“What does it matter if she mixes them up? They look just alike.” – my grandmother, regarding my safeguards against confusing our infant twins
Normally I’m not too hard on people who say “stupid” things about twins. I say a lot of stupid things myself. But today I shall regale you with a tale of the twins’ student teacher.
Two weeks ago Haney and I were in for our usual Friday afternoon “Look! I’m a good mother!” visit. The student teacher sat down with me as I traced and cut masks, gestured to Haney, and said, “You had twins, then she didn’t come a twin?”
Um…? Possible answers:
a) No, she didn’t.
b) Yes, she actually did “come a twin…” [beginning to weep]
c) OH MY GOSH, I left the other one in the car!
d) Yes, but I don’t like that one so I only bring this one.
Fortunately, in my case the answer is “a.” To which the student teacher responded, “Huh. That’s strange. Usually when people have twins once, they have more twins.”
I started to wonder whether she was asking if I’d used fertility treatments to conceive. I pointed out that we actually have two singletons. I was relieved when she was needed by the kids’ actual teacher.
Last Friday we were in again. Keep in mind that this woman has been with the class since early January. Also, I’ve attached my boys’ school pictures as a visual reference. Would you think these kids were twins if you saw them among 21 other children?
The student teacher sought me out to tell me, “I still have no idea who is who between your boys. They’re always correcting me when I call them the wrong name.”
ME: We thought the different haircuts would make it pretty easy.
HER: Yeah, I don’t know… One day I was so mixed up because they both wore the same color shirt.
We do mix up our boys when they have the same haircut – we have to look at them straight on to tell who’s who. And I can’t tell my friend’s boys apart without obnoxiously getting up in their faces to look for a telltale mole. I’m not judging people who can’t tell identical twins apart.
But my boys haven’t been identical-looking for any part of this school year. They don’t wear matching clothes, and we’ve maintained the drastically different haircuts to make it easy on their teachers. This woman has been spending 30 hours a week with them for more than a month now. What say you, internets? Is this a reasonably difficult skill to master? Or is this situation the result of laziness: she hasn’t bothered to learn students’ names, but in the case of my sons she feels she has an excuse to admit it?
Jen is a work-from-home mom of 6-year-old twin boys, and two girls ages 4 and 8. She also blogs at Minivan MacGyver, where she chronicles the many disasters narrowly averted using only her pluck and the assortment of household objects found in her 2001 Pontiac Montana.