Jerry O’Connell: Twins Can Be Double Trouble

08/01/2010 at 05:00 PM ET
Nathanael Jones/Sam Sharma/Pacific Coast News

As the parents of 19-month-old twin girls, Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romjin have double trouble: the “terrible twos” times two.

“I think my children are actually worse than the terrible twos,” a beleaguered O’Connell, 36, joked to PEOPLE at Wednesday’s TCA presentation in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“They’re just crazy. Listen, everyone says to us, ‘It gets better. It gets better.’ That has not been my experience. It seems to be worse and worse. My wife and I were talking about splitting up but neither of us want to take the children – that’s our joke.”

Particularly, it’s Dolly and Charlie’s competitive streak that’s driving their dad to distraction.

“If I buy things, because they’re twins, I always buy two of them: if it’s one doll I buy two of them; if I make one bottle of apple juice I make two. I don’t know what it is, if it’s instinct or what, but if I give one bottle to one, the other one immediately wants that bottle,” notes O’Connell.

“I show them, ‘Look, there’s absolutely no difference between either of these! You can pick either one and it’s exactly the same. There’s no reason to fight. We have two of everything in this house!’ They don’t get it because they want to fight over something.”

Nevertheless, O’Connell, who stars in the new fall legal drama The Defenders, adores being a father to two little girls, to the point of discovering his inner beautician.

“I love doing their hair. I wanted to give them a haircut but my wife was like, ‘No. You have to let their hair grow out.’ I was a little against that at first because their hair is in their face and you have to take care of it, but I’m really into combing it and putting their hair into pigtails.”

After a recent stint in law school, he’s now mulling over another field of study. “Maybe I’ll go to beauty school,” O’Connell laughs.

— Scott Huver

FILED UNDER: Multiples , News , Parenting

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Me on

Hilarious! I, too, am a parent of twins so I feel their pain.

virginia on

I am a mom of 6 year old twin boys.. it is worth it ..

sara on

Me too! I have (2 yr old) twin girls, and they are nuts and I’ve always said they were born with the “terrible twos”! I don’t care how many kids you have, nothing is like the demands of multiples!

sara on

awe they have his eyebrows lol!! they are too cute

mochababe73 on

They are too cute, and I like that they don’t dress them the same. And that little fur vest is adorable.

Onlyme on

My cousin used to tell us not to buy the same toy for her twins because they are going to fight for it anyways. So, buy them separate toys. I always thought it was funny.

Jen on

Heheh, my mom is a twin, and she and her sister still can make our entire family crazy. There’s just something unique about twins and they really never outgrow it. 😉

But their babies are simply adorable. I bet it’s that crazy but wonderful kind of chaos for them.

Nella on

Hahahah Jerry is hilarious! The girls are adorable and I also like that they don’t dress them the same. I would love to have twins one day , I bet it would be crazy and fun!

sat on

Hot Daddy! And adorable girls!! A perfect blend of their gorgeous Mom.

mumx3 on

i have 16 month old twins and my daughter turns 3 this month!
it can get crazy and me and my husband always joke we’ll separate but neither of us wants to take the kids hahaha
they are crazy 🙂 but unless you have multiples you cant even imagine how amazing it is!

mae on

I always enjoy reading about this family. Their girls are so adorable. We have almost 9 month old id twin girls and scary to have someone say it gets worse b/c the infant phase seems impossibly hard sometimes. But overall they really are a joy and a blessing.

JM on

i have twins a boy and a girl and it is definitely more work when they are little but so worth it. and they do have some kind of unique connection. even though they aren’t identical (obviously) and have very very different personalities there is just something special between them.

Emily on

My kids aren’t twins but they are very close in age and I completely relate to the juice thing! We never make something for one without making it for the other too!

And to the person who said they have his eyebrows: YES! They do! How funny….it is very apparent in that pic.

Mrs. R on

Jerry is my favorite celeb dad out there.
He and Rebecca seem to have THE most down-to-earth take on the world and ALWAYS have a sense of humor about life.

kelsey on

Beautiful Girls; I can’t imagine the terrible twos. They make me want twins with those cute girls though!

Kris on

I only have one child but 2’s are hard but 3 has been worse. One friend told me after we got in to 3 that its called terrible 2, horrible 3, freaking 4 and know it all 5. we are 4 mores to 4 years old and im already seeing the freking part of them. I love my daughter to death but its hard at times being a mom but its totaly worth it.

Luna on

I have identical twin six year old girls. It certainly is work and boy am I out of my mind some days. But it is so worth it. When they were babies was the hardest because they feel that to be treated equally, they must insist on getting not the cookie/juice/toy handed to them but the one handed to the other twin. Having twins started the rule in our house ‘you’ll always be treated fair but fair isn’t always equal.’ Love them to death though 🙂

jlove_taylor on

I grew up with twin sisters 10 years younger than me…we’d go in the store and they would run in opposite directions! I also have 8 year old twin brother & sister..(my mom even miscarried twin boys before getting pregnant with my twin sisters. My 8 year old twin brother and sister are a year older than my When I was pregnant my husband & I were scared it would be twins. I know how much work comes with the fun.. I know it skips a generation but my mom was also a twin but her brother died at birth. To this day she says she feels like something is missing.. I might not want twins for myself but seeing the bond my sister have makes me wish I were one.

jessicad on

I love this couple, they are so damn cute and funny! I’d love to have twins too but only once they get to age 5 or so:) I know how much work my almost 3 year old daughter is and I can’t imagine it with 2, yowza.

Mom Of Twins on

Being a mom of boy/girl twins, I have the best of both worlds. Double blessings.

Linda on

So cute!! I have twin girls (15 months) and a 2.5 year old boy who is currently knee deep in the terrible twos, so I feel his pain. Can’t wait until my girls are that age. *scared face*

Jacq on

I love their joke! ” My wife and I were talking about splitting up but neither of us want to take the children.” That is pure gold!

