This week is National Twins, Triplets and More week through TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth Association). We’re celebrating multiples all week on pocketnannies.
We thought why not hear from the experts themselves. We asked four sets of multiples at different stages of their lives, what it has been like going up with siblings for exactly the same age as them.
Tim and Richard, aged 50
Born at 5.55am and 6.05am on the 28th January 1966, life was great growing up. We were inseparable and in the first 19 years were only separated for 3 weeks. We both went to the same prep school and onto Public school together, we were very fortunate, wherever we went people were fascinated with us, they still are?
We used to sleep together, play together and were quite naughty; we were once nicknamed death and destruction (in a nice way). We played all sport together and were very competitive, once in a rugby match we were penalised by the referee for being offside, at half time our coach pointed out that were two of us.
We are often asked to produce identity in public as people don’t believe who we are, we are often asked what trick we played when we were younger, did we ever swap girlfriends, blame it on the other one? That sometimes worked but also got us into trouble!
Our careers took different paths at 19 and whilst we have always looked out for each other and in 2009, at the age of 43 we started to work with each other, we talk every day and from time to time have terrific disagreements but resolve them with the flick of an eye; we are best friends and always will be.
We were best men at each other’s wedding and have always celebrated our birthdays together, we know that we are bonded; we look out for each other and always will be soul mates.
Georgie and Steph, aged 27
Georgie – Many people have asked me what is it like to be a twin and still I cannot find a definitive answer. It’s hard as it’s all I’ve known. I can only describe it has having your best friend with you always. Knowing you can pick up the phone or even give a certain look and instantly they know what’s up. They are there for you through thick and thin, even though we argue like any other brother and sister. People do really think that there is this “twin” bond, but I see it as any other close sibling relationship.
When we were younger, mum did do the identical dresses etc but then she was excited she had twins! Deep down, mum was keen us to form our own identities. She did this by putting us into different classes. It worked, Steph and I formed our own friends and were not reliant on one another. We knew where each other was if we need each other for advice. As teenagers this theme was the same. Our friendship groups did mingle as it was only natural. Our friends see as two different people. We are direct opposites. There are some interests that are the same like baking and reading. Most of our interestes are polar opposites. Steph loves her sewing and getting creative. While I like going out into the great outdoors.
As we grew up it was nice to share all the great milestones with another person it makes birthdays more special and we both like to treat ourselves. We haven’t spend every birthday together but we make an effort to meet up around it and do something. We will always turn to each other for advice on topical subjects or need a trusted opinion. I will always trust what Steph says as she is the second half of me. I know if I told her a secret she would keep it. I know this will continue as we grow older. The future for us will be more the same as we are doing now. She will never be far from me and I know I can always rely on her. She is my other half. Without her I wouldn’t be complete.
Steph – Georgie and I have lived the twin lifestyle for 27 years, and to be honest, it’s not much different to any other sibling relationship. We’ve our ups and downs along the way, however we remain together through it all.
When we were younger, mum did keep us as identical as possibly, including dressing us in the same attire. In some photos we can’t even recognise ourselves. We grew up as best friends and to this day we still tell one another what’s been happening in our lives. We do have the odd occasion where we can look at one another, and burst into laughter or know exactly what the other is thinking. Most people would call this a “twin connection”, however I’m sure other siblings do the same. Mum did at one stage have to label all our school clothing, and even now we still get called the wrong name.
As we grew older, mum made the decision to split us into different classes, so we could find our own identities. I personally thought this was the best for us at the time. We learned and developed into two different people, rather than loving the same things. We formed our own friendship groups and stopped relying on one another for companionship. Some friends did cross between us, but that was natural as we both lived in the same home, went to the same school etc.
As we have gone down different pathways, we have different identities and people can now work out the differences quite easily, compared to our younger years. We can’t get away with as much as we use to. We class ourselves now as mirror twins, two people who look completely alike, however we are not the same person inside. For example, Georgie loves the outdoors, and I love the comfort of indoors. When I say that I’m a twin, people think it’s amazing and always asks me question on what is it like? and most of the time I can’t answer that question because it’s what I’ve only known. It’s nice to know if you’re ever in danger or need a friendly ear, you can pick up the phone and know they are always there for you.
Lucy and James, aged 15
Lucy – My twin is James, he is two minutes older than me. When we younger, I remember we would fight and argue quite a lot because we were both quite different. I was quite loud and sporty, I was very into football. James was quite quiet and not into sport, he preferred computers and figurines. We didn’t really have that sort of relationship where we’d talk about things or do stuff together because of how different we were.
However as we have got older, we have began to find more in common, he’s become more sporty and I’ve taken an interest in my education now! We went to the same infant and junior school, where I think like all twins there was sibling rivalry and competition. But now as we go to different secondary schools and we’re older – we’ve become closer because we’ve grown up and found to support and respect each other in the things we do. We both have the same mixed friendship group, so at weekends we sometimes go and meet the same friends or play football together. I really like being able to share things with him whether it be about friends, school, sport – anything really.
It’s also nice because we have the right balance of each other now. We do things together with our mixed friendship group but also have separate interests like badminton and hockey as well as having our own sets of friends due to going to different senior schools. I love having someone who’s at the same stage in their education and life as you, because it’s very easy to be able to have a laugh about things or just to have someone to talk to. If I’m stressed or feeling caught up in things, I’ll drag him to the park to have a kick around with me or just have a laugh together with our older sister.
As I look back, I realise how close James and I have become these last 2 years or so. I think it’s just an important time in both our lives, because we’re finding out who we are as people, what we would like to do in the future & where we’d like to go and having that other person to be with you is reassuring. Although we still do argue like any other siblings sometimes about the smallest things, we find a way to sort it out, usually by making a joke or having a laugh or just giving each other some space. All in all, I love having a twin!
James-From what I remember of growing up with Lucy as my twin we didn’t always get along; we were complete opposites. She was very loud and I was quite quiet. It’s nice that as we have got older we’ve found more things that we have in common and now have a common friendship group. I’d like to think that we are now good friends and it’s nice to be able to do things with her such as going to parties.
I guess there was to an extent a sibling rivalry when we were at primary school because we were in the same year. Despite this it’s been quite nice to go to an only boy school and just have a bit of time away from ‘being a twin’ and get my own identity.
I think secondary school had enabled me to set out my priorities and I now have an idea of what I want do in life. Now that school life is becomming more serious, for example this week I’ve had 10 exams and GCSE’s are coming next year, it’s nice that Lucy is at the same stage as me because we can help each other out.
Gwennie, Mae & Leo, aged 7
What is the best thing about being a triplet?
G: Playing together if we are lonely. The weekends!
M: I have a sister and a brother and I get to play with them.
L: Because the girls go to gymnastics and I get peace and quiet.
What is your least favourite thing about being a triplet?
G: Going to school together, I don’t really like it when they are there but I do look after Leo.
M: When Gwennie is mean.
L: Because there is only one boy and two girls.
What do you think the future will be like growing up together?
G: Different! It will be better because we won’t fight and do all sorts of things like that.
M: I don’t know. Weird because I don’t know.
L: Don’t know.