Identity Crisis

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Categories Identical, Other peopleTags , 12 Comments

My boys look alike.

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:

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.

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!

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Troubles with Doubles?

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Categories Family, Identical, Multiple Types, Other people, RelationshipsTags 10 Comments
The Diagnosis: Urine boys in 2006
The Diagnosis: Urine boys in 2006
When we discovered we were having twin boys, we hoped they were fraternal so they’d have a better shot at some individuality. We aren’t certain they are identical, but they look enough alike that most people cannot tell them apart, and many times my husband or I will have to get a good, head-on look to be certain which boy is which.
The novelty of identical twins is fun, to a point. Mine dress themselves and are rarely dressed alike, and we have always used a color coding system around extended family, to make it easier for relatives to bond with the boys individually. It is hard to get close to someone when you’re worrying about getting their name wrong.
Even with these measures, though, their grandparents seem to view them only as a unit: The Twins. The Boys. And don’t get me wrong — I have no problem with someone referring to them that way. Saying each name is silly when “the boys” gets the point across more quickly. I don’t mind hearing them spoken of in abbreviated terms, but I mind when I feel they’re being shortchanged.
For example, my parents’ tradition is to choose a special gift for each grandchild’s first birthday. They are gifts that the child will use for 10 years or more. Some have gotten nice wooden table and chairs sets, or child-sized upholstered chairs for their bedrooms. My oldest nephew received a big wagon. And for my boys’ first birthday, they were given the same wagon. It bothered me, not because I wanted us to have two wagons, but because each boy got HALF a special gift for his first birthday, instead of receiving something individually.
There are other issues with overnights or weekend visits, where the boys are only invited as a unit, while other grandchildren are invited for individual visits. This happens with both sides of the family, and for now it is fine because my boys prefer being together, but it’s a symptom of the over-arching problem. Conversely, the boys were brought into Grandma’s office and shown off a lot more than either of my girls have ever been. Because they are twins, and because they look alike, they are more fun to show off. They are more attractive because they are a unit.
As a family, we were recently talking about how the boys look very much alike, but we can see differences between them. One of my boys said, “But Nana doesn’t.” His brother nodded in agreement. I was upset. Of the many people who can’t tell them apart — including sometimes me and my husband — he picked out his grandma as the person who doesn’t see differences between them.
Anyone else deal with this at all? Any advice? At some point we will have to speak with our parents and establish some ways to ensure the boys get even time, and I dread those conversations because I hate to ask them for more. Unfortunately, they are missing out on getting to know my little guys because they see them only as a moving clump of boy instead of as two guys who have their own strengths and weaknesses.
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Posted on
Categories Fraternal, Identical, RelationshipsTags , , 20 Comments

Jason and I have chosen (prior to finding out if they were I or F) NOT to dress the girls inLook Ma, No Matching! the same outfits. He is adamantly against it, due to the traumatizing effect that being dressed exactly like his younger brother, who was the same size but three years younger, had on him. I think it’s better to dress them differently to support individuality. Friends and family have all warned me that I’ll be sorry in years to come when the girls start talking and oh yeah, fighting over clothes. Oh boy. Can’t. Wait. We shall see if that’s what really happens or not. Just in case, I have bought clothes that are similar, but different colors or patterns. The way I figure it, I’m not going to designate who’s clothing is who’s, I’ll let them figure it out and if there are any issues I will do my best to keep it civil. What’s the worst that could happen?

So what about your family? Do you dress your twins alike? Are your twins fraternal or identical? Though, apparently, identical twins aren’t that identical anyway!

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