December 20, 2010

A Heartbreaking Conversation

In the last few days, one of my daughters has been, well, let's just say "grumpy." She fought with her sisters. She yelled at her sisters. She stomped around when things made her mad... and everything seemed to make her mad.
At first I chalked it up to a growth spurt. When they're going through a growth spurt, my girls tend to be tired and cranky. However, when this behavior continued over the course of several days, I found myself ready to snap. At one point, I took her to another room, away from her sisters and asked her what was wrong. She kept talking about a toy that she wanted to play with that one of her sisters had. Slowly, I started to realize what was happening. "What is it like being a quadruplet?" I asked her. Her response? She began to cry and said "It's hard. I always have to share everything." 
I can't begin to imagine what it is like to be a multiple. You do share everything. In our house not only do you share mom and dad, toys and clothes, you also share classmates and a bed room. We will likely never be able to afford a house in which all four of them can have their own room. We will likely never live in a school district which has four classes of the same grade level.
I really need to get back to our "one on one" time. I took the daughter in question to the grocery store with me the next day. She talked about how much fun it was to go with me. In the car I asked her if she could be a little happier since she had the chance to get out of the house by herself.... and ever since then she has been a much happier little girl.

7 comments:

Suzy said...

Thanks for sharing this ... I have already seen what a difference it makes for my kids to have alone time with us, as rare as it is, but hearing it straight from the mouth of a quadruplet makes it even more clear to me that I need to make every effort to treat my kids as individuals. One of my friends with 5-year-old triplets tells me that most of their toys are to share, but each girl has her own few toys that are hers and hers alone. If she wants to, she can share them with her sisters, but she doesn't have to. I think this is a good idea, and I'll probably implement it as my kids get older. Already they have their own blankies and know that they are not to play with the ones that belong to their siblings.

Quadmama said...

My girls do a have a few toys they do not have to share. This Christmas they'll each be receiving similar items but still specific to their tastes. For instance they're each receiving a princess doll of their favorite princess. Still, they will have some gifts that will require sharing (games). All siblings have to share but I think being the same age certainly makes it harder.

reanbean said...

Oh, what a very heartbreaking conversation. We all try so hard to do the very best we can for our children, but some circumstances just can't be easily changed. It sounds like you did a great job getting to the real root of the crankiness and then finding a way to make things a little better for a while. I imagine (from observing my own duo) that when you're a multiple, the good days are very good, but that bad days can be so very bad. We've had some trouble like that recently, and doing one to ones on the weekend helps a little. I hope it continues to work for you too.

MaryAnne said...

One-on-one parent time is huge for my kids, too. I'm glad you were able to figure out a way to help your daughter feel better!

Usagani Triplets said...

I'm an only child. Not only do I not understand what it's like to be a multiple, I don't even understand what it's like to have siblings. I never had to share anything. I wish I could buy three of everything and give my girls everything they could ever want, but I can't. They will definitely be sharing everything!

Sadia said...

Oh, that's so hard! It's near impossible for me to get one-on-one time with the girlies, although I'm going to try to take advantage of my mother-in-law's next visit to squeeze that in. I don't know if my girls just have the right temperament to enjoy being multiples, or if they just haven't hit the "I want to be alone for a second" point, but they just seem to pity their friends who don't have a twin.

(Also, I suspect it's far easier to be a twin than a quad. There's only one relationship to manage!)

Holly Ann said...

That is really hard. You clearly did a wonderful job talking with her. I know it is so nice when my husband or I get to spend some one on one time with any of our kids (although this very rarely happens). Good job, momma! :)

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