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To think if I say "I really don't want to dress the children the same - they're individuals" it should be respected?

(136 Posts)
MiaowTheCat Sun 28-Jul-13 21:12:56

They're not quite twins - 11 months between them. I've said from the start that I didn't want to fall into the dressing them the same thing, that I wanted to be careful that they didn't get lumped together as "the girls" and that they were free to have their own personalities and identities... the same sort of battle twin parents have. Although there are lots of hand-me-downs and clothes re-use going on - I've always made sure that there were a few unique outfits for DD2 so she doesn't get a childhood set of photos of her looking identical to DD1.

Said this to MIL in response to a direct question from her "Are you going to want them to wear the same thing ever?" Well yes, when they get to school they're going to be stuck wearing the same variations on school uniform for five days a week - but nope - I won't.

Last time MIL came to visit she bought them both outfits - big fuss about "oh I really struggled to find somewhere I could buy them the same thing"... gritted teeth, smiled politely, and I've made sure that when they've worn the clothes it's been on different days (so she's seen the kids in the outfits she's bought etc etc etc), and days when they've been on Skype to her so it's been gently obvious that I'm NOT going to do the Me and Mini-Me routine. Hoped it was a one-off.

Apparently it's not going to be. She seems to be determined that she's going to buy them identical outfits constantly and (as usual) hasn't listened to a word that me AND DH (for he feels the same as me) have said. It's not the identical outfits so much that's annoying me - but the totally ignoring our wishes and I have a horrid feeling she's going to try to do this with identical Christmas presents and the like too.

DH gets frequently frustrated that she'll smile whenever you tell her she's done something that has upset and then just continue repeatedly doing it anyway - so it's not just me on that point.

AIBU to be starting to get annoyed about it? AIBU to not want siblings to be dressed identically? I just think with the close age gap we DO need to be really careful DD2 doesn't get left in the shadow of her older sister anyway.

FannyFifer Sun 28-Jul-13 21:14:55

Just return one set to shop & swap for something else.

HeySoulSister Sun 28-Jul-13 21:15:41

How old are they both?

MiaowTheCat Sun 28-Jul-13 21:16:12

Sadly she always takes the tags off and never gives the receipt (and I'm a wuss taking things back anyway!)

WorraLiberty Sun 28-Jul-13 21:18:01

Just carry on using the outfits on different days.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 28-Jul-13 21:18:33

Post her a copy of The Shining.

She'll soon stop after watching it.


Otherwise just pass the outfits on to a charity shop and just tell you've said you don't like them dressed the same.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 28-Jul-13 21:19:47

I would just do what you are doing now. Put them in them on different days and keep telling her you will never dress them the same or treat them as one person. Then try to let it go. You will have bigger fish to fry with her... I can tell!

Smartiepants79 Sun 28-Jul-13 21:23:30

This would piss me off too. I hate seeing twins dressed the same.
I would have said return them too but....
Keep on using the outfits on different days. It's all you can do unless you want to make a really big fuss!

MargeSimpsonzz Sun 28-Jul-13 21:25:45

tHAT is the accepted thinking now so nyanbu. I pass a woman on the way to school in the mornings, and she has twin girls of about three and every morning they have a new matching outfit on. Quite weird in this day and age I think.

ringaringarosy Sun 28-Jul-13 21:29:00

i have children close together and sometimes dressed them the same,i think it can look cute but it wasnt an exclusive thing and i dont think it really has any effect on their personality unless you do it when they get older and refuse to let them choose.I would just keep lightheartedly saying oh dont worry i dont dress them in the same things anyway!dont make a big deal out of it,because it really isnt.

HeySoulSister Sun 28-Jul-13 21:29:05

What you are saying Is you expect her to do as you say?

diddlediddledumpling Sun 28-Jul-13 21:30:09

There's 11 months between me and my sister and there are l

ringaringarosy Sun 28-Jul-13 21:30:27

i dont think having them 11 months apart is the same as twins at all,i have 5 in 5 years,2 of those are 10 and a half months apart,both boys,they are totally different,its not the same as twins.

