When I was a kid, I was always hyper-aware of fairness. Kid-defined sibling fairness, that is. You know, the “He got a longer hug!” or “Why is his piece bigger?” or “He got more presents than me!” The things that are of the utmost of importance to kids. I think this is because I am a twin and we were constantly compared to each other. Not usually in a bad way – I think comparing two children who are the same age is natural, especially for twins. But since we were always in the same stages of life, and often had the same interests, the comparisons went beyond reaching milestones. I’m sure our competitive natures didn’t help things, either!
Luckily, my parents were always extremely fair, not only with material things but with their time. Back then, I might have cared more about making sure I had the same amount of Lego sets as my brother, but now I can really appreciate the time I had with my parents. I especially benefitted from the time I had with them away from my brother. It was good for us to have that individual non-twin attention.
I actively try to give my kids equal time, which isn’t easy given the demanding stages they are both in. Annabel needs a lot of adult interaction and help with things, and that often means James gets set in a swing or bouncer while I take care of his sister. I know that right now, his needs are pretty basic compared to Annie’s outrageous demands (Mommy, I need help turning this chair into my pretend boat), so he often gets shortchanged. I feel guilty about that.
Except on Tuesdays and Thursday…those are my days with my boy. Annie is at preschool and I get that special time with my little guy. He’s almost six months old! I can’t believe it. When Annabel was his age, I was so nervous. I was terrified she’d get sick like Madeline, so I wanted her to grow bigger and stronger as fast as possible. With James, I can keep that nervousness under control and enjoy him. He is one of the sweetest babies I’ve ever been around, and I love our one-on-one time.
I’m especially enjoying the silly pictures we take while Annie is at school. I hope that he’ll look back at these pictures and see that we had fun together, even when he was a little guy. I also think it’s good for Annie to see me doing things with her brother, and it’s so cute how excited she gets over the photo and the outtakes (I post the outtakes on Instagram or Facebook). Annie has a wealth of silly home movies, and James will have the preschool photos. I hope these babies of mine will look at both and see how much I love them.