I Can’t Stop Obsessively Comparing My Twins’ Development

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young boy and girl comparingBeing a twin mom is awesome, but at least in my case, it comes with one particular string attached: it’s much, much too easy to compare them in terms of development and health when they’re developing and health-ing side by side.

I’m almost a year into parenthood, and I haven’t yet broken myself of the habit of comparing and contrasting them in terms of milestones achieved, commands obeyed, and babbles babbled. Is this something that parents with kids born with more than two minutes between them do, too? Or it easier then to forget when exactly Kid 1 took his first step by the time Kid 2 rolls around a year or two later? It’s like a microcosm of a science experiment in my house, except with a sample size of two, and instead of looking for publication in a fancy journal, my only potential prize is new reasons to worry. Which, as far as prizes go, rates somewhere between “having to sit through an entire Adam Sandler movie” and “stepping on a dead hornet”.

At eleven months old, my daughter is toddling everywhere, hugging stuffed animals, offering toys to people, and waving. Waving violently, sometimes: if there is a way to weaponize a friendly greeting, my little velociraptor princess is going to find it.This child will kill wild deer with her bare hands for food after the Apocaplyse. Or people. Whichever’s easier, probably.

And her brother is … not doing those things. Not post-apocalyptically eating people, of course, but not the rest of it either. He likes holding onto furniture and bouncing, but isn’t particularly interested in walking anywhere. He likes throwing toys better than handing them to Mom or Dad. And if we offer a stuffed animal with a request for him to give it a hug, he instead tries to bite its face off. (Or ours, if we get too close. I lost some skin off my finger offering him a morsel at dinner last night.) In other words, my son is a pretty typical eleven-month-old to pretty much anyone except a mom with a penchant for worry-warting plus another kid to directly compare him to.

At three months, they figured out how to roll over literally within seconds of each other, plopping over onto their backs on the blanket like a pair of pudgy dominoes. (Lord knows I’d been coaching them for long enough, like a yoga-pants-wearing Bela Karolyi with two even-smaller-than-usual Kerri Strugs.) The rational part of my brain knows that there is simply no way that they can hurdle over each new milestone in such perfect lockstep, but sometimes I am a tired, nervous lady who just doesn’t feel like being rational. I just need to manage to put on my big girl pants, or rather, my big girl blinders, by the time the twins are old enough to notice what I’m doing.

Besides, my daughter isn’t winning by every metric. My son is still winning 22-18 weight-wise, 6-3 on teeth, and 2-0 on dimples. And did he start saying “Mama” this week? Like, to actual mean me and not just yelling MUMUMUMUMUMUM because that’s a fun thing to yell while you steal your sister’s toys and maniacally chase the dog? I’m not really sure, but luckily, when I ask that not altogether rational part of my brain, the answer is: YES. Definitely, definitely yes. So I guess now on top of worrying too much, I also need to make sure I don’t swing too far the other way and wind up convincing myself that his babbling over a set of blocks does not mean he’s come up with a solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem or solved the problem of cold fusion.

(Image: Zurijeta/Shutterstock)