Raising twins is harder than you might think. I have twin boys that just turned three years old. And while it sounds fun, I would rather define it as … uniquely challenging.
People like to tell me that having twins is way better than just one kid. Sorry singletons, apparently you suck.
And I guess they are right, raising twins is fun. It is the same kind of fun as cliff jumping. There is a fantastic adrenaline rush and then after a few rounds, you are just sore and have whiplash. You love it, and you hate it, and everyone else thinks it looks cool.
Twins are the celebrities of grocery stores and shopping malls. They draw out random women and googly-eyed grandmas that will literally jump in front of a double stroller to get a chance to “ooh” and “ahh” over my small matching humans.
They seem to see something that I don’t. Perhaps I have lost the excitement of twins. That or the adrenaline has worn off and I’m just beaten down and tired.
It happened again today. I was shopping with the boys nestled in their double stroller, which actually means that I am trying to find the perfect center of the aisle so neither of them can reach the shelves.
This takes skill and concentration and that’s probably why she found us.
I glance up and notice a woman at the other end of the aisle. She had stopped dead and was staring at us. I’ve seen this before and I braced myself for the inevitable conversation that is rushing my way.
“Oh my god, twins! Are they identical?”
I’m not sure why people ask this question. Are identical twins the better version of twins? My boys are fraternal and it is pretty obvious, even down to hair color.
“No, they are not,” I say with a smile that I hope hides my disbelief that she couldn’t tell.
“I love their matching clothes. Did you do that on purpose?”
“Nope, sure didn’t. Didn’t even notice they were still wearing clothes. I’m lucky if they have diapers on.”
I can’t help but reply sarcastically at this point. But if I’m honest, twins wear matching clothes for only two reasons.
#1: You can just buy two of everything. Half the shopping time.
#2: It is easier to keep track of where they are when they’re wearing the same thing. It’s not about making them look cute, it’s about convenience.
“Do they have a special bond because they shared a womb?”
What? Sorry, they’re three. The only special bond they have is an equal passion for stealing each other’s toys and beating each other with said toys.
“Not that I’ve noticed yet,” I reply, still using the same smile, but with less confidence that it’s working.
And here comes the final big statement. The one that can’t help but say.
“If I ever have kids, then I’m going to have twins because it would be so much easier and way more fun.”
I smile and nod, unable to speak due to my imploding thoughts.
I am equal parts confused by her misunderstanding of how you get pregnant with twins while simultaneously trying to not reveal that having two kids at once does not make parenting easier. As the father of these dual tornadoes, I should know.
I will admit there are a few aspects that make twins convenient. One pregnancy, one delivery, but it stops about there. And according to my wife a twin pregnancy is much more exhausting because no matter how you split it, there are still two babies.
Twins equal double of everything. Double diapers, double the sleep loss, double the clothes, double the food, double the cost, and double the work.
It’s not even that my boys are bad kids. They are just like any other kid exploring their world, but with twice the damage.
When people say that twins are easier, I think it is simply a misinformed perspective. Not everything is better in doubles. There are exceptions, like BOGO at coffee shops and double scoops of ice cream. But, I generally believe that one thing at a time is the better philosophy.
I have an older daughter, so I know what raising one child is like. It’s a dream in comparison.
Back at my celebrity grocery shopping experience, I am just too tired to crush the dreams of this misinformed, misty eyed woman. Her idea of twins is matching clothes and Instagram photos. She thinks that twins have a unique bond that unites them through space and time.
I’m just staring at them and wondering what the likelihood is of them napping at the same time.
I glance up to see another double stroller passing by the end of the aisle. It’s not often you meet other twins out in the wild like this, but my horror has been realized. I locked bloodshot eyes with the dad pushing the other stroller. I see his look of panic.
What if she sees us both? I nodded slightly to the left to motion him on. I’ve got this one buddy, you can live to see another day. He gives me a slow smile and nods back as if to say thanks.
I guess I’m not alone. He understands.
Life with twins is chaos.