Way back when my twins were in fourth grade, they tackled their first research papers. Or, should I say we tackled them together. I say we because the fourth-grade teachers had their students do much of the work outside the classroom, and since my boys were clueless to the nuances of researching and writing a paper, I needed to spoon-feed them the whole process.
It was a lot to undertake with twins. As I would help one twin research his assigned California Mission on the Internet, the other twin had to wait
(not so) patiently for his turn and my attention. Frustrating for him and a huge time suck for me. At one point when we were knee-deep in books, going over for the third time how to properly cite a source, I remember thinking, “This is crazy! I’ve already been through the fourth grade! Why am I reliving it?”
Other parents from my kids’ classes complained about the enormous time drain, too, but then they’d stop realizing who there were talking to and laugh: “But you had two reports!” they’d cried. “I don’t envy you!”
Yup, during that eight-week process, I thought I’d pull my hair out. But if you’re the parents to twins (and triplets), you undoubtedly have been down this road, too, or you will be heading there very, very soon. Seemingly innocent “projects” become monumental to the parents of multiples. Two kids, two assignments, two very different personalities—same deadline. It can be especially draining if your twins require a lot of individual direction and/or encouragement. But while those little research papers were a challenge to tackle with my twins, it’s nothing compared to what we’re going through now.
Yes, I’m talking about the college application process. For the past three months, my boys have been compiling their high school resumes, filling out applications, and brainstorming ideas for thought-provoking essay questions (14 in all) such as “You have just finished your three hundred page autobiography. Please submit page 217.” (University of Pennsylvania) You’d think that with all the writing that goes on in high school that they would be able to pen an essay about themselves and their accomplishments, but you’d be wrong! Maybe it’s a ‘guy thing’ or maybe it’s just my twins but boy, they’re having such a tough time tapping into the essence of what it’s like being a 17-year-old kid! Writing about themselves just gives them writers’ block. Once again, they’re requiring lots of direction and hand-holding.
The applications are no walk in the park either. Don’t get me wrong, my boys are bright but they can be careless so we need to check these complex documents over carefully, line by line. (I caught one son spelling my name “Christian.” Huh?)
Ugh. It’s fourth grade all over again.
Luckily, it will all be over come mid January when the last deadline passes. But then the real stress begins when we try to figure out how to pay for two kids in college at once! (Hey! Maybe this is a good time to plug my books? They’d make a great Christmas gift for twin moms-to-be or parents with young twins!)