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20Sep 13

How do you tell them apart?

The trouble with having identicals is that your very own kin – even close family – can’t tell them apart, and yet complete strangers will stand in the street and argue with you that they’re not identical.

Fact is, you can’t say for sure whether twins are identical – even monochorionic ones (twins that share the same placenta, as mine did), unless you have a DNA test. However, the top consultant who delivered them inspected the placenta thoroughly and said he was 90% sure that they are. That’s good enough for me – after all, a DNA test costs around £100, and when you have two babies, you’re poor enough as it is!

In the very early days, one had a heart-shaped face, the other a rounder, squatter face. One had slightly more hair. And it was darker. But very soon, the differences melted away. When I got my babies home, I used different teddies and sleepsuits to help identify the girls. And even then, I’m pretty sure I fed one twice and left the other out. The birth announcement had the wrong name on the wrong baby. I was, literally, the only person who could tell them apart; but only if I’d dressed them that morning.

At about five months, Twin 2’s hair began to fall out. Not just a little patch at the back, but all of it. Soon she was bald while her sister’s hairdo looked more lustrous by the day. And then the arguments in the street restarted. Not only were my twins non-identical, but they were of different genders too, according to the know-it-alls.

If this happens to you, here’s my advice: smile sweetly and say they’re not yours – you’re just minding them for someone else. Then run over the know-it-all’s foot with your double buggy as you make a hasty getaway…


Kay's twins...which one is which?

Kay’s twins…which one is which?

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One comment

  1. Amazing! You know I love your blog!!!


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