Attention readers, a quiz follows this monologue. Skip down if you prefer to scan pictures, try the quiz, and fake read the rest. I understand.
I realize I often fail to provide identifiers when posting pictures of my matching pair. I wonder if you, dear readers, ever get annoyed at me for that (tell me if you do). And in case you're wondering, I only have about two pictures in which I cannot tell Bereket apart from Sira (see first picture on Then and Now post--who's who, I cannot tell). Something about pictures brings their differences out, at least in my eyes (or maybe I always remember what they wore on a given day--nah). I admit I visit a blog or two starring identical twins, and I'm not sure it matters to me who is who. Hard to shake the 'two is the same as one' concept with monozygotic twins, even when you have your own pair (I don't think of mine this way, just other pairs--maybe, I dunno, I haven't thought about it so hard).
For newbie readers who are still scratching their heads, the fraternal triplet--the bigger one with all the hair--is Tsega. It blows my mind to think what if there were two identical Tsegas? Wow and yikes! :)
Bereket and Sira are identical. You can have your opinion since we don't have the DNA fingerprints to prove it, but it's clear to me and Jerry that they are indeed identical (first blogged about HERE). Especially when their papa, nanny, and grandparents have a hard and guilty time of it distinguishing these two, and friends start every contact with them by first establishing which one is which. It also blows my mind to think about who came first before the fertilized egg split, Sira or Bereket?
As for me, maybe it's psychic maternal powers, but it rarely takes me much effort to tell Sira and Bereket apart, even when they're nude, merely diapered, or sporting matching outfits (although different clothes or shoes helps when viewing from the back and certainly speeds up recognition). They have very different facial expressions and hold their heads differently. Sira tends to look at things head-on, symmetrically, and smiles bigger showing more teeth. Whereas Bereket has a shyer, head-tilted way of viewing the world. Sira's face is fuller than Bereket's, he's chubbier, he hangs his mouth open (and therefore usually has a wetter collar) giving him, currently, more of a babyish look. Bereket has a wee bit more hair right now and his complexion is clearer. They do share the same gait and posture, although Sira's belly tends to protrude more, making his back appear very arched. Lately I'm better at distinguishing their cries too. Sira has taken to more of a eeeee-ya, eeeee-ya cry, while Bereket's is more guttural in pitch and without syllables. Simply put, they emit different auras. Jerry shrugs his shoulders at many of my descriptors and has a harder time with it, so psychic paternal powers he has not (this does not take away from his #1 Dad status, however . . . Hi Hon!).
It's always harder for me to describe differences in personalities, especially since they tend to take turns with opposite temperaments, though indeed they are different and yet . . . very similar.
Worded by Wikipedia, here's simple facts about twins: There are estimated to be approximately 125 million human twins and triplets in the world (roughly 1.9% of the world population), and just 10 million monozygotic [identical] twins (roughly 0.2% of the world population and 8% of all twins). The current rate in the United States is 31 twin births per 1,000 women.
And from Me: The tendency to conceive fraternal multiples (or rather the tendency to shoot off multiple eggs during ovulation) can be hereditary, whereas the tendency for fertilized eggs to split is not. This explains, in part, why rates of fraternal multiples are higher; it spreads through the population's genes. Additionally, while I don't know the numbers, fraternal twin rates in Ethiopia are much higher than in the USA or Europe, although I wouldn't say multiples are common relative to singletons.
Now for the quiz. And Ethiograndma, you better nail this one. Leave a comment and name this darling triplet featured in the three pictures below. Winners and losers win the satisfaction of my curiosity. Thanks for playing.