Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ice cream for dinner

The alternative title was Mean Things Adults say about Twins. You let me know if I picked the right one.

For those of you new to my little piece of the world, I'm the mom of three children - a three year old "singleton" girl and 6 year old identical twin boys. I don't like to make a big deal about their twin-ness. I cannot deny the bond they have - or that they are these identical red-head, blue eyed, pale skin boys - but it is my job to make sure they see themselves as individuals first.

Which is a large reason why they were in separate classes for kindergarten this year. Interestingly, they still have some mutual friends but for the most part I hear about different kids from each of them.

Yet, for some reason every birthday invitation this year included both guy. Until last week when a pink princess invitation showed up for one guy. And if he didn't have a disappointed twin brother we would've let him be all happy about the invitation all week. Unfortunately he had to dampen his happiness to not exacerbate his brother's misery. And if it had been the other way around, we would've been asking the same thing of the other brother.

Then I had to think of something fun for the left-out brother that wasn't too outrageous. I couldn't set a precedent that there would be an ostentatious compensation for being on the outs.

He came with me to drop off his brother at the birthday party. Then I took him to the local ice cream parlor for a chocolate frappe before dinner. I told him he didn't even have to eat dinner if he wasn't hungry. "You mean this can be my dinner?" he asked incredulously. Maybe this was outrageous. Outrageous enough.

He asked me about my day at work. When I told him I was learning the intricacies of some affordable housing laws he commented that he'll have to explain to a friend that when he builds houses as a grown-up they'll have to be "affordable".

We went back to retrieve party boy. In the car he said that the birthday girl's mom asked where his brother was. She then said she should have written "and siblings" on the invitation.

"But she said that now she didn't have to worry about who I was because he wasn't there!" he added.

So this woman told my six-year-old kid that her life was easier because his identical brother wasn't there. And he (of course) reported that back to all of us.

Hours later, I still don't know what to say in response.

I felt kicked in the gut by that comment. I hope it went over left-out-boy's head. Or that the ice cream softened the blow.


Jodi said...

Oh my goodness, people are idiots.

Remind me to to tell you the story I have of someone being invited to a kids birthday party and being told what present to bring. It's a good story.

I'm so sorry for your son, that sucks.

Jenn said...

oh wow. what a bizarre (and, yes, rather inane) thing to say ...

it sounds like the ice cream dinner was a perfect outrageousness - good call :)

Jenn in Holland said...

Uh.... I don't even know what to say either.
Why do people start flappin' their gums before they engage their brains?

I think twin-ness is precious, but I applaud your efforts to teach them about their individualness.

And as a sometimes-ice-cream-is for-dinner Mom, I applaud that moment too!

Flower Child said...

I'm a bit confused by the comment so hopefully a 6 year old is as well. A date with Mom where you don't have to share her and you get ice cream for dinner? Priceless.

chelle said...

People are dumb.

How rude! No one would ever dream of saying that to a non-twin.

Kudos to you for ensuring their self esteems can handle the jerks of the world!

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

I wonder if she thought she was being funny... Bad effort.

cathouse teri said...

It was thoughtless of her not to invite the twin brother. Yes, he probably has some school friends that he doesn't share with his brother, but if she was aware he was a twin, she should have seriously considered that.

I think you handled it well, though, in trying to help them from being bitter about it. They have a whole life ahead of them where they will struggle with this.

Her comment about making it easier because now she wouldn't have to think about who was who, was probably her nervous effort at trying to make a good thing out of the fact that she fucked up.

Do try to be gracious in remembering that we all fuck up. Especially those of us who have not had twins in our families.

No need to turn her bad karma into yours! :)

Worker Mommy said...

Are you kidding me ? Some people with out twins just have no idea. How ridiculously rude!

I always wonder how this will go with us. B & J are very close but because they are different genders I know as they get older they'll definitely have different friends and such but I wonder if the uninvited twin will feel slighted...
Yikes, more fun to come I suppose.

Brillig said...

You handled this thing so well! Of COURSE he should have ice cream for dinner. hahaha. That's so cute. You know that that will probably be one of his happiest memories. He'll probably bring it up from time to time. "Mommy, remember when...?"

Yeah, it was a stupid thing for that lady to say... but i don't think she ruined the day.

Jenn said...

People are f'ing idiots. All over the world.

Sometimes I question why I care about them.

How cynical is that? Cynical might not even be the world.