Are they twins?
Nope. Same size, same age, same outfit, look exactly alike.
They are actually four years apart.
Are you nursing?
My response: What is your weight?
It is an equally personal question. Breastfeeding and all that came with it was one of the most traumatic, guilt and stress inducing event of my life. Thank you complete stranger, I so appreciate discussing my boobs and the choices I have made regarding them, with you.
Are they natural?
What? Huh? No they are robots I built in the garage from a kit I ordered online.
What the hell does this even mean? My twins were spontaneous but for someone who has undergone medical treatment to become pregnant this would be highly offensive and inappropriate.
Who do you like better?
Followed by "it's okay, you can tell me". And they aren't joking.
I have no comment.
How do you tell them apart?
Considering they are two separate humans with two separate personalities - it isn't too hard.
I usually just respond "he has more hair" and bite my tongue.
Just wait till they get older!
Uh, okay. I'm not in a hurry to find out what you mean. What will happen? Will they turn into giant lizards? Do they roll around the house in a ball of flames? It gets better? It gets worse? What exactly does this mean?
Better you than me.
Yes. Yes indeed.
I have two children close in age so it is pretty much the same thing as twins.
Unless you want to be met with the growl of a rabid dog. You don't say this to a twin parent! No. No it is not at all the same thing. Not even close. Now don't get me wrong, every parent has their struggles but having two children is NOT the same as having twins. I can imagine having a toddler and a newborn is a nightmare all it's own. And I don't doubt that parents of singletons go through things I will never understand. None of this is a contest, and it is all fine and well but do NOT try and tell me it is the same.It is not. And I can give you a list of reasons why.
My so and so's 5th cousin removed mother in laws sister is a twin.
Great. That is awesome. Twins are amazing. I have 30 seconds to buy this much needed toilet paper and get home before it is time to change and feed these two tiny maniacs but be sure to eat up valuable time telling me all about how you know a twin.
Do twins run in the family?
Yes they do, but that has nothing to do with why I have twins. Science says so. I will gladly talk til I am blue in the face about the twins in my family because they are amazing people, but it has nothing to do with why I have them. And if I look like I am in a hurry, can they please save this question for someone with a nanny.
Does one (fill in the blank) better than the other?
Are you seriously comparing these children to one another? They are twins, not contestants in a cock fight.
You're done now right?
Again, how is my reproductive choices your business, complete stranger?
I always wanted twins.
This is always said by the one person who refuses to come over and help you.
I always wanted twins too, and I wouldn't change it for anything, but think before you speak. Do not sit there and tell a sleep deprived, hungry person who wishes they had 4 arms you want what they have and not help them.
Are they identical or paternal?
They are identical (as identical as you can get!) and neither of them are a father yet so I am not sure what you mean by 'paternal'......
They are too cute to be trouble.
How cute is a wolverine? They are adorable, they look like puppies and they will tear you limb from limb before you can even blink.
Now you think this would be welcomed after some of the above responses... but it isn't. Our kids are not spreading some dangerous disease by walking down the street therefore you should not describe them as scary, to their mother, you perfect stranger.
I would come home day after day with new, shocking comments and questions to share with their dad. I would get all worked up and in an outrage that people have the absolute nerve to say these things! "I understand curiosity and I am an incredibly curious person, and I love people fawning over these miracles BUT have some respect. For the parents. For the twins!" I would say. We would joke and joke about the things people do and how we would love to respond.
(I must sound like such a heartless bitch. I know that is what you are thinking.
I promise you I am not. There is a point to this story - please keep reading.)
I was a very high risk pregnancy. I had a very good chance of leaving that hospital with only one baby. Or even no babies. I can't imagine the heartache a mother feels in that type of situation. What a mother that went through that loss would give to have people approach and ask annoying and inappropriate questions. What she would give to feel the struggle of trying to feed, console, change, manage two babies at once. Or even one. How she would long for sleepless nights spent with her child.
This is the hardest job I have ever done, and I am not even 3 months in. I can't imagine what the future has in store for me, I can't even imagine what this afternoon will bring. I can barely keep my eyes open and have been writing this post for 6 days due to constant interruption. I haven't taken a decent shower, washed my hair or put on actual clothing in what feels like weeks. There are days I truly wonder who the hell thought making me a twin mom was an acceptable idea and maybe if I died (because I am convinced they are trying to kill me) a step mom will do much, much better than I am.
But there is not a moment, even at the lowest low when I am lying on the floor in a puddle of tears for the 8th time this week, that I am not eternally grateful for this gift. Through every complaint, every joke, every sigh, I am so thankful. I mean, I have TWO babies to love, seriously - that is just incredible.
I had this realization and was immediately transported to a new frame of mind. Everything in this life is about learning. I learned that annoying, disrespectful questions are not the worst thing that can happen and I should enjoy every moment. Life would be much sadder with out them.
So if you see a twin parent out and about, approach them. By all means, approach them. Tell them that they are doing an amazing job. That their kids are lucky to have them. And that it will get easier (even if it is a lie) I guarantee you that the gate to all the questions you have will be opened they will be thrilled to share all their stories with you, should you so want to hear them.
While you're at it, take a minute and tell a singleton mom, or the parent juggling 5 kids or any parent at all, what a wonderful job they are doing. Because they are. And you have no idea how that tiny, small remark can save a persons whole day. Maybe more.
** to the guy(a twin) in Target who looked at me with understanding eyes and wished us all the best. Thank you.
** to the woman in Target with twins and 3 other children who told me "take it one day at a time, you are doing great." Thank you.
** to every person who stops me to congratulate me, to remark on how strong we are for being out and about so soon, to express love for the miracles that are these twins. Thank you.
Because although the point of sharing the crazy questions above was to show what I learned about tolerance, there are wonderful and beautiful people out there who shine love upon us every day.
I am grateful for both the crazy and the loving comments and remarks. We learn something from it all!