Advice for George and Amal Clooney: prepare for the daft twin questions ...
It's not often I can smile in smug satisfaction at being a trendsetter but I can legitimately declare: 'I had twins before it became fashionable.'
With George and Amal Clooney celebrating the arrival of twins Ella and Alexander and Beyonce due to give birth to her duo any day, twins are booming.
Twix bars, shoes, earrings, double scoop ice creams... the best things in life certainly come in twos and tiny twin babies melt even the steeliest of hearts.
Like George and Amal, Hubby and I have boy/girl twins and while we aren’t alone in having twins, from the moment we saw the two microscopic heartbeats at the scan, we felt doubly blessed.
I remember feeling holier-than-thou and a bit like the Virgin Mary (well maybe not quite like her) or like the chosen one in Star Wars.
When other couples showed me their scan photos, I secretly thought: “Oh, they’re only having one baby. How weird!”
I was brought down to earth with a bump and cured of conceitedness at my double bump when we went to a twins parentcraft session and were suddenly surrounded by a roomful of twin bumps. Maybe we weren’t so special after all.
Our double arrival is undoubtedly the best thing that’s ever happened to us and George, Amal, Beyonce and Jay Z have many magical moments to look forward to.
But it would be remiss of me to conjecture it’s all plain sailing and that two can become four (or more) seamlessly without any disruption to life.
It’s a real shock to the system for anyone to suddenly be thrust into parenthood and given responsibility for a tiny wailing being.
Sleepless nights, constant nappy changes, breastfeeding, weaning, teething, chicken pox, immunisations – there’s plenty of pressures and challenges.
But try doing it all twice and listening to two bawling babies in stereo! Not to mention the financial costs of buying two of everything.
The first six months of twin parenthood are a total blur.
However, with our twins being our first (and only) children, we had nothing to compare it to and just got on with it. It’s harder work for those who already have one child and then have twins.
The biggest piece of advice I have for the Clooneys and Beyonce and co is to prepare themselves for the inane barrage of questions and groan inducing cliches they’ll face.
If I had a pound for every time I heard: “Oh it’s double trouble!”
Or “You’ve got your hands full there”, I’d be as rich as the Clooneys.
Some idiotic questions you get asked include: “Did you know you were having twins?” Er yes. They have these things called scans.
Or “Are they identical?” Nope, one’s a boy and one’s a girl – a bit of a difference.
And then there’s: “Do twins run in your family?” Does it matter? They do now!
“Do they get on?” They’re siblings. Sometimes they bicker and other times they get along – just like most brothers and sister.
One of my favourites was: “How do you cope? I couldn’t do it.” Well you don’t really have a choice – you can’t exactly leave one at hospital or stick one on eBay.
Despite all these dumb questions, the benefits of being parents to twins far outweigh the downsides.
They’re double the fun and you get double the hugs and kisses.