This meant that when they were younger, we tended to try and make the time special for our other daughter in some way while their sister was out celebrating.
These days we basically just tell them ‘that’s life.’ They both have their own mates after all and we wouldn’t expect other mums to automatically invite their sister.
One weekend for example, we had a friend of Melissa’ staying as Emily was invited to a sleepover along with a select group of three other girls – all members of what they call their ‘best friends' club.’
Being her sister didn’t guarantee entry.
Once a mum told me she didn't invite either daughter to a party because she didn't want to upset the other one.
But it’s not just going to parties that can throw up ‘interesting’ issues you never knew existed. A post by Joanne Mallon over on Ready for Ten all about birthday party etiquette, including what to do about inviting twins or going to a party for twins, has got me thinking.
Sometimes the smallest things about having a party or birthday would cause me to stop and think. Joint cards and presents were very gratefully received but we would have loved one each.
I remember one year, the sender had scribbled over the “you” on Wishing you a Happy Birthday to make it wishing you both a happy birthday. I muttered a bit but felt guilty at being ungrateful and perhaps, over-reacting. It was hardly the end of the world and at least they had gone to the trouble to send a card.
But when I spoke to oher mums of twins. I was heartened to find I was not alone, with the general consensus being only people without multiples would send a single card.
Karen, mum to Thomas and Benjamin, aged two, said: "This is one of my pet hates. People just don't seem to understand that they are individuals. They may be twins, but if you had two children of different ages, whose birthdays were the same, would they still only give one card?
“When my two had their first birthday, they had a few cards like this and I just couldn't help myself for saying something. People just thought that I was being picky, but this really drives me up the wall. Even worse is one present to share. ”
Emma, mum of Toby and Seth, also two, added: "When it was their first birthday we got a card saying Happy Birthday Twins. What made it slightly worse was that it was from my best friend who knows how much I dislike that sort of thing."
Lorraine, mum of triplets Harry, Laura and George pointed out that what to send or give to their friends on their birthday has also proved thought provoking.
She says: “My triplets always send a card each as well as a present, it may not cost much as they will usually get something from the £1 shop along with a large packet of sweets but at least they all get to give the birthday child a present and card.”
"As a mother of triplets I strive to promote individuality in our children and I would hope others would follow suit but sometimes they need a gentle reminder.
“My children attend lots of parties for other multiple birth children and I make sure that I practice what I preach. The obvious delight on a child’s face when they realise that they can open their own card and present from each of my children is wonderful.”
To be fair to card buyers, the range available isn't exactly overwhelming.
Choice is severely limited.
As children get older they do not want birthday cards that underline their being part of a multiple birth unit but at the very beginning, when they are first born, it would be nice to enjoy the same level of choice as other parents.
Top tips for a very happy birthday
- Have a quiet word with friends and relations before the big day - politely ask them to send a card each.
- Start as you mean to go on - However young your children, they are individuals and should be treated as such.
- Practice what you preach - a present from each of your children, however inexpensive, will be well appreciated and should go some way to ensuring the favour is returned.
- If you want to go to the effort separate thank you cards are also a nice idea.