“How do you tell them apart?” “Do you get confused sometimes?” “They’re so identical.” I get this all the time. In fact, it was one of my greatest wonders, as to how we’ll be able to tell the boys apart and praying to God to give one a birthmark or distinctive feature for easy identification. Another worry of mine too was that I’d mistakenly feed one twice or forget to change one’s diaper or forget who pooped and who didn’t. I asked another friend who has identical twin girls how she was able to tell hers apart and she said, “as a mother, you’ll know.” When I took a good look at them the first time, I could immediately see differences, but if they had been apart, I would have been totally confused. It was so amazing looking at the same face twice. I was in awe! I had just had twins, TWINS! Boys, two big healthy boys! Ha! God is wonderful oh.
Has it ever occurred to you how one egg splits into two and doesn’t produce half human beings but two full ones? Let me leave that to sink in a bit. I had heard many funny stories about how some identical twins confused their parents, teachers, siblings, in fact, anyone. A friend of mine has younger identical twin brothers and they used to do that. They even had to put them in separate classes. They would pretend they were either of them and when you talk to one, they’ll pretend it was the other you had spoken to. Knowing the kind of daughter I have, and if her brothers were going to be as sly as her, I had to device a plan to tell them apart before they get me. The first day, their name tags and the papers their vital statistics were written on were what we were using to differentiate them. ‘Vital statistics’ – this just reminded me of the Miss Ghana pageant back in the day, when we were growing up. One lady would model across the stage and you’d hear the MC say, “Contestant number one, Mary Oduro, age 24years, vital statistics : 30, 28, 40.” Like, why was this important? Is this still done? Anyways, I digress.
Anytime the nurses came to bath them, I insisted they kept the tags on and put them in the cot according to the name on the paper. Small rant interlude. They shared a cot because madam nurses said the cots were not enough and were being used in the labour ward. Y’all have seen how small those hospital cots are. One doctor, whom my mum knew, was on duty one morning and we complained to him about it. He authorized a nurse to bring another cot pronto. All of a sudden, a new cot arrived in my room which ‘supposedly’ wasn’t in use. What a miracle. End of rant. The second day, I asked the nurse who bathed them to check on their bodies to see if there were any birth marks for us to use as the differentiation factor. Alas, the Lord answered my prayer. The nurse found out that PJ had a very faint darkish mark on his neck and MJ had his on his tummy. As much as it was something, it still wasn’t enough. So, what, I’ll be looking at their neck and tummy every time? It’s too long. I can’t even see them well again. Honestly, I don’t look for it now. I’m a pro 😎😜. PJ was and still is bigger than MJ so that was another difference. Now, you know how fresh babies look the same and their faces don’t looked so formed yet, right? However, we could tell that PJ’s head and face was rounder and MJ’s was narrower at the top. All my children decided to take their father’s head shape. Why? I didn’t say anything oh, my daughter typed it 🤪.
At home, when we put them down in the cot or on the bed, it used to get confusing. We will now be checking necks and heads to know who was who. We had to make a mental note of who we were carrying at the time and where we placed them. All this calculation. They were and still are also always dressed alike so that’s another confusing part. I find it so cute to see twins dressed alike. My husband doesn’t like it and never fails to remind me that it’ll have to change when they are older and can start making choices for themselves. We shall see. Until then, they’ll dress alike 😝. Anyways, with all this going on, we had to formulate a winning strategy. In life, you have to strategize always. So this was how we went about it. PJ was always put on the left, whether in the cot (when they shared one), on the bed or on their twin pillow. Simple. As mischievous as I can be, (I have a dark side but I’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus), there were days I’d switch them to confuse my husband. He would waltz in like a proud father of twins and carry whoever was on the left and proudly say, “hey boy! PJ” and I’m like nope, it’s MJ. Sometimes too, I’d leave them in their places and he’d still get confused. Some days, he would get it correct but most days, 8/10, he would get it wrong 😂😂. That used to give me joy!
My mum and I always knew who was who, after all, we were with them 24/7. Mothers indeed know. My daughter too knew, shockingly. Hers was even weird. She could tell them apart so easily. Sometimes, she would not even look at them and as soon as she’d hear one crying, she would say who it was and true true, when you check, it’s the one she mentioned. It was as if she was psychic. Now dieerr, not not. One day she came running to me and said, “mummy the other one is awake.” “Which one,” I asked, to which she replied,“I don’t know”, shrugged her shoulders with an old woman facial expression and walked away. 🤦🏽♀️ There were days, I’d almost get confused but no, my motherly instincts always prevailed. I can see how different they are so clearly. However, it can be difficult to tell who is who from behind and in pictures as well, depending on the angle from which you take it and if it’s separate pictures. Funnily enough, PJ looks like MJ in pictures. As usual, my mischievous self would take separate pictures and torture my husband with them. His first instinct would always be right but he would end up going for the second one. Why daddy? Now, he is a pro. He has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for telling his children apart. Big ups man! Proud father! 😎 If you meet me in the streets, don’t now be forming “I can tell them apart” oh. I shall confuse you, one time for your mind.