From the crazy to the ignorant, here are some things that have been said to me since finding out we were going to have these two cuties.
- "Sleep when they sleep." Do you really think they consistently sleep, for long stretches at the same time? And even if and when they do, I have about 3493 other things to do...laundry, cleaning (ha!), feeding myself, picking up clothes and toys, going to the bathroom, etc...I don't think I can relax enough to fall asleep!
- "You're so tiny, your belly must have looked ridiculous!" "You must have been HUGE while you were pregnant!" This is sort of a compliment, I suppose, but also one that I have no idea how to respond to. "Why yes I WAS the size of a whale!"
- "Are they yours?" Related to the above, since I think they mean that I look too small to have actually had twins, but again, it's a pretty awkward question to respond to. In fact, most of these are pretty awkward questions to formulate a response to.
- "Is it true what they say about twins? Can they read each other's minds?" First off, how would I know? Second of all, they are eight months old. Their favorite thing about having another small person around all the time is stealing each other's toys, and using the other to climb on things. Third of all...really?
- "Were you surprised when you found out it was twins?" Nope, just what we expected! We planned it this way, doncha know!
- "Were you trying?" Why? Not only is it none of your business, but what if we weren't? Do you then think it's funny that we got two babies, instead of just one, which would have been enough of a surprise? And what if we were? Are you really just trying to find out if we were using fertility treatments? I'd rather have you flat out ask me, although, again, none of this is any of your business.
- "Are they twins?" I saw my favorite response to this somewhere online: "No, I found the other one in a parking lot and thought, why not?" I find this question particularly amusing since Caden and Brooklyn have always been so similar in size, hardly being more than a few ounces or even more than half an inch different.
- "Do you think having twins is harder than having one baby?" I mean, they practically take care of each other, right?!?
- "So is a twin pregnancy harder than a regular one?" Someone actually asked me this. Since at the time I was measuring well over 40 weeks pregnant, and was only around 32 or so weeks along, I'm not even sure I managed a gracious response. I don't know how this is actually a question. "No, it gets easier the more babies are in there!"
- "Congratulations...and my condolences." There's no need for that. Having two does mean more work, but I don't need your sympathy.
- "Two boys or two girls?" We get asked this a lot, but never if it is one of each. It's like people expect that twins are always the same sex.
- "Are they identical?" My go-to response for this is, "Nope, it's a boy and a girl", so hopefully they get the hint. What I really want to say is something like, "Everything but the penis!"
- "My kids are (x) months apart, so I know what it's like to have twins!" "My kids are (x) months apart...I think it would have been easier if they were twins!" To the first: no, no you don't. You did not have to go through a twin pregnancy or have two babies going through the exact same stages at the exact same times (I actually had a store clerk say this to me once and her kids were three YEARS apart!). To the second: no again. I'm not saying that it would be easier to have a toddler and a newborn, but I don't think it's harder. I'm sure they are both hard, but in very different ways. I'm also sure that they are both hard in their own way and both easy in their own way at different times. At the very least, you got to experience having one, single child to take care of for however many months, and that is something that (for better or worse) I will never know.
- "How lucky, you're done now!" "Isn't it nice that you can be done having kids?" Huh, there's apparently a cap now on how many children you can have in America. It's amazing how many times we've heard this, and the funny looks I get when I bother to explain that we do want more kids. (Just...not for awhile.) Also I think people tend to say this because we have a boy and a girl, which implies that having two of the same is somehow less desirable.
- "What do you do all day?" "Don't you get bored?" Let me remind you that there are TWO BABIES here. And ONE me. It's anything but boring. The general list of things I do each day might not be long: laundry, change diapers, nurse, make food, etc., but I do these things approximately 239 times. Each. I usually do 1-2 loads of laundry a day (always diapers), but sometimes as many as 5 or 6. Which then needs to be folded and put away. They still nurse 6-7 times per day (so 12-14 times total). (Let me just point out that the average newborn nurses 10-12 times a day.) There are probably at least 6-7 diaper changes in there...times two. And you might think, "Oh, a diaper change, that doesn't take very long." OH YES IT DOES. The other day it took me over a half hour to change both of their diapers in the morning and get them into fresh clothes for the day, since they are now so wiggle-y and don't want to sit still for anything. It's like a wrestling match every time one of them needs a new diaper.
So what should you say when you see a mom with twins? Or heck, a mom with any number of children? Try this: "Congratulations. They're beautiful." Bonus points if you add, "Can I help you with that?" (For example: while there are a lot of wonderful people out there, it is amazing how many people don't even get the door when I'm trying to push the stroller through! I can do it alone, but it's so much nicer, and seems like basic common courtesy, to get a little help!)
Also just to add, that this isn't to say that I mind or get annoyed talking to people about my twins. I actually do enjoy it most of the time, if for no other reason than A) I get a little adult interaction and B) I have something to laugh over with Tyson later. And in the years to come!