I wonder, sometimes, what life would be like with one child. I can't imagine which one it would be, of course. Maybe it would be neither Maddie nor Riley, given that I don't think either of them would or could be who they are without the other.
When John and I found out I was pregnant with twins, the doctor told us at the very first ultrasound (six weeks?) that it was quite likely that one of the two babies would be gone by the eight-week visit, a vanishing twin. One embryo had a disturbingly low heart rate, a seemingly likely indicator of demise. But no, whichever one of them it was came back with a vengeance, and by eight weeks everyone was right on track and stayed there until the scheduled c-section.
I don't want to imply that I wish I didn't have twins. I have them, and I can't imagine my life without them. But I do wonder, sometimes, if I would be a better parent if I had only one child. Would I be more patient, more loving? If I had half as many questions coming my way, half as many demands, a way to always be one-on-one? There are times when I would love to crawl in bed with Maddie or Riley when I tuck them in, snuggle them to sleep, maybe doze off myself, but I know that whoever I didn't get in bed with would fret, feel less than, cry, whine, unconsoled by the idea that he or she would get a turn tomorrow. I wanted to be the parent whose kids had stamps in their passports before they could talk; traveling on my own with two kids is just now getting to a point where a passport-required trip could be considered. I rarely eat out with Maddie and Riley alone as there is too much logistical crazy and too little enjoyment. I can only take so many hours of having two people talk to me nonstop at the same time while I try to make dinner before I lose my temper and snap at someone.
Of course I'd sometimes lose my temper if I only had one kid. And yes, having kids makes things like travel and eating out harder whether you have one or multiples. That logistical stuff is what it is; what I find troublesome is how much being outnumbered seems to affect my parenting. It's so hard to give Maddie and Riley the individual focus they deserve. I often feel bad about how poorly I handle it. I need to find time to spend with Maddie and Riley as individuals, for all of our sake.