Anonymous Parents Of Twins Admit The Times They Mixed Their Kids Up

Having identical twins must be as exciting as it is scary, if for no other reason than the possibility of mixing them up. Parents, you mean well, but y'all really need a system for telling your twins apart.

YourMomsEctoplasm asked, Parents of twins, is it remotely possible you mistakenly mixed up your kid's identity while they were young?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

You may not be who you think you are.

My mother left my father home alone with my twin sister and I once when we were infants. He took off our bracelets to bath us. My mother came home during the bathing process, took one look at the bracelets and asked if he knew which twin was which. Look of horror, and then a stab in the dark. So, I might not have the name I was given at birth.

At a few days old, would you even know?

This happened to my mom and her twin. Their older sister switched them in their cribs when they were only a few days old. They're switched around to this day.

"If you switch the kid before they even know their own name, what difference will it really make?"

My father's baby book says that he was born first and that he was the heavier twin. He and his twin brother were looking at it one day and my grandmother remarked that that couldn't be right -- she remembered the doctor being surprised because the heavier one was second.

Those two have been mixed up since day 1.

Friend of mine is an intensely identical twin, deliberately making it nigh-impossible to tell him apart from #2. (I say I'm friends with #1; I haven't hung out with #2 much, to my knowledge. It's that bad.) His own parents had a hell of a time with it and would usually just punish both kids (because really they were probably both in on it anyway). Asked him how he knows he wasn't switched and he was supposed to have been the other, he just shrugged and said: "We know which ones we are." (Which I guess is fair. If you switch the kid before they even know their own name, what difference will it really make?)

Hey, at least he asked...

In middle school, I was friends with a pair of redheaded twins, named John and Jeremiah, and always had to ask which one I was talking to if just one wanted to go someplace with me. It probably annoyed them that after being their friend for years I still had no idea how to tell them apart, but I preferred asking immediately, so I wouldn't have to pretend to know.

Must be fun to have a free body double...

This year in high school, I spent the entire year thinking a certain senior I never talked to was one person. He actually had a twin, and I had no idea.

Douche move, guys...

I know my twin uncles used to switch clothes to troll their mother. They also cheated in school (one would take the same test twice).

They live in different countries and both travel a lot. One time, one of them thought he saw his brother at an airport, only to realize it was a mirror. True story. I have no problem telling them apart though, but my kids can't.

Pretty sure this is how horror movies begin...

I was running around inside a mirror maze once... it's really quite surreal, I was getting quite dizzy/disorientated doing it and having a blast. The crazy thing was that my Twin brother was in the maze also, so imagine that there are what seemed like hundreds of reflections of myself and my brother zooming past me. So anyway, I turned a corner and thought my brother was running towards me... I dart to one side expecting to side step in and keep running past him, through the maze.... BAM... ran right into the mirror.

Imagine not knowing which kid is which... at least she tried.

My twins are fraternal, they barely look related though they are both boys.

I have a friend with identicals. She kept nail polish on one's big toes to tell them apart. To her dismay, at 2 months old, the nail polish wore off before she could reapply. They are older now and have extremely different personalities. But she took a leap of faith and called one A and the other B though she wasn't sure. Still not sure, lol

tl ;dr: extremely possible.

Magic markers and name tags. Sounds foolproof...

One of my little brothers (who are identical twins) had dimples when he smiled. and for the first week, one had "A" written with permanent marker on the bottom of the foot, and the other had "B". (and then later name tags on their ankles..)

Is thinking you know enough?

Wife and I have identical twin boys. My opinion is that most parents of multiples know who is who without the need for artificial identifying marks. We used dry erase on one of our kids' ears just for helping the grandparents and other extended family. I was in the room two feet away from them leaving the birth canal and I am confident I will always know who is who, if not strictly by looks then by their mannerisms. Even at 21 months old, they are very different people.

Hair that swirls in the opposite direction - clever

I have a friend who has a set of 18-month-old identical boys. She still turns them around sometimes to look at their head because their hair spins in opposites directions... just to be sure she got it right. I find it hilarious that she is sometimes wrong.

At 23, you might as well say f---- it.

Im an identical twin. We actually talked about this for some reason. My dad said that there is a very good chance we got mixed up at some point.

They had gotten a routine of painting the toenails of one of us (we're guys) but said there was a possibility they forgot which one of us was "the painted one".

I might be my brother, he might be me. Im almost 23. F_ck it.

This doesn't seem like the best way...

My mom used to say that only my older sister could definitively tell my brother & I apart as babies when both she and my dad struggled. My sister is only 18 months older than us, so I suspect the validity of this, and that she may have just been randomly picking and my parents took her judgment as truth.

Sexiest Twins in America, still can't tell them apart.

I went to school with sisters we called the "Barbie Twins". They had blond hair, deep tans, and always dressed in identical outfits. One day in study hall, my teacher got this wicked grin on her face and turned on our tv. Turns out she and some other teachers got wind of the twins appearance on Jenny Jones. We were then lucky enough to witness the Barbie Twins humiliate themselves on national television by mud wrestling some midgets in order to compete for the title of "Sexiest Twins in America". They won.

EDIT: Here they are

Imagine THREE of a kind...

As a twin, I can tell you that my mother painted our toe-nails different colors when we were babies. But I heard a story of a parent mixing up her triplets, so she had a tiny mark placed on the bottom of their big toes.

Nametags and haircuts...

My neighbor got tiny bracelets with her twin's names and put them on as soon as she got home from the hospital. She said she double, triple checked the id tags that the nurses put in their ankles, just to make sure. She also said that once they have longer hair she will get them different haircuts.

That's one way to spur an indentity crisis...

I have been told by my parents that they only made that mistake once. But yeah as an identical twin, the thought that I might not "be me" has kept me up at night a few times.

Different clothes... simple and effective.

I don't have much difficulty telling my younger (twin) brothers apart. Living with them their entire lives helps you pick up on the little differences. However, this might not apply as easily with infants. I believe my parents used different clothing schemes to tell them apart.

Red twin, blue twin. Oh crap...

I'm a twin. when we were young I always wore red, my twin always wore blue. one time after a bath when we weren't wearing anything my mom and dad couldn't remember who was who! they think they got it right but I might actually have my twin's name and vice versa

"I am me, no matter what."

It doesn't matter if the parents get it mixed up he because I'm me. My friends use to joke how 'I could be my twin brother' because my parents could've 'got the names wrong' but it doesn't work that way because I would still be me even if my name was different.

And yes, it could've exposed me to different circumstances and changed my development as a person but so could a million other things that have happened in my life, if they'd happened differently. This one isn't any more special.

Tl;dr identity comes from within, it can't be 'mixed' up by parents, for twins or anyone else

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