Sunday, January 13, 2008

What not to say to a parent of twins

When the twins were born, we received a lot of unsolicited advice and commentary. Some of it was helpful, while some of it made me look away and roll my eyes. After a few months, I decided that I was going to make a list of things not to say to a parent of twins--particularly if you do not know the family well. Here are a few, just in case you're wondering.

1. Are they twins? How I wanted to answer, but I was too polite: Well, they're exactly the same size, they're in matching car seats and both my husband and I look like we haven't slept in weeks. What do you think?

2. Oh, a boy and a girl. Are they identical? How I wanted to answer, but I was too polite to make people feel like idiots: Um, let's of them has a penis and one does not. Gee, I guess that makes them identical!

3. Twins (insert sinister laugh here) that's double trouble. How I actually did respond: Actually, it's a double blessing since we had a heck of a time getting them here.

4. Are they "real twins" or did you have to take drugs to get them? How I actually answered because I was tired of perfect strangers inquiring about my gynecological history: Real compared to WHAT? Fake babies? They are indeed real babies. The three feedings in the middle of the night and countless diaper changes wouldn't be happening if they weren't real.

Here are some of the comments many well meaning people would say that made me shake my head.

"If I had twins I would dress them alike all the time."
No you wouldn't. You'd dress them in whatever is clean.

"Oh, a boy and a girl. Now you have the perfect family."
What?? Because any other combination of children isn't perfect???????

"My grandma/aunt/uncle/cousin twice removed was a twin, but his/her twin died when he/she was three months old."
Thank you for sharing that bit of info, bearer of doom and gloom.

In today's society where more and more multiples are being born, one would think that it would be commonplace and that the public would be used to seeing multiples, but really, multiples are attention getters anywhere and everywhere they go. Quite frankly, I'm more amazed at huge families with children of varying ages. Wow. First of all, how did they decide to have that many and how do they ever get out of the house on time? I have trouble enough with my four!

Now when we go in public, nobody asks us if L and O are twins. We do; however, get this question a lot in reference to them, "Oh, they must be very close in age. How far apart are they."

I love to see the looks on faces when we say, "One minute."

It takes awhile for people to figure it out.

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