Tuesday, August 30, 2011

‘Colour-Coding’ Twins?

I've been reading a bit lately about 'colour-coding' twins. We do it. Kason is usually in blue, and Cohen is usually in green. We do this so other people, be it family or friends, can tell them apart and refer to them by name. Our original train of thought regarding it was that we wanted Kason and Cohen to feel included, so that people wouldn't have to say "hi, little man" or the like. It works. People we see frequently know who (generally) wears what colour, and therefore don't need to ask who is who, and can say, "hi Kason, hi Cohen". It may sound trivial, but on the occasions that they are wearing the same thing, or not 'their' colours, they often don't get referred to at all. It's not that they are ignored, per se, but adults seem to not talk to them...possibly in fear of getting their name wrong.

But. I don't like that people rely on what colour the boys are wearing in order to know who is who. I get that they look remarkably similar to most people, but by spending a little bit of time with them, you can tell them apart. Their Grandma, who met them a few weeks ago for the first time, could tell the difference between them after a couple of hours. She didn't need Simon or I to point out differences, she made the effort to find them for herself. Compare that to many of our friends, most of whom have known Cohen and Kason for most, if not all, of their lives yet still cannot tell them apart without the 'colour-coding'. It does tempt me to dress them alike, purely to force people to LOOK at Kason, to LOOK at Cohen. They deserve it. They deserve for people to know them, not just to relate them to a colour. It's not fair to them.

We had Neonates playgroup last Friday, and a different playgroup this morning. Both days, I have intentionally dressed the boys in the same top, same bib, same shoes but different pants. On Friday, only one person noticed the different pants and used those to tell them apart (totally cool with me, especially considering this was only her second time there, so to make an attempt to tell them apart right from walking in super impressed me!), the others...well, we heard, "oh no! They are both wearing blue! There is no way I'm going to be able to tell them apart now!" Two people did, at the beginning, make a brief attempt to tell them apart, but gave up fairly quickly, one didn't even bother.
This morning's playgroup is bigger, and three people took time to study Kason and Cohen and found some differences – Kason has more hair, which sticks up at the front and curls a little at the back – which worked for them. And honestly, the difference in the hair length/amount is probably the most reliable. Kason has had longer hair since they were born. Another difference people often go with is face shape as one boy has a rounder face than the other. The problem with that is that it changes almost weekly!

It's kind of a catch-22. I hate it when Cohen and Kason aren't referred to by their names, but the only way that happens is to 'colour-code' them. But by 'colour-coding' them, am I encouraging people not to get to know them?


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