An interesting part of having twins is seeing your kids develop at different rates. The first time Emma smiled, we were waiting for Andrew to do the same. As time past, we started to grow concerned that Andrew was taking such a long time to crack a grin. Was our son born without cheek muscles? Did he have a stroke? Will he never find any of Daddy's jokes funny? NO! NOT THAT!
Of course Andrew eventually smiled, and we stopped worrying. Pretty soon you just gain acceptance that your twins are going to develop differently. I figure as long as Andrew doesn't grow boobs and Emma doesn't drop a couple of pendulum balls between her legs, I don't care how the kids develop as long as they are happy, healthy, and find my jokes hee-lay-ree-us.
Up until recently, the kids hardly noticed each other. They would occasionally stare at each other, but would eventually set their sights on something more interesting, like rug lint. But Emma and Andrew interact a lot more now. They like to take each other's toys, pull at each other's hair, and help each other with Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle ( 3 letter word for a fabric invented in 1941? Anyone?).
With this acknowledgment of each other brings a sense of jealousy and frustration. If Emma gets held, Andrew whines. If Andrew has Emma's toy, Emma whines. And although jealousy may not be the right word, there is a definite sense of frustration on Emma's part. You see, Andrew has been perfecting his mobility ability for the past few weeks. He's getting really close to crawling, and pulls himself upright to get a baby's eye view of the world.
But Emma isn't close to crawling yet. The most she has been able to do is push herself backwards a foot or so. The funny thing about her backward slide is that she's actually trying to push herself forward to grab something, like a toy or an eclair. So when she ends up getting farther away from her desired object, like a book or a meatloaf, she cries out in frustration.
Now imagine her frustration when she sees Andrew putting all around her grabbing things she wants to play with. You can see in her face that she really wants to move around, but damn her uncoordinated arms and legs. There are even times when Emma will be playing with a toy, and Andrew will scoot up to her, grab the toy, then scoot away with it. And what can Emma do? She can't chase after him. I suppose we could teach her how to throw a block at him, but that would be a bad idea because all of our blocks are foam; they wouldn't hurt.
Sometimes when I see how different the two of them can be, it makes me think what will happen in the future when their differences will be more pronounced. Will they be jealous of each other? How do we praise one without hurting the other one? Do we give the smart kid a car for graduation and the dumb one a bike? Hopefully we can raise the kids to accept their differences and celebrate each other's accomplishments. And if that doesn't work, we'll have the kids watch "Sophie's Choice" and tell them to watch their backs.