Mommy to 4 on

I’m an identical twin and my two youngest are identical twin boys; I believe this proves it doesn’t “skip” a generation. I also have a friend whose husband, father-in-law and sons are all identical twins.

Sarah M. on

Mommy to 4 – It’s my understanding that it can go many different ways with twins. With some families, it can be pure coincidence. With some it can skip a generation. And with some it can be every generation. But all of that is only with FRATERNAL twins. IDENTICAL twins are all by happenstance. Everyone has the same chance for having identical twins. (That makes a LOT of coincidences in your 2 families, though!) 🙂

I nannied briefly for a family with infant b/g twins. They decided to try for another baby and were told they had a 25% chance of having another set of (fraternal) twins. Their doctor also told them that identicals had nothing to do with hereditary, they were ALWAYS by chance/coincidence.

I LOVE this family and their daughter are beyond adorable!

Amber on

I have 7 year old twin boys. I feel their pain. Terrible Twos lasted from about 18 months-6 years in my house! Now it’s getting better but there is still constant bickering.

Bethan on

I have two sets of identical twin boys, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Luckily, I had the two sets seven years apart, so it’s not TOO difficult for me 😀 Twins bring a lot of joy and laughter to a household.

Cute article.

Sarah on

I think it’s precious that Jerry wants to do their hair all the time. Go ahead and cut their hair a little…do it! No harm in cutting shorter bangs! 🙂

JChicago on

I always get a kick out of reading articles with Jerry talking about his daughters. He’s so funny and honest about his trials and celebrations. Refreshing after reading so many articles on this site with celebrities describing their children as otherworldly precious and treat and dress them like dolls. Jerry comes across as more down to earth about parenthood. I’m sure his girls are going to grow up with a relatively normal life and outlook when compared to their celeb kid peers.

Kerri on

“I’m really into combing it and putting their hair into pigtails”

That may be the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard from a dad!

Teamwork on

I have a 16 yr. old boy and 7 yr. old girl.
I always wished they were closer in age.
Then I saw my siblings have back to back children and I’m glad I did it my way.
They fight constantly. One cries and as soon as Mom or Dad gets that one calm the other will start. I joke it’s like a tag team match up against the parents. And I always seem to buy two of everything for their kids.

The only thing I’m sad about is my son will be going to college in two years and I don’t know how either of my kids will cope. My son adores his sister and my daughter idolizes her brother.

With my son being 16, I can attest it does get better!
My Mom swears it’s because their getting closer to moving out and being independent. 🙂

Bobbie on

I am the mother of 2 set of twins and I 2 year old girls are out of controll LOL. My husband and I joke too about go gets the girls. My boys are 14 so they help out alot. Good luck Jerry and it does get better, you just have to life long enough to see it LOL

Ethan, Aly, James, Sully and Stellan's Mama on

Hahaha, I love this article. I’m a new twin Mama, to Sullivan and Stellan, my 5 week old babbas. After having singles for three times previous, twins are HARD! I love my babies to death, but I can definitely see my twinnies causing the majority of trouble in the future. I’m already getting them mixed up! 😀

Marilyn on

I understand I have twin over twenty nine years ago and I thought I was going to lose my mind. They did the same thing and this to shall pass Jerry.

abbey on

His wonderful joke made me giggle so much 🙂 I have one utterly mad, very large two year old who is giving us a run for our money in a way his placid older brother NEVER did. I cannot imagine having two of his kind of force of nature. Willful, stubborn, stark raving hell-bent? I had no idea and thankfully I won’t have any idea of all that x2! Jerry is hilarious… thanks for the laugh!

Elay on

Twin boy – girl here!!! 30 months now … and I can tell never been so hard as now. They started to say No when I ask them to to something or you know … as monkey copying their older cousins. My boy loves to hand out with older boys and play with them and the girl is more quite and plays a lot by herself. He get bored watching cartoons or a movie, she’s having fun watching it. They are so different … but together such a joy for our lives … there’s a price for sure … I have days when I feel I’m loosing my mind …but gets better soon :o) Can’t complain … till 2’s were here, I was getting more sleep than my friends with one child, more time for myself and family vacations. Hopefully will get better, we don’t make any difference for them and we love them to death. When it’s just one of them home with me ….. it’s like not havving no kids at all … but as soon as they get together … the double trouble begins….who did it? Rachel, you? No, Lukas did it …. you Lukas? No mommy, Rachel did it … LOL
Me and my husband have no twins is our families, not even a set somewhere lost. It’s just a a big blessing and hope your kids are as well for you too!!! :o)

Anonymous on

Twins have absolutely nothing to do with the father. If they are fraternal the mother released 2 eggs and if they are identical then 1 fertilized egg split around the 8th day to form 2 identical babies. If the father is a twin it is just a coincidence.

Kerri on

I have 11 ( 6 g + 5 b) kids! I had 4 & then a set of identical twin girls. I did day-care for over 10 years with little ones the same ages as my own so had experiences with 3 sets of children the same age, but not related. That did NOT prepare me for my high-need twins! I then had a singleton & he was so easy. I also foster a child the same age as my twins and her younger brother as well as a set of fraternal boys (second set of twins I have fostered). What one doesn’t think of the other does and combined minds make for busy parents!!

Mom to A(20), E(18), M(16), J(13), C & S (10), M (10), S (8), T (6)& G & T (4) and Grandma to D (2)

N's Mom on

Hahaha! I loved this article! I needed a laugh this morning because my 3 year old twins have been up since before 5 and this did the trick. Still chuckling…. 🙂

Elizabeth on

Heavens, it’s enough for me with just ONE 5-year-old. twins? Oye!