Australian Multiple Birth Awareness Week recognises the important work done by the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) and local clubs around Australia. They provide vital support to multiple birth families. This years theme is a great reminder to focus on our multiples as unique individuals and less as a team.
In light of this years theme 'Born a multiple, also an individual' I thought I would share the differences between our fraternal twin girls Ava and Riley. At 2 years and 2 months old we can already see significant differences in their personalities. We have done since birth however their little idiosyncrasies seem to constantly change.
As a toddler, Riley is headstrong, smart, coordinated, articulate and hates being dirty. She isn't interested in television and loves jumping, running, climbing and being outdoors. She is the crazy cat in our family and constantly keeps us on our toes with her constant mischievous behavior. Ava is the princess of the two, unlike her sister, she is extremely uncoordinated - which is highlighted daily when she attempts to follow in Riley's footsteps. She loves dressing up in the girliest of clothes, loves everything pink and purple and will always try to convince Riley to wear the same as her. She loves shoes, jewellery, hand bags and pretty hair clips. Riley on the other hand would wear a nappy all day if she could and when I do insist she gets dressed, she mainly opts for shorts and a T-Shirt. Ava loves watching T.V, Disney princesses and Trolls being her favourite. She adores her cuddly toys and is extremely compassionate towards both of her sisters and animals. Riley on the other hand generally only shows compassion when she wants something - I'm sure (hope!) this will change over time.
I took a few snaps of them earlier today and these pictures capture their little personalities perfectly. Despite their differences I often catch moments of true love and friendship between them which melts my heart, and as they get older those moments are happening more and more frequently.
It can be hard to treat them as individuals when life is so chaotic, but now that they are a bit older, I try and take them out occasionally by themselves even if it's just to the shops or in to the neighbours house. I also try and sit down every now and then and concentrate on the things they love. In Riley's case, she likes to build Duplo or colour in and Ava loves setting up her stuffed animals and snuggling in to watch some telly. What ever you do and however you do it, all that really matters is that the children feel loved and valued for their differences and individuality.