Should twins stay together at school or be split?

Should twins stay together at school or be split?For a long time, the question of ‘should twins be in the same class at school or should they be split?’ has never worried me. I always thought my twins should be in separate classes, in order to allow them to develop their own individuality, personality and friendships. However, now my twins are due to start school in September, I am suddenly (very unexpectedly) feeling very unsure and worried.

On Monday, I had a to go to a meeting at school for all the new September starters. Whilst walking there, everything suddenly felt very real and I started questioning myself, ‘is it actually best to split twins up?’. I had never questioned it before, so it came as quite a shock.

The school has no preference either way, so I guess it’s down to me to decide. I came back from school feeling very confused. I asked twitter and got a mixed response, though interestingly, several people with twins said ‘don’t split them’. I then read TAMBAs guide to twins at school. I found this very interesting and was surprised by how much I then felt in favour of twins remaining together at school.

When I read this:

“Recent research conducted by Kings College London (a national study of 2,232 twin children) found that twins separated at the start of primary school at age 5 had more emotional problems on average (symptoms of shyness, withdrawal, depression and anxiety) than non-separated twins.” (TAMBA)

I was really shocked. It had never occurred to me that it could cause real damage to split them up! I am now starting to think we should keep them together.

However, I am struggling with the thought of keeping them together as I have always brought them up to be two individuals, they very rarely dress the same and I try to encourage them to be independent. Therefore, to put them in the same class together, to me would not be encouraging individuality so much. On the other hand, I do want them to settle in well at school quickly and I don’t want them to be traumatised by being separated.

It is such a difficult decision. I think there is no set rule for twins, it is very individual depending on each twins personality etc. There are so many pros and cons on either side. At the moment I feel I am not going to get it right whichever way I go. I know that’s silly, I’m sure they will be fine either together or split, but as a parent, being responsible for my children’s best welfare, I am desperate to make the right decision.

I would love to know your opinion and experiences, please leave me a comment.

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A twins helping hand

All siblings can fight like cat and dog. They can argue, shout, push and shove. There are times when you literally want to tear your hair out. Twins are no different to other siblings in this respect. They may have a unique bond, but they still have plenty of scraps.

However, it was lovely to watch last week, when I took my twins out for the day, while BB was at school, them truly helping each other, looking after one another. They literally gave each other a helping hand on the climbing frame in order to get to the top together.

Twins helping each other

They supported, they loved each others company, they played together, they took turns, they raced around the little track laughing together. It was quite magical to watch. I want to remember these moments forever.

There are definite benefits to having twins, it may have been hard in the early days, but now it’s much easier. They always have someone to play with and someone to turn to. My only concern is that my older son doesn’t feel pushed out, but so far he gets on and joins in with them and all three play lovely when they are together (most of the time).

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Birthday weekend

It finally arrived, my twins are now 4 years old and my son is now 6 years old. I have no idea where the time went!

It was a very full on birthday weekend as, yes, in case you didn’t know, all three of my children share a birthday! (well, 1 twin was 15 mins the day before, but we celebrate all on the same day).

In previous years the children have had a joint party, which has worked well. However, this year I thought my son ought to start having his own party, so the twins had a craft party on the saturday and my son had a bowling party on the sunday.

You can read all about the craft party here on my other blog. My girls were so excited about their party. All the crafts and games were prepared beforehand, so I spent saturday morning icing the two hello kitty birthday cakes. I must confess, my sister-in-law made the hello kitty’s (not me) to go on top. I think the cakes looked good and they certainly tasted good!

Twin birthday cakes

The party was lots of fun, but also lots of hard work, I was absolutely exhausted by the evening. Knowing I had another cake to make in the morning followed by another party, was tough!

The following day, the children had a wonderful time opening all their birthday presents together, it’s just like christmas all over again!! We got them a climbing frame for the garden, so they were then outside helping daddy build it all morning, which gave me a chance to make the third cake.Twins opening birthday presents

Unfortunately, this was a bit of a disaster. Firstly, my 1st attempt over flowed in the oven! Then, when mixing up the butter icing…….it melted in my food processor!!!!! I had no idea it would ever do that?! I had to throw the whole lot away and start again! I was rather panicking by this point! Luckily, from then on, things improved and I managed to complete the space cake.

