The General Public On Twins

by Lori
Originally Published: 

Six weeks after the twins were born and I got the okay from the doctor, I would load them up in the double-jogging stroller and walk just over a mile (up hill in one direction) to the local Starbucks and treat myself to an iced venti skinny vanilla latte. I would want to make the most of my time out of the house, so I would stop at the international grocery store to chat with the proprietors and find some new items for fun new dinner ideas, or I would hit one of the other stores in the shopping center to get my fill of adult conversation. Inevitably, I would encounter someone who simply could not control their enthusiasm over the freak-show that twins apparently are to the whole non-twin-having world…

Man in line behind me at Starbucks: “Heh, you better have two in that thing!”

Me: [turning only half-way around] “And if I don’t?”

Man: “Oh, heh, heh, um, uh, yeah”

(Tip: Don’t be ridiculous to a mom of twins BEFORE she gets her coffee.)

Woman waiting for her beverage at Starbucks:

“Ohhhh, aren’t they precious! They’re so quiet! How LUCKY you are to get two babies who just sleep all the time!”

Me: “We’ve been here 5 minutes after a 15 minute stroller ride, you really think they are this quiet all the time?”

Woman: “Oh, yeah, I guess not. Are they good for you at home?”

Me: “No. They are babies. They cry when they want to eat, sleep, or be held. And I only have two hands. They cry a lot.”

Woman: “Oh, I guess two is harder than one. I remember when MINE were babies I just LOVED to hold them ALL the time! You have DOUBLE the love now!”

Me: “Right. Everything certainly is doubled… including the diapers.”

(Tip: Don’t gush to a mom of twins about how much LOVE she has on her hands when you are 30 years past changing poopy diapers.)

Man in line at Starbucks: “Oooh, twins! Are they paternal?”

Me: “You mean FRAternal?”

Man: “Yeah, whatever is not identical.”

Me: “Right, they are not identical, they are fraternal.”

Man: “But they are both girls?”

Me: [what was your first clue? the bright pink and purple dresses?] “Yes, they are both girls.”

Man: “I thought fraternal meant they were both boys.”

Me: [sigh] “No, fraternal just means they are not identical. Two separate eggs, they can be either gender, or one of each.”

Man: “Oh, cool. So do they look exactly alike?”

Me: [SIGH] “No, they are just like other siblings, except they were born on the same day.” [dear GOD I know SIX-year-olds who grasped this concept faster!!]

Man: “Oooooh, got it. They’re cute.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(Tip: if you weren’t a biology major, try not to throw around words you don’t understand.)

Woman working at Walgreen’s: “WOW! LOOK at THAT! TWO babies! Are they TWINS?”

Me: “Yes.” [no, I just decided I didn’t have enough screaming in my life so I drag this one around with the other one to make things interesting.]

Woman: “Well I just BET you are a BUSY little thing!”

Me: “Yes.” [so kindly get out of my way, you are blocking the aisle I need to go down for baby vitamins]

Woman: “I just can’t IMAGINE it! Do you just LOVE it or what?”

Me: “It’s a challenge. Could you, um, I need to get those, over there…”

Woman: “OH OF COURSE! I bet you have SO much to do and HERE I AM just wasting your TIME!”

Me: “Heh, heh, yeah, I’m busy.” [seriously, I’m in a hurry, could you MOVE?]

Woman: “Well, I just HAVE to get a good look at those BABIES!” [As she reaches for the blanket I have mostly covering them so they STAY asleep]

Me: [backing up a couple feet] “Yeah, they are asleep now, and the light disturbs them.”

Woman: “Oh, I’ll just take QUICK peek!”

Me: [SIGH. I raise the end of one blanket a couple inches.] “Yeah, okay.”

Woman: “Oooooh, aren’t they just PRECIOUS!! Well I’ll let you go about your business now.”

Me: “Thanks.” [I was about to dial 911 if you didn’t back off!]

(Tip: if you acknowledge that a new mom is busy, and the new mom SAYS she is busy, try not to piss her off by wasting her time and assaulting her sleeping babies.)

Woman at the Farmer’s Market: “Ooooh, aren’t they cute! Twins?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman: “A boy and a girl?”

Me: “No, two girls. Did the dress with the flowers on it throw you?”

Woman: “oh, ha ha, right.”

(Tip: if you don’t have a clue right in front of your face as to the gender of the child, go with this: What are their names?)

Woman in line at Starbucks: “Oh wow, twins! Are they natural?”

Me: [pausing for *just* a minute] “No, we already have one real daughter, so we decided to make these out of plastic.” [I swear you could hear crickets chirping]

Woman: [looking like she didn’t quite get it] “Oh, ha ha, right – well, um, they are beautiful.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(Tip: If you aren’t comfortable telling me which position you used to conceive your children, try to hold back on the curiosity about my kids’ conception.)

Then there was the time the grocery bagger at the Commissary, who didn’t speak much English, points to my pregnant stomach, grabs her own left breast and says, “from here?” I silently nodded my head in complete confusion as to why this was any of her business. She holds her arm up like she’s making and muscle and says, “Good! Grow strong!”

Imagine where we would be without the advice of complete strangers!

Related post: 10 Reasons It’s Awesome Having Twins

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