Saturday, February 18, 2012

Twin Identities Not-in-Crisis

Today at lunchtime, we played a rousing game of "favorites."  My sons are deep in a favorites phase, where they have made strong attachments to particular things, and are learning to identify themselves with these things.  The most obvious one is favorite colors (see this post).  

To keep the fun times rolling, we worked through a few rounds of favorites.
Colors: orange/ red
Food: bread/ apples
Toy: trucks/ ambulance
Song: Jesus Loves Me/ Jesus Loves the Little Children (it has the word "red" in it)
Person to kiss: Mama/ Josh and Pete (haha)
Person to talk to on the phone: Nana and Papa/ Pete
Store: Shoprite/ Target 
Stuffed animal: tiger/ walrus 

They even threw some good ones at me, like what is my favorite room and my favorite fish.

I was amazed at the fact that their answers never overlapped, even when in reality, I'm sure they both love the Lord of the Beans DVD equally.  It's as if, once chosen by a brother, that item is off-limits.  We have a Dr Seuss book that asks "would you rather be a .... or a ..." on each page; they always choose opposing answers.

I take this as a good sign that we are NOT having a twin identity crisis at this phase of life.  They are developing into two distinct people with clear opinions and personalities.  I love this!  

The other week I looked over their Sunday School papers, and found one labeled "Micah" and the other labeled "Titus, definitely not Micah!"  I can only conclude that there was some uncertainty about names which Titus cleared up with some passion.  Good for him.  

Here's some of the things we do with the boys to encourage their individuality:
  • Call them by name (almost never "the twins," though I do slip and say "the boys" often; see this post!).  We've done this since day one.
  • Ask them individually: Do you want milk?  Would you like more broccoli? Which book would you like to read?  even when I know the answer.  Give each a chance to answer for himself.
  • Encourage turn-taking.  "It's Micah's turn.  When he's done, it will be Titus' turn."  Asking them to share or play together is not helpful.
  • Take pictures of them individually.  (This is pretty much unavoidable; good luck getting a picture of them together.) 
  • Wear different clothes;  have different blankets; etc.
  • Follow their developmental cues: I currently have one partly potty-trained and another not even working on it. 
  • Surround them with people who love and value them as individuals (big shout out to Papa and Nana, Yaya and Elliott, Ms Linda, Pete and so many others here).


  1. They - er, I mean Micah and Titus! - are so cute and getting so big! Hope to see them soon at Zoey's party :) I read "The Happiness Balloon" - so funny! Loved this:

    Micah: Yay, I call it orange!
    Titus: I call my balloon red!