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Ds seems to be having some identity confusion. . .

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is just a totally normal twin thing, or if I should be concerned about it.

My fraternal twins, Luke and Jaz are 20.5 months old. They are pretty much best friends, very attached to each other, and have never really spent any time apart (aside from occassional errands). I don't think either of them is the "dominant" twin, they are each dominant in different situations.

So, here's the issue: Lately I've noticed that Luke is very much identified with Jasper. When he sees photographs of himself, he says "Jaz!" When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he says, "Jaz!" When he hides under a blanket, he asks, "Where's Jaz?" and then pops out and says, "here he is!" He KNOWS that his name is Luke/Lukas (at least he reponds to it). He will go and get his shoes when I ask him to get "Luke's shoes." But, although he did used to refer to himself by name ("Gook") when was younger, he hasn't done it in at least a few months.

A couple of weeks ago, Luke dropped a chair on his toe (ah the joys of the "let's knock over all the furniture!" game), and bruised it pretty badly. He was crying like he was in a lot of pain, but didn't want to nurse, and didn't want me to look at his toe. He was soley concerned with Jasper and wanted to look at Jasper's toe. When I finally let him, he just kept pointing to Jasper's toe (the same toe which he had hurt on himself) and saying "ow." For days afterwards, he would ask to see Jaz's toe, and say "ow." I would point out that Jasper's toe was okay, and that LUKE had an "ow" on HIS toe, but Luke still insisted that it was Jaz who had the hurt toe. Then, a few days ago, Luke closed his hand in the door, and hurt his fingers. He did the same thing--only wanted to look at Jasper's fingers, kiss them, etc.

Does this sound like a normal twin thing? Jasper doesn't seem to have any of this confusion.

Thanks for any insight!
post #2 of 6
Hi, Lex. I think this must be a pretty normal thing because my girls do the same thing. Lillie and Faith are now almost 23-months-old (!!!!) and are identical. Every time they see pictures of the other one or see themselves in the mirror they will say that it is "sissy". I will even say (when looking in the mirror) "Who is Mama holding?" and they will say "Sissy!" Faith will also respond the same way as Luke when she gets a boo-boo. She also gets VERY upset if her sister gets hurt and thinks that she is hurt in the same place. For example, if Lillie bumps her head then Faith cries, holds her head and says "Hurts! Kiss, Mama!" I thought for a while it was for attention but now I think it's true empathy.

They use to answer funny when I asked who they are. I'd ask Faith "What is your name?" and she'd say "Lillie!" and I would point to Lillie and say "What is her name?" and she'd say "Sissy!"

It's truly amazing...and wonderful...to witness this relationship between them grow!!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Karen. It is reassuring to know that another twin is doing/has done the same stuff. I guess since my boys are so not identical, I never expected this sort of behavior.

Another thing that both boys have started doing is biting themselves when they would really like to be biting each other. They know that they're not supposed to bite each other, and so they bite their own hands when they get frustrated with each other. I wonder if they are just seeing each other as an extension of themselves. . .
post #4 of 6
Hey Lex,
My girls still do those things They even have an imaginary friend that they call her a mix of both thier names, it's jordyntaylor. It kind of freaks me out since I was supposet to be pregnant with 3. My dd J srtuggles with this more than her sis does. Through the years it has lessened. I have noticed some pain transfer with my girls when one is hurt, the other seems to experience it. Lie I posted in another thread, the battle for finding one self when you are a twin must be a life long journey. it has got to be hard.
post #5 of 6
Yep, I think it's normal for the young toddler set (under 2 or 2 1/2). Probably not for older toddlers though, who have a clearer sense of individuality.

Dd and ds used to do things like that, like dd saying "brother's crying" when she was crying, and so on. But the past few months I haven't seen much of it anymore. I will say though that now that they're into "pretend" play a lot more, they will pretend they're the other one occasionally... meaning, intentionally saying "I'm brother now!" when sitting in ds' favorite chair or drinking from his cup or something, but they always smile and laugh, like they know they're being funny.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update this thread and say that (at 22 months) Luke is no longer having confusion about who he is (I don't think!). He refers to himself by name, and points himself out in pictures sometimes. He still usually thinks his reflection is "Jaz!," but occassionally says his own name then too. And, most significantly to me, he no longer obsesses over thinking that Jasper has been hurt when really only Luke himself has been.

He does try to blame his brother for things that he's done, but I think that's pretty normal sibling behavior! (i.e. When I think Luke needs a new diaper, and I ask, "Who has a poop?" Luke immediately answers, "Jaz has a poop!").

So, thanks for your replies. I guess it was just a passing phase.
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