I have a twin sister, Laura, who has two adorable little boys, ages 2 and 3. Now, Laura and I aren’t identical, but it is rather easy to confuse the two of us. We look incredibly similar, particularly if we aren’t standing next to each other when you can really focus on the differences.
A couple of days a week, when Laura has to work late, I pick the boys up from daycare. Usually Mommy has explained to them in the morning when she drops them off that Aunt Karin will be picking them up, so they’re somewhat prepared when a Mommy-looklalike strolls through the door.
Friday, however, Laura was running late from her dentist appointment, so she called to ask me to get them. I had been talking to her on the phone in the morning when she dropped them off, and I heard her tell Jessie (the oldest) that she would be taking them home in the evening. This was going to be a problem.
I drove over to daycare in my parent’s van, thinking that maybe it would be easier to just pretend to be Mommy. But the car, if nothing else, was sure to give me away (Jessie is incredibly observant). So I prepared to break their little hearts.
Jessie and Wyatt were waiting in the foyer when I walked in to pick them up. In the split second I entered their little faces went from ecstasy to confusion to I-can’t-believe-Mommy-has-abandoned-me-my-world-is-over pain. You could literally see the joy dripping off their faces.
Now, I can’t take it too personally, because I know all to well why they are reacting this way. My dad has a twin brother and they look almost identical. Their voices however, are quite different. When I was little, I have vivid memories of climbing into Uncle Joe’s lap at family gatherings and then, once securely seated, hearing him say something and realizing that he is not, in fact, Daddy. I would freeze, perched on the top of his lap thinking “Daddy is never going to forgive me for not knowing who he is” and “how the hell do I get down?”, the panic slowly creeping in.
So, kiddos, I get it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the slightest twinge of hurt when you start screaming, “NOOOOOO! I WANT MOMMY!” in the middle of daycare. Ok, that feeling is most likely embarrassment, but potato/patato.
A little sidenote: Wyatt, the youngest, has come up with an ingenious (for his two years) way of determining who’s the “real” mommy. If I walk into the room, he’ll look at me quizzically before asking, “What’s your name?”. I find this adorable. Laura does not.