#Twinning

“In this life we will never truly be apart, for we grew to the same beat of our Mother’s heart” – Daphne Fandrich.

So here we stand, identical twins, simply living our mundane day to day lives; the normalcy that we breathe. However, our daily routines are not what interests’ others, nor is it the people that we are behind our aesthetics.

Oh no! Rather it is pertaining the notion of being “a twin” and what the life entails. The daily interactions with others and their intriguing nature pertaining the phenomenon of twins, has enhanced my enlightenment and appreciation for living my life as a twin or as a multiple.

If you are a twin, you will understand in its entirety the words presented below. If not…

Please follow and allow me to introduce to you the delightful journey of being a twin. Do not be reticent, as are most pleasantly welcomed to deepen your understanding of double the trouble, double the smiles, double the laughs, the cries, outbursts, sarcasm, jokes, comments, voices, clothes, toiletries, school fees, uniforms, sports games, drama rehearsals…DOUBLE EVERYTHING!

1. Who is the oldest? How much older? By how many seconds?

There is always an older sibling and twins are by no means different. The time difference between when each is born differs among twins and the labour that is being experienced by the Mother. Therefore, one twin is generally older in minutes as opposed to seconds, unless there are complications and the twins are born through the procedure of a caesarean. Although, I have always contemplated whether being the older twin is even a matter of rivalry or a badge of honour to possess, as both are born so close in duration! (Maybe this is just me as the older twin, not wishing to show my maturity or age twelve minutes faster than my sister? But doesn’t that seem odd?).

2. Do you share the same birthday?

Twins are typically born on the same day, unless there is the chance where one is born prior to midnight and the other after. In this case, I am not certain as to whether the decision would be to select one of the two days to be the assigned birthday? Otherwise it would be a marvellous excuse to have a two-day, extended birthday!!

3. Were you born via natural birth or caesarean? Premature or overdue?

Libby (my twin sister) and I were born via natural birth as we were premature, which is quite common. Again, all is dependent on nature, the Mother and external influences to determine when the birth will occur and in what manner. Either way, the outcome is two bundles of joy!

4. Is twin telepathy real? Do you experience twin telepathy? What is your twin thinking / feeling now?

Twin telepathy is a debated phenomenon. It is something in which twins do share. However, in my opinion, I believe that each twin knows how the other is feeling and what they are thinking due to the development in the womb for nine months. Also, twins grow and mature closely together; mimicking one another at every opportunity as a form of behaviourism, whether near or far. However, I do believe that there is more to twin telepathy than the simple acts of developed behaviour as some expressions, understandings and behaviours cannot be explained. Not even by the twins!!

5. Do you finish each other’s sentences and say the same things? Do you have your own language?

Yes, as a twin we will answer at the same time with the exact same or similar words. Again, an act of behaviourism and being together for many years. Think about it, even those of you who are not twins and have resided with one another for some time will finish each other’s sentences, say the same words or expressions simultaneously and have a language unique to you. It is human nature to learn to deeply understand and appreciate those whom you are close with and love. Although, twins do have a unique bond and language that many do not understand when listening to or observing, only the twins. Communication is key in life even for twins in their personalised style.

6. Are twins best friends?

Libby and I are best friends and I am forever grateful for her sisterhood, friendship, support and constant love. This is not to suggest that all twins are best friends, just how all other siblings may not be the best of friends. It does not mean that you do not love one another, it just means that the concept of being a best friend is not apparent. Although we are best friends, we still have our own “other” best friends in our individual friendship circles, as we think that it is special to have a familial and a plutonic best friend. The best of both worlds and an advantage (one of the many) of being a twin.

7. Are you identical or fraternal? What is the difference?

A common question indeed! We are identical (although, we do not look as alike as we did when we were younger, for our own stubborn reasons of desiring to be different; our own individual). However, twins are born either identical or fraternal. Identical twins are provided this appellation as (prepare for some biology…) one female egg is fertilised by one sperm causing the zygote (a fertilised egg cell established because of the interaction between a female egg and male sperm) to split into two at the beginning of development. Dividing at such an early stage means that each twin has the exact same genetic information. Conversely, fraternal twins occur when the sperm fertilises two eggs developing into two different amniotic sacs, placentas and surrounding structures.

8. Do you have any other siblings?

Why would one desire more than a twin?! Although I say this, Libby and I have always wanted a brother for some peculiar and unexplained reason. However, we are content with one another’s presence and we would not have it any other way. Love and respect your siblings lovelies!

