Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who was born first?

Matthew and Jonathan are competitive.
Very competitive.
For that reason, there is one question I dread more than any other.
One question that has not yet occurred to them.
One question that will, inevitably, come up.
Who was born first?
I have an answer, a clever one.
"It doesn't matter who was born first," I will say, "because you were conceived at precisely the same moment."
No doubt about it.
Jonathan and Matthew started life as one and then became two simultaneously.
They have existed for precisely the same amount of time.
So why should it matter who hung out in my uterus for an extra 20 minutes or so, doing the breath stroke, a little freestyle and maybe even the butterfly?
One got a little more experience with the outside world while the other experienced freedom in the womb, something his twin will never know.
Even Steven.
Logical, right?
I can see their reactions now.
Silence.
For a moment.
A placid look, one of contemplation.
The one time when they truly look identical.
Then their faces will scrunch up and the nature of that scrunch will change quickly, from cute to annoyed to angry, expressions greatly affected by the amount of padding in each twins' cheeks, the slightly narrower bone structure of one twin's face and the different ways in which they have trained their facial muscles over the years.
It will be one of those times when I truly wonder whether the DNA tests were right, whether they really are identical.
And when I see those expressions, I can think of only one way to react.
The only reasonable solution.
My salvation.
"Go ask dad," I'll say.
"Just go ask dad."

9 comments:

Susan M. Heim said...

My twins are very competitive, too, and the "youngest" (by 12 minutes) doesn't like that label at all! However, my boys are fraternal, so I can't make the argument that they were conceived at the same time. Besides, how do you then answer the question: "What does 'conceived' mean?" At age 7, I don't think I'm ready to explain THAT yet!

Twinsmom said...

As much as I dread that question too, it might be a good distraction! That's an even better reason to send them dad's way. :)

arda said...

It's funny actually. My twins fight about EVERYTHING but this topic hasn't ever been a painful one. It might be because they have always assumed their birth order roles. The one born first (Saro) has always acted like a big brother and the other (Ari, 6 mins his junior) has always been the little brother. I don't know why. This happened before they ever knew who came out of my belly first... but maybe that's why they didn't fight about it when they found out.

good luck!

The Collins Family said...

Birth order has been an issue the other way at our house. A fireman asked the boys who was older once and they both got fighting mad. They were so frustrated trying to explain to him that they were both four. The reaction had ben the same each time the issue has ben brought up. I guess all they have ever known is life together and they are not willing to discuss or contemplate that 2 minutes that they were apart :)

Calmly Chaotic said...

I am 36 weeks pregnant with identical twins and have read One and the Same and we've decided to not tell them and if they ask to tell them they came out holding hands lol. From talking to other people it does seem like telling can create quite the dynamic. This is our plan but we'll see how it plays out.

Terra said...

To Calmly Chaotic,

That made me laugh...I may have to steal that one. I like the idea of telling my boys that they came out holding hands. I love that. Thanks:)

kristin said...

I cringe when people ask us because my boys don't know. We never wanted to make a big deal of it and honestly they haven't cared. Recently someone asked and directed the question to them and one simply answered "Benny and Eli came first, Addi came later" (Addi is 3 years younger). Someday when it comes up, and it will come up because they are super competitive, I'll have to use your reply! ;)

Nanner said...

Awesome! That is almost EXACTLY what I tell my girls! In fact, now when someone asks them who is older, they explain it all on their own at age 6! So proud! They do BTW know which one was BORN first though...

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