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Thursday Thirteen: Identical or Fraternal?

July 19, 2007

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thanks. I needed to let that out. I was on a twin message board reading a discussion on personality and saw this from another twin mom:
I was under the impression that identicals would be the same?

They may look very much alike, they may be the same height and weight, and they might even hit milestones around the same time. But they are two different people and shouldn’t be discounted as half of a whole. So, I bring you 13 ways my “identical” twins are different:

1. A. has birthmarks. R. does not. Although, R. has developed a cute little beauty mark on her upper lip.

2. A. is sweet and easy going. R. has a temper. I attribute this difference to the fact that A. kicked R. in the head A LOT in utero. If I kicked you in the head for 36 weeks you’d be a little fiery too.

3. R. is very physical. She crawled first, walked first, climbed first, and is usually the one with a distracted parent chasing her.

4. A. is an observer. She loves to people watch and her favorite pastime is standing on the windowsill watching people walk their dogs.

5. A. loves animals. She loves to name them, make their noises, and look at animal books. Especially dogs. On the other hand, dogs are the one thing that seem to intimidate R.

6. They have different cries. DH and I used to make a game of this. We would hear a baby crying and we would try to guess which baby it was. Motivation to get out of bed to see if we guessed correctly. (Hey, when you’re dragged out of much needed sleep for the fourth time in one night you need to take your fun from wherever you can get it.)

7. They like different foods. This one is actually kind of a pain. Toddlers are picky enough but two toddlers is just chaos. One likes carrots, the other doesn’t. One refuses to eat oranges, the other wants to live solely on oranges. Someday I will be able to cook one meal and all four of us will eat it.

8. They like different parents. (Okay, this one is kind of a stretch but A really does seem to prefer DH and R does appear to be more attached to me. We’re trying to make sure we get more one-on-one time with the other one to correct this. Due to various circumstances, I breastfed R but not A. It’s like I’m running my own little psychology experiments here.)

9. They like different toys. Not that they don’t fight over the same toys but what grabs A’s attention is not always what grabs R’s attention.

10. They have different facial expressions. This is helpful when trying to label photos that were taken six months ago.

11. Their voices sound different. A’s “ma-ma-ma-ma” sounds different than R’s “ma-ma-ma-ma.”

12. One loves the bathtub, the other doesn’t. And the one that loves the bathtub isn’t the same one that is more comfortable (comparatively) in the swimming pool.

13. Their hair is different. Okay, the both have dark brown hair. They both have curly hair. It’s the exact same length. BUT – lately I’ve started “styling” it and putting bows in it. I’ve noticed that A’s hair falls differently than R’s hair. To the point that I can tell by the ponytail who is who.

So that’s 13 ways my “identical” twins are different. If you don’t believe me here’s an article from LiveScience about how identical twins may not be as identical as they thought because the DNA expresses itself in different ways. And, to be fair, I have not had them genetically tested to see if they have the same DNA. It is entirely possible that my doctor messed up and they are really fraternal or semi-identical.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Marie Green permalink
    July 20, 2007 3:01 am

    Very interesting articles on twins- thanks for the link!

    (We’ve been told our girls are identical also, but one has a big round colic on the front of her forehead, and the other does not. It has been this way from birth. The Dr said it’s because some of our traits are genetic and others are how we are formed in utero. Huh? Anyway, they look alike to almost everyone, except us. And they ARE two very different people.)

  2. Domestic Goddess permalink
    July 20, 2007 5:59 pm

    What’s the problem with people? Believe it or not, even though my boys have a two year and six inch difference, people think they are twins. They look NOTHING alike. But I am constantly hearing about how they should be stepford copies of each other just because they are related. My sister’s SIL has triplets, two of whom are identical and one is a singleton (was two sets of twins with in vitro, one passed). She says people are surprised that they aren’t dressed alike and their hair is different and one is shy and one is not and one is in between! OH MY! THey should all be THE SAME!!!
    Seriously, people need to get a life.

  3. Tammy permalink
    July 25, 2007 10:10 pm

    I think it’s great that they are so different! My fraternal (boy-girl) twins are now 9 and they have absolutely contrasting personalities. I feel like did several “role-reversals” up until the age of about 2…now they just are who they are!

  4. Mama's Moon permalink
    August 10, 2007 10:52 am

    So interesting to hear from a twin-mom’s point of view exactly how different your kids are from one another. I loved #13 about the ponytails – hair is just hair to anybody BUT a twin-mom!

    You’re awesome, MommyBrain!

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