The Secrets of Twins

There must have been a reason for the consultant to mention it, but in the early days of pregnancy- before E stopped growing- the boys measurements were identical. Whilst they had separate sacs and placentas we were made aware that there was still a possibility of our twins being identical.
Non-ID twin boys ultrasound
The boys were born a week before a friend had twin girls, getting them together on a trip to Wales brought to light the differences of non-identical twins.
Non identical twin babiesEven then with weight variances the boys were similar, and equally similar to their big sister, whereas the girls were different in many ways.

And as life would have it, we moved to the same village six months later, and our children have spent a year in the same nursery.
It is as you would think, they are twins, but they are individuals, they are four year-old children, you cannot assume.
I’ve come to the general conclusion that B is cheeky and E is naughty. And that’s the only conclusion I’ve maintained.
Sometimes B and E are tight, sometimes B and CM are best mates, and others E and CM are invincible.
Moods changes, preferences alter, and we roll with it.

Since they started nursery we have aimed to make life easier for the teaching staff… and the other children.
The boys had their initials embroidered on their jumpers, one wears a blue sports shirt and the other white. Oddly, whilst I thought the one wearing blue would feel different, the only boy in class to wear a blue shirt, they actually both want to be the different child- unfortunately the teaching team don’t agree and every time hubby believes the child who says “I wear the blue shirt” whilst the other has a tantrum the teaching team have a day having to really think about each child’s name.
And that was probably my original gripe- should the teaching team learn to tell my children apart by more than the colour of their shirt, but that’s the thing.
The twin girls have grown to be so different- one a petite, short-haired brunette with olive skin, the other with long, almost afro, blonde hair and tall. And yes, you’d say “I’s the little one, C’s the taller” or “one’s blonde the other brunette”, we do distinguish by appearance.
So what do you do when you can’t distinguish?

Twin boys finishing nursery

Fortunately my gripes were pacified. The boys’ reports are testament to the children we recognise at home and the talents the teaching team have nurtured. And I love in this year how much the boys have developed, how when they started B was the less mature, who had ants in his pants, but finishing nursery B is the one more developed in reading, writing and basic maths. E whilst doing well has a greater level of empathy which, at home, contrasts with some of his more naughty antics.

My thoughts about potentially separating them as they move to Reception class have been eliminated, especially as it would mean one child would be in the same class as the afternoon nursery- knowing their classmates, and the other would be with the morning class- knowing few from outside school activities. 

In saying that E has decided that he doesn’t want to be in B’s class at school, albeit his motives are questionable.

There is no questioning the bond these boys have.
Their invasion of each others personal space is a joy to behold.
I am a parent who says “It’s ok, they only bite each other.”
Their unequivocable bond overwhelms, the love they share just when you think hair is about to be torn.

And it is different to siblings.
The bond these boys share with their big sister is the most special.
The love which she has for them, which they reciprocate by placing her on a pedestal.
The ability of the three to travel to their own worlds, to be intrinsically in the same world which grown-ups can’t seem to infiltrate.
That is the joy of siblings.


But these boys.
What they have may be every bit the same as non-identical twins, they are- at this point- non-identical twins.
But when I accept everyone’s apology for not being able to tell my boys apart.
Pacifying them with the fact that I have an equal failure rate.
Ruining everyone’s assumption that the minute you become a mum of twins you gain the ability to notice aspects of a person no-one else can.

It is not when they are together,
Together their individuality is obvious.
But separate, for a minute they are each other.
But when you need to discipline them, you don’t have a minute,
And getting their name wrong instantly undermines any authority you hoped you held.

A DNA test won’t make telling them apart any easier.
It might make it easier for those who can’t tell them apart,
“There’s a reason, they’re identical.”
And the money to have the test can be justified “in case of medical need”,
It’s just up to now the extra funds being spent on a holiday has been more justified.

I sense siphoning off a bit of cash on a monthly basis may be called for.

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  • Reply
    Polka Dot Family
    July 16, 2015 at 10:27

    Whenever I guess which boy is which I’m never sure if I am right or whether they are just telling me I’m right. It would be interesting to see whether they truly are identical or just very, very similar
    Polka Dot Family recently posted…Is this the end of an era?My Profile

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 00:43

      Oh I know, and I think everyone who encounters them congratulates themselves on getting it right. Money is being saved in a piggy bank as we speak 🙂

  • Reply
    July 27, 2018 at 20:46

    Thank you Debbie for sharing the Secrets of Twins. You give a wonderful perspective of the good and the bad. I’ve always wondered about how twins feel towards matching outfits and same activities.

    What’s your favorite memory/milestone of your twins so far?

  • Reply
    October 21, 2019 at 17:08

    Thanks for sharing your story, its really helpful to understand so many things. By the way, I’m making a list of the baby gear for twins and I’m puzzled about the sleeping.

    Is it good or bad to sleep with twins, like co-sleeping with a baby or may i use twins bassinet for the baby?

    I think co-sleeping is better, it makes breastfeeding easy. What do you say?

  • Reply
    March 31, 2021 at 18:23

    Thank you for sharing such an interesting article.
    I have twin friends. They are so similar that they often take turns in college or dancing. It’s so exciting!

    • Reply
      May 5, 2021 at 07:05

      This is really cool! I have a twin sister and we really often did that with her. Even parents did not always feel substituted.

  • Reply
    September 19, 2021 at 13:13

    Thanks for this article. I found some of the things similar to my twins 🙂

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