I don’t have two of everything. Sometimes I really wish I did. Do you know how many fights I could avoid if I just had two of absolutely everything? Sometimes it is my choice, other times it is the boys’ choice, and other times it is completely out of our control. When they receive gifts, they aren’t always given two of each thing. This actually can prove to be quite challenging, requires my uber refereeing skills more often than not, and can be quite exhausting to navigate.
The latest battle? Shorts, turquoise shorts! To me, it was minor; nothing. So your brother is wearing the shorts that you want to wear? Fine, just go choose another pair. But to a four year old twin brother, seeing your brother wearing the only turquoise shorts from the drawer that you want to wear (which by the way he only wants to wear because he saw them on his brother), is extremely dramatic, life shattering even, definitely tantrum worthy!
In full tantrum mode, I did everything I could to try and convince him to wear different shorts. I suggested grey shorts as an alternative and told him grey was my favorite color, he didn’t really care! I asked his brother nicely to please switch shorts, he too refused. I told him that the shorts he really wanted to wear didn’t actually match the nice collared shirt he had selected, again he could care less; matching, who cares about matching. I did my best to remain calm and patient during this very passionate breakdown (a parenting technique I am really working on – yelling gets us nowhere); I gave him the space he needed to really feel his frustration.
When he finally calmed down, he came up with a solution all on his own. “Mom, I think I am going to choose these shorts instead, what do you think?” Those shorts did happen to belong to his brother which was a bit slippery, but hey it was a solution, he was happy. And the shorts he chose actually matched!
Lesson learned – with twins, you don’t need to have two of absolutely everything. It certainly makes things easier, but is it really teaching your children or preparing them for the real world? They can’t have everything they want when they want it – so perhaps this teaches them a little patience, a little compromise, and a little problem solving.