I only have two kids, and they happen to be twin girls who will be two years old in a couple weeks. So I'm a bit hesitant to make generalizations about multiples, since I've never had any other family configuration with which to compare the experience.
Despite not being an expert on the differences between multiples and singletons, I have figured out a few things that people want to know about twins from participating in the following conversation approximately one million times:
Nice Stranger: Oh my gosh! They're so cute!
Me: Thank you! I agree! I thought I was the only one who felt that way.
Nice Stranger: How old are they?
Me: Almost two.
Nice Stranger: Oh wow. They're really close in age then.
Me: Yeah. They're, um, twins.
Nice Stranger: But they're not...
Me: Identical? Nope. Fraternal.
Nice Stranger: But they're both...
Me: Girls. Yup.
I give the friendly stranger a minute to process the information--to search the archives for the rudimentary knowledge of genetics that they gleaned from their 10th grade biology class.
No, twins do not have to be identical. Yes, they are called "fraternal" even if they are girls. Yes, human gestation takes about 40 weeks, so singleton siblings are usually quite distinct from one another, especially in the earlier years.
I used to be shocked when people didn't realize that our kids were twins right away. Although they don't look very similar, they are exactly the same size, and, you know, at the same developmental stage. Because they're twins. Sometimes I'm tempted to say they're three months apart and just let the stranger stew on that for a while.
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