Why I Plan To Sharpie My Children

5 Mar

I’m more or less positive that, when the time comes, I won’t be able to tell these people apart.

It’s something I’d wondered over the years, particularly whenever I would see identical twins.  How do you really know who’s who?  Sure, it works itself out when these goofballs are old enough to talk and learn their own names.  But are you telling me that, as a parent of identical infants, you’ve never been giving the little ones a bath or something, peeped your head around the corner to check the game score, turned back around and thought, “Hang on, did they just trade places?  DO I HAVE TO DECIDE RIGHT NOW, THIS MOMENT, WHICH ONE’S HORACE AND WHICH ONE’S BORIS FOR THE REST OF THEIR TWIN LIVES?”

Fortunately, it looks like all three of ours are fraternal, which is a small relief, but the concern still stands.  I’ll be straight with you: identical or not, all babies more or less look the same to me.  It really mystifies me when the community rallies to determine which parent their newborn looks more like.  You ask me: Winston Churchill, that’s the answer.  Two weeks old and the kid is the spitting image of Winston Churchill.  Every baby looks exactly like Winston Churchill.

Triplets, you’re guaranteed at least two of them will share a gender and odds are reasonable that it could be all three.  But, really, what’s the difference between a baby girl and a baby boy anyhow?  I can’t put my finger on what it is, but there’s something that feels inherently wrong and damaging about pulling someone’s pants down to find out who they are.

The Dahm Triplets

The Dahm Triplets
(Please, Lord Jesus, don't give us 3 identical girls)

I’ve done a lot of Googling “triplets” over the past few weeks and made a helpful discovery or two.  Did you know that some parents with multiples will tattoo their kids while they’re still infants?  I see the reasoning, but hoh man.  The Dahm girls (identical porn star triplets, god help us) have tiny black dots tattooed on their asses for this reason.  I guess you do what you have to do, but I’m not entirely comfortable sticking a baby under a tattoo needle and, again, I’d prefer a pants-on solution for ID’ing my children.

It’s inevitable, I’m going to have to magic marker them each morning. Permanent ink, too.  The last thing I need is that stuff rubbing off in the bath tub.  I’m not saying I’d do something as uninspired as just writing their initials on their arms or something, either.  These are my children, pete’s sake!

Hey, man, don’t judge me.  If you have a better solution, I’m all ears.   But I have a feeling you’ll be thanking me later when you’re trying to figure out which one of my kids is which and you recall that, whup, right, Peter Pumpernickel’s the one with the handlebar mustache.


15 Responses to “Why I Plan To Sharpie My Children”

  1. pam March 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Too funny.

    We knew ours were all the same sex (but we didn’t know what, and we didn’t know they were identical) and I prayed they weren’t girls. Mostly because of wedding costs and teenage girls being as they are.

    We kept their hospital anklets on, drew on their feet with markers (crayola non-toxic for us), and tried to keep them in the same order. Until my mom came to help and would put them back in the crib all willy-nilly, anklets off.

    So yeah, Horace might be Boris (and Norris), but since they all share the same DNA, who cares? 😉

    • Jeremy March 7, 2011 at 9:10 am #

      Gah! Mom removed the hospital anklets!

      You know, you’re probably right. If Boris winds up as Horace, eh. Maybe who cares. I’ve heard stories from twins I know that have fallen into birth order patterns based on who came out first. But if you don’t really know, you don’t really know.

      Crayola non-toxic. You may have something there.

  2. pam March 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    (i thought i left a comment here – do you just moderate, or is something weird going on?)

    • Jeremy March 7, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      I’m really sorry, pam. I’m a bit new to WordPress and didn’t realize I had comment moderation turned on and didn’t even realize I had any comments waiting.

      Thanks for commenting, though, and congratulations! You’re my first!

  3. modvegan March 9, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    I say we def keep the anklets on as long as possible! And maybe have some different colored string around each one’s wrist as a backup. 🙂

    • Esther March 15, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

      This must be a father-to-be fear. Jason always worries about not being able to tell the boys apart, but I just shrug. I can’t imagine NOT telling them apart!

      Growing up in Jordan, MN, I was neighbors with the Dahm triplets. They in my sister’s grade and friends with her (and still are on facebook). Identical, but we could always tell them apart!

      • Jeremy March 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

        We’re more or less confirmed with no identicals and I’m still worried about it.

        And hey! Do your web traffic a huge favor, Esther, and be sure to mention your relationship to the Dahm triplets in your blog. As it stands, “Dahm Triplets” is the most commonly searched Google term leading people to this site. Ergh.

        (But, y’know, I’m sure they’re fantastic people in real life.)

  4. 5ennie March 23, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    We have BGBB multiples (12 now), and had to give the boys some different color fingernail polish so our volunteers to be able to tell them apart. They each also had their own color binkies, bottles, and sometimes clothes too. Funnily there colors are still their favorite colors 😀

    Hubby & I had no trouble telling the babies apart, they definitely looked very different to us – size, hair, facial features. But our daughter and one of the sons looked very much alike and once my MIL and I had to peek in the diaper to see which was which ;-D

    Congratulations on your triplet pregnancy!!!

    • Jeremy March 23, 2011 at 10:48 am #

      Thank you!

      Q-q-quads? My wee heart skipped a beat when I read that. Holy frijole, 5ennie, that’s some kind of insanity. How’s that going?

      Btw, I knew it. I knew, somehow, somewhere, there had to be someone pulling multiples’ drawers down, checking to see who they really are.

      I’ll be sure to check out your blog. Thanks for the thoughts, please come by and comment again!

  5. Helen March 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    We totally took sharpies to our boys’ heels while they were babies! If we hadn’t done that I’m sure my husband would have come to a hysterical wife no less than twice a week, thinking I had mixed the boys up again.

    • Jeremy March 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm #


      See, world? Eh? You see? I’M A REASONABLE HUMAN BEING.

  6. lauren March 30, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Okay this is total honesty here… When I first saw this post, after I saw the pic, but before I read the words… I thought to myself, “Good, God. That guy looks like an old man version of Annabel!” No lie. Winston Churchill indeed.

    • Jeremy March 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

      I have a theory that Churchill must have gotten the bejeezus beaten out of him regularly, because a lot of new fathers would naturally assume that their wives had messed around with Winston on the side. “Inconstant woman! Look at that child! I KNOW YOU’VE BEEN WITH CHURCHILL. I’LL KILL THAT BASTARD.”

  7. Kirsten April 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    We have all sorts of twins in our family, the most recent being bb. L. Wore a string on his left ankle for a long time and N. had one on the right. My grandma told us they were unnecessary, that she could always tell her twins apart. My response was, “duh… you had a boy and a girl.” She got a confused look before the light came on. 🙂

  8. Silla November 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    No offense but they are not pornstars!! GOSHHHH!! They only did a couple of spreads in Playboy, which is a complete different thing!

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