Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twin Troubles

Having twins invites lots of very random and bizarre questions. This has never really bothered me that much, I know lots of twin moms get offended, I just don't. People are curious. So? I'm really, severely nosey so I know exactly where these people are coming from.

When people ask how we got them, no, it's not their business, but I get why people are compelled to ask. When you're walking around with twins you may as well stamp a sign on your forehead that says "I'm probably infertile! Ask me about it" The asking isn't the problem, it just sometimes hurts to be reminded of that so I suck it up.

Now we are faced with new issues.

The daycare facility that they attend is very excited to have twins in the building. All the little kids talk about it and it is very cute. This morning we walked in and I heard two little girls discussing which twin they liked more and which one was cuter.They are just kids and I know I can't protect them from everything, but I wish they would not ever hear things like that! Ocean and Ever are getting smarter and smarter and I know the day will come sooner than I think they they will be able to pick up on those things.

Beyond the kids, adults do it too in a different way. I have had teachers tell me several times how smart or advanced Ever is. In that immediate moment, I soak it all up. Every mama wants to know those things. Then I look down at Ocean staring up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes and wonder what he will think of this. One day will he compare himself and think that he is dumb or not good enough just because he is not the same as Ever? Vice versa, people do this to Ocean with his good looks. They will talk about him and how handsome he is and not say a word about Ever while she is standing right there.

This isn't due to vanity. I don't need people to comment on my kids all the time. This is about them feeling good about themselves and not comparing. Since they were born I've tried to remember they are twins, but they are also two individuals. People thought I was CRAZY to not get them on the same feeding schedule but I looked at my two babies and they are not the same. Ever is smaller than Ocean and I could not bring myself to overfeed her or underfeed him for my convenience (no offense if you did that). I just wanted them to function the way they are supposed to function as individuals (they mostly always wanted to eat around the same time anyway).

Now I'm in a catch 22. If they each have different talents that people recognize I want them to feel proud and special for what they can do. But at the same time, I never want one to have their feelings hurt trying to compare themselves to the other.

Will people stop doing that right in front of their faces? What is a mama to do?

Playing at the park!






  1. People are rude! And how can anyone not think Ever is just as beautiful as Ocean?!

  2. It's an inevitability, but I wish people would be more careful about their comments. At least they are a boy/girl set. I imagine it's even worse with girl/girl or boy/boy.

    You're an amazing mom though and I have no doubt you will raise them to be confident in themselves and able to feel good despite the comments.

    And they are both equally beautiful... that's just nonsense! They look so much alike to me. I bet people just point it out about Ocean because he's a boy and isn't supposed to be as beautiful. :)

  3. WOW...I really admire you...I cannot even imagine how I would react given the same situation (I got upset after picking Addie up from evening care where she was playing with 3 - 6 years olds...or rather trying to play and they just kept complaining that "the baby" was touching them) Clearly you are doing a great job with these 2 beautiful babes:)

    The pics are beautiful...as always!!

  4. I am an identical twin as well as being a mom of fraternal twins, and I can totally identify with you. I can also say there is no easy answer. It's hard when twins like to do a lot of the same activities, too, because inevitably one will be better than the other. My sister and I are both into a lot of sports and I am better than her at most of them, but she is probably smarter than I am, and more creative. Unfortunately, when you're running a race or climbing a mountain, it's just really obvious who is doing better - there aren't exactly creativity contests.

    My mom used to try to make my sister feel better by saying things like "S is a very strong swimmer, but C is a PRETTY swimmer". Which besides being ridiculous, always made me feel like my accomplishments weren't important. I think it's important to recognize each individual's strengths, and not always necessary to try to make the other twin feel just as good ... it's ok for one twin to be better at one thing and the other twin to be better at something else.

    That being said, I don't really like people making generic remarks like one is smarter, and I don't like comments about appearances at all. At times it seems like my daughter is much more active than my son, and that my son is more "studious" than my daughter (at 14 months), but none of that is really true. She just likes to jump on the couch, and he has more patience to sit and read books.

    So to sum up this really long comment - I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think it's really that simple.

  5. You just have to remember that being fair does not mean being equal. It means giving each one what they need.

    People will always compare them. They do it with regular siblings, too. But, how can you not compare twins? Honestly, you will find yourself doing it, too. It's your own personal study in nature vs nurture. You've got 2 different little souls in the same developmental stage being offered the same experiences. It's hard not to compare and often fun to watch it play out. To see who is shining at which activities.

    And, btw... I DO think you were crazy for not having one schedule. :-) It really isn't as cruel as it sounds... you only have to wake one a couple times before they tweaked their own hunger routines to match. I never forced one baby to eat more than they wanted to hold them as long as the other baby. I just kept them on the same timeline so we all slept all night, almost from the beginning. I believe that is what made the infant stage more enjoyable for me.

  6. I have no experience with twins, but I do have a brother and I also have three daughters. This sounds like a situation that ANY siblings will come across, regardless of whether they were born on the same day or in different years.

    My oldest daughter (5 yrs) is very quiet, not interested in running around, and sits quietly and does her work in Kindergarten.
    My second daughter (3 yrs) couldn't hold still for 10 mintues if her life depended on it, and is a constant chatter-box.
    The baby (6 months) is the most laid back, easy going baby I've ever seen.

    Is my oldest better than the middle because she can sit quietly? Is the baby better than the older two because she started sleeping through the night at 2 months? No. Each child has her own strengths and weaknesses that she'll have to work with/around as she grows.

    As I said, this sounds like a sibling problem rather than a twin problem. :-)

  7. Emma - I think the difference in the twins vs. siblings thing is that they are in the same class with the same teachers and could possibly be like that in elementary as well. Also, people automatically relate them to each other like "the twins" when people don't normally look at a family and say "the siblings" and think of them automatically as a unit.


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