All the signs of twin bonding were there.
With the apparent closeness they established in the womb, during the ultrasounds, we would witness their playful kicks and punches with each other. Watching them intently in the NICU cot they shared, our hearts would melt as they would sleep, naturally leaning in towards each other, only a breath apart.
When we finally arrived home though, there was a significant transition. For the next 6 months or so, the twinlets had very little acknowledgement of each other’s existence.
Or so we thought.
It’s possible that the boys were simply still developing their long-sighted vision but we would hold the boys directly infront of each other, practically nose to nose, and they would still look diagonally away from each other.
There was no touching, or cooing. No real interaction to speak of.
Maybe I had high expectations. After all, they were newborns. I’m sure there was plenty in their new surroundings to get used to.
Perhaps, they were already aware of each other but just had their own secret signals.
Either way, I had no clue.
People would often ask, “Do you think they know they’re twins?”
My standard reply would be disappointing with very little insight, “I don’t know. But I’m guessing…no”
Gradually, along with their milestones, they also reached a sense of recognition for each other.
When it came to learning their names, they actually called out each other’s first before even uttering their own.
Not long ago, when illness invaded our home, K-Bear’s stubborn asthma kept him up and we both found ourselves watching telly together (Don’t judge me…).
As I mind numbingly watched “Everybody Loves Raymond”, there was a sudden appearance of Raymond’s identical twin boys. In fact, the scene was so brief that I would’ve missed it if K-Bear hadn’t called out, “Look Mama, Nunu and K-Bear!!!”
At first, I wasn’t sure what he was referring to but he kept pointing at the screen and again he insisted, “Nunu and K-Bear”
And right there, K-Bear understood his own special bond with his brother. Unfortunately, it was about the only thing I had to smile about that sleepless, ill-ridden night.
As much as I detest how Thomas and his friends have painstakingly invaded our home, our telly, our computer and our iPad, I’ll always be secretly grateful to Reverend W Awdry for the twin engine characters he also created.
After repeatedly watching DVD’s of the the steam engine pairs, Donald and Douglas and Bill and Ben, during one particular sitting, it was Nunu’s turn to pick up on his special monozygotic traits.
“Mama…Bill and Ben are twins…” he said proudly.
“Yes, sayang*. Yes, they are…” I replied.
“Mama, Nunu and K-Bear are twins…”
“Yes, sayang. Yes, you are…”
Finally, they began to truly appreciate their “twin-ness”
Maybe they’ve known all along, but have only now let us into their little world.
What’s the bet, that this entire time, they’ve actually been plotting a major twin conspiracy plan to create havoc and chaos for the rest of my life.
Yeah, I reckon that’s it.
*Sayang (pronounced “sah-YAHNG”) has multiple and varied meanings in Bahasa Indonesia, one being a term of endearment best translated as “Darling”, “Sweetheart” or “Crazy but beloved child of mine.”
Joining the lovely Jess for IBOT over at her new home.