Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Identical twins, identical gifts?

I am a coward.
I know I should be buying Matthew and Jonathan each drastically different Christmas gifts to help them differentiate from each other, to see themselves as individuals.
But it's not going to happen.
Oh, they'll get a find a few things under the tree that are non-identical. I hit the jackpot with Thomas the Tank Engine characters on EBay and got a whole bunch cheap. So Matthew with get Emily, Dennis, and Bill and Ben. Jonathan will get Rosie, Toby, and Annie and Clarabel.
But they inherited a slew of engines from their older brother last year and they already have doubles of their favorite engines (Thomas, Gordon and Percy). So chances are good that they will simply add these new ones to the bin and happily share them.
Not so with the train T-shirts.
(Jonathan chased his brother all over the house yesterday trying to tear off his Power Rangers T-shirt, the only one we have.)
Or the doctor kits.
(One stethoscope? Are you kidding? Doctors don't have to share. Why should they?)
Or the Cars helmets.
(Different helmets could create a hazardous situation in this household.)
So they will each get a Mader car and a Thomas flashlight and a set of Take-Along tracks. They will both get Thomas place mats and a set of four little cars and the same goodies in their stockings.
They will get gifts to share from their siblings and gifts that are just slightly different from an aunt and uncle. We bought them puzzles that are the same size and same difficulty level with closely related themes.
But Matthew and Jonathan are two years old (almost three) and, at this point in their lives, their interests are just about the same. It is not simply because they are identical twins (though I believe that does have something to do with it).
It is because they are little and their experiences in life are slim. They love the things that most toddler/preschoolers love. They have always been attracted to similar colors and textures, and it's just not worth the battles right now.
It wasn't worth it with our older kids--who are 17 months apart--either.
Over the next year, Jonathan and Matthew will start to develop more as individuals. They will experience things differently more often. they will start to cultivate their own interests. We will help them do that by exposing them to as much as we can and encouraging them each to explore those concepts and activities that attract them most.
But right now, I just want them to be happy.
And, to be honest, I want to have a peaceful Christmas.
So, a coward I am.


Lexi said...

we dont have id twins, we dont even have same sex twins and there are often times that i buy the same stuff to cut down on fighting. toy phones, one cars one princess... that sort of thing. so i dont think you are a coward, you are keeping your kids happy

Unknown said...

Once when our boys were very little, less than 2 (they're nearly 13 now), someone brought them a big stuffed cow and a big stuffed sheep. No one cared about the sheep and everyone wanted the cow. It was a disaster. I called Colonial Williamsburg in a panic and begged to get a cow Fed Ex'd, overnight. We had to hide the first cow until the second one arrived. I still have nightmares from that little episode!

Amanda said...

We are right there with you. Christmas shopping is hard this year ( our boys are pretty close in age to your). I can't wait for next year. Variety......maybe. LOL!!

Our boys are also getting trains. See it's a 2 year old thing not a twin thing.

Lis said...

One's getting a toy plane,the other a toy helicopter, I'm just crossing my fingers. It's always hard to buy two of the same thing, especially when they are costly, it seems ridiculous, but in the end it all runs much more smoothly that way doesn't it!!

Padre de dos said...

I just want to express to you my gratitude for your blog. My wife and I just had id twin boys and we are first time parents. I have started my own blog about this combination of experiences but I draw a lot of strength and encouragement from reading your posts. Thanks.

-MW (Twinbucktwo.blogspot.com)

Nanner said...

My oldest girls were 4 when they finally started wearing different clothes - by choice. Now I have the 'light pink' sister and the 'dark pink' sister. I still beg relatives to give them identical gifts...my ears just can't take the jealousy!

If we don't get identical things, we only get one...that way we have to take turns, but no one feels they got the 'defective product'!

And the babies (second set of ID twins) are only 1 and already fighting over the same toys my big girls did!