Monday, March 31, 2008

Top 10 Things I Hear When I'm With the Twins

If there's one thing I've learned since Zach and Allie were born 3 1/2 years ago, it's that people are fascinated with twins. And who can blame them? I've always thought they were interesting, too. While it doesn't happen as much now that they're older and are often running in opposite directions when we're somewhere like the park or library, I've been frequently peppered with questions and comments over the years.

Here are some of the most common:

  1. "Oh, a boy and a girl. How perfect. You got it all done at once." I hear this a lot. Obviously it's during the day while Blake and Nick are at school. Oftentimes I'll tell the unassuming comment-maker, "Actually I have two older boys." Usually eyes will grow wide open and a "Wow!" or "You've got your hands full" will spill forth.
  2. "Are they twins?" Yep. "Oh, they look so much alike." Really?? I still don't think so. Similar, I guess, but just like any brother and sister.
  3. "Do twins run in your family?" Surprisingly, a lot of people ask me this. I guess the reason I say it surprises me is that nowadays most twins are the result of infertility treatments (not in our case). Maybe that's only common knowledge to us living in the multiples world. Regardless, my latest answer to the question is "They do now."
  4. "Were they a surprise?" Yep!
  5. "Who was born first?" People want to know this ... and quite frequently. For the record, Zach was born at 10:25 a.m. and Allie at 10:39 a.m. (I think that's right). If you know their personalities, you'd think that in-charge Allie would have been born first. But as I think about it more, it does reflect their personalities. Zach is so protective of Allie that he wanted to go out into the world and check things out before he gave her the "OK" to make her appearance.
  6. From other moms of twins. "I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but it doesn't." Oh ... thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately, I'm realizing this as each year passes. But isn't this the case with raising any child ... not just twins? The temper tantrums end and the back-talking begins. A few years after toilet training frustrations are at the forefront, the discussion over how far away from home they can ride their bike takes center stage. Getting your pre-schooler to eat his (or her) dinner is soon replaced with getting them to do their homework. The list goes on ... with twins it's double the drama.
  7. "Oh, you're so lucky. I've always wanted twins." Yes, we are very lucky, fortunate, blessed to have Zach and Allie (and Blake and Nicky). But honestly, raising two children who are different ages is easier than raising two the same age, in my opinion. If nothing else, it's really hard to find one-on-one time with each (especially when you have two other children, too).
  8. "Are they identical?" No, boy/girl twins are fraternal.
  9. "They're so cute." Yep. But, just like any other child, sometimes they're not. You should have seen Allie when she poured bright blue craft paint all over her beige carpet -- adorable! Or when we're at the grocery store and they fight over who gets to hold the box of Life cereal. Charming.
  10. "Are they best friends?" Yes, and much more. One of the most special things about having twins is watching their special bond grow. 80 percent of the time they get along great. They're very protective of each other and if the other isn't in sight, they always ask "Where's Zachy?" or "Where's Allie?" Sometimes they get into nasty fights, usually battling for a toy or who gets to do something -- normal sibling stuff. But sometimes they remind me of an old married couple, who bicker about the little things. "Allie, don't push the car that way, do it this way." And, for better or worse, they feed off of each other. If one has a laughing fit, the other starts and it just gets crazier from there. Or it could be a tantrum ... or running around the house ... or wanting to help me cook. Everything is times two (and sometimes times four) around here.
"There are two things in life for which
we are never truly prepared: Twins."
~ Humorist Josh Billings

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