Monday, October 27, 2008

The five stupidest thing you can say to parents of multiples

5. "Are they twins?"
I know, this one is kinda bitchy, but this is a bitchy post. It's a way for people to open a conversation about your twins, but perhaps it's possible we may not want to talk about our twins while we're trying to have dinner. Sometimes we know how athletes must feel. Granted, we get the attention a second-string punter might get, but it's still occasionally unwanted attention.
My response sometimes to this is, "No, they're three months apart," and then revel in their confusion.
4. "Your wife must be busy."
Yes, I guess. I've been spending most of my time at the Playboy Mansion playing strip poker and $4,000-$8,000 stud with Larry Flynt at the Hustler.
Um, guess what? SO AM I. You CANNOT raise twins and not have a husband willing to do half of the work. Well, and keep a marriage going, anyway.
3. "Are they natural?"
What, do you mean if they're made of plastic? Are you asking if they're a new, realistic Barbie doll line? Are you asking if we just put them together ourselves in the basement?
No, what you're asking is if we had fertility treatments. OK, I'll answer that, as long as you're willing to talk about your sex life as well. Let's start with orgasms and your love of pink feathers and go from there, shall we?
2. "You've got your hands full."
No, shit, Sherlock.
I probably have heard this 76,869 times since the girls were born.
1. "I have two kids that are xx months apart, so I know EXACTLY what it's like to have twins."
No, you fucking don't. You have no idea. Sorry, this one's touchy. That's why it's #1.
Your 18-month old or whatever was sleeping through the night, able to walk around on his own, feed herself, take a bath without constant help, drink on his own, etc. Shall I go on? For at least six months, I walked around with a baby almost constantly. We were getting up three times a night, at least, both of us, without a break. When I visited the doctor's office, I carried two carriers inside, propping the door open with my ass while I struggled with both inside, mostly while people watched me with their mouths open. Meanwhile, your 18-month-old probably held the door open for you.
I have a 3-year-old, too. I know what it's like to raise a toddler and an infant. It's not the same thing. It's not even close.
The next time someone says this to me, I throw chipmunk piss on them and throw them to the coyotes that howl by our house late at night.

P.S. Bonus: "Are they identical?"
Parents of opposite-sex twins tell me they still get this question, which boggles my mind. Um, yes, except for his penis. And, well, I guess her...never mind. I'm done.


Andrew said...

The only thing stupider than being asked any of that as a parent is being asked that as a twin.

Are you guys identical? Nope. We're clones.

Who's older? (Inevitably asked by the Dane Cook of the group who thinks this is a hilariously original question)

See what you've done to the twins, Dan? A lifetime -- or at least an adolescence -- of telling people that they are indeed twins!

How unusual!

Stacie said...

"Two for the price of one" remains one of the more annoying comments for me. It's two for the price of two, maybe more since you can't hand things down from one kid to the next.

And people of singletons have NO IDEA. None.

Eva said...

We get most of these, including the identical comment. But now all the time I get "they're not twins. are they? No! They can't be. He's bigger." Because, you know, boy/girl twins must be the exact same size or else they must be a year apart.

I also get do they have their own language? a fair bit.

Sally said...

Mine are not identical and don't look identical (different sizes, different hair color, different faces...) but I get people who ARGUE with me every time I go anywhere about whether they are identical or not!

W said...

"Instant family!" Said by everyone who learns the twins were our first kids.

kate said...

Someone recently opened a door for me and said 'you sure have your hands full!', and i nearly fainted because i had NO babies or baby paraphenalia with me. Just a few math books and some teaching supplies. Little did she know...

I love the way strangers will pick an argument with you about whether the twins are identical or not.

Ellie said...

Um, yes. All of that. (Well except the husband who helps part...mine is a medical resident and CAN'T help.) I sometimes wonder why EVERYbody thinks the appropriate comment to make to me is "you have your hands full." It's for sure true (I have a 2-year-old and 6-month-old twins), and I know most people are really being friendly, but I get so sick of hearing it!

Also I get asked at least once or twice a day if they are twins. I just don't even know why people bother asking. They look EXACTLY ALIKE. Even their father can't tell them apart most of the time. But I have a friend who babysits for her nephew who's just a few months older than her daughter, and she says she gets annoyed when people assume they are twins...

Mine to add: "Oh, I always wanted twins!" Anybody who says that ought to be required to take over for me for a day (and NIGHT), during which I will randomly pop in and say, "having fun yet??"

Drizztdj said...

6. "When one wakes up, does the other one sleep?"

I'll throw some logs on the fire for ya :)

pokerpeaker said...

Ellie, that's true, that should be in the next batch. "I always wanted twins." I just laugh at that. No, you really didn't.

Stacie said...

Except I actually always did want twins. It's a case of "be careful what you wish for..."

And, truly, most days I wouldn't trade them for two singletons. Most days.

Stephanie said...

WOW! Someone finally wrote what i've been thinking for the past year!! We have two boys and everyone thinks they know there personality better than we do...oh he's the flirt and other one is the quiet one. I think to myself yeah thanks for your input. My favorite is when people see you walking down an isle and stand right in front of you to stare at the "freak show." GET THE F*** OUT OF MY WAY!

jano said...

I really want to answer the "Twins?" question by pointing to my 6yo and saying, "no, they're triplets, but everyone knows girls mature faster" (my boys are nearly 2).

I've had people argue that they weren't identical because ... their hair was different. Well, so that's so we can tell them apart from the back. Hair cuts aren't part of DNA, you know.

And once we were hiking back to the house from where we parked the car, with screaming baby twins in the pram, a whiny (then) 4yo, shopping, and 20kgs of dog food. A woman came out of her house to stand in front of the pram and said, "Oh, I MUST just look at those gorgeous twins!". Must you? Really?

Brooker Douglas said...

so are they identical?
did I mention Brooker sleeps though the night? and just learned how to work the grill. doesn't understand the concept of MEDIUM RARE but we're working on that.

Bayne_S said...

Did each have a boob preference and was it the same?

Meleah the Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meleah the Mommy said...

Right after "You must have your hands full" comes "Double Trouble" -- I hate the double trouble comment. And, I can vouch for the identical comment, I have boy/girl twins and people used to ask all the time if they were identical. Now, they say -- "I guess they aren't identical, look, he is so much bigger."
SERIOUSLY - yeah, there is the height difference, and don't forget, "...except for his penis. And, well, I guess her...never mind. I'm done."

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

"You've got your hands full."

Hands down, this is THE most popular comment I get. Followed by "Are they all yours?" And now I even get asked if I have 3 sets of twins. (Nope, just 2!) And then "Do they run in your family?" I guess they do now.

The world of parenting multiples-instant celebrity status!

SeaBird said...

My answer to "are they natural" is "No, they're the human equivalent of aspartame."

And it's not two for the price of one... it's two for the price of 3.

Jules said...

Something that I get A LOT (I am a twin) that I find a horribly dumb question is, "do you like being a twin?" - hmmm, how to answer this one? "Well, it is better than that time that I was a singleton..."

Also, my sister and I look quite a bit alike, however we are fraternal twins... it is amazing how many people will argue with us about that point!

autoautistic said...

What actually drives me crazy is that the people that ask these kinds of questions invariably assume you MUST be ecstatic to answer them, because you're talking about your kids. I'm thinking of printing handouts.

navi said...

We haven't gotten the "Are they natural?" question for our twins yet, but I'm anticipating it. My answer will be, "Actually, they're supernatural."