It’s time to play Three Truths and a Lie — the icebreaker that almost always ends up being about drugs and sex if you’re doing it right.
Party-Goer Who Doesn’t Get It: “Okay okay okay, here they are: One, I’ve been to Costa Rica. Two, I once stayed up till 2am reading a book. Three, my mother’s name is Harriet. Four, I got straight A’s in Spanish in high school. Ok. Which one is the lie?!”
Other Party-Goers: “Boooooooooo.”
“Didn’t you ever do it with a black guy or anything? Jesus.”
This version has neither sex nor drugs in it, however, because we are talking about having twins. And when you have twins, there is very little sex and not enough drugs.
Let’s get started.
1. It is harder to have two babies than one baby, even if that one baby is horrible.
THIS IS TRUE: Now, don’t get me wrong — I am not trying to start the “Whose Life Sucks More” game. I know how awful just one baby can be. My daughter (bless her heart) had colic and acid reflux for the first few months of her life; this meant that she was constantly either crying or vomiting, and that sucked royally. But then I still had a whole other baby to take care of. A SECOND BABY, PEOPLE. In addition to the first one! It was the worst time of my life, and that was even with a supportive husband and a mother and a mother-in-law who occasionally helped out!
I guess what I’m saying is, if you run into a single parent of twins, buy them something — a cup of coffee, a box of wine, anything — and then get down on your knees and start singing “The Wind Beneath my Wings.” Because they are heroes. And everything I wish I could be. Except for the single parent of twins part.
2. Having two children close together in age is NOT the same as having twins.
THIS IS TRUE: It’s worse.
“What? But you just said –” I know I did. Hear me out.
Yes, the first year as a parent of multiples is the top layer of a shit cake. But after that? We are COASTING, y’all. When that first year is over, it’s over. We don’t have to go through the newborn stage a second time (unless we have more children, but honest to pete people I don’t know why we’d do that.) They are at the same developmental stage, and when they get through a particularly awful phase (like, say, smearing poop on the walls) then that phase is done and gone. We can hold them to the same general expectations. When they go to school, they are both gone.
That is the beauty part of having twins. Once you get to year two or three, it’s like being on the brink of bankruptcy and then getting mentioned in the will of a rich relative you didn’t know you had, or finding out that your workplace nemesis has been transferred to another department. High fives all around, everybody! We made it!
So my hat is off to the all the moms who have children of different ages. If I dropped my kids off at school, and then turned around and saw a toddler waiting for me, I would cry a million salty tears.
3. There is always a good twin and an evil twin in every pair.
THIS IS TRUE: It just switches every half hour.
4. They are natural companions! Friends for life! They can play together! THEY’LL BE BEST FRIENDS!
THIS IS A LIE: Oh yeah! Best buds! Just like good old Cain and Abel, or those two girls in The Shining.
Let me tell you how well my kids play together: not enough. There are pretty blissful 15-20 minute periods of time where they are happily immersed in whatever strange Superheroes versus My Little Pony game they’ve put together. And I am incredibly grateful for those times, because if I had to be the sole source of entertainment for a child I would suck harder at it than that “Mr. Thirsty” straw they stick in your mouth to suck up all your pooling saliva when you’re at the dentist.
HOWEVER, just because they are twins does not mean that they are always going to get along. If anything, they like to needle each other to death. Just yesterday, I had to stop in the middle of private bathroom time to break up a fight because my daughter was trying to play tag with the cat and my son was yelling at her to stop. But she wouldn’t. Because 1) she thought it was funny, and 2) it was aggravating her brother = TOTAL WIN (except for the cat, who was the loser.)
In fact, my twins will often choose opposite things just to be assholes. I’ll say, “So guys, do you want to go to this park or that park?” There will be silence, while they wait each other out to see who will break first. Then one of them will choose this park. Immediately, the other one will choose that park. And then they will fight about it. It’s fantastic, and makes me wonder if perhaps I am being too permissible by giving my children “choices” and letting them have “opinions.”
It’s true, parenting twins takes a lot of mediation and negotiation. It’s a great skill-builder, though. If they had put me in that papal conclave I would have had that thing wrapped up before I counted to ten.
Having twins is completely exhausting, frustrating, hilarious, and wonderful. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will say, though, that to this day when I see someone with newborn twins, it makes me want to go home and make my own “It Gets Better” PSA. Because you know what? As hard as it is in the beginning, there really is nothing better than having two sets of arms hugging you, twice the kisses, and more “I love you’s” than you can count.
No really, you can’t count them. These children never stop talking.