Twin Problems

I hate it when bloggers apologize for not blogging and then offer excuses.

With that being said, sorry I have been neglecting this thing for a few days! End of semester art student portfolio reviews and finals time. Enough said.

So, I babysit sixteen month old identical twin girls. I’ve been with them almost a year, and I am pretty good about telling them apart now- most of the time.

We’ll call the girls Doodle and Belle.

Now usually the girls’ parents dress them a specific way to make it easier to quickly tell them apart (cheating, but very convenient). Doodle is usually wearing warmer colors like yellow, pink, or red. Belle wears cooler colors like purple, green, or blue. (As a side note, I don’t think their parents sat down with a color wheel to make this decision. That just goes to show the intuitive nature of art that I can classify their choice so easily). Of course these are just general guidelines- the girls have worn colors other than these before. Sometimes they even wear white onsies with their initial monogrammed on the chest in a very sophisticated little baby way. Yesterday, however, we ran into a little problem.

I arrived a little later than usual due to a morning appointment and the girls were already dressed. They were in tie-dye onsies friends and family had decorated at their baby shower before they were even born! Cute right? (Their mom prefers that tie dye be reserved for casual friday, but their dad likes to get them in it whenever he has the chance.)

I’m gonna paint the scene here:

So I walk in and the babies are running around, screaming with excitement that I had arrived, rushing over to hug me and be held before I even set my stuff down. They are awesome greeters. I attempted to tell them hello by name and ruffle their hair as I addressed them the way I usually do…. Except I couldn’t.

Which baby is which?!?!

I looked closely for a minute, made my guess, and asked their dad, “So this is Doodle and this is Belle?” (Trying to sound very confident in my guesstimating.)

He thinks for a moment, then says, “Ah, no actually I think this is Doodle and this is Belle.” (He is either very confident or very good at pretending to be confident.)

I look again… I still disagree. “Are you sure? I really think this one right here is Doodle.”

He says he thinks he’s sure and offers a solution. One baby has one less tooth!

So there we are, hanging babies upside down to get them to laugh and open their mouths so we can have a peek at their tooth count, and guess what? The baby with slower tooth growth has had a tooth growth spurt overnight and there is hardly any difference anymore. We get a little worried. We both lose our false sense of confidence in our guesses and look at each other confused.

All I can think is that I wish the girls’ mom was there because she can always tell her babies apart. She’s got that momstinct thing going on. (I’ll name her Madonna because I am an art history minor and I always picture her in paintings of Mary and Jesus and John.)

So the girls’ dad (I’m gonna go ahead and fake name him Bullet) comes up with an idea! Bullet suggests that we brush the girls’ teeth because “Belle loves it and Doodle hates it.”

Great idea! So we haul the babies to the bathroom. Baby one is presented with a loaded toothbrush and we wait anxiously to see what she does like the world watches that groundhog once a year. She takes it and begins happily brushing her teeth.

We have a small celebration that we have identified that baby as Belle, and just to prove the point, we present the second baby with her loaded toothbrush in order to observe the stark contrast.

She takes the brush and begins happily brushing her teeth.

What in the world??? We are laughing so hard at this point the babies probably think we are lunatics.

Bullet is especially annoyed because he and Madonna have to deal with Doodle’s defiance every night at teeth brushing time, and now that her defiance would actually be helpful she is cooperative.

Two strategies failed, we had one more hope- the ear bump.

Doodle has a small bump behind her ear that Belle doesn’t. It has been fading as she grows, but we felt just enough difference to identify her.

Whew!

Dear Madonna,
I am very sorry if this post is the first time you heard about this incident. We were very embarrassed. And for the record, Bullet was right all along.

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