Having Twins But Not The Twin Experience

by farrah on March 27, 2012 · 24 comments

Maybe my guys are still too little. I don’t know- is 17 months still considered little? I was thinking tonight as I watched this Dynamic Duo splash in the tub that they grow more and more different every day. They look as similar as they act. They’re technically twins because they shared a room for 8 months and came out at the same time- but are they? Really twins? Sometimes it’s almost as if I forget.


Do those people look even remotely related to you? They don’t to me! L kind of looks like B, and C looks like my husband- but I am still floored sometimes at how different they look (don’t mind the giant red scratch mark on L! He lived).

It might just be because there are days I feel  too overwhelmed with small people to remember there’s a reason I have two the same age, and one other one not much older. We experienced the shock of a lifetime the day we found out (which I will be posting about next week on the anniversary of The Most Insane Ultrasound Ever) and there are still days I have to remind myself- that yes- they are in fact, twins.

They almost look alike here:

People have actually started to question me when we are out and about. Especially when we are in the grocery store with my beloved double carts– so they are sitting side by side. Someone will ask what their age difference is- and if I say ‘There isn’t one’ I am given an odd look like I must be confused.

I’m also not a ‘matchy matchy’ dresser. I guess that I do like it when outfits compliment one another- or they have on the same jeans or whatever- but as far as ‘outfits’ that just isn’t our thing. I guess I figure why dress them alike if they don’t even look alike? This doesn’t make me sad, really, but I do think it makes me feel like we are not in that ‘twin experience’.

The boys are similar in one fantastic respect- sleep. I am not going to elaborate for fear of breaking the First Rule Of Sleep Club. They’re also pretty much obsessed with being outside, Thomas, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse (ahem big brother). However there isn’t much else. They are completely opposite eaters. L eats like he has a tapeworm and C nibbles with his pinkie in the air on bread or crackers. Will this ever change? Or will they keep getting more different? It’s crazy. But I cannot help but adore my hams no matter what!

So tell me about your pair. Are you getting the full ‘twin experience’ with language and everything else? Because in all reality- we’re just two kids who happen to be born on the same day. It’s all I know, so I love them just the way they are- but sometimes I wonder how the other half lives?


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon March 27, 2012 at 2:46 am

I feel like the “twin connection” seemed more obvious as my twins starting talking. I could tell they were communicating with each other, even when I couldn’t understand them. As they have grown (they are 4 now), their bond has gotten stronger even being boy/girl. It’s funny b/c just a few weeks ago was the 1st time my son told another child that he and his sister were twins. I always thought I would put them in separate classes once they start kindergarten, but lately I’m questioning this decision. I don’t have other kids, so I can’t comment as to whether this same bond occurs with siblings born years apart.


2 farrah March 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I hope that they have their own language- I really do. And I happy to hear that yours have that connection- I hope they keep it strong their entire lives 🙂 What a comfort- really!


3 Shannon March 28, 2012 at 12:49 am

I also wanted to add that although their personalities as newborns mimicked how they were in the womb (J always moving, K more laid back), that has changed as they have grown up. As infants, we never knew K was in the room. She was so content to just hang out. J on the other hand, got bored easily and wanted to be entertained. As they’ve gotten older, J takes things more in stride and is more apt to compromise. K, on the other hand, can be so emotional and overreacts most of the time. Now, this could just be girl vs boy, but I don’t recall being that unpredictable at age 4! I’m already thinking about how to comunicate with her in the the dreaded teenage years! You might have lucked out with all boys!


4 Ninja Mom March 27, 2012 at 3:16 am

My girls are such different people, even though they are identical. It’s great that you’re talking about missing out on the “twin experience” beause I feel the same way. If mine are identical, why haen’t they pulled out any psychic tricks? No special languages here. At no time has one stopped and said, “Wait, my twin has a pain in her leg! I think our brother just bit her. Yes, I FEEL IT.”

