Sunday, January 31, 2010

Question of the Week

In an effort to blog more about the unique experience of raising multiples, I am going to try to answer the Multiples and More Question of the Week as frequently as possible. Here goes nothing... !

As parents of multiples, it's sometimes hard to avoid comparing your kids; there's "the quiet one", the "bold one", the "bossy one", etc. Stereotyping and pigeonholing aside, we thought it would be interesting to see what kind of trends, if any, we can find relating to birth order and multiples. This week's question of the week is:

Describe your children's personalities, in birth order. Do you think your kids personalities are related to their birth order?
  • Is your baby A any bolder or more dominant than B, C, D? Yes, Poppy (Baby A, by one minute) will take a toy from Olive (Baby B) without blinking and will reach in front of her as if to push her out of the way. She's also slightly larger, so maybe that makes it easier for her to block the way physically. However, Poppy is more likely to whine and cry if she wants something and can't reach it or if she wants to be held. Generally, however, Olive is much more laid back (like Daddy) and Poppy is a little needy (like Mommy).

  • Does your last-born reach milestones last as well? No, Olive (Baby B) was the first to crawl, the first to get a tooth and the first to pull herself up in the crib. Poppy was the first to smile, babble, and clap (clapping is a very recent development, which both babies did within days of each other).

  • Are there any characteristics that you feel are somehow related to birth order? Only the ones that others project onto them. (See next question).

  • Do you find that a lot of people like to "classify" your kids? How do you feel about it? Yes, and it bothers me. I don't want Poppy to grow up as the bossy one and Olive to grow up as the serious one. They are both bossy and serious in their own ways. Imagine if someone said to you, "You're the lazy one of your friends." You'd probably feel resentful. Well, kids have feelings, too, and I want Poppy and Olive to grow up discovering their own personalities. I imagine that even parents of singleton babies feel this way about comparing their children.
All things considered, I don't think birth order plays a role in our girls' personalities. Of course, at seven months old, their personalities are not fully developed, but they are quite noticeably different. The way they sit in their highchairs is probably the most telling of their personalities: Olive slouches and Poppy sits straight up. It's so funny, and it's like that at every single feeding. I highly doubt, however, that birth order would have any effect on my babies' posture!


Angela said...

I love how individual our multiples are! Just popping over from M&M! Have a great day!

Sadia said...

I found that at about age 3 months, my daughters started trading the "dominant" role, and haven't quit since. It can last anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks, and then they switch again.

Have you seen any of that?