Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's a twin thing: The little Mum syndrome

Selfies by Dew Drop and The Minx
Having boy-girl twins is such a fascinating study of male-female relationships. My two are like a pair of old marrieds some of the time, so familiar are they with each other and so comfortable in each others' presence. But they can fight like cats and dogs too. I mean REALLY fight (bite/punch/pinch). The absolute best and the absolute worst. That has been my twin experience.

There are tricks to managing a boy and a girl the same age. For example, at the moment The Minx is more advanced than her twin brother Dew Drop in many things. The literature confirms that this is normal for girl/boy twins. The little girl often develops language skills first and with them, self esteem and confidence. They say this can lead to a "sex-role reversal, with the girl becoming dominant over the boy". Hmmm.

I decided enough was enough when I watched Dew Drop being dressed by The Minx one morning recently! I figured Dew Drop MUST be capable of doing more for himself; after all he is the same age as she is and bright enough.

When push came to shove, he can totally do it.

I had to change my tack to get him on board. He is a pretty laid back chap and quite happy with the arrangement he and the Minx had established. So instead of hassling him to take more interest in his self care, I encouraged her to back off and surprise, surprise. Rapid development.

While the Little Mum syndrome has been very helpful for this overstretched Mum, I think I need to make sure my very capable girl doesn't suffocate her equally capable brother. The tides will no doubt turn with time, but for now if I can't use it to my advantage (like getting her to put her brother to bed or through the bath lol) I will need to make sure The Minx has other outlets for her mothering instincts.

Do your daughters 'mother' their brothers? Or is it a twin thing?


Cat said...

My brother used to say he had two mum's cos I totally mothered him! I think I still try to now! Fascinating to read your take on things.

Maxabella said...

... "a sex-role reversal, with the girl becoming dominant over the boy"... did you just write that!?!?! Nooooooooo!

And yes, definitely. My boy is 'managed' very well indeed by his two younger sisters. I drew the line at Cappers tying his shoelaces. x

joeh said...

My daughter used to torture and beat the crap out of her brothers until as you say the tide turned...it wasn't pretty!!

Erin said...

I used to dress my brother all the time and he was indeed old enough to do so himself, we were only 13months apart, so perhaps like twins? However I did see my daughter 8, dressing her brother 6, the other day! very reminiscent and I was quick to tell her he was quite capable!

River said...

I remember all three older ones, girl-boy-girl, mothering the baby boy for a while, but only until he was two or so, after that it was only if I asked them to help him with something.

MultipleMum said...

I did Maxabella but I forgot the quotations! Will amend!!! x

At Number 32 said...

Ha! I happen to be the mother of the ultimate 'mini mother'! Always has been that way though, so I think it really is built into who they are as a person, and who they ultimately will become as a person.
Nurturing is good, smothering is not - thats how I've sold it o her when I need her to back off with the 'mothering'.
I LOVE those photos.....stright to the hallway with those I think!

Naturally Carol said...

Having four boys and only one girl it was totally reversed in our family. Our girl has been totally 'fathered' by the four boys! They have each seen themselves clearly as the 'man of the house' on occasions and each take the role of 'big brother' very personally and protectively of her. Even the brothers younger than her took on this role as soon as they grew bigger physically than her! She loves it too..mostly!

Greer said...

I don't have any boys, but I have 2.5-year-old girl twins, and I completely relate to your first paragraph. Oh, the fighting. But oh, the love. Best and worst.
Greer x

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