9. Do you wear the same clothes? Were you dressed in the same clothes when you were younger?

Our Mum (and numerous other Mothers of twins) discovered immense pleasure and fun dressing Libby and I in the same clothes. These attires would either be replicas of one another or the same clothes in differing colours. Libby was assigned the colours green, yellow and blue whilst I pink and yellow. To this day these are our individually preferred colours, which piques my interest in the ongoing “Nature vs Nurture” debate. We now dress in different clothes to one another, deciding to make a concerted effort to do so at the age of thirteen as we were exhausted of having to be known as “the twins” “girls” “twinnies” or others not even knowing our names! Common courtesy was absent. We have developed our own unique styles to express ourselves. Libby is more tom boyish and sporty whilst I am more demure, sophisticated and feminine. This does not mean that we do not share one another’s clothes. One cannot be a twin and not share after all!

10. Are you the same person?

No, generally twins are their own person and not one entity. PLEASE treat, acknowledge and appreciate twins for their individual selves as although they share a commonality in aesthetics, speech and most aspects to life, it does not mean that they are the same. Call them by their own name (however, one because quite proficient in responding to their twins name, whether they are mistaken or just because it is easier to respond), purchase different presents for their birthdays and Christmas, know the differences and adore them for them! (However, sporadically it does feel as if we are one person as we live in beautiful synchrony with one another).

11. Who is the more intelligent / evil / thinner / taller/ prettier / more handsome etc twin?

Again, labelling twins is not necessarily the safest way to flatter us mere mortals. Naturally, one twin will have different interest to the other and that will mean differing intelligence levels and aesthetic expression. Just like you and I reading this, we have differing interests and passions in life, whereby what I determine to be easy due to my passion for the specific topic / matter may prove arduous for you and vice versa. Intelligence is a mere construct of what we are passionate about; how we interact with our surrounding environment. It should not define who we are. On the other side of the coin, is there really a concept such as good and evil predominantly? We all have our positive and negatives to our demeanour as we are humans at the end of the day. Twins are humans also, therefore this concept applies. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all looked, thought, acted and were the same, twins or not? Our world would not exist if this was the case.

12. How did your parents select your names? How did they tell you apart?

Fortunately, there is always something to determine the identity of both of the twins. Such differences may be incredibly subtle, yet when one delves close enough, they are discovered. For us, Libby was unfortunately burnt on her right ankle in hospital when we were born allowing a scar to remain. I, developed a red, strawberry spot on the right side of my cheek which took residence on my face for a decent portion of our infancy. Our names on the other hand were a work in progress for nine months, like many I am certain. Our names became less formal when we began to converse, as we could not say our birth given names, Madeline or Elizabeth. Subsequently, being the trend setters that we were, we established Maddie and Libby. Two minds put to a task is better than one. A mantra we live by daily 😊

13. Have you ever switched identities?

We did once in our second year of school as we found ourselves in separate classes for this year. However, we were caught red handed as our hand writing was and is today, completely different! We were guilty! We felt terrible and from that point on, never switched identities again. Fortunate I must confess, as we love being our own young woman.

14. Were you in the same classes at school?

Initially in primary school we were, followed by a separation in the second year which I loathed! Kindly, the school allowed us to reunite for the remainder of the second year. After this year, we ventured our own ways, being placed in separate classes until the end of our academic journey. This proved beneficial as the experience was an opportunity for us to make our own friends, develop our own interests, be known and appreciated as our own person and not be compared to one another. A blessing in disguise. How life is comprised of such lessons.

15. Do you have the same interests? (You must as you are twins?!)

Yes and no. We are very much similar but also extremely different in other means. Admittedly, we are more similar than different, but the interests that we do not have in common make us who we are, which I love!

16. What is it like being a twin?

The most commonly asked question as a twin and for good measure, as many minds are stimulated by the twin life. To be a twin is something I cannot adequately express, for the only other whom understands my sentiments is Libby, my other half; soul sister and best friend. Although there are moments whereby being a twin does test one and makes one question their worth, it is the most amazing bond, respect, unity and lifestyle one encounters. Not a day passes where I am not grateful for being born a twin and I am pleased that I do not know any other way for what we each have is a blessing and we should not ask for anything different. Two is better than one. A package deal!

General comments or exclamations made…

– I wish I was a twin!

– I like you better than your twin.

– You are prettier / more handsome / taller / thinner / more intelligent / athletic / skilled etc. than your twin.

– I saw your twin earlier and thought it was you! (Sincerest apologies for any unintentional confusion we have caused you or will cause any of you).

Yes, the twin world is truly a complex, intriguing and colourful one to live. Please just remember that when you are referring to twins or are conversing with twins, to be sensitive and understanding of their individual personas as making comparisons, judgements and neglecting their individual identities can prove hurtful and eventuate to limited self-esteem. However, twins are more than content to indulge all about how wonderful it is to be a twin as there is truly nothing as comforting, loving and uniting than the twin experience.

Love, thoughts and hugs always,

Maddie x

P.S. Some typical twin photos of Libby and I when we were younger. Notice the matching / “twinning” attire??xx

#twinbond #twinning #love #twinsforever

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