Thursday, April 26, 2012

Twin Love and An Emerging Diva

Growing up as an only child, I always thought it would be cool to have a sibling. In my young mind, it would've been even cooler to have a twin. Nowhere in my rose-colored multi-child household vision was there any fighting, backstabbing or arguments over who got to have the last cookie. There was just love and Parent Trap meets Dora the Explorer kinds of adventures.
Now, that I'm a mommy of twins, I understand that there is no such thing as a peaceful, hold hands in a circle and sing kum-by-yah in unison kind of environment. There are fights over crayons, accusations of toy theft and the regular shedding of tears. We live in a very energtic, active house.

But, at the end of the day, when the disagreements over which episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" to watch have been resolved, I still want them to appreciate the special bond that only they have and love each other regardless of who has the coveted book of the moment in their bed.

I got a glimpse that Avery and Lexie are heading in that direction this week at bedtime. After saying our nighttime prayers and reading two (which rapidly morphed into six) favorite books, I asked the girls to get into their beds. They still sleep in the same room.

Before doing so, Avery went over to Lexie's bed and said, "I want to give Wex a hug." Avery leaned in and gave little sis (by eight minutes) a big squeeze. "Awww, that's very sweet, Avery," I said.

Lexie returned the favor. She walked over to Avery and gave her a hug. To trump her sister, Lexie added a kiss. "Nice girls," I said. At my prompting, they each told each other "I love you" and proceeded to bed.

Lexie, the child who can fall asleep faster than a narcoleptic, snuggled in immediately. Acting fast to seize this opportunity to keep her in bed, I covered her up with her favorite duck blanket and kissed her goodnight.

As I went to turn out the little lamp in their room, Avery alerted me that she was not quite done with her sweet expressions of love. She walked over to her sissy's bed and said, "I want to hug Wex, Mommy." As she tried to climb into bed with Lexie, I realized this was probably going to erupt into a fight over personal space and territory, which would only delay bedtime, incite tantrums and cause Mommy to miss "Gossip Girl." So, I said, "Oh, bug, that's really nice, but I think sissy is tired and wants to go to sleep. Why don't you blow her a kiss and get back in your bed?"

I should've known that suggestion would not do. Avery did the exact opposite. She wiggled her way into Lexie's converted crib and attempted to hug her, despite the fact that the only part of Lexie's body visible above the duck blanket was her head. No limbs were available for hugging. And, Lexie was not interested in changing positions.

"No, Avery, I'm tired" was Lexie the Mimic's response to Avery's display of affection. Avery burst into tears. "Oh no," I thought. This was not how I expected the situation to roll out. Instead of avoiding conflict, I had unintentionally created it and, apparently, a diva at the same time.

I comforted Avery and tried to convince Lexie to sit up and give Avery a hug. No dice. Lexie stuck to her diva guns and responded, "No! I'm tired." Remind me to never say "tired" at bedtime again.

After 10 minutes of CIA-like negotiations, I finally convinced Lexie to give Avery a big hug. As soon as they parted, I hugged them both and whisked them both into bed. I immediately turned out the light, said my "I love yous" and scurried out the door before another hugging war ensured.

The morale of the story? Be careful what you wish for. Twin love is not easily shared at 8:45 p.m. when the diva extraordinaire needs her beauty sleep.

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