Monday, June 8, 2009

On Parenting Identical Twins

One of the problems with twins is that they don't come with an instruction manual. Also, you can't take them back to the twin store when one of them malfunctions.

But, one of the awesome things about having twins (particularly identical twins), is that you have a control-group and a test-group available at all times to analyze your parenting skills.

Let's just say, for example, that one of the twins has a problem with, oh, shall we say....hitting.

" Who, me?"

Oh, how that one loves to smack things. Generally he aims for the closest human target (usually his twin brother), but he's not averse to smacking inanimate objects when in a pinch. Our [family room furniture][walls][kitchen chairs][various toys] know who's boss in this house, thank you very much.

I often start to ask myself...where did he learn this awful behavior? Have I done something wrong? Have my parenting techniques been remiss?

And then I look at his twin brother, and say to myself, "Of course not." Because that one's turning out just fine. No violent tendencies whatsoever. So I must be doing something right, right? Granted, the other one's not perfect - take his problem-solving skills, for example:

"Want...to drink...the milk... Can't...drop...the snack bowl..."

But that's the nice thing about the control-group / test-group theory. At any given moment, you only need one twin to act appropriately. It's not your fault if one of them is badly behaved /acting like a weirdo - you have scientific proof right there that your parenting skills are outstanding! (FYI - the good one is always in the control-group).

And if both twins are acting badly? Well, then the nice thing about having twins is that people will just feel sorry for you. Never underestimate a good dose of pity - it can be a lifesaver when you go out to dinner and the control-group spills his milk after the test-group already ran out of french fries.

29 comments:

tandis1 said...

Ha! Have you ever hit the nail on the head! Let me just say this also works for fraternal twins :D

MelissaKell said...

I think this store - "Also, you can't take them back to the twin store when one of them malfunctions." - should be available to all parents.

Thanks for the laugh!!! I love this control group test group thing. I've thought that about B&B but it doesn't work quite as well. And my twin and I had a conversation once about twins her friends have about this very thing - one was having problems but they're raised exactly the same way, how can it be? It just is sometimes. We're all individuals! :-)

Bridget has started the hitting, too - I hope it doesn't last as long as it did with Becca!

Megan said...

T - Thanks! Good to know it works on fraternal twins too. Hmmm - maybe I should use this theory on regular siblings too! That could help a lot since Ashley is usually the one embarassing me in public places. ;-)

Megan said...

Melissa - Ooh, wouldn't it be awesome if you could drop kids off for a quick fix?? You could get some R&R, plus they'd come back better behaved.

The whole twin thing just blows my mind - they have the exact same DNA, the exact same environment, yet they are so, so different. Craziness!

Hopefully Bridget won't hit for long - none of my other kids are hitters so I have no idea what went wrong with Owen. ;-)

Charity Donovan said...

LOL!!!! I loved this post! As a mother to BBBG Quadruplets...I TOTALLY get it!!!!! =)

Amanda said...

saw you were the shout out on the Multiples & More blog this morning and had to take a peek.

You nailed this! There have been so many times one of my identical girls is pulling a fit and I look to the other one and think, well at least she's behaving! Or last night, one ate her entire dinner while the other one cried, I figured at least one would be healthy... LOL!
txtwins.blogspot.com stop on by!

Deanna said...

Good theory to have when my girls start misbehaving in a few months...as long as it's only one at a time, I guess!!

Mira is triplet crown said...

I always said the same thing about my cats, only one was fat so it certainly wasn't what I was doing. Now with the triplets it's reassuring that they take turns being 'bad' or 'different' so I can be assured its just a phase. Not my fault!

suburban hippie mama said...

hahahaha!! Oh so true! I don't know how many times I have looked at my identical twin girls and thought this :)

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

So true! I can compare my identical girls and realize that the one who refuses to potty train is just stubborn. Her sister is potty trained so obviously it's not ME. :)

Heather said...

Ah, yes, I am the mother to identical twin girls. I can TOTALLY relate to this post. I am loving your test subject analogy!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a great parenting barometer!

Stopping by from SITS!

Merry Christmas!

Natasha said...

Great post... :) Do u ever get them muddled up seeing as they're identical?

Karen said...

I don't have kids, but I was a nanny for twin three-year-old boys once upon a time. Let's just say that I know EXACTLY what you're talking about!

I hope you had a nice Christmas!

Megan said...

Yay! Thanks for stopping by, SITS girls!

Natasha: It's funny - even though they're identical, I think they look nothing alike. They have all the same features, but they just kind of got mashed together in different ways. It's crazy.

Amanda said...

On identical twins... I just finished reading the absolute best book: One and the Same. http://tinyurl.com/yfu2qd3 It is so awesome, anyone with twins (Especially Identical) should read it!

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