Is it a twin thing?

photo (19)

I think I share most people’s natural curiosity when it comes to twins, especially regarding the question of whether they share a special bond. For me it started during my pregnancy. I was comforted when people told me the twins would be the best of friends. When strangers asked when I was due, I’d reply not for another three months. For a moment they’d look horrified and not know what to say while I giggled behind my pokerface and enjoy their moment of panic, then reply ‘don’t worry its twins!’ I know we all think we were the biggest pregnant woman ever, and no one more than me. I was mahOOsive. Initially I didn’t want a caesarean, however upon discovering how much they weighed (7 lbs and 7.3 lbs) when they arrived at 36 weeks, I was grateful for my obstetrician’s intervention.

For a time after they were born, we were advised to keep them in the same cot and this made perfect sense. Separating the womb buddies right away, when they were already going through the giant transition from in-utero to the big bad world seemed a tad harsh. This only lasted a few weeks as they would grab at each other’s faces and leave scratch marks with their little nails. Separating them seemed wrong in a sense, but I had to do it as they were disturbing each other during their sleep. I kept their cots close together so they could hear and see each other. On so many evenings, I went to check on them and was always surprised by how their tiny frames fell into mirror images of each other, another sign of a special twin bond I figured. Then as they grew older we moved the cots slowly apart. At 5 months, we moved their cots from our overcrowded room into their own neutrally decorated bedroom where the gap between the cots was made a little larger.

Before their third birthday, it was time to put them into their own bedrooms. They were scaling their cots in a second and winding themselves into a frenzy when they should have been winding down, before I had reached the top of the stairs. Eva was given her own girl’s room. For the first few weeks she was most impressed, and then they both cried for her to return to her old bedroom.

As twins they share a bond I will never know. I’m their mother, I think I know everything about them. Yet, since September when they began Montessori, they have experienced a life without me. I hear stories and fictitious tales about what went on that day, but they know more about what the other was up to than I do and sometimes are at odds about the day’s events. Sometimes I see they are closer to each other than they are to me. Recently on a spin to our local park, they ran on ahead as usual. They were getting closer the lake and showed no signs of slowing down. I roared for them to stop running and slow down, but they ignored me and instead, clasped each other’s hands and ran towards the water together, stopping just in time.

From the kitchen I hear mutterings and whisperings, and frantic footsteps as I ascend the stairs to see what they’re up to. One will appear with an ear-to-ear smile in a not-so-subtle attempt to block my path. ‘What are you up to?’

‘Nothing mummeeee!’ While the other quickly hides the evidence, maybe a stolen packet of biscuits or mummy’s nail polish.

As a mum, I want them to have a strong bond as they only have each other. Our families live hours away and they see their cousins only occasionally, yet I don’t want them to be entirely dependent on each other either.

Sometimes this bond is more evident, and then there are days when they have their own agendas. Dylan might be found at the top of the garden building a wall, and Eva at the other end of the garden catching tadpoles.

In September, they will start school together, along with many of the kids they attended Montessori with. In ways I can’t believe it, and then I think of how much they’ve changed in the last year. There are less tantrums, less tears, more cooperation, conversation and consideration. I’m not apprehensive at all, not like  last summer before they started Montessori. I know they are ready for it and they need it. Their classroom is just down the hall from their current classroom. They’ll be with the same kids, the only difference being that they will have a new teacher and a uniform. Eva hopes that it is pink with roses… Dylan, like a true boy remains indifferent, but that is the beginning of another post.

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Categories: Twins!

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16 replies

  1. Lovely insight into life as a twin.Ive always been terrified at the idea of having twins but it must be lovely to see them grow up and always be there for each other.

    • Thanks Aedin. I am terrified about having another set, but perhaps I shouldn’t say that here! It is and was amazing watching them grow and develop, but no more special than watching your own two I’m sure. :o)

  2. This is a fabulous post! Great insight. I have twins (boy/girl) who are nearly two. They’re starting to copy a lot, follow each other everywhere and babble at each other. It’s wonderful to read about older twins, I’m so intrigued. Will watch out for more posts from you.

    • Oh thank you! I wasn’t sure about it at first. I took the picture after I stopped chasing them towards the lake. When I looked at it later, it triggered this post. The kids are fascinating to watch. I wish i’d started recording it all earlier, but I also wonder how long I can keep this up for – I’m not sure how I can keep sharing their lives in case they take issue with it later. Hopefully not! :o)

  3. I so wonder what sort of bond my twins will have when they get older. Especially being two girls it seems to have the potential to be especially strong. Already they are so easy with each other I forget about it, until a new baby comes to visit. It’s hard to imagine, not being a twin myself, what it might be like to grow up with someone, passing milestones at the same time, from the womb on up.

    • I think your girls will have the strongest bond and I can imagine same-sex twins being close their entire lives. I expect my guys will go through phases when they won’t want to play together as much. Hope not though. Sometimes I think it would be so great to have a twin, although I see how they compete for my attention much of the time. That can’t be fun.

  4. Lovely post, as always. I was especially struck by your observation that they know more about each other’s day than you do since they’ve been at preschool. It *is* strange to be out of the loop, when you’ve been so connected with every moment, waking and sleeping, since before they arrived. I’m so glad you’re not worried about them going to school in the fall! 🙂

    • Ah thanks Jennifer. I took the photo first, then the post idea came.
      Well, maybe i’m not worried yet. I can’t wait in a way as I know they’re ready for it. I suspect it’ll be very strange to see them in their uniforms! Looking forward to more of your poetry. 😀

  5. Lovely Olive. Very necessary to have sibling friends I think.xo

    Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2014 21:26:21 +0000 To: mccannelizabeth@hotmail.com

  6. I love this photo of them!! Such an amazing story to read as well, even from the start mirroring each other in bed. What a wonderful bond they have been blessed with!

  7. I am constantly in awe of people with twins. I guess both the good and the bad moments must be amplified! There must definitely be an extra special bond.
    Our middlest starts school in September too. Yikes.

    • I found it difficult when they were tiny babies, but in the last two years life has become so much more fun and less work. They’ve really come on since they started our local Montessori school. It’s amazing with wonderful staff. I will be sad when they finish up. They went in as big toddlers and now they’re little children..
      The good and bad moments are amplified. I’ll never forget trying to leave the playground or a play zone and they both kick off.. Don’t miss the terrible 2s (x 2!! of course).

  8. As a boy/girl twin mum, I can totally relate to this.

Penny for your thoughts

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