Monday, June 30, 2014

So I was taught an important lesson by my kids

I'm a parent to twins.  It's hard.  It's complicated.  It's a struggle to work out the relationships and everything else.

Olivia has been a bit funny for the past couple of weeks and I couldn't work out why.  Larry and I have had discussions in the past about favouritism and the fact that I favour Olivia more over Louise.  Which I tend to - I think it's my protective instinct - Olivia is smaller and has been since birth, and I guess also being the younger sibling myself (I'm not a twin though) I feel for her.  The elder sibling can soak up a lot of attention - which if you've met Louise you'd understand that too!  I think part of it as well is that Olivia is very introverted (like me) but she's always been capable of entertaining herself.

So try to make up the imbalance between time I thought I was spending with Liv and the time I wasn't spending with Louise - I was spending more one-on-one time with Louise.  Unfortunately I wasn't spending much time with Liv one-on-one.

Olivia has developed this habit of tilting her head to one side if she's upset.  Now for the past couple of weeks when I have dropped the girls off at school Olivia has been very withdrawn and doesn't want to move.  None of the educators could draw it out of her and Olivia has said a couple of times that she was "sick" and just wanted to stay home with me.  Which being the awesome parent I am I just ignored (I did the usual checked her temperature etc...).

So yesterday driving home I finally pushed the point and asked her why.  So she actually admitted because I wasn't spending any time with her.  I was shocked.  I had that moment where I went WOAH I have made a mistake as a parent.  I try to do the right thing by one and I stuff up with the other one...

So we talked about it last night and she did say just wants to spend time with me without Louise.  So Olivia and I are having a Michael Daddy and Olivia day on Saturday.  So far it seems to involve Lego, puzzles and watching iPads.

It was funny this morning...
So I got the Lego Simpsons House for the *cough* girls.  Louise doesn't really have that much interest in it so Liv and I have been building it on and off for a little while.  We started on it again last night and we were doing a little bit this morning before I took the girls to Kinder.  Louise dragged Larry into the bedroom because Olivia and I were having some "alone" time.
I am amazed that my kids get it.  We have two very smart little monkeys.
But yes I learnt a lesson.  There's something my GP suggested that she does with her kids (although they are a bit older) is that her and her husband try to spend 20 minutes each day with each child without their siblings around.  Maybe that's something Larry and I need to consider.