I am never surprised by the outrageous questions and comments that strangers blurt out when they see that someone has multiples. Discussing this issue with other parents of multiples, I have determined that human beings have quite a fascination with twin, triplets and higher order multiples; and that we should just take it for what it is. Pure curiosity. Here are a couple of statements and questions that you should be prepared to answer. Starting with the most obvious of all:
“Are they twins?”
This question is asked on a daily basis whether you are carrying two or three babies. A simple smile and nod has shown results. This is considered to be the ice breaker of many twin conversations.
“Are they identical?”
This is one of those questions that you will be asked whether you have same sex twins or boy/girl twins. This question is usually followed by “How do you tell them apart?” I find that it's very hard for strangers to tell identical twins apart. I can respect that, but when one child is dressed in blue and the other is dressed in pink, there is clearly something wrong with this question. Can the general population really not know that 99% of boy girl twins are NOT identical?
“Do multiples run in your family?”
Having had to answer this question several times, I have often sat and wondered about what exactly people were asking me. Did they want to know if I had fertility issues, or are they just taking a poll to see if multiples skip a generation? Either way, it seems like a very touchy subject for moms who needed a little help. If you're on the asking end of the conversation, please do us a favor and stop yourself right there.
“How do you do it?”
The answer to this question depends on my mood that day. Sometimes I will answer “Well, I have no choice,” and other times I will say “With a lot of love.” Either way, I think I get the same point across.
“Do you have a favorite?”
Really? You can't help but chuckle at this one. I can see someone having a favorite set of shoes or even a favorite pet, but are you really asking me if I have a favorite child? A friend of mine once told me that she found the perfect answer to this question and I believe she is right. She answers “The one that isn't crying.” Take that!
“Better you than me!”
This is a comment that has been said to me several times. Maybe they're right. I have double the blessings right now and boy am I happy to have them! Funny thing is that the last person who said this to me ended up having twins a year later. Think again before those words come out of your mouth my friends...(Can you tell I'm chuckling?)
The questions and comments go on and on, but one thing holds true. The fascination with the world of multiples is shared by us multiple parents too, and we consider ourselves very lucky to be a part of it!