Space birthday cake

The bowling party in the afternoon was also a hit. My twins had never been bowling and got so excited watching the skittles get knocked over and rolling the balls down. My son did extremely well and won! Everyone enjoyed it, they had food at the bowling alley, followed by birthday cake. Perfect!

All in all, it was a mammoth birthday weekend (which I am glad only comes round once a year, as I don’t think I could do it again in a hurry), but everyone had a wonderful time and definitely a birthday to remember!

 

Family Photo Friday @ Thursday's Child, Friday's Thoughts
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My twins birth – a look back

Doesn’t time fly! Four years ago this week I looked like this:

My twin pregnancy bump at 36 weeks

Ok, so that picture was taken two weeks before that, but this is the closest I’ve got.

I felt huge! So many people commented “you’re as wide as you are tall”! Thanks for that, I didn’t realise I was that large (or short)?!

I was 38 weeks pregnant with twins, uncomfortable, nervous, very excited, terrified, emotional, apprehensive and worried. I am sure most people feel like this when they are pregnant, but with twins, probably more so. I was very much looking forward to meeting my two new babies, but was terrified of the unknown at the same time. What on earth was life going to be like with a toddler and two newborn babies?! How would I cope?

At 38 weeks and a few days I was admitted to hospital to be induced. My parents came to stay, to take care of Big Brother. The midwives broke my waters very easily at 9am and my labour started. I was very lucky not to need any pessaries etc.

I was strapped to what felt like every monitor going, as there needed to be one for each baby, but at least I knew I was being kept an eye on, which is reassuring. It took a while for my contractions to build, but when they did I reached for the gas and air. One thing I found fascinating, was that I felt like I was only contracting one side of my tummy, no idea why. I presume I was contracting for the 1 baby that the waters had broken (twin 2’s waters were still intact).

pregnant mother with twins in labour

By about 7pm I was 8cm dilated, so they took me into theatre, all twins need to be born in theatre as a precaution. Unfortunately, the air conditioning was broken, so it was 32 degrees and I was extremely HOT! I cannot stress how hot that is to someone giving birth!!

My contractions intensified, I was 10cm dilated, so it was time to start pushing. I pushed and pushed. I was pushing for what felt like an eternity, and with some Ventose help, at quarter to midnight my first beautiful baby girl was born weighing 6lb 1oz.

I was exhausted, yet overwhelmed with joy looking at this most amazing little bundle I had just given birth to. I breast-fed her almost straight away and loved it! I was more than happy to just lay there nursing my baby. I wasn’t in pain any more.

Twin 2 was breech. The doctors tried to turn her, but she was having none of it! So, this time I was on my own. My contractions were still very strong, yet I didn’t feel them. The doctors were amazed at the strength of them and kept saying “how can you not feel that?” I don’t know, it was a mystery (one which I am glad of). In the end, they told me I had to start pushing. After an hour and twenty minutes since giving birth to twin 1, twin 2 was finally born breech, weighing 6lb8oz, with my waters drowning the anaesthetist, which was quite amusing!

My beautiful girl was placed in my arms and I couldn’t have been happier! I was utterly exhausted, beyond belief, yet none of that mattered. I had my two gorgeous newborn baby girls with me. No words could describe what it’s like to hold 2 tiny babies in your arms. The love, the beauty, the warmth, the glow I felt was amazing. I was terrified of how I was going to cope, yet, at that moment, I didn’t care, it didn’t matter. I would manage and fumble my way through. With three wonderful gorgeous children, I could cope with anything now!

Newborn twin girls with mummy and daddy

Four years later and I look back at my twins birth with very fond memories. It was a wonderful experience I would happily go through again. I wouldn’t change a thing. I now have two amazing happy, bright, beautiful twin girls alongside my gorgeous little boy, what more could a mother want?

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18 month old twins

How time flies! My twins will very soon be 4.

