07 March 2007

on twin and twin-ness

Late nights at work and freezing temperatures have put a halt to the crafting around here. Not that cold weather technically precludes crafting, but it certainly doesn't put me in the mood for much besides snuggling in front of the tv with a few good movies. So instead I bring you gratuitous twin cuteness. Because the only thing cuter than baby pictures is baby pictures in stereo.

A few frequently asked twin questions:

Did your parents dress you alike when you were little?
Yes. It scarred me for life. No, just kidding. Mom generally just bought 2 of everything for the sake of simplicity. Occasionally, perhaps on laundry day, she might get us both in the same outfits. But then one of us would upchuck on our outfit and require new togs, thus destroying the cute matchiness. Special holidays, of course, did involve special matching outfits.

Which of you is older?
Twin. By 45 minutes. (Yes, here you can insert a groan of sympathy for the suffering of our dear mother.) Family legend has it that after kicking Twin out of the womb, I enjoyed the spaciousness so much that I was in no hurry to follow her. I can be pretty stubborn sometimes.

Do you feel each other's pain?

Can you read each other's thoughts?

What's it like to be a twin?
I never know how to answer that question. It's like having a sister. Who happens to look a lot like you. But I've always wondered what it would be like to be a triplet.

Are you very similar?
Yes and no. I guess in broad terms, we are very alike. Quiet and introverted. Resistant to change. Slow to process thoughts and feelings. But in the details, we can be very different, even opposites. Twin loves red and bold colors; I love neutrals and browns. Twin doesn't like it when the foods on her plate touch each other; I enjoy mixing it all up (partly because I like it that way, partly for the fun of watching her squirm).

Did you ever switch places just to confuse people?
Not very often. We could never fool the people who know us best. And generally when we meet new people, we are trying to help them see the differences between us, rather than trick them into confusing us. Though we did once switch language classes for a day in high school. I went to Twin's Latin class, and she went to my French class. Not an overly brilliant choice, as I spoke not a word of Latin, and she knew maybe 2 words of French. Luckily my high school French teacher was the most delightfully scatter-brained woman. She didn't notice a thing.

Do you look exactly alike?
No. I'm prettier.

Do you like being a twin?
Yes. I highly recommend it. Support, love, companionship, tolerance--all built in from birth. If you or someone you love finds out you are having twins, DO NOT PANIC. It's a good thing. Trust me.

Happy hump day. See you on the other side.


Stephanie said...

great post! thanks!

Matroskin said...

I was just reading a magazine ffrom the 1950s where it said that twins are on the increase because of nuclear testing and radiation! Wow.

Kate said...

Thanks for this post - I always wonder if I'm scarring my girls by dressing them the same. And you are right having twins is a good thing!

Marmee said...

About that dressing alike thing -- I was always annoyed that the pressure from other folks was to differentiate you guys and deny what a cool and fun thing it was to be twins. So early on we did dress you alike, a lot, but as soon as you could communicate, I would ask -- do you want to be a twin today? And it moved from "yes" most of the time to "no, never" -- which was a very good thing.
My favorite t-shirts were the ones that said "She's Julie" and "She's Jennie" -- a joke that everyone enjoyed.
I worried a lot when you were on the way -- how can I bond to two babies at once and how can I treat you guys as individuals? But that was never a problem once you were actually here -- though what rankled most with me was the constant "She must be the outgoing one" kind of assessment -- because throughout infancy and toddlerhood you would alternate -- I'd have one clinging vine and one "thanks very much, don't mess with me" -- and just when I was getting used to how things were -- you'd switch -- one from needing more reassurance to demanding more independence -- and the other needing to be closer again.
All in all it was great fun, and sitting in the back seat listening to my girls' repartee is still the best show in town.
Hope to experience it again soon!

erin said...

love what your mom said!

and i dressed my girls alike alot when they were very little - they are two years apart and close in size so we get asked if they are twins any time we are out. i think having a twin would be wonderful - lucky you!

Alicia A. said...

Sweet (and lucky) you are, Miss Julie.

