Thursday, October 29, 2009

This your chance: ask an identical twin

I don't know what I'm doing.
And, with a few exceptions, neither do most parents of identical twins.
Most of us have never shared an egg, our DNA and a uterus with another human being.
We don't know how our babies feel about dressing alike, sharing bedrooms or sharing cakes on their first birthdays. We are forced to go with our guts, the advice of others and the few, unproven theories that some folks present as fact.
By the time our twins are old enough to express their preferences, it's too late.
The damage, if there is any, is done.
We've had to wing it.
Until now.
In her new book, One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular, journalist Abigail Pogrebin makes an offering. She rips open her own relationship with her identical sister, Robin, and lays it out on these pages for anyone to exam.
To help us and to help her better understand their complex dynamics, Abigail interviews an endless stream of identical twins along with parents, spouses, friends and siblings of identical twins. She talks to psychologists, geneticists, obstetricians, fertility doctors, all of them.
She attends the largest twin gathering of them all: Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio.
I bought the book Wednesday and started it Thursday.
Today, I am already halfway through.
I can't put it down.
It's funny. It's honest. It's intriguing.
But here's the best part:
I chatted via email with Abigail, a former 60 Minutes producer and a married mother of two children, and she has agreed to answer our questions through this blog. So, for the next two weeks, I will collect questions in the comments section or, if you're too shy, you can email your questions to me at
I will then forward them to Abigail and post the answers soon after.
This is our chance.
Should we separate our twins in school, give them their own bedrooms, sing them separate birthday songs? Do they mind sharing first initials, being referred to as a unit, taking baths together as kids?
You won't find a better source than Abigail Pogrebin.
So ask away!


Tina said...

I have identical twin boys as well, 13 months old. (I also have a 3 year old son) I am curious to find out from an identical twin what I can do as a parent to try to insure that both of my boys get enough attention from me or from any other adult for that matter. I am constatly worried that one is left out or just not getting as many hugs.
I would really appreciate any advice that you have on what parents can do to help their identical twins grow in this world.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

All right here are but a few of my many questions.
Is it annoying to have similar names or names that start with the same letter?
I am under the assumption that ident twins have a natural bond but I want to foster individuality. I was going to just go in the direction they take their identities (just like I would do with my son).
Also, how can I help my son bond with the twins? I don't want him thinking they are more special than him. I was figuring have him have individual days with one twin and rotate.
How annoying is it to be dressing the twins the same (I frankly am not into this)?
Is it better to keep the twins together and treat them as a unit when they are young or to start introducing individual identities early? (I would like to do a combo of this by giving each child alone time with mom/dad and older sibling)
I don't know - there are so many unknowns and questions and my husband and I just want to do whats best for the twins and our son.
Thank you for your time and help.

Mrs.Kate.W said...

I am currently reading the book and enjoying it. Although it has started to make me a bit paranoid. It seems that most of the adult twins either have a close relationship with their twin or with their spouse but not both. How can I help raise my boys to be close but also have room to be close with others?
Does it matter to have them do all the same sports and be in the same class at school?
I dress them alike most of the time because it is easier when I am getting them dressed and easier when shopping, does it really matter?
I guess I just need to know what is the one major thing we can do to avoid screwing them up!!

Anonymous said...

I've also wondered about dressing them alike. Do it bother them? Course they don't realize it now (they are only 8 weeks old). should they always share a room? should i put them in the same class?

Twinsmom said...

Those are all great questions! I'll wait just a few more days and then forward these on to Abigail. Thanks!

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

Hmmmm. Hope I'm not too late! What a great opportunity!

I guess I am most concerned with figuring out how much to push them to do "their own thing" separate from their twin. Assuming that they initially WANT to stay together (same class, same activity, same friends, what have you) -- I know that's not always the case! Some amount of uncomfortableness with regards to new situations is healthy and normal, and I want them to have that experience the same way non-twins do.

Twinsmom said...

You're not at all too late sunfrog! I'll be pulling the questions together tomorrow and emailing them to her. Good question!

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Unknown said...

We are forced to go with our guts, the advice of others and the few, unproven theories that some folks present as fact.
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