Mischievous Multiples

We’ve all heard the expression “double trouble,” and there’s a reason for it—it’s true! It seems that all parents of twins say their children need to be watched like hawks, particularly in the toddler and preschool years. When I was collecting stories for my book, Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons (with TWINS magazine), I got so many tales about twins getting into trouble that I had to split the stories into two chapters, “Mischievous Multiples” and “A Day in the Life . . .” The stories were amusing to me as an outsider, but I’m sure these incidents had their parents pulling their hair out!

I raised two singletons before having my twins, so I’ve been able to compare both experiences. Multiples are definitely tougher. They figure things out together. They fight with each other. They get on each other’s nerves (most likely from so much togetherness). They imitate each other, so if one is being naughty, soon they’re both getting into trouble! They compete for my attention. They give each other ideas. It’s just one thing after another…! Whenever my husband and I split up the twins—perhaps he’ll take one to the store with him while I stay home with the other—we’re always amazed at how easy it is with just one child. The twins actually listen to us; we don’t worry about them getting into things; they’re calm. But get them back together, and it’s chaos again!

My husband’s brother and wife were visiting recently, and they brought their nineteen-month-old son with them. “I don’t know how you do it,” my sister-in-law told me. “It takes two of us just to take care of Charlie.” And this kid was about as mellow as elevator music! He played quietly with his toys. He didn’t yell “No!” when his parents told him to do something. He rarely cried. My husband and I wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we had just one child. Twins take every minute of our time!

Someday, I’m sure we’ll look back on these days and laugh at our twins’ antics. I’ll write up the stories, and they’ll hopefully amuse people in another book! But in the meantime, we’re just hanging on for dear life as we ride the roller coaster called “raising twins”!

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.