Based on my experiences, identical twins are not identical. They might have the same DNA, but that is pretty much where it ends. When my twins were in my tummy, I could tell them apart. When they came out of my tummy, they were different sizes. One when to the NICU and one went to postpartum with me. As I got to know them, I could see different birthmarks and ways in which their features are different. My twins look very different to me.
As the girls continue to grow, the subtle personality traits that I picked up from them as fetus’ in my tummy continue to shine. When Eva was in my tummy, she stayed head down, on the right side of my tummy pretty much the entire pregnancy. Marie was in a different position every time I had an ultrasound. And I had a LOT of ultrasounds.
As a two year old, Eva is pretty even mannered. Cool, calm, collected. She can still be silly and super excited as well as throw epic tantrums too. But, for the most part, her mannerisms are pretty consistent. She LOVES dancing, dresses and wearing headbands or crowns. She does not like having her hair up.
Marie, on the other hand, is a little fire cracker. Easily upset and quick to calm down if she can find a second to listen to reason. But she’s two… so it’s pretty hard to reason with her sometimes. Quick to jump into a situation and quick to freak out when it’s not what she expected. Pretty much exactly how she was in my tummy. Up. Down. Sideways. A little all over the place. She likes dresses like her sister, is okay with wearing her hair in a pony tail, but doesn’t usually keep her headbands or crowns in. She LOVES drawing and coloring.
Despite all these differences that I see and recognize, it can be hard to remember that they grow and learn at different speeds too. All kids are different. Every parent knows that their first child is very different from their second one. So, why should two children born at the same time be any different?
I think that because they were born at the same time, it’s easier to lump them as one and just do two at once. But as parents, we really shouldn’t do that.
Potty training has been pretty eye opening for me because the girls have not gone at the same speed. You would hope that they would go at the same pace, but that hasn’t been the case. This past week, Marie up and decided she was done potty training. For months, I have dealt with accidents. It has not been pleasant. From both girls! Suddenly, overnight, Marie started pooping and peeing in the toilet! She is even waking up dry in the mornings, so she is now completely out of diapers!
Eva, on the other hand, totally regressed over Christmas. I am happy to say she is now peeing in the toilet again! Poop still isn’t happening which is frustrating because we had a week before Christmas that she seemed potty trained. She also isn’t waking up dry, so she is still sleeping in diapers. It’s funny how two ‘identical’ girls can be so different.
Give Your Twins Options
It sounds simple. Treat them as separate individuals. But, I think, out of necessity of survival, it’s easier to lump twins together when they are younger. Now that they are getting to an age where they are starting to have their own opinions and shape their like and dislikes a little more, it’s important to remember to give your twins options.
Try things like letting them pick their own clothes in the morning. Even though when I’m in a store, I’ll buy two of the same shirt or pants, out of ease. They usually have different colors on the shirts, but they are the same shirts.
When my twins were younger, I would buy two of the same meals for them at fast food restaurants. Now, I let them pick what they want to eat.
For Christmas, they got the same toys, different styles from not only us, but from everyone else in their lives too. I think that within the next year, it will be important to help them establish their individuality and maybe not buy them the same gifts. Although, then we are opening up another can of worms for fighting over toys.
But, as the lovely Miss Scarlet O’Hara says. “I can’t think about that right now! I’ll go crazy if I do! I’ll think about it