So often when our children (twins or otherwise) are living at home with us, we find ourselves speaking on their behalf. As a parent, I believe this is mostly a wise choice. I like to think I am fairly aware of how my 14-year-old identical twins feel about certain things, and it turns out, I kinda am. But, they are growing up and I would like to take a moment to share a few conversations I had with them about some of the things my teen twins want you to know. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time I heard one of them say, “Why do people ___ just because we’re twins?” I’d be a very rich woman!
1. Their mom really can tell them apart.
Don’t question them relentlessly about this. When they answer don’t try to make them prove it. That’s obnoxious. Also, don’t take it personally when you ask them how their mother can tell them apart, they look at you like you’re an idiot and say, “because she’s our mother”. They don’t mean to imply you are a moron, but to be fair, you are kind of implying that they are so alike their own mother couldn’t possibly tell them apart. So, if you leave the conversation feeling like an idiot, they may be thinking, “Sorry, not sorry.”
2. They are NOT the same person.
They are two very separate, very different people. They may look an awful lot alike but spend 30 seconds with the two of them and you can see plain as day, they are definitely two very different people. Think of people like snowflakes, no two are alike. Twins are people. See where I’m going with this?
3. Stop asking them if they like being a twin.
This annoys them to no end. The answer changes daily, sometimes even hourly. If you’re a teacher or a waitress, some days you might say you like it. Other days……not so much. The same is true of being a twin. Besides, mine usually say something like, “We don’t know any different because we have been twins longer than we’ve been alive on Earth.”
4. If you really want a twin so badly they might offer theirs to you.
Depending on the day my girls might offer their twin to a perfect stranger in response to someone saying they always wanted a twin. People are fascinated by twins and sometimes that can lead to questions and statements like these. The problem is that it puts the twins on the spot to come up with some profound response and there just isn’t one. “Sorry you didn’t get one of your own” or “you can have her” isn’t quite as profound as my girls feel is required, so they usually awkwardly change the subject.
5. They don’t know how you can get your own set of twins.
They aren’t aware of any twin warehouses to pick them up on your way home from the post office. This whole idea disturbs this mama. I’m not really sure why but it seems inappropriate to say “I always wanted my own twins,” and then just wait for a response. As if my teenagers have the secret to conceiving twins. They’re barely 14 years old and understand the birds and the bees in the abstract. Don’t EVER assume a child, no matter how old, knows how they were conceived. That’s just plain weird. And creepy.
6. Do NOT ask them “who is the evil twin?”
Seriously, don’t ever do it. As a parent, I am insulted every time I hear it. They get pretty furious over it, too. Nowadays, they mostly chuckle politely and respond with “she is” while planning the exit strategy. They both know they want to say neither but they have tried that in the past. They’ve tried that a lot. People just pretended not to believe them. They think its funny, and maybe it would be if they weren’t people with feelings. Worse, teenagers with tons of feelings.
7. “How can we tell you apart?” followed by a long uncomfortable stare is creepy….and rude.
Don’t do it to strangers, even if they are identical twins. This is not to be confused with a new teammate or teachers asking and giving them a good once-over out of genuine concern. That is totally fine and actually encouraged. But stranger danger is a real thing so I suggest you back off!
The bottom line is that twins are still a big mystery to some people. I am constantly reminding my girls that until I had twins, I wasn’t really an expert on the topic either. Okay, so I’m not an expert now either, but I know a thing or two about a thing or two. After a long talk, my girls are both fairly confused. Kendall asks me “why are people so fascinated by twins?” Before I can think of a polite response, Kaydence chimes in with “We’re just two people who look alike. What’s the big deal?” Oh my sweet girls, you always have been and always will be a big deal.
Megan Loden is a stay at home mother of twin 13-year-old girls and a 9-year-old boy. She lives in Goodyear, Arizona with her children, husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. When she is not busy with her kids or pets she can be found working out at home, writing, or, in the cooler months, enjoying the nice weather on walks around the neighborhood.