I can't believe it finally happened and that I am about to blog it. By blogging it I am acknowledging the ultimate parenting error that I managed to make last night.
I still have 4 happy and healthy children and to be fair none of them are traumatised because my mothering abilities managed to slip for one night.
I only realised the error of huge proportions when eldest daughter and I went to get Baby E out of her cot this morning, and in one swift second eldest daughter looked at Baby E and said "Why is Baby A sleeping in that cot?"
Yes I had actually done it. I had dressed my identical twin girls entirely in the wrong pyjamas, wrong fleece sleepsuits and I had put them to sleep in the wrong cots. When they had both woken up at about 10pm I had given them both a cuddle and called them by the wrong name. Perhaps that was why they took so long to settle back to sleep because I was just confusing them both.
To cut myself some slack they are identical twins and they do look the same. Since they were born people have asked if I have ever got them mixed up but I haven't. As newborns Baby E had an umbilical hernia so we could easily tell the difference and then one day dear husband noticed that the shape of their ears were different. Also Baby A has always had a slightly narrower face than Baby E. But lets face it we are really clutching at straws to tell them apart.
Thankfully on their first birthday Grandma and Grandpa bought them a bracelet each with their name on. These bracelets have never been taken off, so now we have no excuse in mixing them up.
So back to last night. It was bedtime. We had to get the babys into bed for 7pm as we were taking the oldest two kids out. The babys were playing on the bed and dear husband went downstairs to get the milk. In a flash Baby A catapaulted off our bed and Baby E cried because I had to put her down to pick up her sister. There were a lot of tears but then we sat with them as it got darker outside with only a small light on and they happily drained their bottles of milk. Dear husband and I each pulled a vest and babygrow from the pile in front of us and dressed the girls. We then put on their fleece babygrows and they snuggled down into their cots.
At some point during that whole episode of bedtime we obviously thought we were holding the other baby to the one we were. The problem is that half way through drinking their milk they crawled off to play for a while and then when it came to dressing them I imagine that the other baby crawled towards me and I just presumed I still had the baby I had had previously. As I write this I am starting to feel less guilty as I know that it's an easy mistake to make.
Since before they were born we always said that we wouldn't dress them the same as it's better for their individuality. I also like the fact that at a glance across the room I can tell from the clothes they are wearing which baby is which. Now however I am wondering whether if I had conditioned myself to always dress them the same perhaps by now I would recognise the ever so minimal differences in their faces and last nights mix up may never have happened.
I know that before long they will be talking and will be able to correct me and then they will have years to trick me by pretending to be each other. But I think as identical twins they will absolutely have a right to do this.
Tonight I know I haven't made any mistakes. They are wearing the correct fleece sleepsuits and both girls seemed to breathe a sigh of relief (as did I) as I put them to bed in their correct cots.