It seems that having children opens you up to a whole world of questioning that doesn’t exist pre-kids. People will stop you on the street to admire your little ones and make conversation. When you have twins this line of interrogation only gets more brutal to the point where if I am in a rush to get anywhere I try not to make eye contact as it really does slow me down. And yet, I totally understand it, twins are fascinating! I thought so before I had my own and many others obviously think the same. I can’t even really begrudge the questions they ask, however stupid they seem they were probably things I would have wanted to know myself. Here are some of the twin questions I am asked most often and my responses in a much more eloquent form that you’d get if you ran into me on the street.
How do you tell them apart?
This is probably the question I am asked most often and truthfully I don’t have a direct answer. I’m sure it is a frustrating response but I just know, I am their Mother. There is nothing I can point out that a stranger would spot and be able to tell the difference, no defining feature or birth mark. Sometimes I need both of them in front of me to tell them apart and often I need to see their full face but I’m pretty confident I could always tell the difference now.
I know they are identical but are they REALLY identical?
I’ve heard this a few times and I take it to mean, ‘I know they look identical but are they biologically identical twins?’ as some non-identical twins look just as similar. The answer is yes…they look identical and they are identical.
Do they have twin telepathy?
I really have no idea, obviously I wouldn’t know. However, there are moments when I can spot little things which show they are on the same wavelength. They do seem to know if the other is hurt and I have seen one rub his head where the other has banged it. Also if one is given a biscuit in the kitchen the other will always come running in to make sure he doesn’t miss out.
Do they sleep together?
Ever since they came into this world they have slept as close together as possible. We were lucky that neither of them needed any special care so they have always been together. Right from the start the midwives placed them in the same little hospital cot side by side. At home they slept side by side in the crib, then one either end when they grew too big for that. After that they were side by side in a big cot, one either end then finally they were too big and had to go into separate cots. I was so sad to separate them that first time, it felt so unnatural to me but the time had come and they needed the extra room. We have kept the cots side by side and now in an L-shape so they have never spent a night without the other close by.
Do they have similar personalities?
This is another difficult one to answer – I’m seeing more differences as they get older but I wouldn’t say they are chalk and cheese. I think it is more that their differences compliment each other so they never seem like they are poles apart. Bear is definitely the more laid back twin and Boo is generally more sociable with others. They can both be outgoing but Bear is more fearless when it comes to trying something new. I wouldn’t say either of them is the ‘dominant twin’ yet, they both have their moments but I don’t see any sign of one thinking they are the boss.
Do you need two of everything?
No! Of course there are the obvious things like car seats, cots when they get too big to share but we don’t have two of everything. There is so much you don’t actually need for the short time it would be of use to you. We very rarely buy them the same toys either; apart from their soft toy ‘Hoppity’, I can’t think of any toy we have bought in duplicate. They have learnt to share at a much earlier age than Lucas did!
Do twins run in your family?
I always answer no to this which isn’t strictly true but it is the short version. I didn’t realise before I had twins myself that identical twins don’t actually run in families; there are no increased chances of having them if there are other multiples in your family, it is completely random. There are in fact two sets of non-identical twins in my family but as this has no bearing on my own twins I tend not to explain that to people.
Will you have another?
People love to ask me this, I imagine they are expecting me to shriek in horror at the thought of more! The truth is I would have another, even if it was to be another set of twins (the chances are increased once you’ve had one set). Practically I know we can’t, our little house is full as it is and now would not be the right time to add to our family. Still, I would never say never but if they ask my husband they may get a different response!