Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Over the Line

One of the things all the How To Raise Twins books agree on is that you must never, never, never call your children "the twins." No. That's bad. Use their names. They're individuals.

The How To Raise Twins books writers obviously only had twins. Everyone with more than three children has collective names for groups of children. This is partly because it's quicker and partly because they can no longer remember all the names. Nonetheless, few children from large families suffer from having their individuality stifled. Parents of large families don't have the time.

Right now we can use "the babies" and then in a year or two the "little kids" versus the "big kids," but sooner or later they will refuse to be the little kids anymore and then where will we be when deciding which parent goes through the museum with the fifth grade or the second grade class? Maybe we should allow them to choose team names instead.

I don't think we're quite in big family territory yet--I think the cutoff is five--but as I was sorting laundry today I realized I'd passed another marker: having to pay attention when sorting laundry. Now that the weather has cooled down and the babies are dressed in more garments than a t-shirt that snaps underneath, I actually have to give a glance to the size of the blue jeans and pink leggings to be sure which pile they go in. In a few months, I'll have to check the tag.

It's really alarming how fast babies grow. They are now collectively as heavy as D2. Which means I've been lying to him when I said I wasn't strong enough to carry him any more. I hope he doesn't realize this. Or ask me again.

7 comments:

the Joneses said...

Yes, when Daph arrived, we referred to "the kids" and "the baby." Now it's occasionally "the kids" and "Daphne," but gradually morphing into just "the kids."

I can't imagine calling each child by an individual name all the time. Half the time I mix and match their names anyway: Adstuaddie, Staphne, Daphuhstuart, etc.

Sarah M. said...

I'm with Sara, apparently it's wrong to say "the twins" but not "the kids"? or do they think any grouping is bad?

That's funny about the laundry. It's been years since I've had to pay attention to tags, but you're right, sooner or later it will happen. Maybe soon too you'll have "the kids" helping you sort. ;-)

As for D2 being carried... well you weren't wrong when you said he was too heavy. He IS too heavy when you add his weight to the twins.. er D3 and D4's weight.

Zippy said...

We've always had groups in our family. The oldest 3 of us are about 2 years apart, then there's a 4 year gap and Janelle, then another 4 year gap and the last 4 are 2 years apart. Confused yet? haha. So, it's always been "the girls", and "the kids" with Janelle floating between the groups, depending on the phase of life.
Point is . . . I don't think any of us are permanently scarred.

Wendy from Zoom said...

Just think, the more kids you have, the more ways to divide them: Our groups shift constantly. We have "the big guys" (everyone out of diapers) and the little guys (everyone in diapers). We can also separate into "the boys" and "the girls," "the bread" (oldest and youngest) and "the stuffing" (middle kids)and of "Nutty Buddies" (oldest, middle, and youngest).

Angel said...

Before our twins turned two, we called them the "babies". Now that they are 3, we call them "the little boys", or "the boys". Oddly enough everyone understands what we mean when we say "the boys", even though we have 5 boys... I'm not sure why.

Angel said...

Before our twins turned two, we called them the "babies". Now that they are 3, we call them "the little boys", or "the boys". Oddly enough everyone understands what we mean when we say "the boys", even though we have 5 boys... I'm not sure why.

Jane D said...

We just have 4 (no twins) and for us it is easier to call them "the Boys" or "the Girls" since they often group themselves that way. See, that would not stiffle the twins although you may decide that you need to.