Originally Posted by Beanjeepin
this is going to sound silly, but I see on shows with twins all the time - the "older" thing or the "born first" thing - and it seems to be a big point of contention sometimes. Has anyone tried NOT telling who came first, or is that silly to even think about?
We were just asked about this for the first time tonight, actually. A woman in a restaurant had asked if they were twins (she saw the second baby belatedly after standing in the aisle talking to one twin, and did a quick evaluative double-take), and right away asked, "Who is older?"
I had to think about it for a second or two, not about which baby came first but just what she meant. I mean, they're the same age! But yeah, I answered her. I said, "This one was born first" (which is how I think of it.)
I can't really think one is "older" than the other. To me, they are exactly the same in terms of "how long they've been around." They have always been together, and they came into existence at the same time. There was conception or fertilization and that was that (for awhile), but then that egg split and whoever that would have become was gone, irrevocably gone, in favor of two entities that would become two people. There wasn't one of these twins who then split & made a pair. If that egg hadn't split, NEITHER of these boys would have existed! There is no "older" one of this set; they just weren't, and then they were.
I know what people mean when they ask this question, and I am not a ball buster and wouldn't try to lecture about it, but this is how I think about it and likely will be how I express it to the boys: "N was born first, and then 30 minutes later, L was born."
Funny, but I do sometimes play with the big/little brother language. I think it's the attraction of the wordplay, because twin B was (and is) larger. So I'll refer to him (to twin A) as "Your big Little Brother." And to twin B I will say, "Say hi to your little Big Brother!" Stuff like that. (Or I'll just "talk for them," like saying, "Oh leave me alone, big Little Brother! Don't use my hair to pull up on!" as I pry twin B's fingers from twin A's hair.)
I also continue to use baby A and baby B language, and twin A/twin B. I used it here just to be clear in this thread, though if I'd been talking to my husband about that big/little story I'd have used the babies' names. But in other situations, like in the car when I ask my older daughter if they are sleeping, I'll sometimes ask specifically "Is twin A asleep?" On the one hand, I just like keeping that history a little bit alive. And another factor is that I suspect that hearing their actual NAMES if they are drifting off to sleep might be more likely to rouse them, so I use 'twin A/B' so that I'll hopefully fly under their radar and keep from interfering with their consciousness! More importantly, it seems to keep HER from using their names right then, and she's the one who is facing them and louder and more likely to register with them.
But just last night I remember saying something to my husband about him taking baby B downstairs for a minute....and we do keep that reference alive.
Back to the question: I saw a thread about this on a twin forum elsewhere, and one woman said she'd never tell her kids which one was born first. They never told anyone else who asked, either. They said they didn't know. Another said that one (his name) was born first but that they were pretty sure they'd gotten the babies mixed up when they went home, so no way of knowing that the baby with that name currently WAS the firstborn. (I think that was their way of undermining the information.....you're the older one, but it might actually be your brother because we think we got you switched....and not necessarily true.)
That is interesting and I guess there may be reasons to try to neutralize that issue (my husband tells me that his DZ boy/girl twin nephew & niece definitely milked the "older" thing, with the boy lording it over his twin that he was a whole minute & a half older), but I can't quite grasp holding back that information from these babies. Not to mention feeling like it's important enough a potential issue to be that determined NOT to let the information get out and MAKE it an "issue."