People often ask me if The Kids get along. To which I answer “Yes, they get along” and then Ed rolls his eyes. Seriously, they do.
But, in the back of my mind, I wonder if that’s what they’re really asking or if there’s more to the question. I wonder if what they really want to know is…
Do Multiples Get Along Better than Siblings of Different Ages?
It’s hard for me to answer that question because I have nothing to compare it to. Well, technically The Kids have two older siblings, but, they have families of their own so it hardly counts.
I could tell you about how my Brother and I, who were 3.5 years apart have always gotten along. How we hardly fought over toys because I didn’t want what he had and how I was a very protective sister. Except maybe those few times that I “accidentally” sat on him and/or kneed him in the groin. But I’m not sure that we’re comparing apples and apples.
So, I’m going to tell you how The Kids interact with each other and let you be the judge.
They are the Best of Friends. Artemis has a bunch of friends here at school (in Mexico) and they know a bunch of kids in Canada, however, they always look forward to playing with each other. It breaks my heart every day when I hear Artemis asking Max if he wants to come to class with her (to which he enthusiastically responds, “YES!”).
They Fight over Insignificant Things. We do not have two of everything. Sometimes, I wish that we did. However, life doesn’t work that way. Besides, sometimes, I have two of the exact same thing, and they still want the one that the other one has. While I know that this happens between siblings of different ages, I imagine that it is intensified with multiples because, being the same age, they often have similar likes. Interestingly, they never fight over attention given to one and not the other. Whether it be by someone they know, like their parents or a stranger.
Their Moods are Ying and Yang. Not once in four years have they tag teamed Ed and I. Not once. When one wakes up in a bad mood (and usually goes to bed in one, smile) the other has an almost angelic day. While one sits there and screams their head off, the other one will quietly eat their cereal and only pause to remind me of all the things that they are doing right (in comparison to their sibling). It’s as if a Polar Meltdown is not occurring. And, it doesn’t matter which kid it is, the behaviour is the same.
One Takes the Role of Caregiver. Nine times out of 10, it’s Artemis that takes on the role of caregiver. It’s who she is as a person. She’ll put her arm in the small of Max’s back and guide him around an obstacle or nurse that which ails him (think hunger in the form of a cookie or thirst in the form of a glass of milk). She happily looks after him and he thinks that her care is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think that Max just assumes that everyones sisters wipes your bum for you.
They Respect Each Other. As toddlers, they have never hit each other (yet?). We stress “using your words” and this has been an effective communication tool. Sometimes their words are spoken at 4,907 decibels while crying and running after the other child but at four years old, they have yet to purposely harm each other.
While they don’t get along all the time, it’s obvious from their actions that they genuinely like each other. I don’t think that we truly understand how close they are. They have spent every moment together from conception until Artemis went to school. And, even though they have very different personalities, I think that if they weren’t related, they would still choose each other as friends.