To separate or not to separate? That is the question. Twins are bonded together from birth in a way non-twin folk will never understand. I am not a twin and I like my independence… I have no idea what it is like to have a medical clone by my side at all times. But last week I made a decision, and I finally feel comfortable with it. I have chosen to separate the Twins.
I’ve seen this topic discussed in many Facebook groups and blog posts. I’ve been told I should separate, I’ve been told I should keep them together. I honestly thought I wouldn’t have to decide until Kindergarten, but it’s been festering in the back of my mind for some time.
I would say six months ago, I was swaying towards keeping them together. Although they argue, they are the best of friends. They bring security and understanding to each other like other can’t. I also talked to a mom of twins who chose to bring her boys into the same class after being separated in Kindergarten, because the pure logistics of class parties and school events was too difficult to coordinate.
There are reasons, three big justifications, for my decision to separate the Twins:
The boys have been receiving speech therapy for the past year through the Early Intervention Program. They have been diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and have recently qualified for a special needs preschool which they will start at the end of the month. It was suggested by the school that they are separated to encourage their speech development, and I agree it will help.
Currently, they talk a lot, they are real chatterboxes! Trouble is, no one understands them, except each other. We’re not talking about a twin language. We’re talking about an inability to make certain sounds and problems with mouth muscle memory. Although it will be tough, they need to practice talking with other kids and adults to make progress with their disability, and being apart for some time of the day will encourage this.
I have posted often about the issue with have with the Twins fighting. It really has got out of control, and their daycare has concerns over them attacking each other and any other kids that get in their way. They adore each other, but disagreements turn nasty fast, and being big chunky boys, they can really hurt each other.
I realized the other day that although I am not a twin, I really would not want to be around the same person all day every day. I love my husband but I even need a break from him sometimes. It’s good to miss him when he travels for work and maybe if the Twins had a few hours apart in the day they will value each others company more after school.
Arthur is a social little dude. He’s happy to meet new kids and make others laugh. George likes Arthur, and isn’t really interested in anyone else. When other kids come to talk to him they are often greeted with a grimace.
Daycare has brought to my attention that however much they try, they will not sit on separate tables for activities. George refuses to do a different activity to Arthur and because George can get grumpy with other kids, it’s hindering Arthur’s ability to socialize.
I love the idea of them sharing a social circle and looking out for each other when they’re older. But for now I feel like their chances of developing healthy social skills is in jeopardy and therefore we made the decision to separate the Twins.
The Day I Chose to Separate the Twins
We made the decision that when they start their special needs pre-school the Twins will be in different classes. They will also continue to do a little time at their current daycare, so we decided to take it for a test run.
I was dreading dropping them off because I was preparing myself for a tantrum on both parts. It actually went pretty smoothly. Arthur went happily into a new classroom and I knelt down to explain the situation to George.
“Arthur is in room 5 today and you are going to stay with your friends in room 4. At the end of the day Mommy will pick you both up and we’ll all go home together. OK?” He thought for a moment, smiled and gave me a big thumbs up… too cute. I was so relieved.
The Backlash of Day 2
Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I confidently strode into daycare the next day, ready to drop them off. To my surprise, it wasn’t George who got upset, it was social butterfly Arthur. A huge tantrum transpired as he refused to leave George. My heart broke as I dragged him away from his brother, who was starting to get upset in all the drama. When I went to pick them up, both boys had bitten another child in their separate classes and I questioned what I was doing.
The Triumph of Day 3
On day three I was back to dreading drop off. But they happily gave each other a wave and said “Bye!”. At pick up, George was happier than I have seen him in ages. “Mom… no, bite!!” he said to me with a big grin. Then he said “Arf!” and pointed at the door, so we tottered down the corridor to pick up his brother who was equally chirpy to see him.
No fighting, no biting, two happy faces, and one relieved mama. They came home and played nicely together and at the end of the week, I’m feeling really comfortable with my decision to separate the Twins.
What are you going to do? Where do you sit in the debate… should twins be separated in school or not?