Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell’s Near Clothing Catastrophe

06/10/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Chris Weeks/WireImage

It’s a lesson well-learned by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell‘s fraternal twin daughters Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip: no shirt, no school!

“This morning we had a little issue. One didn’t want to wear a shirt to school and we tried to explain to her that shirts are pretty much mandatory,” the actor, 37, told PEOPLE at the Thursday preview of PlayStation Vita in Los Angeles.

“No shirt, no service. She wanted to wear her pajamas to school and she wanted to do just the pajama pants, no shirt. So that was quite an incident,” adds Romijn, 38.

Fortunately, once the 2½-year-old saw her sister heading off to school, she ran to dress herself — but wasn’t so willing to forget the morning mishap.

“When we dropped her off this morning, she ran right to [her teacher] and [started to cry] and was pointing at me,” O’Connell shares. “‘He took my shirt,’ and I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I made her wear a shirt. I feel God awful about it.’”

But while both parents took a stand on the clothing issue, Romijn reveals she is often left to play the role of disciplinarian — solo!

“I would say I definitely make my wife bad cop. I feel awful about it,” O’Connell jokes. “When they ask for something like ice-cream, I always say, ‘I want to give it to you, but your mom won’t let me.’”

Clarifies Romijn, “They won’t eat any dinner so he goes, ‘You know what? I’ll take you out for ice-cream instead!’ I’m like, ‘No, no no!’”

With O’Connell extra “soft on them … because we have daughters,” Romijn says the girls have quickly learned who to go to when in need. “Every single time they ask me for something and I say, ‘No, I’m sorry,’ they go, ‘Daddy do it! Daddy do it!’ It’s true. They’re right.”

As Father’s Day fast approaches, O’Connell is looking for one special present from his daughters that no amount of money can buy. “We take them to this dance class once a week and one of our daughters is very into it,” he explains. “[She] likes to go there, puts on the tutu and the shoes, and … seems to do exactly as she is told.”

Her sister, on the other hand, prefers to forego the dancing and skip to the socialization! “Another daughter of ours wants nothing to do with that dance class,” he adds. “She refuses to go in and, as a Father’s Day gift, I would like my other daughter to at least try the dance class.”

However, according to Romijn, their polar opposite personalities are nothing new. “She’s much more open to people. She wants to sit on all the laps of the girls in the dance studio … and is a little bit more afraid of new experiences and the other is much more open to new experiences and a little shy with people,” she says.

– Anya Leon with reporting by Melody Chiu

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Multiples , News , Parenting

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Showing 35 comments

rachel on

“School” at 2 1/2? Wow they do things differently where she lives or her kids are incredibly advanced for their age. My 5 year old starts school (kindergarten) in September and my daughter will be eligible to go to preschool once she turns 3 — provided she’s potty trained (that condition is non-negotiable!).

Sam & Freya's Mum on

ITA agree Rachel. Guess that’s HollyWEIRD for you, lol.

stacy on

I think some people call Day Care “school”

Shelly on

Wow, Rebecca looks really old and beat.

Shelly on

Cute couple!

Shelly on

Awww, cute story.

Leslie on

Rachel, my daughter did a Mommy & Me at 20 months (it was open for 18 month olds) and then in January, the mom’s transitioned out. It was a good start for her, and it was only a couple of hours. I thought it was good for socialization. The following year she was already comfortable in the school and did the “2′s” program which was for children who were 2 by Sept 1. And that day was 9-12 or 1, depending if you wanted your kids to eat lunch at school. They did not need to be potty trained yet, but she learned right before her 3rd birthday. So I don’t think the Romijn-O’Connell’s are doing anything that different than a lot of people. I think a lot of kids go to preschool these days.

Kristina on

It looks like Rebecca had some work done; her face looks kind of funny in that picture. She’s so pretty – she definitely shouldn’t do anything to mess up her face. I do love their baby stories though :)

Elizabeth on

I think when she talks about school she is talking about a ‘pre-school’ type of setting. I work at a daycare that also doubles in preschool and I am a certified teacher in the infant\toddler room, my babies who are under three refer to me as ‘Miss Elizabeth’ and their parents call me their teacher. We work around circulumn and schedules, have monthly meetings with parents, and have ‘school’ pictures and a yearbook for the families!

