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Misconceptions

on August 22, 2014

There are more misconceptions about twins than there are actual twins in the world: for example, the idea that twins are rare. There have been studies concluding that around 1 in every 8 pregnancies starts off as twins (or higher order multiples) but only one survives long enough to be detected. In the United states, the rate of twin births is about 3.5%. Not exactly an outrageous number, but they’re certainly not aliens. Especially when you consider Yoruba, where the frequency of twins is closer to like 10%! (I would imagine that the rate of crazy probably parallels that statistic in an eerie correlation) This freaky high number has been attributed to the consumption of a particular species of yam that contains large amounts of estrogen causing the woman’s body to freak out and start releasing eggs like a chicken. Never did like yams.

Let me break down the most common misconceptions I run into:

Whose side do twins run on?

Let’s just get this one out of the way right off the bat. This is about the only situation when it is entirely the woman’s fault. There is no arguing her guilt in this one folks: it’s science. It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend/husband is a twin, spawn of twins, from a family entirely made up of twins, your chances of becoming pregnant with twins has not increased at all: not even a little bit. It only matters if it runs on the woman’s side. She is the one dropping eggs, and nothing about the man’s history can do anything to make her drop more than the typical one. As for identical twins, that is a complete anomaly and happens randomly: no one can control or predict that. Now, if this same man has a daughter, she will have to worry about/prepare herself for the strong possibility that she will someday become pregnant with twins.

In my case, we were screwed (or blessed if you are glass half full kind of person) from the gate. I got it from both sides. I was aware of it being on my mom’s side, but not on my dad’s, and let’s just say, there was never any hope for us. Sorry, honey, but at least they’re cute.

Buy one get one free

Nope. It’s more like buy one, and then, surprise, you have to buy two… For the rest of your life. There is no twin discount. Trust me: we’ve asked. Sure you may knock out two little bundles of joy in the same amount of time it takes to make one, but you pay for it in the toll it takes on your body and mind. Now triples: that’s where it’s at. Those guys get everything: free diapers, free food, free clothes, free toys, etc… Baby companies are practically breaking down their doors to give them free stuff. However, no amount of Butt Paste will ever give you back your sanity, so my condolences.

All twins look alike

Fraternal twins are no more alike than any other siblings born from the same parents. They can have different colored hair, eyes, skin tone: they are just siblings that happen to have been born at the same time. So, in essence, there can definitely be a better looking twin. Just look at Scarlet Johansson and Gisele Bundchen: sadly, their twins have to live with that knowledge everyday.

It’s common for twins to be born early though.

This one is both true and false: yes, twins rarely go the full 40 weeks, but it’s still pretty rare for them to be born at 28 weeks like my two little guys. A full term pregnancy for twins is considered to be 38 weeks. So, the next time someone tells you about their twins being born early (like really early), don’t just blow it off like it’s no big deal. It’s still a very serious situation, and it’s scary.

Having a 2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old is just like having twins.

I call bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. It’s not the same. It’s not like the same. It’s different. For one, when your youngest was a newborn, you had 1 1/2 year old that could walk and and kinda talk and for the most part feed itself. It is not the same. You had kids: not twins. Sorry.

They are clones and have to be dressed alike at all times

Come now people. About the only thing worse than forcing your children to dress alike (in my mind, and sorry if I offend anyone with the following statement) is giving your twins rhyming names. Yes, at times it’s fun to have them dressed alike and looking all “twin-y.” I get that. I mostly do it to mess with people who still have trouble telling them apart. But, all fun and games aside, they are going to forever be identified as twins – as a single unit – so I want to at least let them have their own style, and give the “twinfits” some individual flare. They are different people with different likes and interest even if they are twins.

If one starts crawling/walking/talking/insert new skill here, the other one won’t be far behind

Not if one is lazy and could give two shits about competing with their overzealous sibling. Bennett chose mobility. Oliver chose snacks. Bennett had no interest in being a baby any longer than absolutely necessary. He is still always looking to get to that next step. Oliver, on the other hand, was completely fine just doing the baby thing. He didn’t care to compete. He didn’t care when his brother started to crawl, and waited nearly two months to start walking after Bennett was upright and mobile. Bennett would get his mind set on something and try and fail, try and fail, try and fail until he eventually got it. Oliver on the other hand, would just sit back and watch, take it all in, and process how he would (eventually) do it himself, and he usually didn’t have to try all that hard to get the hang of it. He just does things on his terms. To say that there is this innate competition between twins just isn’t entirely true. Like with anyone, they have their own speed.

We love how funny you think your twin cliches are, and you’re the first person ever to use the term “double trouble.”

No. Just… Just no. “Double trouble,” “You must be busy,” “You sure have your hands full,” “Do you ever get them mixed up,” “Oh, seeing double. Ha ha ha,”etc… I hear these things every day, multiple times a day. It’s not original, and we only give you that halfhearted chuckle out of pity, not wanting you to think yourself basic.

Parents with twins love hearing about your cousin’s, best friend’s, brother-in-law’s, baby sister’s  god-children that just so happen to also be twins.

Oh, please tell me more. In fact, we probably know each other. Pay no attention to fact that my children are better than halfway through the 20 minute shopping window before they start throwing things and attempting to break free from the restraints of the shopping cart. It’s no big deal that one is starting to head-bob in his seat, the universal symbol for “if you don’t get me to a suitable nap location stat, I’m gonna flip shit.” All that is trumped by the story about your girl’s ex-baby daddy having twin sisters. Fascinating.

In the beginning, It was kind of fun talking to people about their twins and hearing cute little anecdotes about other families with the same trials and tribulations. That period of time with short-lived. I don’t mean to sound like such a B, but a simple trip to the store now constitutes a minimum of three conversations about sets of twin I’ve never met and the other person usually only know of. It’s like we are in some super cool club that other people are dying to be a part of. Drew just keeps walking. He can at least use the whole being deaf thing to get away with it. Lucky bastard. I still stand there, feeling obligated to listen because I don’t want to seem rude. Plus, my children are adorable, and who am I to deny the world the chance to gaze upon such beauty. But next time you feel compelled to stop someone with twins to tell them about your twin nephews Bryan and Ryan who are 6 years old, have a new golden retriever puppy, and love minecraft, please just remember, we don’t care.

At least you get a break since they have each other to keep themselves busy.

Bitch… Yeah they keep themselves busy alright: busy getting into shit. They’re a team: a mischief finding, nerve stomping, creative little crime syndicate bent on total household domination. Perhaps a little dramatic, yes, but in general, there being two doesn’t make it easier. Yeah, they play together. They were lucky enough to be born with a best friend, but just think about the kind of trouble you and your best friend got into… Yeah, and that doesn’t even take into consideration twin magic.

Well, there’s my rant, and despite what it may have sounded like, I absolutely love being a mom. My boys are the greatest thing to have ever happened to me, and they are truly amazing. I was built for this. I couldn’t imagine not having twins. It’s the people who think they know everything there is to know about my life that make it a little harder. God love ’em.

Exhaustedly,

Jeni

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