Allie is the proud MoM of mirror image identical twin boys, Nathaniel and Tyler (7) and Bradley (2).
What made you decide to start a blog?
I had tried different ways of recording moments in the twins lives that meant something to me, but nothing ever seemed to work. I have an old journal, and a couple of different computer files that have maybe three or four “moments” in them each. After we had a momentous night at a baseball game, I decided that I had to find another way to write down all of their moments before I forgot them all. This sparked the idea for the blog – and happily, it has been easy to keep up with.
How did you react to finding out you were having twins?
Although I was shocked of twins, that emotion was overshadowed by the fact that I was not losing yet another pregnancy. I had gone in for the ultrasound after some spotting, for the second time in a week. I was so afraid that something was wrong, I felt like having twins was just making up for all that I had lost.
Your boys are mirror image, can you talk about having mirror image twins?
Mirror image twins just add a different spin on the world of twins. In addition to being identical, all of their traits are mirror image of each other. One is left handed, the other right. The swirls on the back of their heads, are on opposite sides, and go in opposite directions. In our daily life, it doesn’t affect the things we do, other than having assigned seats at dinner as to not knock elbows. What I enjoy is watching them take pictures or react to a situation. While their reactions may be exactly the same emotion and mannerism, the mannerism itself will manifest in mirror image. If they shake a fist at you, it will be the opposite fist or opposite eyebrows will get raised. I enjoy watching them sometimes, just because it amazes me.
Since your boys are school age, did you keep them in the same class or separate them? How did you come upon that decision?
Whether or not to put them in the same class in school was probably one of the most thought out decisions we’ve made thus far in parenting. Our school allows the parents to chose whether our kids are in the same class or split up, so it was left completely up to us.
I started looking for answers when they were only 4 years old. I talked to their preschool teacher, who happened to be a retired elementary school teacher. She told me I should separate them to help them establish their own personalities and friends. I read books that said I needed to be careful of the fear of separation that a lot of twins go through (including ours). I talked to a family friend who is a psychologist , who said I should keep them together the first year. All this advice varied across the spectrum.
I knew that every child makes it through the first day of school, and that twins are lucky enough to be able to share parts of it with each other. I knew they needed to develop their own friends and personalities, but they were doing that pretty well together in preschool. Ultimately, it came down to an incident I saw occur one day. I watched as they were working on writing their numbers and Nathaniel didn’t know the answer, he just looked to his brother for it. Of course Tyler gave him every answer he needed. I realized, together they would not learn as well as they would separately. Tyler, excelling in math, would just let Nathaniel latch on, and the opposite would happen in reading. I wanted them to be able to stand on their own feet in the world and not have to rely on each other.
I wrote a letter to the principal asking that they be placed in separate classes, but also where the teachers worked closely with one another. This helps me at night when we are doing homework, because I don’t have to go over two completely different concepts. It was a little scary for them at first, but they were right next door to each other and saw each other throughout the day. Now that they are in the second grade, they are happy to be in separate classes, and enjoy having a break from the brother, they can’t ever get away from.
Do they play tricks on the teachers, or you?
They’ve attempted to trick Mommy and Daddy a few times. The only time it ever worked was when they had on Spiderman masks and I really couldn’t tell who was who.
They only tried to trick their teachers once that I know about, and a friend gave them away. Their teachers have never been able to tell them apart (even though they are currently sporting different haircuts), and rely on them to be honest majority of the time. I am waiting for the day when I get a phone call because one of them is in the wrong class.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
I am a big advocate of experience over having stuff. We love to play outdoors or go places or do things that give us time together. In the cold winter, when we don’t’ get out as much, we really enjoy game nights. The twins got Monopoly for Christmas and it has been a hit at our house. So far, Mommy has only managed to win once, and Daddy hasn’t won yet at all.
What question do you have for the other MoMs and Dads in the community?
What do you do when it is cold outside and you don’t want the television on?
Be sure to leave your answer to Allie’s question in the comment section and head over to 3 Boys + 1 Hubby and leave some bloggy love!