Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When twins figure out there IS an "oldest" child

Have twins have fights arguements.

From the moment they are born you know they will love each other and sometimes love to hate each other.  It's what siblings do, and for twins it starts even earlier, like in the womb.

There is a 20 minute time limit between birthing one twin and the other.  A rule put down in some book somewhere so the body doesn't start thinking it's done (or some crap like that).  My boys pushed that limit, and were born 17 minutes apart.  I knew soon after that 17 minutes would make a world of difference to the eldest child one day.  We chose right then and there to avoid telling them there was an "oldest" child for as long as possible.

It wasn't hard to do, we just never said anything about the time they were born.  They were born on the same day and that was it.  It was hard enough for them to understand that not everyone has a twin, and that most people aren't born at the same time as their brother.

When they were about 5, they figured out they couldn't have been born at the exact same time.  They came to me and asked who was first.  And I told them.  I was careful to use the word first, without any reference to time.

One of their first grade teacher assistant's happened to be a twin.  She approached me a few weeks into school and asked me, "They don't know who the oldest is do they?"
I responded "No they don't"
She said,"You did that on purpose didn't you?"
I just smiled as one of them approached.  She understood why I did it and agreed that avoiding one more reason to argue was probably a good idea.

Monday night, while showing off various ways to use body parts to make farting noises, T2 asked me, "Who is the oldest?"
T1 immediately interrupted and said, "I have to be the oldest because I was born first.  That's what a girl on the bus said."
(thanks girl on the bus)
T2 said, "Ok he is the oldest, but how much older?"
I was careful in what I would say next, because I knew it would be hard on T2.  I asked him if it would matter if he was a day older or a month older like a friend of theirs.  He responded that it wouldn't matter, because they are all the same.
"Ok" I said, "T1 is 17 minutes older than you."
"17 MINUTES!!!"
You would have thought I gave him a death sentence.  He literally keeled over.  And then made a farting noise louder than his brother to prove he could still hang with someone older than him.

A little while later, as I was entering their room to tuck them in I overheard this conversation.
T1: You know Mommy says you have to listen to kids who are older than you. (completely out of context)

At least I made it 7 3/4 years before I heard that one.

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins. ~Josh Billings


  1. That's great you were able to avoid it for almost 8 years! The twin thing is so cool. I enjoy reading about it!

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. Nothing like a pecking order.

  3. hmm I guess I'll have to be a little bit more careful now and not ask which one is oldest! I wish you could do that with all siblings my sisters always fight and the older one says
    "I'm the oldest" and the youngest one always says "only by 10 1/2 months!!!" It's a constant struggle. I know a set of twins who were born at the same time, their Mom had a c-section and the doctors pulled them out holding on to each other!

  4. I never thought about that being something twins would fight on... proves that I don't have twins I suppose!

  5. I am sure it is was a good thing not telling them right away who was oldest and let them come and ask you. Hell you got a 7 years with out having to tell them.

  6. I'm impressed that you were able to not make a big deal out of that for 7 years!

    On a side note, why do boys always seem to use bodily functions to settle their arguments?

  7. As the mother of two boys that are almost four years apart I can totally relate to the "older child syndrome". I too would have held off telling them who was oldest for as long as I could. Whenever my boys argue that is normally the first line #1 uses.


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