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.