HeySoulSister Sun 28-Jul-13 21:31:12

No I'm struggling to understand how they appear to op as 'twins'

diddlediddledumpling Sun 28-Jul-13 21:33:03

Loads of photographs is us wearing variations of the same outfit. I liked it, I have to say, felt like we were a team. We're very different but still close many years later.
I'm not for a minute suggesting you'll change your mind on this; just that as someone else said, you'll have bigger fish to fry! I pick my battles with my mil, I have to let her do her thing sometimes or I'd go mad/injure her.

Mollie272 Sun 28-Jul-13 21:34:36

I have twins - and from the moment I found out I was having them was determined that they were going to be treated as individuals and not dressed identically, given different birthday & Christmas gifts, etc so I know how you feel.

Unsurprisingly we have been given lots of identical things for them over the years (although not by close family as in your case) and have just done what you do - they wear their outfits on different days.

My two however, LOVE to be dressed the same - and like having the same toys to play games with together. Bloody typical!

Quangle Sun 28-Jul-13 21:34:54

I do think you might be overthinking this. I'm 11 months older than my sister - and she is in no way in my shadow. Nor has she ever my experience, younger children are perfectly used to fighting for their space and sometimes end up being more dominant than the older one who is used to being the oldest and therefore expected to be the sensible one - even if they are virtually the same age. My sister is far more dominant than me and I see that pattern reflected in lots of oldest/youngest siblings.

As for dressing the same, can't you just have them wear the outfits on different days when you feel like it and save the dressing the same for special occasions when MIL is there, if you want to? I think it's rather lovely to see children dressed like that - it doesn't happen much any more but my mum used to get dresses made for all three of us (we have a younger sister too) and one for herself in the same fabric! Very 70s/Osmonds stylee but really quite cute. OK you might not go that far but honestly it's not going to inhibit anyone's personality.

DontmindifIdo Sun 28-Jul-13 21:35:08

I know a lot of twins (oddly), and most were made to wear matching outfits as children, none seemed to actually like it. YANBU.

But just do what you are doing, not at the same time.

saintava Sun 28-Jul-13 21:35:41

I have two girls 16 months apart and I try not to dress them in the same things. DD2 does have a lot of hand me downs but she also has a few new things of her own as well.

They do have some of the same things, where I've bought bought clothes in say 2-3 and 3-4 in the sales, and when DD1 has grown out of the smaller sizes it is passed down to DD2 and DD1 has the bigger size but I try and make sure they're not worn at the same time, as they are different people, physically they look very similar but personality are complete opposites

Luckily family don't buy them the same things. We also don't have two of each toy as we really don't have the room!

foreverondiet Sun 28-Jul-13 21:36:42

I would just say - next time you buy something please don't buy the same thing as they don't ever get dressed the same. if she persists make it clear that you have given the smaller outfit away.

thebody Sun 28-Jul-13 21:40:47

my older boys were 16 months apart and I often dressed them the same! I really can't remember why but think it was just easy and they looked cute.

however they are so unlike and grown up now so different I don't think it did them any harm really.

still I don't see why your mil is ignoring your wishes and she shouldn't.

if I were you cat I would keep the outfits but put them on each different days.

she sounds a tad daft but seriously don't over think it. just clothes.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Jul-13 21:40:50

Mine are only 12 months apart - everyone thought they were twins. Some people still do.

Way I see it, you are getting presents for the children. Would you prefer to not get presents? good grace an'all that jazz

BridgetBidet Sun 28-Jul-13 21:42:56

They don't have to wear them on the same day. Especially if it is a trousers/tops combo you can mix and match. I think you are overreacting a bit. When I opened this thread I thought you were going to say that someone was actually dressing your kids alike against your wishes.

But no, buying the same outfit then leaving it up to you what you do with it is not unreasonable.


talkingnonsense Sun 28-Jul-13 21:45:30

Children born within a year of each other are commonly ( if uncomplimentarily!) called "Irish twins"- the op isn't inventing something, though I expect (hope!) that as a phrase it's on it's way out.

StrawberryMojito Sun 28-Jul-13 21:46:45

They're gifts. You dress your and decide what they wear not your MIL but she is giving presents. Why not just indulge her every so often and put them on Skype wearing matching outfits. I'm sure it won't scar dd2 for life and it will probably make MILs day. Is that so bad?

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