And soothe yourself with the fact that the public will ask me how old my kids are (all of them) and I’ll say “They are 7, 4, and 2. We have twins.” They frequently counter with, “Which are the twins?” Hunh? The ones that are the same size, shape, color, and, well identical.

I don’t think any of us are living the “experience.” Not the one The Parent Trap sold us, anyway.


5 farrah March 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I’m thinking that’s probably a good thing. I really don’t think I could take the hijinks and shenanigans that these people could come up with.

People really are not very bright. I mean, hello? Possibly you should just tell them the 7 and 4 yo are the twins and be completely serious about it.


6 Christine March 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I have identical girls (same age as your boys), and I am still looking for that “twin connection” between them. They are pretty different in personalities despite how identical they really look. But I still don’t see a connection BETWEEN them– like those great pictures you’ll see on the internet of twins that just can’t help by hug/cuddle/kiss/etc. That doesn’t happen in our house. There’s much more pushing/shoving/lifting/etc. of each other, especially when it comes to sitting on mommy’s lap! Now that they are talking more, they at least will say “hi” to one another when waking up now! It’s the little things, really!


7 farrah March 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Same here Christine. My husband and I talk about that quite a bit- basically they don’t even really act like the other one exists- but are slowly starting to hug one another? Odd. Maybe like Shannon says it will become more apparant as they get older. You’ll have to let me know- now I’m curious!


8 wendy @ mama one to three March 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

henry and ellie are so completely different from each other — and ellie is so unlike ME — that I wonder if there was some alien experiment at work. Their personalities are hysterical and frustratingly confusingly and impossible to predict. They are nothing alike! The girls bond more than the twins have… It is weird.


9 farrah March 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Maybe just because they’re girls. I see a while different dynamic with B and the twins. He doesn’t play favorites necessarily- but he’s more cuddly with C and more rough and tumble with L. It’s interesting because I see more of a relationship between him and each boy- whereas the one with each other is non existant. Again, I am so intrigued by these dynamics!!


10 Solon March 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I read somewhere, that fraternal twins are no more alike, or different, than regular siblings. I suppose having fraternal twins of the same sex makes it a bit more difficult to subconciously separate the two as “just siblings.” I know that when we discovered we were having twins, even before we knew the sexes, I promised myself that I would try to treat them as complete individuals. Having B/G twins will make that more easy for me. But I love that you don’t dress your boys the same.

Not that I am equating chickens to children, but one thing I’ve learned is that every living creature, not matter how small, has it’s very on distinct personality, even chickens, or ducks or birds, or dogs or cats.

At 5 weeks, it’s easy for me to say that I’m going to try and treat Jack and Lily as individuals, but talk is cheap. I just hope that I can avoid comparisons when it comes to who talks first, who walks first, etc. It may be difficult not to compare them to Indy, since, being the 1st child, she is an absolutely brilliant genius! (You realize I’m poking fun there, right?) But for now, I just want to enjoy having two adorable little babies at the same time with a big sister who calls them “My Tins,” and loves them as much as their Daddy and I do.


11 farrah March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I felt VERY strongly from the get go of finding out that we were having twins- that they would each be an individual regardless of gender/identical/fraternal. I just truly agree with you in that each person is an individual.

And as for making comparisons–we’ve really lucked out as all three are so far across the map it’s hilarious. B is in the middle and average with just about everything, while L is to the right and streaking ahead, while C is just doing his own thing at his own pace and won’t let his brothers hurry him. I have also noticed that they trade off – one walks first, but the other will probably talk first and so on. It’s truly something you will enjoy watching unfold before your eyes!


