Sunday, July 6, 2008


"Twins?" The babies got a lot of attention when we were in California. One older gentleman, whom we met walking on the beach, stopped us as he passed by. "Twins?" He went on to tell us about his own grandchildren and ended the conversation by asking if we were from the area. "No, just visiting from Chicago." "Oh," he sighed disappointedly. "I'm not going to see these boys grow up. They're exceptional boys, really. I can tell."

Twins definitely enjoy some sort of "cool" factor. And we get lots of questions.

1. "Are they fraternal?" Andrew's got a full head of hair, delicate features, and a slight frame. Colin's our bald prize fighter. They looked like complete strangers at birth. Now I think they'd pass for cousins. Fraternal, yes.

2. "Are their personalities different?" Things haven't changed most since they were first born . Andrew cooperated flawlessly with labor and delivery. The doctor said I literally "laughed him out." He's cautious and calm, happy to lie on the floor sucking his thumb. He's not quick to smile or scream. He's dependably even. (I think he gets that from Dad.) Colin, on the other hand, has a stubborn streak. He was delivered by C-section, an hour after his brother, with the umbilical cord looped around his shoulder and grasped tightly in his right hand. He knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it. He's quick to smile and giggle, an easy audience for the big kids. When he's mad, it's full throttle scream in 3 seconds flat. Are they different? Quite.

3. "Are they on the same schedule?" Clearly the person asking this doesn't know my neurotic tendencies. Yes, yes, yes! I synchronize them as much as possible. If I could find a way to get them peeing and pooping at the same time, I'm sure I'd try that, too. 

4. "Are you nursing them?" I answer yes and brace for the question sure to follow. "At the same time?" Yes, again. I see the mental gymnastics at work. I wonder how that works. Without being graphic, I'll tell you this much: nursing pillow, football hold, big couch. 

5. "Do they sleep in the same crib?" Not anymore. They came home from the hospital, slept in the same crib for about three weeks, and then moved to their bouncy chairs for sleeping (reflux issues). Now they're in the same room, separate cribs. They don't often wake each other. Andrew's loudest cry hardly wakes me in the next room and certainly doesn't disturb Colin. Colin's screaming, on the other hand, is not to be muffled by closed doors, pillows over the head, and even small fans. Somehow, Andrew manages to sleep through the wailing.

I'm thankful they're so different, so easy to love for different reasons. 

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