They sound adorable!

Meghan on

It’s probably just preschool. We have it at 2 1/2 in Wisconsin too.

I love this family. The girls sound so adorable! And I love that they have daddy wrapped around their fingers! :)

soccergrrl1427 on

I went to preschool at 2 1/2 and turned out perfectly fine. My mom had to work and there was no one else to take care of me so thatt’s were I went. It’s not just Hollywood, it’s the reality for many families.

rachel on

Thanks to those of you who answered my school-related question. :) Man, I wish there was a school like that where I live (i.e. willing to change diapers).

Eulalia on

I bet they have some great laughs in their household!!!

mommytoane on

True, some daycares are *school* to some kids…and some daycares are run more like a school. Many preschools will accept little ones as young as 1. But if 2.5 is advanced for school….I say 3 is too. Not much of an age difference there.

Cute kids and I love the story! Daddies are soo soft on little girls! LOL

Amanda on

Wow, I’m in Wisconsin and there are definitely no 2 year old preschools around here. There are 3 year old preschools but really, what’s the point? I can see it for working parents but as a stay at home mom it really isn’t that hard to teach your children nursery rhymes or the alphabet, colors and basic counting.

I think a lot of parents do call day care school though, a friend of mine calls day care school to her 2 year old and he likes packing his backpack in the morning.

I will say I like how these two don’t specifically say which of their kids they are refering to with their stories.

alicejane on

Ah, some people take things so literally! My nephew is 2 and a half, and his daycare is referred to as “school” and he has teachers. But he’s note exactly sitting at a desk with a pencil in hand and worksheet in front of him, it’s still the exact same as daycare!

I love their stories about Dolly and Charlie, Jerry and Rebecca sound like wonderful parents!

Ju on

@Rachel: I started ‘real’ school at 2 1/2…But I’m French, maybe it’s a little different from the States.

mrs. r. on

Hollyweird to do preschool at 2.5? Hardly. Almost everyone I know does this.

My kids both entered preschool at 2.5. It’s a VERY LOWKEY little play program for 2 hours a couple times a week.

It’s not SCHOOL school… it’s playtime in a age appropriate setting with an early education teacher supervising.

Jillian on

I am a SAHM and my daughter attended school in the preschool program at 2. We have the 2′s, the 3′s, then pre k, and then kindergarten. It’s very common in my area and in her specific school many are SAHP. It’s a few hrs a few days a week. She loves it!! She gets socialization, which is so important among so many other things.

Nothing Hollywood or hollyweird about us or her school!

Kelli on

Jerry O’Connell said on a talk show once that his daughters are in a public school in LA. My guess is that it’s a preschool setting. We have tons of those here in the St. Louis area, in fact, I used to work at one. I think it’s a great way for kids to interact with other children their age for a couple of hours a week. It’s also a great way for them to get used to following rules and establishing a routine.

I love this family. So real and adorable! Dolly and Charlie are lucky little girls to have two parents, who while they are celebrities, decided they’d rather raise their children themselves! Props to the O’Connell clan!

Noelle on

My 2 year old is starting preschool in the fall. The preschool has a 2 year old program, as well as 3 and 4 year old programs. They do not need to be potty trained to attend. It’s only 2 days/week for 2 hours each day.

Molly on

I don’t think it’s weird; I started preschool at 2 1/2, this was in the early 80s in New York.

I have to say though I don’t find behavior like Jerry’s endearing at all. Either say yes or no, don’t put the blame on your wife and don’t give in to everything they want. They WILL eventually grow up…it won’t be so cute when they’re 16 or 21.

mochababe73 on

Both of my boys started Pre-K at the age of three in a two-year program via a private school. They sat at tables, had school supplies, books, etc. I had to pay a book fee. By the end of Pre-K3, my boys knew their letters. They could read and write numbers from 1-20 in and out of order. Both knew how to write their first and last names with correct capitalization. It was full-day from 8-3. With that being said, they had an 1 1/2 nap, 30 minute lunch and breakfast with a 20-30 minute recess. Between the ages of 3-5, children are ready to learn. So, I say, why not?

