Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Identical Twin? We certainly have, so we asked our favorite 10 year Twins – Rita and Alice – daughters of our Philly Associate Alison Dobbins, to share some insight for us all.

‘Last month my 10 year old twin girls helped out my friend’s daughter with her school science project. This unsuspecting 8th Grader innocently asked them “So, you’re identical, right?” and received an indignant chorus of “We’re NOT identical!” Which is true; while they are monozygotic (aka “identical”) twins, they are definitely NOT exactly the same. I wanted to know more about what it’s like to be an “identical” twin so I sat them down to find out.’

What’s it like to be a Twin?

This was clearly a bad question to ask. I basically received blank stares. They describe what they have as special but it’s all they’ve ever known so it’s hard for them to put into words.

What do you like least about being a Twin?

Alice was quick to say that people ask really weird questions. Alice’s examples included:
-Who’s smarter?
-Do your voices sound the same?
-Who’s older?
I’m not thrilled to hear that they’re getting asked questions like this and I wish I’d prepared them for it. Evidently people will always ask obnoxious questions about twins except now it’s on the school playground instead of in the grocery store parking lot while two infants scream their heads off.

What do you like about being a Twin?

Both girls said that the best thing about having a twin was that they had someone to play with who liked most of the same things. Rita even said that it’s great to have someone who can play the same games as she does; something that wouldn’t necessarily be possible if there was an age gap.

What do you wish people knew about identical Twins?

Alice: We’re just normal people

Rita: It’s like having a clone! Just kidding

Do you guys look alike?

NO! was the immediate answer. They pointed out that there are differences in their heights, hair length, birth marks, and that Rita has braces. I found this amusing because those same differences are things that strangers will point out to me when arguing that the girls aren’t identical.

The conversations go something like this:
-Stranger: They’re identical, right?
-Me: Yes.
-Stranger: Wait, that one’s a little taller. Are you sure they’re identical.
-Me: Yes.
-Stranger: But she has a beauty mark on her cheek. They can’t be identical.
-Me: Well, identical twins have identical DNA but factors such as the environment and individual habits can cause differences in their appearance. So they’re not identical in the literal sense of the word. Or I just smile and agree.

Both girls shared some frustration that people assume they’re exactly alike just because people think they look alike physically.

I love raising identical twins and it was fascinating to hear them share their perspective on being a twin.

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