Before they acquired different haircuts, my monozygotic twin daughters, M and J, could not distinguish themselves in photographs. Even now, if their hair is pulled up in a bun, as it is for their dance recital, they have a hard time with it. If the photos were taken recently enough to remember who was wearing what or who was standing where, they would figure it out. Otherwise, the closest they came is, “I think that’s me, but I’m not sure.”
I asked a colleague whether her identical daughters, now in college, could identify themselves in photos, and she says that they’ve never been able to. It’s funny the sorts of things you take for granted when you become a mother.
My ex-husband was appalled when he learned that our daughters couldn’t tell who is who by looking at themselves. After all, they have always looked so different to us! Before I had the girls, I’m sure I would have thought that an inability to distinguish oneself from one’s siblings would have all sorts of negative psychological repercussions. Now I see it as normal and perfectly healthy, just part of the twin experience.
Does anyone have identicals who can consistently identify themselves in photographs? Does this happen with fraternal multiples too?
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.