Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Twins Are Terrific!

6 Reasons It's Great Having Twins
By I.J. Schecter

The experience of raising a baby does have its challenges – keeping him away from sharp corners, deciding when to cut her hair for the first time, not freaking out if he isn't speaking in complex sentences by the age of 10 months. But raising two babies? That's a whole different ball of wax. Ask most people if they'd want twins and the answer is, well, tinged with a bit of justifiable apprehension. But to get the real dope, you have to go to the source – and when you do, you discover that there are plenty of aspects of the twin experience that sets it apart in unrivaled ways. Here are 6 reasons it's great to have twins!

1. It's the Ultimate Two-for-One
Two medium pizzas for the price of one? Anyone can score that kind of deal. Buy-one-get-one-free at your local Blockbuster, Subway or Sports Authority? Nothing to write home about. But knocking off two pregnancies in one shot? That is a truly mind-blowing achievement.

"Oh, it's got its particular hurdles," says Jane Rosenberg, a mother of twins from New York. "But I'd take that two-for-the-price-of-one pregnancy again anytime!"

And here's the best part: Though you're incubating two human beings at the same time, by no stretch of the imagination are you creating carbon copies in there. For one pregnancy, you're rewarded with two completely distinct individuals. "It's amazing how you can carry two babies at one time and nurture them both in the same ways, yet they still grow up to be two unique individuals with different likes, dislikes, talents and abilities," says Toronto mom Julie Bleiwas. And she's right – you get to enjoy two people who share something indescribable and unshakable yet who will captivate and charm you with their own specific talents and quirks each and every day.

2. Genetic Wonderment
You know those reports in which twins separated at birth meet after 40 years only to discover they have the same wardrobes, the same jobs, the same hobbies and spouses who could pass for each other? Those aren't made up. Plenty of studies have demonstrated the uncanny bond shared by those who occupy the same womb for the first several months of their lives. Seeing this bond play out every day as twins develop together highlights just how amazing genetics really is. If you've always leaned toward the nurture side of the argument, spend some time watching twins in action, and see just how fast you swing over to the nature part of the equation.

"It's taken having my own set of twins to make me realize how eerie the connection is," Bleiwas says. "I'll never forget the first time Jordyn was telling a story and she and Samara started finishing each other's sentences as the story went along – even though the experience had only happened to one of them. By now, I'm used to it."

3. Entertainment Value
Finishing each other's sentences. Speaking a private language whose rules are known only to them. Endless possibilities for practical jokes at the expense of unsuspecting others. Observing twins on a day-to-day basis isn't just fascinating; it's loads of fun, too. Just try to convince them to go easy on the pranks. It's incredible – and disturbing – what twins can pull off if they want to.

4. The Built-in Best Friend
Fascination and entertainment aside, one of the most wonderful and enduring advantages of twins is that each is supplied automatically with a bosom buddy for life. This isn't to say that siblings of different ages don't also become close, but twins are linked in a deeper, more inextricable way. And they don't need to learn to become intimately familiar friends, nor do parents need to force either one of them on the other. There is an unbreakable, almost mystical connection from the very start, one which only strengthens over time.

"My twins, Remy and Sidney, are best friends and constant companions, and that warms my heart," Rosenberg says. "Each one of them knows she has someone there for her for sharing secrets, making plans, dreaming, hoping ... or just hanging out. You can't put a price on that."

Tracey Levine, a mom from Richmond Hill, Canada, agrees. "As far as I'm concerned, the best part about having twins is that the two children have an instant and lifelong friend and playmate," she says. "That's invaluable. Most of us hope to find a true best friend at some point in our lives. Each of my girls, Eva and Tal, has had one since birth and will have one for the rest of her life. I wouldn't trade that for anything."

5. Double the Precious Moments
You know all those moments parents love to talk about? You get to experience them twofold – all of them.

"Breastfeeding is a magical experience no matter what," Bleiwas says. "But when you're breastfeeding both twins at one time, as though you're holding two footballs, and they look up at each other and lock eyes for the first time, or when they're sleeping side by side and one is sucking her thumb and her sister is sucking the other thumb of the first ... well, all I can say is it's hard to describe the emotion."

Rosenberg puts it even more succinctly: "Two words: double hugs!" she says.

6. You Climb Both Learning Curves at Once
For most parents, there are (at least) three equal but separate trials: learning how to raise a baby; learning how to maintain a normal and productive personal and professional lifestyle while still providing love, care and appropriate stimulation for your child; and learning how to manage the often-complicated sibling dynamic. With twins, you have no choice but to become experts in all of these areas concurrently.

In other words, you acquire more than twice the expertise of other parents in half the time. Sure, they may have multiple children, too, but at least they get time to adjust to the challenges of each in a linear sequence, kind of like being able to study for a single exam at a time instead of having to deal with several, covering different subjects, at once. You're placed in a metaphorical classroom, handed several textbooks, given a bit of time to read them all and then asked to demonstrate your mastery. Now that's impressive!