My sister-in-law has fourteen year old twin boys. They're at each other's throats at this age, but I often look and them and think about how blessed they are to have each other. And by the way, (I have to tell everyone this because it is SO amazing) they weighed 9 Lbs and 8 Lbs when they were born!

amandajean said...

that was a sweet post...you guys are lucky to have each other....glad you are enjoying this time of your lives together...it is great to have a sister and friend all in one...I enjoyed reading your mom's thoughts too.

Shelly said...

This post is so sweet and fantastic. Thank you for sharing with us your experiences with Twinness.

I am particularly charmed by your advice for those expecting twins or who have loved ones who are to not panic. Twins run on both sides of my family and skip generations. You could set your watch by how regularly it happens that the eldest daughter on both sides of my family every other generation ends up with twins, sometimes two sets of twins. Guess who is next up for this adventure? Me. I had often wondered what twin-action was like from the perspective of a twin (I'm not close enough in age to my twinned relatives to really probe). Your post answered most of my major questions (and made me smile!)

You and your sister are so lucky. Thank you for sharing!

philip pirrup (pip) said...

aw. now i want a twin. alas, i have only two older brothers and will have to live out my days as "the youngest."

what did jennie have to say about you sliding "i'm prettier" in there? :)

cute photos. next time, let's get some gratuitious puppy cutness in there too.

Anonymous said...

Very sweet post.


Sarah said...

Cute photos!

Like Erin's daughters, my sister and I are very close in age (14 months), dressed alike as children and mistaken for twins often. We're still close, and I look back with fondness on the years I lived with my sister after college. One of the great things about living with your sister is that you can fight like cats and dogs, and then 10 minutes later be totally over it.

Thanks for sharing your twin FAQ!

Jen said...

This was a ridiculously fun post. I can imagine that you get all those dumb questions all the time, but you know all of us non-twins (at least the ones who aren't triplets) are just jealous.

abbyjane said...

So cute and so nice to read. Thank you.

Jennie said...

Do you look exactly alike?
No. I'm prettier.
OY! In your dreams! Hee hee.


Anonymous said...

Je n'est pas scatterbrained!! Tu est une trop ungrateful fille.


--Madame Glatt

Mon oei!

Marmee said...

Ummh, you better watch out -- I think Twin knows more than two words of French.

On the other hand, how did your sketchy knowledge of Lorem Ipsum get you past Mrs. T -- or did she just take it as a joke?

That's the wonderful thing about grownup children -- they tend to fill you in on all the adventures that might have caused you pause when they happened, but now are just a cause for laughter.

By the way, Gang of Two, how did the roller-coaster fork assume its shape?

julieree said...

Mme Glatt--
Vous savez mieux que ca conjuger le verbe ĂȘtre. Vous ĂȘtes imposteur!!! [mon oeil]

Marmee--erm, I think Mrs. T had a pretty good idea what was going on, and chose not to say anything.

Fork? wha? me? I have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe you should ask jennie.

amisha said...

love this post. twin-ness is fascinating and sounds wonderful... and yeah, those pictures of you 2 are extremely cute :)

African Kelli said...

Very sweet. And humble, may I add. :)

Liz said...

Loved your twin post... I grew up the older sister by barely a year, of 2 twin brothers. I spent years trying to decipher of what they spoke (they had their very own language until about 2 and a half), and if I was in a fight with one, I was in a fight with both, but they are the great dynamic duo of our family... twin boys (who are still referred to as The Boys, much to their dismay) sandwiched in between 2 solo sisters...

Anonymous said...

you bore me. ::yawn::


amy h said...

Very sweet. I love having a sister, but there's definitely something different with the twin thing.

Marie-Louise said...

Fun to read about, especially because I'm a mother of twingirls. :-)Have a nice weekend/Marie-Louise from Denmark

sally said...

Sweet + funny post. My dear friend is expecting twins this summer...I cannot wait!!!

Liesl said...

What a lovely post. :)

I'm a twin too. Though we are fraternal boy-girl twins. People are always asking us the "what's it like to be a twin" question, and I answer a lot like you do, that it's like having a brother, who just happens to be the same age--well, a minute apart in age (c-section.) And then I say that I always wondered what it'd be like being an identical. ;)

I love being a twin and would never change it. He's my best friend. We know being twins didn't cause that, but we like to think so, that we do have some grand, deeper connection.