain transitions if I am willing to wait until the girls are “ready”. That in mind, I didn’t even consider trying to train the girls before they turned two. They had shown no signs of readiness, so I certainly wasn’t going to stick my foot out there, sure to have it peed upon!

We were bee-bopping along this spring, when Baby A told me – out of the blue – that she needed to sit on the potty. That was about five weeks ago, and since that time we’ve warmed up to the potty bit by bit. Baby B showed a little [copycat] interest, which I indulged, but Baby A has led this initiative.

On Saturday morning I got the girls up and put a pair of undies on Baby A. She sat on the potty at least 50 times – I swear! – but she didn’t have the first accident! Baby B asked to wear undies over her diaper, and she asked sit on the potty a couple of times, although she didn’t have any successes.

I’ve exposed the girls equally to potty opportunities, but Baby A was just more “ready” than her sister. While I’d love to get this training business over in one fell swoop, I’m not going to try to push Baby B to meet her sister’s timeline.

This is just another example for me of the role of nature and the individual differences in each of my girls.

It’s up to me as their mother to recognize and “nurture” those differences to each of their growth and development.

***

For any of you keeping score, Day 2 didn’t go quite as smoothly as Day 1. Baby A had a total of four accidents, two of which required carpet cleaning. :) My guess is that it was a combination of the girls’ excitement over some of the Easter festivities (although we didn’t leave the house all day), along with my preoccupation with orchestrating said festivities.

Both nights, though, I put on the girls' nighttime diapers. Immediately before bed, Baby A asked to sit on the potty. It seems pretty huge in my mind that she doesn’t want to just go in her diaper.

Throughout the past two days, I've been so proud...

...proud of Baby A for being such a big girl...proud of Baby B for being [relatively] patient while her sister got a lot of attention during all those trips to the potty...and proud of myself for staying [relatively] calm, cool, and collected (and not even having to dip into my Emergency Preparedness Chocolate Stash!). Go, us!!!

8 comments:

Andrea said...

Mandy, you are an awesome Mom! I am so glad it went well! Yay for Baby A & B! They are awesome girls! Hope this week goes just as smooth! :)

Beth said...

You are right about the interesting little experiment we patricipate in every day. Watching these children who are raised in the same home by the same parents turn out so unique is fascinating!

You're doing such a great job with the p.t.! My first son potty trained quickly and easily just after turning two. It was nice, but did not prepare me for the massive amount of patience I would need to tackle pt-ing the quads. All three of you are awesome!

James said...

Having twins completely changed my perspective on nature vs. nurture. Especially after starting with a singleton. Our twins were so very, very different from birth. Watching them develop side by side has opened my eyes to how much is genetically encoded in them (and humbled me as a parent). I can't take credit for nearly as much as I thought I could!

Quadmama said...

I love seeing the different personalities develop in my girls. (BTW, one of mine LOVES asparagus and the others hate it. Two of them love tomatoes and Hubby and I refuse to eat them). As for the potty training, it's a one day at a time thing. You WILL get through this.

Cottongirl7 said...

Oh Potty Training! What a joy it is. Just as in your house one of my girls (honestly the one I really didn't expect) has been a super star with the whole toilet thing. They just turned two on St. Pattys day. The other girl has decided to be her cheerleader. She walks in, says "Yay Izzy, Go Izzy!" then watches her go, and claps. At least she's excited for sissy. I'm sure Abby will be interested soon, but not now. I agree with you, its soo funny to see two little people with such similar upbringings behave so different. Great post. Potty on. :)

Amanda said...

Yes I think the nature vs. nature phenomenon is quite interesting. My twins are identical but couldn't have more different tastes and some personality traits. We are starting potty training as well and one seems to get it while the other seems completely oblivious!

Barbara Manatee said...

Adam is so resistant and after being reminded of the tests of Potty Training, I'm not in a rush either! ha! Maybe this summer when we're home more :-)

Good luck!! Glad you survived the weekend and hopefully its progress!

*******
April is Autism Awareness Month. I'm dedicating my blog all month long to Autism.

Mandy said...

The different time lines for each kid starts to eat at me some times. If one is doing something, why isn't the other?! I must hear from our Dr every visit that each child is different. It's just so hard for me to over come.

You have far more control than I do. I think I would be encouraging B and letting A go about her way. This parenting thing needs a manual. Kudos for staying calm!!