Last week, we visited Grandparents, which meant we also got to see my children’s cousins. Their twin cousins are nearly 18 months now and quite a handful! They are into everything, climbing, running, won’t sit still and throw  food everywhere! Seeing them reminded me of how it used to be when my twins were that age.

18 month old twins are most definitely a handful and I would say 18 months to 3 years is the hardest time. They are into everything, you can’t turn your back for a moment or they’ll be climbing something or putting something dangerous in their mouth etc. They can’t be reasoned with, they barely understand the word no and in their world there is only themselves to consider. This makes life very difficult for parents as they are dealing with two little monkeys, you pull 1 twin off the chair, turn around and the other is up there, pull that 1 down and the previous twin is back up there!!! Argh!

I think back to one very memorable occasion when I had a room divider across my lounge, so one end was a playroom (relatively safe). One day I was cooking dinner in the kitchen, while my twins were in the play area. I turned around and there were two little girls standing in the kitchen smiling at me, very proud of themselves! I got the fright of my life! I couldn’t understand how they had escaped! I looked in the lounge and the gate was still closed on the room divider, then I realised, they had actually climbed over it! Time to take the room divider down I think!

I look back now and laugh, but at the time it was tough. However, it may be the toughest 18 months, but I also think it can be the most rewarding time too. They are two cute little bundles of fun. They are active, they are learning to talk and make the cutest of mistakes. There is something wonderful listening to a child learn to talk. Watching two little siblings of the same age interact and play together at that age is quite magical. I hope I don’t forget it.

Anyone with young twins, I would say, yes 18 months to 3 years is the toughest time, but it is also a wonderful time to watch your little ones grow and develop together. It will get easier at around the age of 3, so try to remember to enjoy the moments you have with them now, they soon grow up.

18 month old twin boys with nana

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3 birthdays, party planning

It’s almost that time of year again, where my babies turn a whole year older. I am desperately planning two parties in one weekend. I think I must be mad!

If you’re new to reading my blog, you may not know about the ‘uniqueness’ of my family. To sum it up…….

I have 3 children, 2 of which are twins. 2 of my children share a birthday, but not my twins’!

Yes, that’s right, my twins have separate birthdays, as they were born over midnight (one and a half hours apart), and my second twin was born on my sons 2nd birthday! This makes things quite difficult. I have never fully settled on when to celebrate each birthday. So far they have all had a shared party, which has worked well. However, this year I thought it was about time BB had his own party, hence the 2 parties in one weekend.

The twins are having a hello kitty craft party on the saturday at home and BB is having a bowling party on the sunday. Luckily the bowling party is mostly done for us, I only need to make the cake and turn up. However, the twins party will take a lot more effort. Luckily, my mum is organising the crafts, so I have time to think about the party bags, games, food and cakes.

I like to make extra work for myself, as I believe each child should have their own birthday cake and I like to make them novelty ones, so I am currently trying to think how I can make 2 hello kitty cakes and a space cake all in one weekend! I panic before hand, but I usually get there in the end. Last year I made a whole gingerbread house cake and two heart cakes. They looked great and the children had a fab birthday, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can pull it off again this year.

picture of 3 birthday cakes

3 birthday cakes

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Time with my girls

twin girls enjoying a drinkShopping with little ones can be tough, they have their hands in everything. Shopping with twins is hard, as they are at the same stage, double the amount of hands! However, last week, I felt we turned a corner. The weather’s been so bad and I didn’t fancy doing craft again, I thought, let’s go to the shops, we need to buy some birthday presents etc, so off we went, just me and my girls (aged 3).

We went in a couple of clothes shops, had a mooch around together. They were excited looking at everything, especially the pretty hair things and accessories. They touched things, but in a much gentler way than they used to. I didn’t find myself constantly saying “put that back” or “be careful” or “don’t touch that”. It was lovely. I found we could talk about what we were looking at, admiring the things they liked.

We visited a cheap shop, which they really enjoyed, as there were a few toys. They wanted to buy a hello kitty each. I was about to say my usual “no”, then stopped myself and thought, why not, it’s only 1 pound. So I said they could, if they wanted to buy it out of their own money they have at home. They did, so I gave them a pound each (until we got home) and they went and proudly purchased their hello kitty. I am so pleased I stopped myself automatically saying no. I loved seeing them make their first ever purchase!