12 Shannon March 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Mine are complete opposites. I get the age question as well. One is tall and skinny. The other is an inch shorter and stocky. They have different interests and different…everything! I think I was expecting the “language” thing to be more than it is. What has happened here is that one will not be able to say a particular word or phrase — for example, one started saying “go-go” for ‘here you go.” The other just adopted that phrase and now that is how they say “here you go” back and forth. It’s more like the “language” is toddler speak, but it has kind of stuck because there is another toddler around who gets it. Does that make sense? I’ve clearly had too much coffee and am rambling…I think I need another cup to balance it out 😉


13 farrah March 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I totally get it- and I love it- in fact I hope they do it and B catches it too. B started calling Linc ‘Bubba’ and that has stuck with Chase, so maybe phrases will too? I mean, is there anything cuter than the little things these little people say?


14 Kate March 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

They are precious! I think they look a lot alike, but different too! Haha! I was a nanny for twins B&G when I was pregnant with my first. They changed dramatically over the three years I was with them. I love that you dress them differently, even though my boys were 2 years apart & I dressed them the same sometimes. I agree with you & comments above-all children are unique in their own right! Enjoy every moment it’s always changing right before our eyes! 😉


15 farrah March 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Thank you! They are so much fun- there are some days I just get caught looking at them thinking how on earth did I get so lucky? I never in a million years thought I would be a mom of twins!


16 Cindy March 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Mine are only 11 months but their personalities are so different. R our girl is wide open, she is going to give us many sleepless nights! She is outgoing, loud, always moving and crazy. J our boy is laid back, sweet, a thinker and does not move unless he thinks it is worth the effort. However they are so sweet together and I love to watch them interact. While I think they will continue to be different I think they compliment each other perfectly and make the perfect pair!


17 farrah March 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

That’s always fun- I love a pair that compliments each other- besides, can you imagine how exhausting they would be if they both had the energy of R?! 🙂


18 April G March 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Mine (also 17 months) are so different in appearance (well, they are boy/girl) and personality that my husband and I sometimes jokingly ask if someone at the hospital switched babies on us. My daughter is soooo much like my firstborn (3 years old). She looks more like him than her twin, and she is definitely much more like him in terms of personality. It’s also a little odd because they hit their milestones at totally different times. My son has been walking for almost 6 months, but my daughter only took her first steps last Friday. My daughter has been feeding herself for ages, but my son is seeing an OT to work on his oral motor delays and adjust to eating anything not pureed. Of course, there are those days when it seems like they’re conspiring together to do the same thing, at the same time, and seem so very “twin-like”. 😉


19 farrah March 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

That’s very similar to our boat! L looks like my 3 yo but not C. And I am totally with you on hitting the milestones differently. Are you more laid back about it since they are your ‘second’? I found with the twins I was much less worried about the ‘delay’ of C- even though I suspect that’s just his own ‘I’ll do it when I’m good and ready’ type thing. Oh yes- conspirators to be sure!


20 Susan March 28, 2012 at 3:24 am

“I am not going to elaborate for fear of breaking the First Rule Of Sleep Club.” Possibly the most astute observation about a seventeen month old I have ever heard. Your guys are yummy!!


21 farrah March 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thank you! And oh yes. I know how lucky we are in the sleep department. I shudder to think what it could be like…yikes.


22 KerryB March 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm

great post. I’ve written about how different my girls are also but you coined it best. When they were younger, like birth to 2 I would dress them the same. Because they didn’t look the same physically I wanted people to know that damn-it I have twins! haha Now I don’t really care as much but its weird how different they are. I love it but at times I wonder what it would be like if they looked alike. Non-the-less look alike or not a twin is a twin and double the trouble for Momma! haha


23 Kim March 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Your kiddos are adorable! We definitely have the twin experience. Mine are identical, and still, only our parents and one auntie can tell them apart. While they have similar interests and are very much alike in a lot of ways, they are still their own little people in so many ways. I am so glad you don’t do matchy matchy because I have done the whole “similar but different” thing and it’s harder to quit than drugs I bet!!! It’s just so part of my thinking now, I can’t stop myself, even though I desperately want to! Mine are 4 now, and the time certainly does fly! I’m here from Twitter, thanks for the follow, I will definitely be back!
My Twintastic Life


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