Identity Crisis

My boys look alike.
A&B

Thankfully they have distinct voices and personalities. And, for the most part, I can tell them apart by sight as well. Although, occasionally even I will look at a photo and say, “I’m not sure but I THINK that is…..” For example, this photo:
mystery

I could make an educated guess. But I won’t. Because I would likely be wrong.

This concerns me, because if I, the mother who knows them better than anyone (excluding their father, of course) can get confused, that most certainly means the rest of the world will be even MORE confused.

And they are not interchangable. They are unique. They are their own people.

We try to help out the rest of the world. We try to eliminate those awkward moments at family parties where an aunt or uncle wants to call to one of them but really…has no clue which boy it is. Or worse, is confident they DO know them apart, when in fact, they are wrong.

So, we resist the urge to put them in adorable matchy-matchy outfits and we use clothing to provide visual clues to the outside world of who is who. When we are out in public, Blue=Brady. Simple as that. No confusion, no awkward pause. Aunts, uncles and cousins can always say with complete confidence “Hello, Brady” or “Here’s a cracker, Aaron.”

This has been working for us since their birth. Because it goes beyond eliminating the discomfort of others. It provides Aaron and Brady with their own, easily recognized identities with no pause or confusion. And our family and friends can focus more on their other qualities rather than spending entire visits distinguishing who is who. They are almost never referred to as “the twins”. They are Aaron and Brady. “Brady Blue”, but Brady nonetheless.
IMG_2502

Do any other MoMs consciously give the outside world a little friendly nudge? If so, what do you do? I’d love to hear other ideas!

12 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. My daughters have different haircuts for the first time, and that certainly makes it easier for folks to tell them apart. Although they are identical twins, they don’t look all that much alike, so people haven’t struggled too much. We’ve never done anything consistent to distinguish them, though, and have been fortunate that everyone (except their former teacher!) has treated them as individuals. I don’t know what trick I would have used if they looked more alike. I really like the blue idea, because it’s pretty unobtrusive.

    I did put Melody in a shirt with her name on it for the girls’ first day with a new teacher, so she’d have a full day to figure it out!
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..True military kids* =-.

  2. I do the same thing. Cole = blue and Owen = the other color. It works for the most part. There are some people who insist on buying us matching outfits so sometimes they’re dressed the same. For me, the easiest are outfits that are coordinating but not matching and still adhere to the color rule. That way I can pull it out quickly and only have to make one clothing decision and I’m all set. When I buy them clothes I do it that way.
    .-= jane´s last blog .. =-.

  3. We just made a point of telling everyone which child was in which outfit whenever we arrived anywhere. I never assigned a color and I’m so glad I didn’t. They girls like being able to wear any color they want and not be required to wear certain clothes. Around age 3, both girls decided they have favorite colors and that has helped, but some days they want to wear their sisters favorite color and that’s okay with me. I made a point of telling everyone to ask the girls their names and if they call one of them by the wrong name, the girls correct them.

    Now at just shy of 4, my daughters regularly tell people, “we are identical twins. that means we look alike, but we are different and we like different things” If asked, they will even say they are identical twins because they split into two babies in mommy’s belly before they were born.

    I think helping them understand that they DO look alike and that people WILL confuse them and giving them coping strategies has served us better than just providing visual clues.
    .-= Rhonda´s last blog ..this here’s the Rubber Duck =-.

  4. I have b/g twins and even with this obvious difference people were still identifying them as a single unit…the twins, the babies, etc. I can’t imagine what an effort it would be with same sex multiples to get people to see them as individuals.

    Now, I must confess that I do dress all three of mine the same, sometimes. I’ve found that it is much easier to keep an eye on them when we are in a crowed public place or in a kids play area if they are all wearing the same color.

  5. I dressed my daughters alike a lot in their first years. It was easier for me. Even though I have a set of identicals within my quadruplets, they have distinct personalities, so most people catch on pretty quickly as to who is who. Now that they’re older and more independent, I let them choose their own clothes.. if they want identical outfits, so be it… but I don’t let them dress alike to go to school. I want their teachers and classmates to see them as individuals rather than “the quads.” Right now my girls think it’s funny when people confuse them with one another.
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..The No Crying Rule =-.

  6. We thought we had a fool proof way to have people identify them – different color shoes. It was working great until the girls decided they wanted to switch shoes permanently. Oddly enough at the same time they also switched cribs. They decided it together and made the change completely…I guess they were working out their own identity issues.

    So now I have one that likes ponytails in her hair and the other that doesn’t so we go with that. I’m sure it will be a recurring issue throughout their lives.

  7. my boys have their own colors, but not every outfit comes in blue, green AND red, so sometimes it gets confusing. and most mornings, i’m lucky if they match (i mean tops to bottoms) so if miles gets the blue shirt or linus gets the red or oliver gets the yellow (WHO is yellow???) then daycare tends to get a bit confused, until they can figure out who is who.

    i’m just lazy about putting them in their colors, but i do try when it’s family.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Wish List Wednesday =-.

  8. My sons are identical as well and we do the blue thing too (usually with pacifiers). It works really well. But I often dress them in the same exact outfit. I find it is much easier when I’m shopping to get two of everything.

    I try to do the same outfit but in different colors, but a lot of times that ends up being more work because you want two colors that go together. Recently I wanted the same outfit for my boys in different colors and one was bright blue and the other was army green. I think those colors look terrible together so I opted instead to get both outfits in bright blue.

    I also think two babies dressed exactly alike is adorable.

    One of my sons has a scar on his face (poor thing fell a few months ago) and that is now how most of my family tells them apart. I actually can’t wait for the scar to heal more so that it’s not a hint for my family anymore. I like them looking exactly alike, it’s like a fun game seeing whether family members can pick them out. Plus if you just get to know them a little bit, it’s really easy to tell them apart. I consider telling them apart to be a special privilege that those who know them best are entitled to.

  9. I’m with Rhonda. My girls will be 2 next month and I will be heading down the “twinself awareness” path also. Knowing their own identities has been somewhat confusing for them. I ask them what their name is and what her sister’s name is so they will know how to respond if someone asks them directly (they usually don’t).

  10. I have identical boys, too, and I would say I am middle of the road. The majority of time the go in different outfits (daycare, around the house). If I have a cute outfit for them it is either matching or coordinating (my favorite). I like to be able to quickly say LU-ke is in the bl-UE. But I don’t really stress about it. I feel like, anyone who spends a decent amount of time with them can tell them apart. They do go through phases where they look more similar or different. I am finding it more difficult now that they are moving around a bit more and you have to make a quick judgement call based on the back of their head. “Luke stop doing that!” when really it’s Jenson…no wonder they don’t listen to me ! (J/K they are 14 months…what do you expect?!)

  11. I am in the middle of road too. I like dressing the boys alike so they can have a little attention when I do take them out. And its so much easier on laundry loads when there is two of everything in the same color. But usually at home one is in light blue and other in dark blue or whatever color they wear its usually one dark one light. Or blue with grey sleeves, grey with blue sleeves ect. We dont get out much so when we do its nice to immediately know they are dressed alike if one wonders off. they are 18 months and full of spit and vinager. :) :)

  12. It’s wonderful that you are lenviag it up to the boys to develop their sense of ‘twin’. I imagine it would be quite tricky, but ultimately they will be healthy because of it. They’ll be able to form their own ideas on what being an identical twin means, rather than having it forced on them.Another brilliant parenting move by you!!

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