The world was first introduced to Kate Gosselin, her then husband Jon Gosselin, and their eight children in 2006. Seven years after Jon and Kate Plus 8 premiered, 13-year-old twins Cara and Mady are opening up about growing up in the spotlight and life after their parents’ divorce — spurred by their father Jon’s alleged affair with a school teacher.
“People expect us to be damaged,” Cara tells PEOPLE.
“People think we’re supposed to be messed up, like, ‘Oooooh, the poor Gosselin kids, they’re going to be scarred for life, waaaaah,'” adds Mady, who is younger than her twin by six minutes. “Here’s the big news: we’re not messed up.”
Cara concurs: “It’s so false. We’re fine. We’re better than ever, actually.”
The twins – plus their 9-year-old sextuplet siblings – stopped filming Kate Plus 8 in 2011. How is Kate, 38, as a mom these days? “She is so annoying!” Mady shouts.
Cara adds that their mom is “annoying on purpose. Like, she does it just to bother us.”
“Like, she says ‘spensive,” Mady says. “I’m like, ‘Mom, it’s expensive. ‘Spensive isn’t a word! Stop it!'” Cara agrees and adds, “She totally does that just to annoy us.”
Kate weighs in on her non-messed-up twin daughters.
“I wish they were a little more innocent in some ways,” Kate says, but admits, “they’re savvy, and they’ve learned things about the world and peoples intentions that took me decades to learn. They’re more aware of their surroundings and can size you up with a glance. They’re nobody’s fools.”
For much more from Kate and the twins, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.