Next we all went for a babycino. My girls love going to the coffee shop and having their ‘grown up’ babycino from a proper cup and saucer. They spend ages over it! We sat together having a lovely girlie chat. Then I sat back and just watched them for a moment and for the first time I thought this is such a lovely trip out with my girls and I am absolutely going to miss this time alone with them when they start school in september. It really hit me, how we won’t be able to do this for much longer! I am loving my time with them right now.

We walked past some ride on pay as you go toys outside the supermarket and I let them play for a few minutes. They didn’t ask for any money to be put in, they were more than happy just pretending together.

We had such a wonderful morning together, shopping with my girls. I would never have expected a shopping trip to be so lovely. I am sad that our time alone will be coming to an end later this year, but I am definitely looking forward to more trips like this in the future!twin girls enjoying playing on a ride on

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A twin bond

Twins are conceived together, grow together, develop together, side by side. They share a womb, they share their birthday (most of the time) and frequently share their milestones. Twins often share a cot, a cuddle, a bedroom, a meal, a friendship. It seems almost inevitable, they must share a bond.

Twins share a unique relationship. Identical twins often have a stronger bond, they tend to be more aware of each other. It is interesting, that studies have shown identical twins usually are characterised as being cooperative with each other, suggesting this closeness and understanding is present.

I have seen this bond in my identical twins. The other day I over heard my twins say to each other “I love you” and then give each other a cuddle! I must confess, I nearly cried! It is so beautiful to hear your little ones say things like this, totally unprompted. I love knowing they have a bond together and have support for each other.

There may be times when they fight and argue, they certainly have their ups and downs (believe me, it’s not all roses!), but there is no doubt about this underlying unique relationship.

Another example of my twins bond, was the other week, when Boo was being naughty, I told her she had to go to bed early, this didn’t worry her, until she realised

, her sister was not going to be with her. From that moment, she screamed for her sister. This did upset me, but I had to stick with it.

Thinking back, there have also been times when one twin is being told off for something, the other one steps in saying “leave my sister alone, she’s my sister and I love her”. Aww, although, I am cross at the time, it does make my heart melt, knowing they will stick up for each other.

I love these beautiful moments of twin bonding. As a mummy, it is one of the most tear jerking, magical moments ever. I want to remember them forever, store them up for the future, as I know they are young, children grow and they may not feel like this forever. All I can hope for is that they continue to have some kind of good relationship in the future. Fingers crossed!

Twin girls

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Twin birthday individuality

twin birthday cakesChildren’s birthdays are about celebrating the special day they were born. Birthdays are very exciting for kids, the presents, the party, the cake, they get to be the centre of attention for the day (or more sometimes). It is something I look forward to for my children and my children talk about for months before hand. I like to make their day special and exciting.

Most children have the luxury of having their own birthday. However, most twins, do not have that birthday individuality that singletons get. I have been trying to think about how to make twins birthdays individual.

Here are some suggestions for promoting twin birthday individuality

  • Maybe celebrate each twins birthday on separate days, so they get their own individual attention.
  • Make a birthday cake for each child
  • Sing happy birthday twice – once for each child
  • Ensure presents are individual
  • Take photos of each child separately (seems obvious, but it can easily get forgotten, I know, I do it myself)
  • Help – see if family, grandparents etc could help for the day, so you get to spend individual time with each twin

It may not seem much, but to children, it could mean a lot, make them feel individually special.

Birthday parties can be tricky though, you don’t really want to have two parties and twins often share the same friends anyway. I don’t think it is a big issue to have a joint party, as you will often find children and their friends having joint ones anyway. However, I am aware, this may change as they get older.

When I asked one of my twins this morning who she wanted to invite to her party, she said her sister and brother! To me that speaks volumes! They want each other to be there to celebrate together. I felt quite moved when she told me that. I love the bond twins have, I just hope it continues.

All children’s birthdays are special, twins and singletons, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the day.

 

 

 

 

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Silent Sunday #3

Twin girls

silent sunday badge

OneDad3Girls
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