1. DON'T PANIC: The automatic reaction from anyone, upon seeing that they have spawned two creatures of identical appearance, is to scream at the unholy horror of it all and claw their own eyes out. There is NO NEED for this. Go for a brisk walk and calm down.
2. Be kind to yourself. You are definitely going to get them mixed up at some point. Don't beat yourself up over this: it is not your fault for being unable to tell the difference between your children; it is the children's fault for looking so alike. Just remember that children don't really understand anything that's happening until they're about six, and if in the preceding period they accidentally get their names swapped, no harm done. Alternatively, have one of them tattooed.
3. Do NOT dress them alike. This is very important, although there are exceptions: for example, those parents who would like the world to think of them as complete knobends may like to dress their twins in matching outfits.
4. Don't worry about them running into each other: latest research indicates this won't cause them to fuse together into Siamese twins.
5. Allow extra time for all public activities: you are going to be slowed down by the strangers who will stop you every two minutes to ask questions like "Are they twins?" and "Aren't they gorgeous?" and tell you long pointless stories about how their sister has twins.
6. Twins only have half a stomach each, so you won't need to buy any extra food.
7. Introduce them early to the eerie phenomenon of sympathetic twin-pain transference. Twins like to fight, so it's important to make it clear as quickly as possible that if one twin hurts, the other twin is going to hurt too.
8. Be PREPARED. You will notice, the first time both of them walk at you at once, calling your name, how much this resembles a zombie apocalypse. This can alarm the unwary parent: do NOT keep a gun in the house.
9. Be AWARE of their whereabouts at all times. They will on most occasions, when let loose, immediately stagger randomly off in different directions. Implanting tracking devices in their brains should help you keep tabs on them.
10. Know that they will be incredibly CUTE. Be vigilant at all times against their powers of cuteness, and remember the cardinal rule of parenthood: NEVER TRUST A TWIN
This post in honour of my own girls, and my most beloved grown-up clones, Jo and Shelley. Happy birthday ladies.