Ruslan and Wyatt are complete best friends. Given a choice they will spend every waking moment together – playing nicely, chasing each other, fighting over toys, snuggling to watch a movie together. We attended a Build-A-Bear workshop birthday party last week and all of the children were sitting in a circle together. The party coordinator told them that the first rule was for everyone to stick together and Wyatt moved closer to Ruslan and put his arm around him. The stuck together the remainder of the party.
They are both very into imagination play. One of the games that they play is pretending that Ruslan is a dog and he crawls on the floor and chases Wyatt. Wyatt alternates between “nice doggy” and “OMG, the doggy is going to bite me!!” When Wyatt asked to buy the dog bone shaped graham crackers at the grocery store, I should have made the connection. The next time Ruslan played doggy, Wyatt ran to the cabinet to get the crackers and tossed some on the floor for Ruslan to eat, “nice doggy, have a treat!”
At the beginning of the preschool year, I found out that Ruslan and Wyatt would be separated for part of the morning each day. Because there were so many children in the 4-yr room they decided to split the class for circle time and some of the other morning activities. Drop-off was a challenge many mornings this year, the boys wanted to stay together. As the year went on, the drop-offs became easier and they became used to the routine.
It was good trial to see how their behavior changed when they were separated. Not surprisingly Wyatt learned to play with other kids in the class and was much more cooperative in classroom activities when his partner in crime was not available.
The internal debate of the same or separate classes has been going on since I found out that I was having twins. I had thought that it would be best for them to be in the same Kindergarten class and separate after that – give them a year to transition to the new school together. For me it would be easier if they were in the same Kindergarten class – one teacher to deal with, the same homework every night, birthday cupcakes for one class only, same activities on the same days, etc.
But this isn’t about what’s easiest for me, it’s about what’s best for the boys. Ruslan would probably be fine either way – he has a big personality, makes friends easily and loves to talk. However, Wyatt will engage and be more involved in the classroom if he is not able to ride along with Ruslan. I don’t want Wyatt’s talents to be hidden because he stays in Ruslan’s shadow. Wyatt’s abilities shine when he is away from his brother.
So next year, the boys will ride the bus to school together (with Juliana – all 3 kids in the same place!!), walk up the stairs to the Kindergarten floor, and part ways. They will spend the school day across the hall from each other and then join up at the end of the day to come home together. I look forward to two sets of stories about Kindergarten each day – they will each have their own days to discuss. I expect lively tales and stories of the friends that they will make.