Out of the picture

What it’s like for siblings with twins

Khari Davis

For every thousand births, 33 twins are born, and the siblings of those 33 twins don’t experience that unique relationship.

Donald Keith, executive director of the Center for the Study of Multiple Births,  feels the relationship between a sibling and a set of twins can be detrimental.

“The sibling often becomes a nonperson in the public eye, and that has a devastating effect,’’ said Keith.

Sophomore Sydney Marie Jones, sandwiched by two sets of twins can cause loneliness for Jones, but also experiences benefits from this experience.

“People first meeting our family will either say ‘wow, you have two sets of twins,’ or just completely leave me out of the equation,” Jones said.

Jones’ siblings can seclude Sydney unintentionally.

“It always feels like my siblings are doing this and that, and I’m kind of alone,”Jones said.

However, she doesn’t view the exclusion as negative.

“I’m fine with it, and I have a good relationship with all of them,” Jones said. “It’s just they do a lot of activities together that I’m not involved with.”

Jone’s older brothers attended Decatur, they made her first year of high school enjoyable and stress free.

“It was absolutely the best experience ever,” Jones said. “They were fabulous.”

Sydney’s brothers made her feel comfortable with high school. While other freshman were trying to find what classes to go to, she was already a familiar face in the social scene.

“When everyone was a freshman and didn’t really know the high school or know anybody, I felt like I had a place to go,” Jones said.

IMG_4873Unlike Jones, Sophomore Kabie Mitchell is having a frustrating year with her freshmen twin sisters, Bailey and Ellie.

“It’s kind of annoying because they’re always in my business,” Kabie said. “Everybody knows them just because they’re twins.”

Along with her sisters “in her business,” the twins can go against Kabie.

“Sometimes they gang up on me, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m older than them,” she  said.

The twins can also go against each other at times.

“They argue every single morning about clothes, and it’s so annoying because Bailey has a problem with sharing,” Kabie said. “Even if I want to wear her clothes, she will say ‘no.’”

Clothes aren’t the only time Kabie feels left out. She remembers when the twins would be doing activities without her when she was younger such as playing the Wii.

Unlike Mitchell, the Cooper twins never feel disconnected with their siblings.

The Coopers feel that as twins, they connect better with their younger twin siblings. They know how their siblings feel because they go through the same situations as them.IMG_4864

Mariah and Maleigha and her younger sibling twins can sometimes isolate themselves from their family and do their own thing.

“I know what space to give them, and when they separate from everybody else, I can understand,” Mariah said. “Maleigha and I are like that too. We can separate from the family.”

Since Mariah was born 20 minutes after Maleigha, she takes on the younger sister role which helps her relate to her younger brother on a deeper level.

“I connect with my brother more because we’re both the younger twins, and sometimes we get left behind,” Mariah said.

Maleigha and Mariah are fraternal twins, but their looks don’t change how they act.

“We have very similar personalities,” Maleigha said. “We laugh at the exact same things. We always say the same things. We like the same movies.”

“People think we’re different because we don’t look alike,” Mariah said. “We are really identical, just with different faces.”

The Coopers enjoy going to school together. Maleigha likes the feeling that someone will always there for her.

“I was so grateful for her because I was new to Decatur last year it made it so much better to have someone to talk to,” Maleigha said. “She’s the only person I know that will never switch up. She’s my all time best friend.”

No matter how much the siblings are excluded or ganged up on by twins, they will always be family.


Click here to listen to an interview with  Sydney Marie Jones. In this interview she talks about the challenges and benefits to being a sibling of twins.

Photos by Khari Davis