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Telling Identical Twins Apart

May 19, 2010

Having identical twins adds an additional layer of anxiety over small things like haircuts.  My girls don’t look anything alike to me BUT it’s hard for me to explain to the outside world how to tell them apart.

Since birth, I’ve been color coding the girls and all of their belongings.  A’s main color is green and R’s main color is purple.  After that they split the colors mostly based on alphabetical order. (ie – A gets Blue, Green, and Pink while R gets Yellow, Red, White) This is very useful when I go to label my photos from 2007 because it’s hard to tell who’s who when all you can see is the back of their head.

However, I may have let the color coding go on too long given this exchange last week:
R: Ooo, A. do you want to borrow my Minnie Mouse shirt?
A: Oooo, yes, I want to be Minnie Mouse.
I get the shirt out.  It’s purple.
R: Oh, it’s a purple Minnie Mouse shirt.
A: That’s okay.  I will tell them I am A. 

Last week I learned that their preschool teacher can tell them apart based on their personality.  Here’s what she said:
One of your daughters is so strong willed.  She’s always getting the other one to do whatever activity she decides. 

I’m always amazed when the kids in their preschool can tell them apart.  Although, I had a friend who said that the reason one of the kids in her twin’s preschool can tell them apart is that this little girl can read their nametags.

Well, after this weekend, there’s a simple way to tell my girls apart.  A. is the one with shorter hair!


I’ve been hoping she would be willing to get a haircut ever since they started school. (Well, if we’re really honest, ever since their hair got long.  I even used to let them play with scissors in the hopes that one would give the other a haircut, thus solving the “how to tell them apart” problem.)  Brushing two heads of long curly hair is a lot when you’re not a morning person and have to get to school on time.  Especially since A. doesn’t like to stand still or let me do anything to her hair except put it into a pony tail.  (R. loves headbands, braids, and pigtails and will stand still.)  I was originally waiting for her to tell me she wanted a haircut two days in a row (to make sure she really wanted it) but I got tired of waiting and when she asked for short hair this weekend we dropped all of our plans and got it cut.  I’m a little sad that her curls are gone but she loves her new look and so do I.

I was worried about making sure she realized that she wouldn’t have hair like her sister’s anymore.  She seemed okay with it and both girls were excited when I explained that it might make it easier for people to tell them apart.  I was also worried that R. would want short hair when she saw her sister but thankfully she loves her long hair. 

Side note: Second week in a row that I managed to post!  Visit Mommy Daisy and see how she’s doing with the challenge.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2010 4:00 pm

    Loving the short hair. It will be great for summer weather too.

    On a side note, I can’t believe how big your girls are getting. Not that it should be any surprise to me, because they are the same age as my son. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen pictures of them, and wow! So cute!

    I’m always fascinated by twins and telling identical twins apart. We had a set of identical twins at the center where I used to tutor (and surprisingly we had 3 other sets of twins too for such a small place). Some people take forever to be able to tell them apart, but I just watch them carefully. I could tell by their mannerisms and personalities and subtle physical differences (like one sucked in her lip, so it was always dry underneath). From across the room and the back, I could not tell them apart. And they loved to confuse people. I could tell them about about 90-95% of the time though.

    I love seeing more posts from you! Now I need to go get another one up. 😉

  2. May 23, 2010 4:04 am

    Oh…yes. Curly hair in the mornings is torture! YOu are a very smart mommy for reducing the tear time in half!

    J’s brother used to always have glasses and that is how everyone told them apart. Then last fall he got lasik. Yeah, it is not so easy for most people any more! 🙂

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