Thursday, November 3, 2011

Which twin is older?

Here's an exchange my wife and I have with strangers all the time that I can't wrap my head around.
"Are they twins?"
"Which twin is older?"
Seriously, they're born on the same day (unless one is born before midnight and one after midnight). One is not older than the other.

Let's say you share a birthday with a friend. You were born at 10am while he/she was born at 3pm. You don't consider yourself older than your friend, right? You're simply the same age and share a birthday. You're not 5 hours older than your friend.

Ok, I get that the real question is "Which twin was born first?"

To be honest, who was born first or second has zero relevance. This makes the question odd and intrusive (coming from a stranger).

Being the first born twin doesn't mean that one is larger, stronger, more mature, or whatever. It just means he/she came out first. It's like being the first user to post a comment on Internet articles. It doesn't make that comment any more relevant than the second, third, fourth, or a hundredth comment.

From a biological/medical/physiological point of view, it makes even less sense.

In a vaginal birth, the baby that's closest to the bottom at the moment of birth will be the first-born. In a c-section, the baby that's closest to the top will be the first-born.

This means that the question now becomes "What was the position of your babies in the womb at birth and what was your delivery method?"
Isn't that a bit personal and, quite frankly, none of anyone's business?

Now, I'm not the type of person who likes to create conflict. So I've developed a peaceful strategy for dealing with the question "which twin is older?". I just alternate my answer every time I get asked. Today, Aidan's older. Tomorrow, Ethan's older. The day after, it's Aidan's turn to be older again.

It's funny how despite who I say is older, the response is always "Yes, I knew it. He's definitely the older one. He looks so much wiser."

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the article! Just wait....It gets worse! For some reason, being a twin is almost like being a freak. Somehow people think they have the right to ask any personal question that they want to. Julia aka The Firstborn Twin