Almost four years have passed since our twins came into the world and we’ve already chosen (and been accepted) at their first school. We have our first meeting on the 21st June where we’ll be told about the induction process, uniform and various other bits of information that make up the schools here in the UK.
In fact once accepted into the school of our choice there was a form (the first of many I imagine) to fill in and on it a small box where we could place any particular good friends name’s in the hope they may find each other in the same class. Unanimous decision for our girls was Hannah their ‘best friend.’ They met her on the first day of preschool last autumn and all three have stuck steadfast ever since. Which is lovely as if there is one thing I would want to wish my girls it’s good, strong, lifelong friendships which are hard to come by and harder still to keep.
It’s also at this stage of the process that we have to decide whether to keep the twins together or request they are separated into different classes.
It’s one of those decisions that you don’t take lightly and you are aware that either way you choose you could still be making the wrong decision.
My Paul is a twin and his mum took the decision to have them separated once they started school. This was because Paul’s brother would do all the talking for him and Paul was perfectly happy to not bother trying at conversation himself and lazily sit back and let his brother take over. Vera put her foot down and decided the boy needed to speak up for himself. Her decision worked for her and she was very pleased with the outcome.
In fact both Paul and I were thinking of carrying long in Vera’s footsteps and separating the girls at school to allow them both the freedom of singleton children. They could make their own friends, have their own teachers and start making their own life experiences but when it was time for us to look at our situation we saw that our twins were in fact very, very close. They would lean on each other and worked well as a team. One of the twins was also shyer than her sister and I felt she would struggle on her own even more so if her sister ‘got’ the best friend in her class too.
Could you imagine it? It would be a disaster. One of my girls would feel left out even if she did know plenty of other girls.
I also drew on my past experience where Thomas at the age of 6, moving from scuola materna to scuola elementari, was separated from ALL of the friends he’d made and had played with for the previous three years. The decision was made based on where the children lived and I, too young to know any better, didn’t question the decision. I wish I had, I’ve wished it over and over again. Tommy found himself in a class of mainly girls which at 6 years old was not good. They weren’t interested in Batman or Ninja Turtles and Tommy there and then went right off school.
Don’t misunderstand me, he made lifelong friends in that class, many of his girl classmates are still in touch with him today but my burning question is ‘Would Thomas have done better at school if he’d been with his friends and in a more competitive situation?’ I think yes. A little friendly competitiveness goes a long way.
So we’re keeping our twins together for infant school, a decision that can be reviewed when the time comes to move up to junior school but in the meantime it does mean I can do parent’s evening in one go without having to queue up twice and the girls will continue to bond and strengthen their relationship too. It will also allow them to grow a little more and have maybe more input in the decision when the time comes.