Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: It's Twins

It's Twins!: Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy through AdolescenceOn a recent trip, I read It's Twins!: Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy through Adolescence by Susan Heim.  This book is divided into four parts: Twin Babies, Twin Toddlers and Preschoolers, Twin Kids, and Twin Tweens and Teens.  Each part contains a number of sections, such as "Should Twins Share Everything--Even Spit?", "Do You Have a Dominant Twin?", "The Importance of Family Traditions", and "Spending One-on-One Time with Your Twins."  Each section starts with an introduction, continues with a mini-essay or two (mostly a "Twins Tale" or "Twins Tips" but sometimes "Twins Trivia" and "Intriguing Twins"), and concludes with "Points to Ponder".

"Twins Tale" is the meat of the book, and both its greatest strength and weakness.  These sections consist of essays written by parents of twins.  I appreciated the differing perspectives and the first-person perspective, rather than having everything filtered through the author's voice.  In some of the stories, however, the parent seemed to be venting rather than offering lessons for other parents.  Frankly, hearing how one hospital had stymied a mother's attempt to breastfeed, or how someone else's twin peed on the movie screen on a transpacific flight, just depressed me.

The "Points to Ponder" was mostly filler -- three or four questions about your own twins, followed by large blank spaces for you to write your answer in the book.

Now for what has apparently become a new feature in my book reviews -- most memorable response to a stranger's question.
"A girl and a boy. Oh, you are so lucky; you got the best of both worlds. Are they identical?"
"No, actually, my son was born with a penis and my daughter, thank the Lord, was not."

I did find some parts of the book thought-provoking -- in particular, the list of advantages and disadvantages of putting twins in the same classroom sparked a lively discussion with Christina. Also, the broad scope of the book -- from birth through adolescence -- provided a nice overview at a time when I have no need to focus on one specific age.  Once the twins are actually here, though, I couldn't imagine keeping this book on the shelf for more than a decade waiting to use Part 4.

This book is a nice one to take out of the library, skim through, and return when you're done.

Twinometer: 6/10.