Anyone who has encountered twins knows how difficult it can be to tell them apart, and that's even true for family members. One 31-year-old new mother of two twin boys took matters into her own hands and had one of her kids tattooed so everyone would be able to know who is who. It might seem like a drastic measure, but in her case, it was necessary.
She explained on Reddit how one of her sons, Jack [not his real name], has a medical condition that requires he be injected with medicine once a week, while his brother, Adam [not his real name], does not have that issue. After her maternity leave ended and she went back to work, she left her mother-in-law in charge of the kids, but her husband's mom wound up administering the medicine to the wrong boy.
The twin's mom said in her post:
"Now they may be fraternal but they look identical. I'll be honest my husband and I even mix them up sometimes. Everyone does. She immediately noticed her mistake called 911 and they were transferred to hospital. By the time I got there Adam had been given the reversal agent and they were both happily sipping on juice loving the attention. He was never in danger. It’s a very slow-acting medication that, at worst, would have given him diarrhea in a few days. Mother-in-law was beside herself. I tried to ease her worry but she refused to babysit so to daycare they went."
To ensure the mistake would never be made again, her doctor suggested a medical tattoo - a mark that looks like a freckle on skin that is easily seen. It would be inked on while the child is under mild sedation, like the kind used at a dentist's office. After a couple years, as the baby develops other features, the tattoo will begin to fade.
The mom went through with it and got a two-millimeter brown freckle on the boy's earlobe, but when her mother-in-law learned of it, she flipped out. The twins' mom said,
"I tried to explain but she just freaked out so I put both kids on the floor and told her to pick up Jack and find the tattoo. She picked up Adam so I handed her Jack and after 20 minutes still couldn't find it. Stripped him to his skivvies. I finally pointed it out and she went, 'That's just a freckle.' I just said, 'My point exactly. Adam doesn't have a freckle there. So that's how daycare can tell them apart.'"
It didn't really calm her mother-in-law, which surprised the twins' mom, who wrote in her post, "Once I explain to others and they fail to find it they understand but they still think I went too far in tattooing my child and altering their body." She asked commenters if they agree and the consensus was she absolutely did the right thing.
One person said, "It’s literally a fake freckle. It's not like you gave him a full sleeve of pin up girls and muscle cars. Also, it's to make it harder to accidentally kill him or his brother. You made the right call." Another commenter said they are a twin and wished someone had tattooed their ear since they are allergic to penicillin and, after a mix-up with their sibling, they were given the drug and nearly died.
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Photo: Getty Images