We like to push the envelope around here. Really shake things up. Keep people on their toes. Our boys are a new breed of twin – the identical fraternal variety. Technically dizygotic (or so we were told), but for all intent and purpose, identical in looks and shape. See Exhibit A (3 months):
Our friends and family are in disbelief. “Surely, surely, they must be identical.” No, they are fraternal. “But they look exactly the same!” Yes. They do look a lot alike. But they are not identical. “But how do you tell them apart?” Well, Abel has a rounder face and head. And his eyes are set a little bit wider. Oskar’s face is narrower. And he has less hair. “Is that all?” Well, if I take their shirts off, Oskar has a strawberry on his shoulder and Abel has a freckle on his chest. Is that enough?
Sarcasm aside, I’ll admit it, there was a time when even J and I had a hard time telling them apart. From birth to about 4 months, they truly looked identical. We mixed them up at the doctor’s office…several times. J even mixed them up for 3 hours while I was out one afternoon. He was mortified to find out he thought he was holding Abel when he was really cooing to Oskar the whole time. But as they have grown to the ripe old age of 14 months, their fraternal-ness has become more evident. Well, to us at least. Face shape aside, they just look different from one another. Note Exhibit B (8 months):
But we continue to get barraged by the identical comments. Sure, my fraternal (same and different gender alike) mamas know all to well the public’s funny, “Are they identical?” question, when they are clearly not. But in our case, I don’t begrudge strangers when they ask. It’s when our good friends continue to ask that I start to get slightly impatient, and to be honest, second-guess the DNA status of my sons. What if they really are identical? After all, they could be part of the small percentage of identical twins who have separate sacs and placentas. And then there is the story of our friend’s twins, where doctors swore they were fraternal in utero and upon birth, but after DNA testing turned out to be identical. Could this be us, too?
The other night, I finally worked up the gumption to ask J if he was, without-a-doubt, sure that the boys were NOT identical. Without any hesitation, he proclaimed “they are absolutely not identical. Without question.” Phew! But then I start to wonder if we see such distinction between them because their personalities and mannerisms are so individual and different. They are like night and day in the way they move, talk, hug and play. So I think to myself, maybe we should just solve this dilemma once and for all with a DNA test. Two simple cheek swabs and $160 plus shipping and…whaalaa! We’d have our definitive answer once and for all.
Or more likely we’ll just sit back, relax, and relish in the stunning similarities and the obvious differences that make these two boys the twin brothers that they are. And why would we waste the 160 bucks plus shipping when we never mix them up anymore?! Okay, so there was that one time last month…