When Maggie was born, they brought me the wrong baby. I was actually holding my Maggie or at least, the baby I believe to be my Maggie, when nurses wheeled in a bassinet holding a bald baby and a sign that read, “Faulconer Baby.”
Kind of freaky. But we had wrist bands that matched and all that. The nurse saw that I already had Maggie with me and quickly got the other baby out of the room. I have to assume that baby had the right wrist bands on. They did make a mistake, but it wasn’t serious. It could have been.
Sometimes I muse that she was the wrong baby. Just to be clear, we are sure she wasn’t. My husband used to have a friend that was a twin and he loved to torture her by asking, “What if you are your sister?” Mind bending, isn’t it.
Have you heard this story on This American Life? It’s about two women who were accidentally switched at birth. One of the moms knew and could tell. But this was in the olden days and the dad wouldn’t let her mention it because it would shame the doctor — Oh spare me, repressive authoritative 50s!
Anyway, the story is fascinating and it makes you think about the issue of nurture and nature. One of the switched babies grew up to be blond, outgoing, a cheerleader — her family loved her even though the mom knew she was the wrong baby. They were a solemn, brown-haired clan. The wrong baby lightened the mood.
Meanwhile, the serious brown-haired daughter was kind of a drag in the more outgoing family. But they were light and fun and had fewer kids. She had a happy enough upbringing but she felt like he didn’t fit in. She felt serious–even zealous–about religion even though her (switched) parents weren’t that into it. Guess who her real father was? A preacher. That’s the kind of thing I would have sworn was nurture. But in this case, devoutness seems to have been genetic. Listen to the story. It’s pretty intriguing.
Did you ever feel like you might have been switched at birth? Ever feel like your kids were?
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