Sunday, March 7, 2010

Staring at Other Children

I realized this morning as we were sitting in a restaurant that I have a bad habit that I need to break.  If I see two children about the same size, I stare at them to see if they are twins.  Of course, some times it is easy.  Even I can identify the identical twins.  It's the fraternal twins that intrigue me -- for obvious reasons.

Once in a while I'm sure the children are twins.  Those parents make it easy by dressing their fraternal twins in identical outfits.  

It's the other possibilities that intrigue me.  Today I was staring at two little girls who walked in with their father.  They were about the same height and wore similar coats.  I looked at them as they walked by to see if I could tell if they were twins or just sisters who happen to be about the same height.

I admit I'm fascinated with it.  Once in a while someone looks at the girls and says, "How old are your twins?"  I always want to ask, "How did you know they are twins?"  The brunette twin in a good 1.5 inches taller than her blond twin.  One has green eyes; the other has blue eyes.  They really don't look like twins.  One woman told me, "They act like twins."  I didn't think to say, "How?"  Now I wish I had.  I always want to know what people mean when they say, "They act like twins."

Some times I ask parents.  If we're standing in line, I might say, "Oh, they are so cute.  How old are they?"  It's the easiest way to figure out if my hunch is correct.  It's not always possible, though.  It's a little hard to strike up a conversation with someone walking by our restaurant table.

I don't know when I started this, but I do realize I have to stop it.  Most parents -- me included -- don't like it when you stare at their children.  Of course, parents of infants expect it.  Even parents of toddlers patiently deal with it.  By the time the children are a little older, parents think it's creepy.

I'm one of those parents.  I don't like it when people stare at the girls, but now I realize I do the same thing to other children.  If I've stared at your children, my apologies.   

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