People's reactions to twins constantly amaze me. I think some people, upon meeting twins, automatically stumble into some alternate universe rendering them utterly befuddled and clueless.
Here are some choice statements we get:
1. "Better you than me."
Um, yeah. Apparently. And I'm all for freedom of speech, but please check your thoughts — especially in front of my kids. They, you know, UNDERSTAND ENGLISH.
2. "So-and-so-relative is terrified now that twins run in our family now and is panicking that she will have twins too."
Don't get me wrong; I completely understand this feeling. Part of the reason we decided not to have more kids is because statistics show that having twins begets more twins. Admittedly, it is not always easy. But really...it's unnecessary to express how so-and-so is concerned that she might have to live my life (tragic as it may seem).
3. "Do you have two boys, two girls…?"
"Actually, one of each."
"Oh, cool...Are they identical?"
People. Peo. ple. Per dictionary.com, I present the definition for identical:
i·den·ti·cal [ahy-den-ti-k uhl, i-den-] –adjective
1. similar or alike in every way
2. being the very same; selfsame
This means that, by nature, GIRLS AND BOYS ARE NOT IDENTICAL. Because you know, boys have penises, and girls don't.
I was asked this question twice this weekend, and it took every ounce of me not to come back with a snarky response. However, other haggard, tired moms of twins might not feel so gracious. I'm just saying. Watch out.
(Before anyone comments with proof of semi-identical or identical b/g twins, let me just add that those are rare cases, and for the most part, parents of fraternal twins are tired and will give a snarky response regardless. Or think the person is dumb behind his/her back. Because c'mon, we all know that person isn't asking, "Are they semi-identical or a very rare case of identical boy/girl twins?" )
4. "Are they identical or paternal?"
I laughed when I got this one. I couldn't help myself.
5. "He/She is the older brother/sister, right?"
This one simultaneously confuses and amuses me. I can usually tell when someone is asking, Which one came out first? but there are others who are convinced that one or the other is the older sibling. The kids are almost the same exact size and height. Developmentally, they are pretty even as well. Do people think it's possible to have a one-week pregnancy?
6. "Which one came out first?"
[Why? What does it matter?] "Uh, she did."
"Oh yeah, I could tell. She looks older. Definitely."
Hmmm. That's interesting. I didn't know people could look older by two minutes. I would love to stay and chat but I don't know how to converse WITH CRAZY ILLOGICAL PEOPLE.
7. "Wow...double trouble!"
Ugh. You're trouble! Get out of my face. (I know. I'm like the Michael Scott of comebacks.)
8. "How do you nurse them?"
Want me to show you? I took pictures and put them on Facebook.
9. "I don't know how you do it," or, "Twins! You must have your hands full."
These aren't necessarily rude or stupid. But there's a 99.9% chance that we've heard this at least 12 times already that day. If you want to strike up a conversation, see #4. At least you'll get a laugh.
Lest you think I am being overly sensitive, let me explain that I am not innocent of these charges myself. For example, when explaining our decision not to have any more children, I usually say to anyone who will listen: "Are you freakin' crazy? My chances of having twins is greater after the first set. Nuh uh. No way. I would run away from home."
Hmmm… I wonder if the kids would take this the wrong way?
Yeah, I thought so.
However, I don't say it in front of my kids. Or I try not to anyway. As I've said before, I'm a work-in-progress. And when I say that twins make people stupid, I wasn't excluding myself. I mean… duh.