I don’t find anything about this weird. I’m glad that I gave my kids a leg up. But, I’m a teacher so I had no problem with putting them in a two year Pre-K program.

Crystal on

Wow she’s had major plastic surgery. Her face looks so fake now.

RKF on

Funny, Crystal, I she looks like she’s aging very quickly. She looks much older than her age in this picture. Though I can see what you’re saying — there’s something plastic looking, and I’m questioning whether she used Christie Brinkley’s Plastic Surgeon, because she eerily is starting to look like her.

Shannon on

“When they ask for something like ice-cream, I always say, ‘I want to give it to you, but your mom won’t let me.’”

LOL! Jerry is hilarious!

smiavs on

Thank you, Molly, I couldn’t believe nobody was commenting on the father’s ridiculous behavior. That is NOT how to be a good parent. It’s far from endearing.

Mira on

Rebecca’s looking totally plastic. It’s pretty pathetic to see a formerly beautiful woman turn into a generic aging stripper. How sad.

TLH on

My daughter went to ‘school’ at 2 years old. It was 1 1/2 hours a week once a week. I could have left her there, but she would not let me. It was mostly just to give her the opportunity to interact with children her own age.

Romy on

tons of places have 2′s programs in preschools and daycares. it’s for fun really, it’s nothing crazy. Ours didn’t have it, they had to turn 3 by Dec 1 of that school year to enroll, and that was called the 3′s program. It’s funny how they never want to say which daughter doesd what. I think only ince they said Dolly is more of a tomboy. They’re really afraid to give them labels,even with letting them know who is older.

jeepers on

“School” at 2 is ridiculous. No 2 year old needs to be in school. If you want to socialize your children, set up playdates with other families in your community with like-aged children. If you want a few hours to yourself in the day, totally understandable, but at 2, your child is in daycare. My friend refers to her 18 month old’s 40 hour/wk daycare as preschool. Saying it doesn’t make it so, but somehow it must make her feel better about leaving her child there. Preschool is definately important, but children don’t need more than a year or two (at maybe 10 hours/wk) before heading to kindergarten. As a parent, isn’t part of your responsibility to your children to help teach them those learning basics? I don’t rely on preschool to teach the ABCs, numbers, etc. I should think that most children would have those down by the age of 3 anyway.

But I actually find Jerry’s behavior completely inexusable. My parents always said that the best parents “team parent”…always present a united front to the children. My husband and I do not undermine eachother in front of our children, even if we would have perhaps gone a different route ourselves. I would never want one of us to be perceived as the “bad cop”.

Rose-2 on

Wow, I can’t believe how many people are gushing about these comments. I find it appalling that Jerry is undermining his wife, it’s not only confusing to small children to take that approach but it also shows a lack of respect for his wife.

Jillian on

Jeepers, there’s nothing ridiculous about preschool. Clearly you know nothing about it an are not sleeping from personal experience. I am a SAHM and my daughter attends. She loves it!! I loved it when I went 30 years ago!! I don’t use it to get free time, as I have plenty of ways to get free time if that’s what I needed. You say children need playdates for socialization….,we have those all the time. Actually far more now then before she started school. There is nothing daycare about her school. Have you worked at her or other similar programs to see their structures? I have. My daughter knew her ABC’s and could count before she went amount other things. If there was something wrong or so many ppl were against these programs there wouldn’t be so many. And there are a ton!! My city is loaded with wonderful preschool programs with waiting lists for some of them. We are so happy!!

BabyBlogAddict on

I love hearing the stories about their twins and how different they are – it is funny!

Marva on

Wow, we don’t have ‘preschool’ at all here in Germany. Starting at the age of about two I went to kindergarten (8-16 o’clock) and shortly before turning seven I started normal school. Where I live – Germany’s second biggest city – this is normal. Maybe some elitist rich people send their children to expensive preschools, but again, that would be a tiny minority.

Btw, I just looked up the meaning of ‘kindergarten’, and in the US it apparently translates to preschool. The Brits have it right (their kindergarten has the same meaning as ours), because it originally means ‘nursery or play school’, says my translator. Kindergarten is a German word, that’s why I use the word ‘originally’. Pretty confusing.

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