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When you're out in public with twin babies, you often feel a little bit like a celebrity -- people stopping you every five seconds to get a look in the stroller, to comment on their cuteness, and ask a bunch of questions. My little guys seem to love the attention, responding to the baby talk with perfectly-timed, flirty grins, like born politicians. As I've said before, I actually don't mind it because, hello, who doesn't enjoy people loving on your kids?
Buuuut, sometimes people just say the dumbest things. I noticed when I was pregnant that my giant orb often turned strangers into mushbrains, and as I'm learning, it apparently happens around babies too...especially twins! Obviously, they're just trying to make conversation, and I get that, but still. Most comments are totally benign, many make me think, "Whaaaat?" and one in particular really pisses me off. Some examples...
"Oh, are they twins?" So, picture this: A double Snap-n-Go rolls up, two identical car seats with two IDENTICAL babies, both the same size, chilling inside. Oh, sure, the obvious question is if their twins...um, duh! Are you really asking that? What, do you think I'm lugging around someone else's matching baby? Okay, I know, I know, it's clearly just their way of starting conversation, but I often want to respond with, "Well, yes and no. The one in front is my son and the one in back is a genetically-engineered clone. Google us."
"So cute! A boy and a girl?" With little babies, it's often tough to tell if you're looking at a little boy or little girl. My friends with girl babies tell me that despite the fact that their little one is wearing a pink dress with a bow in her hair, people will say, "He's a handsome one!" So, I get that. But, my boys are identical. They're identical! And though they are super adorable, I wouldn't call them pretty or delicate. Plus, not to reinforce gender stereotypes, but they're often wearing plaid shirts and jeans, like tiny lumberjacks. And when it's cold, we put blue blankets on their legs. So, which one do you think is a girl? Again though, I think people just ask the question, without even taking a real look.
"You're so lucky -- two for the price of one!" Often, this one is followed up with, "I always wanted twins." I'm not going to lie, I think it's pretty awesome having twins. But, these are my kids, so I wouldn't have it any other way. That being said, raising twins is a lot of freaking work. And, as my friend with identicals of her own pointed out, it's not two for the price of one! You don't get two cribs for half off. You don't get your double set of diapers at a discount. You don't get to breastfeed just one and tell him to split it with his brother. No, when caring for two babies, you have to put in the time, energy and yes, money, to care for two babies at the same time. It's double the work...actually, scratch that, it's probably five times the work. It's not all cute coordinated outfits and secret twin speak and hilarious YouTube videos. Come spend the day at my house...when they're crawling...and teething...with colds.
"Do twins run in your family?" I'm never quite sure what answer people are looking for with this one. Identical twins are random, apparently having nothing to do with genetics or fertility treatments (although, I've heard varying opinions on this.) Regardless, if I say, "No," are they just going to assume I used fertility treatments? If I say, "Yes," are they going to want to hear some tale about how my aunts are twins and I have three cousins who all had twins? I usually just tell them the truth: Identical twins are totally random. Usually, it's just met with a blank stare because, let's be honest, they really didn't care anyway.
"Oh, identical twins. It's so nice to see natural twins, you know not like from fertility treatments." This one has me breathing fire! Um, excuse me, what? Believe it or not, I've heard this more than once, and it makes my skin crawl every time. First of all, these people have no idea how my babies were or were not conceived, but regardless, do IVF babies look or act or seem any different than ones conceived the old-fashioned way? Hells no! And just the idea that it somehow makes this woman's day that she's seeing "natural twins," for once? I mean, it's cukoo-bananas crazy, so I'm always sure to steer my gifts-from-God way clear of these nut jobs, so as not to get their creepy stink on my family.
Do you have twins? What doozies have you heard?