When you have identical twins or triplets, the life you lead is different. You are stopped on the street. You are asked “are they identical?!” time and again. When they were first born, you probably couldn’t tell your own babies apart. And as they get older, you realize other people probably never will. You find tips and tricks to identify them to the outside world – different colors, a freckle here, a scar there. You want the world to know that while they look identical, they couldn’t be more different. And you find yourself explaining this again and again.
Today our identical triplets “graduate” from preschool. Today is a day I know I will cry – tears of joy that they are happy, healthy and moving on; tears of sadness that this phase in my life – in their lives – is over. No more preschool. No more babies. Just big kids. Big kids who are eager to get out into that big world and show their differences. It’s my job to help them. It’s my job to explain what sets them apart. I do it time and again and today, I thought I’d share a few excerpts of the note I sent to preschool on day one:
- Physical factors: Much to our own surprise (and against all odds!), all three of them crawled, sat, walked, talked, potty trained, etc. at the normal ages of development. We think all three are right-handed although, apparently with identicals, one is bound to be a lefty so, keep an eye out for that! (Note: it’s still unclear if this is true or which little fella may be a leftie!)
- Play & Social Experiences: They play well with each other, with their brother and sister and other little buddies. Caution: if someone picks on one of them, the other two are prone to defend their brother — not in a violent way, but enough to make their presence known. You’ve been warned!
- Goals: Basic algebra and conversational French. Gotcha! We just want them to have a happy, healthy, positive classroom experience that sets them up nicely for kindergarten.
Ok, now for what you really wanted to know — their differences/nuances/how to tell them apart:
- Kevin: Stick with me here — his nickname is KooKoo Bear. Don’t ask. It just happened. So, if you hear the other guys call him KooKoo, that’s why. His color is red; his crocs are orange. He has two parallel freckles on the bridge of his nose. He is sweet, easy going, laid back and very helpful. When in need of a haircut, he can be identified by a little twist on the nape of his neck. He’s a big talker with a lot to say.
- Declan: His nickname is Little Duck. Also called Duckling. Again, embarrassing but true and you may hear the other kids call him this. His color is blue; his crocs are turquoise. He is the most “attached” to his color. He once got so mad when we gave him a red sippy cup that he threw it at us and said “I’m BLUE!” He is super smart. He was the first to do everything — walking, talking, sitting, etc. We think he will go to Princeton. (Ha! Gotcha again!)
- Cormac: This one got off easy with the nicknames — we call him Mac, or MacMac. On occasion we call him Mac&Cheese but I don’t think that will come up. His color is green, his crocs are too. He has a freckle on his left eyelid and a sparkle in his eyes. He can be a bit mischievous but responds well to reminders about right choices. He wakes up giddy — bouncing off the walls jolly. The kid is a pleasure to be around. Unless he is really tired, in which case, he is not. Hopefully this won’t happen at school!
Ok, well, I hope I haven’t scared you. They are all truly a joy to behold — happy, curious and sweet with just enough mischief to keep ‘em real. They love stories and music and we know they will love preschool. And we hope you will love them.
“We hope you love them,” I said. They did. They loved them. They taught them. They learned to tell them apart. They discovered their differences and delighted in their similarities. Just like we do.