When we found out we were expecting identical twins, I had visions of little darlings skipping off holding hands, cuddling, kissing wearing matching clothes looking exactly the same. The reality is somewhat different; we still have the holding hands, kissing and cuddling but we also have brutal brawls, endless bickering, tears, tantrums and some serious attitude. Welcome to the real life of identical twins.
Social media reinforces this stereotypes that identical twins have this magical inseparable bond with magical superhuman powers where they can read each others minds, or feel each others pain. In reality? My experience of identical twins has been very different to the cute memes shared across Facebook. They may genetically identical, but they have completely individual tastes, likes and schedules. To say they are identical twins, they are polar opposites. Here are some myths constantly perpetuated about identical twins;
They don’t instantly love each other.
I was expecting from the second they were born that they would not want to be apart. 37 weeks spent curled up together in the womb would surely mean they would find comfort together? We put them in the same fish tank in hospital but we actually found they settled better separately. When at home, only naps were taken in the same moses basket and they went on to top and tail in a cot. Now whilst they share a bedroom, they don’t sleep right next to each other.
They don’t always wants to be joined at the hip.
This is one of my worries when they go to school that people will automatically think they can’t ask one without the other. They rarely get the chance to spend time one on one as my husband works away during threw week, plus we have more children than adults in our house so we can never have a 1-1 ratio. They do relish in time apart, but often spend most of it asking where their sister is. I think over time this will change but we try to encourage it but let them choose ultimately.
They don’t always have their own language.
Granted, my girls are just about to turn four, but we don’t have any coded secret language which only they understand. If anything, I am the ally as “she looked at my bag of crisps” or “she won’t give me the stone I like” Yes. All the important problems in life, Mama can solve them, apparently.
There isn’t an evil twin.
Don’t ask me that, it’s not OK. My answer is simple: they can both be equally as lovely or evil as each other!
Despite identical DNA, they don’t always look identical.
I think my girls look so very very different. I know, I am going to say that aren’t I? Most people who spend a bit of time with the girls agree how easy they are to tell apart. P1 has a rounded face and larger eyes like her Dad, opposed to her skinnier sister who looks so much like her brother and I.
We are only four years into our “twin” journey and are now facing decisions that are more difficult than I thought they would be. With twins, starting school is proving to be such a mind meddle as I don’t know what to do for the best. I know it’ll all work itself out, but the Mum guilt is amplified with twins as it’s a whole new ball game – one I have zero experience of. My motto for twins is to go with the flow and wing it. It’s worked for the last four years, long may it continue!