Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Degrees of Separation

When our identical twins, Harry and Malcolm, were born, we decided that we were not going to treat them as a unit. Literally, from Day 1 we dressed them differently. We also very rarely refer to them as "the twins".

Harry (kissee) Malcolm (kisser)

As very young boys, Harry wore reds and Malcolm wore blues. Now they pick their own clothes out and sometimes still pick out their traditional reds and blues. Coincidence? There's yet another nature/nurture debate with identical twins WAITING to happen It's when Malcolm wears red and Harry wears blue that some of our friends get thrown do I!

We have two older "singleton" children (singleton is a term used by either medical people or parents of twins when comparing one child to twins....and never any other time as far as I can tell!). We thought our youngest boys deserved to develop their identity individually just like Lilly and Andy did and are doing. I did work toward and successfuly get them to take a nap at the same time when they were babies/toddlers, but that was mostly for sanity reasons.

When it was time for preschool, we were fortunate that the school we wanted had two classes at the same time. So, they were separated for the first hour of school and then the second, last hour, they were together. The preschool teachers recommended that we keep them separated for kindergarten which started this fall.

Well, the school that we wanted them to go to for half-day kindergarten has only one teacher. She has a morning class and an afternoon class. There are about four full-day classes at the school, but I'm a stay-at-home mom and my kids are only 5 years old. I want to spend more time with them and they need free time to play and rest! So full-day wasn't a choice for our family.

I talked to the principal last spring about this dilemma since the school was going to put them in the same class. The only solution would be that I would have to provide transportation for the morning child since our neighborhood would only be assigned bus service for the afternoon session. The principal discouraged me from splitting them and driving the morning guy, again, for sanity reasons.

We decided as a family to go ahead and try them in the same afternoon class. Andy had this teacher, she has tons of experience and we figured if anyone can handle them, she can.

Well, it lasted until this past Monday (Day 12 of the school year). I got a call from said teacher that we love and she asked if there was ANY way that we'd consider separating them after all. She said that they're holding each other back academically and that each child has so much potential that cannot be realized as a twosome in the same timeframe. I made an executive decision because Dave is away and I know he'd agree with what was best for our kids. He did.

It turns out I only have to drive to the school one time per day. I picked Harry to do the morning session since he is just slightly easier to wake up in the morning. So, Harry and Andy (a super 2nd grader) get on the bus together in the morning, I pick Harry up at 11:30a with Malcolm in tow, bring them both back for lunch and then put Malcolm on the bus at 12:15p. Then, he gets a turn to ride home at the end of the day with big bro Andy on the bus.

So far so good...I'm adjusting to the new schedule and the fact that I now need to get a part-time job that I can work at while one twin is home with me (for just an hour or so per day). Still looking for that one. I was just starting to hone in on jobs that I could do given that fact that I had a few hours everyday to myself...Poof! Everything changed!

Harry and Malcolm, I'm happy to report, are thriving individually and the teacher is ecstatic about their progress. There were no tears either! For me, it is wonderful to spend time one-on-one and I know each boy loves having Mommy to himself too.

Everything happens when Dave's away...more on that in my next post!


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