Misadventures in Twin Parenting

One day one of my sons will come to me and say, “I don’t understand why we have to share a used car when Johnny Haperdasher’s parents bought him a brand new BMW.”

And I will say to that son, “Well, little Johnny had the common decency to not split in two in his mother’s womb and form a genetic clone.”

That conversation is coming, but already there are challenges. Challenges we don’t even understand are challenges. You see the world is designed for parents who have children with the common decency to not be splitting in two and forming genetic clones, but when you’re a twin parent you don’t think about that. You start to assume, more often than not, that every parent is dealing with the challenges you face. It’s why I started to wonder today how so many parents were able to control both their children in doctors’ offices waiting rooms, and then I realized most parents aren’t there with multiple kids for the same appointment.

Most parents aren’t trying to color coordinate their children when they get dressed in the morning so that their pre-school teacher knows who is who. Most parents aren’t buying two of every toy or wondering if they only buy one if it will cause too much of a ruckus because you know they both have to have the same thing.

Last evening the boys found my old Hot Wheels cars and after googling 1980’s Hot Wheels I decided that they should be allowed to play with them. Then I saw the absolute joy in their faces at having one of daddy’s toys and I wouldn’t have denied them or myself that if those stupid cars were actually worth anything. But they both had to have one, and one boy has a purple one he now sleeps with and walks around with while the other has a black one.

You never realize how much of individuals twins are unless you happen to be a twin or have them as children. You think of them as a unit, but they aren’t. They each have their own distinct personality, likes, dislikes, speech pattern, learning speed, and a million other differences we take for granted between other children. They are genetic clones of each other, but they are also complete and whole individuals.

One day one of my sons will come to me and ask why some child at school got something he didn’t and I will have to tell him it is because there are two of them and we can barely afford one child in this economy but they had to go and split in two and become genetic clones, but I will say it with a smile in my eyes and love in my heart. Then I’ll probably figure out a way to give in and give those boys what they want.

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