Are those twins? is a question I get so many times a day that it makes my head hurt. My favourite thing about my friend J is that she also has twins and that her twins are a little older and more obvious. At a coffee shop the other day she was getting all kinds of attention – the sort that we both love, of course, attention that interrupts our conversation with each other so we can answer obvious questions about our offspring. I had one of The Brothers on my lap and the other was snoozing in his bassinet totally hidden. Not wanting to leave me out of the conversation the woman accosting J with adoration turned to me and said “I bet you think just one is enough eh!” and I said —–“yes. yes. I do”
J and I joke about having a FAQ card so that we can just hand it to people and move on. It would look like this
Hello! Thank you for expressing an interest in my children/family. I have handed you this card because, as you will see in the answer to question 4, twins do make life very busy. So while I continue doing my groceries/playing with my children/visiting with a friend/dealing this this police officer/enjoying a moment of silence – your
nosiness curiousity can be satisfied. Enjoy!
1) Are they twins?
Yes. Yes they are. (Please use the reverse to share what alternative answer you were expecting. Two mouse-lengthed pregnancies? That I had one baby and liked him so much I thought I’d steal another?)
2) Are they identical?
Yes. And before you can even ask it, let me say again – yes. and no they don’t look EXACTLY the same. Neither do you on two different days.
3) Do twins run in your family?
No. (if that was all you were looking for, please move on to question 4)
No. In fact, identical twins do not “run in families” the way fraternal ones can. (if you appreciated that little bit of genetic trivia and are satisfied, please move on to question 4)
No. And allow me to answer your hidden question too – It wasn’t with a fertility clinic, they were conceived through intercourse. I think it was the time we were visiting my parents and staying in my brother’s childhood room.
4) You must be so busy.
5) Do you have help?/Do you have live-in help?
Yes. I married him years ago. He’s free and legally he can’t quit.
6) You must be a big help! (A FAQ of my daughter)
I’ll answer for her, since she often shoves her face into my butt to hide from stangers who ask her questions in baby voices. No she is not a big help. Her ability to help is limited by her tendency to crap her pants and her belief that babies and teddy bears are one in the same. In fact, her general lack of intelligence (as a three year old) means that we routinely have to prevent her from unintentionally killing one or both of them.
7) did you have a c-section?
My babies were born vaginally. And to answer the followup question that your flinch indicates – I used the word “vaginal” because it’s the correct word to use. All babies are born naturally – there’s no such thing as an un-natural birth.
8 ) I don’t know how you do it
No one told me there was an option.
9) You’re amazing.
This isn’t really a question and it’s sort of nice to hear. But I’m a well resourced and supported woman raising healthy children. It’s not that amazing. There are far more amazing mother out there that many people actually scorn rather than sit in awe of.
10) Can I tell you that (insert your twin-story here)
No. Unless you have twins yourself (and I already know you don’t because you wouldn’t be bothering me if you did, you would just have given me a knowing nod as you passed and if you did talk to me you would have said you have twins immediately so I would known not to scorn you as another irritating person mindlessly draining time from my life)
I’m sure this all sounds very harsh and ungrateful. People are interested in you and your children! How can you be so cold! It’s amazing how fast it happens. I honestly, without exaggeration will easily draw a crowd if the twins are open for all to see. At the museum I drew such a crowd that a man came up and upon seeing it was just us said “Oh. Cute. I have twins myself. I thought there was an exhibit here.” J and I were out for coffee and the line up of people for the counter were all asking us questions like a freaking press corps. It gets tiring. It’s my own mini celebrity-poparazzi complex, except I don’t get the fame part and I didn’t sign up for this.
I’m busy (I have twinsdoncha-know ) and I don’t have a lot of time to do the things I need or love to do. It’s very very sad to miss a friend and then finally sit with her only to be interrupted every 5 minutes. Or to want to engage with your daughter who feels the neglect of having two infant brothers and have to field questions instead
If you see someone with twins and feel the need to say something, try “aren’t they lovely” “Aww cute” or just smile.