Double Take

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Now then, not a biscuit, agreed, but often stored and distributed, within my family, in the same way biscuits would be, especially by my Nana. Found in a tin with clubs and Penguin bars. When asked the question, “want a biscuit girls?” me and my sister always hoped Nana meant the type with wrapping, not a rich tea. Sometimes we got a rich tea, we were polite and never asked for an upgrade, although we knew something better was lurking out there in the larder, we knew because we’d checked.

I’ve just watched Jon carry two 92cm long boys each weighing 15kg (2.3ish stone) up the stairs to bed. I know these figures because today we had the boys 2 and a half year health and development check. Yet again Jon and I were dumbfounded by the question, “they’re not identical, are they?” To us, and people who know and love them, they’re chalk and cheese, to others they are alarmingly similar. I saw the Health Visitor do a few double takes, checking herself, making sure she was talking about and assessing the correct boy. I was very nervous about the appointment, having a sudden panicky feeling in the car on the way there that I had forgotten to put a bra on, and I was over anxious about being late, that’s not unusual. Don’t worry I had a bra. Once in there I enjoyed receiving praise and encouragement from a professional about the boys’ behaviour and development, and it’s nice to stand back and look at them as objectively as a mother can. It’s lovely to realise how far they’ve come, that counting 1,2,3,dog,5,9,1,2,3…is no longer, and is replaced with normal, boring, correct counting. It’s hard not to compare and obviously the results of today’s appointment were not identical, just like our boys aren’t. Infact the idea of having 2 Edgars or 2 Rufus’ is horrendous, thank the Lord there’s one of each. The Health Visitor did ask if I was worried about their behaviour or discipline, I didn’t tell her that discipline sometimes consists of me shaking a jingle bell stick loudly in their faces to scare the bejeebers out of them and shock them in to compliance. I think she’d already concluded where Rufus got his crazy behaviour from, she didn’t need further proof. I said I wasn’t concerned.

We also discussed the future, what would happen and when during their lead up to starting school, not until 2017 but worth thinking about. Do I want them in the same class? was a poignant question and one that plays on my mind. I know from first hand experience that looking down a register and seeing twin boys is unjustifiably but inevitably going to sound a tiny alarm in most teachers’ heads. Whether they consciously try their hardest not to judge or not, there is a stigma. The stigma I’m reminded of daily with comments like, “double trouble”, “rather you than me”, “you’ve got your hands full”, “wouldn’t it have been lovely to have had one of each”, and the worst, “aren’t you going to try for a girl”. I’m desperate for them to be treated as individuals, it’s bad enough they share their birthdays with the Christmas build up, but they have to share it with each other too, I don’t know that they should have to share an education or teacher. But the thought of splitting them is hard, very hard. I’m proud of having twins but maybe occasionally I need to forget that they are and just think of them as brothers. We shall see. Plenty of time Mum would say. Plenty of time to contemplate such decisions, to take a break and have a Double Take, along with double hugs and my double trouble duo.

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