Monday, 19 October 2009

The Twin Thing

I'm not a student of marketing or economics, but even I, fountain-pen using, non-i-phone-owning dinosaur that I am, have noticed that everything now seems to have a "USP".

And if this blog has a USP, to separate it from the hundreds of other "mommy blogs" that are apparently out there, I suppose it's the twin thing.  I don't know how many women out there are fretting about the same decisions as me, but it's probably tens of thousands, if only a small percentage of them blog, an even smaller percentage (presumably 1.25% or the one in eighty pregnancies which is twins) will also have twins.

Yet, I haven't, as yet, blogged about the twins.  Why not?  Well, the pc answer is because they're not "the twins", they're A and S and should be treated, by their mother possibly above all other people, as the individuals they are.

Sadly the true answer is probably closer to: "because I'm selfish and so far have pretty much only blogged about memememememememe"; the girls, whether twins or not, have only been mentioned in passing.

So here we go: my first blog exclusively on the subject of twins.  Here's the stuff I should print out and hand to everyone who shows the whites of their eyes when they see me, before stuttering out "goodness, you've got your hands full":

  • No, twins don't run in my family.  Or at least they do, but that's not why I had S and A.  They're identical and identicals aren't (or at least aren't thought to be) hereditary.  That said, my dad's a non-identical twin and my brother- and sister-in-law also have identical girls.  Seems unlikely that that's not hereditary? Statistically it must happen every now and then (someone else can do that bit of maths).
  • Their mother can't "always tell them apart". It took me about seven months to be able to do it all the time and I still make the occasional mistake.  Small rant alert: it is not in any way helpful to the new mother of twins who's already comprised entirely of maternal guilt and stress to say "oh, well of course you can tell them apart".  She probably can't and even if she can she'll have got it wrong at least once a day since they were born.  All you're doing is making her feel like a cr@p mother.
  • That said, I am 100% certain that A is A and S is S.  A has nail polish on one of her toes, and has done since day 1.
  • It is most definitely not "2 for the price of 1". It's 2 for the price of 2.  Or, more often, more expensive than that because all the stuff that you bought for number one child thinking you could use it again for number 2 you have to buy all over again because number 3 wants to use it at the same time.
  • They don't wake each other up.  This is amazing and astounding and utterly, utterly, brilliant.  Ours shared a cot (snazzy modern parenting lingo: "co-slept") for about six months until they got too big for the cot, and one of them could be screaming her little head off while the other slept on, stirring only to breathe.  I never worked out in those situations which one of them was "sleeping like a baby".
  • I, for one, never get bored of talking about them.  They're two of the three-equal-best babies in the world, how could I?  
  • Parents, and families, of identical twins find them just as fascinating as the rest of the world. It doesn't get less interesting and amazing when you see them every day.  It gets more.  How can they be so alike and so different?  S and A are genetically identical, and, at least at the moment, eat and do pretty much the same stuff at the same times, yet they need totally differing amounts of sleep.  How does that work? And why does A have a double crown and S not?  Surely that at least must be genetic - they can't blame our parenting for that one, can they?
  • Not all twin pregnancies end in total bed-rest, can't move, can't walk, can't eat, major high-risk delivery panic panic horror.... despite what the consultants say, and whatever happened to your neighbour's sister-in-law's second cousin once removed. I know I was very, very lucky because I've met lots of twin mums who have had an awful time, and I am wordlessly grateful for it,  but despite being 4 foot round the waist, I was mobile, comfortable and happy right up to the day they emerged wailing, through the sunroof (am too posh to push, naturally), with everything where it was supposed to be. We were home in 2 days.
And now here we are, ten months later, still very definitely learning about these two astoundingly different, astonishingly similar little people.  Every day they amaze me, and every day they make me smile. Sometimes they even let me write things like this. Can't complain really.


  1. Nail polish on the toe - now that's a secret I bet all mums of identical twins have but never let on to. Ingenious!

  2. Fantastic insight to the life as a twin's mum! My cousin has non identical twins, one of each gender. Each day she finds something new they are similar with and other things they are different with, but you blog is a real eye opener!

  3. Hey there, just visiting from BMB and wondered if you had met Linda at You've got Your Hands Full? She has her hands full because, you've guessed it, she has twins.
    She a bit nuts but an excellent writer and a big advocate of twins and all the joys having them brings. Her girls are 10 (I think).
    Oh and your profile picture is AWESOME! And no, I'm not even American.

  4. Hello, I'm here from BMB too!
    Brilliant insight into twins. I always thought I'd have them, still may I suppose, but instead I settled for two within a year!
    Looking forward to reading more :-)

  5. Really interesting to read about your twins, I'm amazed at them co-sleeping and not waking each other. I'm trying to get my 3 year old and 1 year old to share a room at the moment but it's not going well! Interesting about a blog having a USP, don't think mine has one!

  6. @tara (I think the @ is the bloggish thing to do isn't it?) - thanks for the compliments on my picture! Although it doesn't do me justice. I was 4 foot round the middle by the end!
    @whistlejacket - good luck with the sharing! I think I had it easy - mine were pretty used to each other from the start... And as for the USP, I got introduced to blogging by an American so you'll just have to bear with me!
    @everyone else. Thank you so much for your comments. You're all my first readers that I'm not married to so am delighted to "meet" you all!


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

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