When people find out that I have identical twins, the first things they usually ask are, “How can you tell them apart?” and “Do they have similar personalities?” I typically respond with an, “It’s easy and no, they are completely different.” Before I had my girls, who are now three, I wondered the same things. How am I going to tell them apart? Will I have to paint a toenail? Will they act the same way? We all remember the episode of Full House when Uncle Jesse brought his twins home from the hospital, accidentally took off their booties and couldn’t tell who was who, right? I totally thought that was going to be me!
Well, I’m here to tell you that it was easier than I thought it would be. We didn’t have to paint a toenail or give them name tags. It was just like getting to know anyone; it takes time. The more time we spent with them, the easier it got. As they have grown into toddlers, they have become two very unique individuals.
Abriella (Ella) is the “older” of the two (by a minute) and is definitely the mother hen. She is a mini me. She is constantly worried about Eva and her well-being. She cries if we have to give Eva medicine, take her to the doctor or give her a timeout. She is the first to bring Eva something that will comfort her when she is upset. Ella is more mild-mannered than her sister and typically a better listener. She usually likes to please us and with a stern warning, will do what we ask. When it comes to adventure, Ella is all in. She is usually the first to try something new and be more independent. She is the first down the slide or up the rock wall at the playground. She is also more comfortable with new people, and is usually ok with us dropping her off at the sitters or at the nursery at church.
Eva, on the other hand, whose name means “full of life”, is exactly that. She is feisty and very strong-willed. While these characteristics make me totally crazy at times, I believe they will take her far in life if she can figure out how to use them correctly. She knows exactly what she wants and puts up a good fight to get it. Eva is the hilarious one. She says the funniest things, and keeps us all laughing on a daily basis. She is more hesitant when it comes to doing new things and meeting new people. She clings to me (STILL) when I have to drop her off at our sitters a few days a week. She likes us to be there with her, and although it makes drop offs hard, I really do enjoy the fact that she still prefers me and is going to show it.
While they are very different and completely unique individuals, being twins is also something very special that they share. They’ve never used twin talk, but most days, when I’m confused by what one is saying, I will ask the other one, and they can translate for me in a way that I can understand what they are talking about. They always seem to know what they other one is saying and think it’s hilarious when they have to help me understand.
Raising (identical) twins has been exciting and yet challenging. I’ve been surprised by how different they are. We have raised them the same way and have given them an all around similar experience for the past three years. I guess it really just goes to show that every single person is created uniquely and beautifully. All of our children are exactly who they are supposed to be. Let’s remember to celebrate and cherish all of their qualities, even the ones that can make us a little crazy from time to time…