It’s no secret that I found raising twins very difficult, especially for those first two years. I have no idea how I actually did that; it’s easily the biggest challenge I’ve overcome to date. When Marin came along, I joked that she’d always be my favorite for not splitting herself into TWO PEOPLE.
Having a singleton after having twins was a breeze. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. For a long time, I totally credited the ease to the fact that she was just ONE BABY. However, as she’s gotten older, I’ve reached a new realization: Marin and I get along really, really well.
My twins and I have always butted heads. They are both very strong, stubborn personalities. They don’t back down for ANYTHING, EVER, NO WAY, NO HOW. As they’ve gotten older, maturity has helped with this some, but if pushed they will RESIST UNTIL DEATH. It’s a trait I have deep respect for, really, because that kind of conviction– while hard to parent– will serve them well someday.
This is not to say that Kate and Joan and I are not close, because we are. David and I practice (our own version of) attachment parenting, which has led to close and healthy attachments with our children. My girls are very in tune with me, they need to regularly “check in” with me. Both girls still require daily cuddles and “Mommy time.” But there’s a certain tension that often exists when I’m with the bigger girls. They are always nagging me, or pushing my buttons, or feeling disappointed if I tell them no, or whatever. I love them fiercely, deeply, and I love it when they’re home with me on school break or during the summers, but being with them takes effort.
Marin, on the other hand, is really easy to be with. She’s cooperative. She backs down easily without a fight, not at all stubborn like her sisters. She’s happy to be doing whatever it is we’re doing, never nagging me about the next thing or complaining of being bored. She’s naughty to her friends sometimes, or mouthy, or whiney and clingy, or LOUD, etc (of course she is, she’s FOUR), but… I don’t know how to explain it other than to say she simply doesn’t get on my nerves. She was an easy baby, an pink-cheeked and happy toddler, and a joyful preschooler. She’s a bold little girl that doesn’t allow her friends or sisters to take advantage of her, but she does it in a way that somehow often CHARMS the others.
I think it’s a case of Marin’s and my personalities meshing really well, whereas my personality clashes with my older two. Actually, I think the older two are MORE like me, so that’s probably why we clash so often. But I can’t think of a single other person that I’ve ever gotten along with as well as I get along with Marin.
This is not to say that I favor Marin over Kate and Joan. Each of my kids can floor me in an instant with their simple uniqueness, with the fact that I get to be the one to witness them Become. But I do really enjoy having a parenting relationship with a child that doesn’t take so much EFFORT, ya know?