Friday, January 4, 2008
It's amazing to me how having twins makes people want to talk to me -- and how they have nothing to say. Yesterday we went to the hospital & to pediatric cardiology. We arrived early to fill out paperwork and there was a good chunk of time between our 2 different appointments, allowing ample opportunity for folks to walk by and to see my little guys, all dressed in blue, hanging out in the stroller, being fed, being changed, screaming, sleeping -- you name it, they did it. I feel now like I should have counted the number of times this exchange happened (honestly, with little or no variation). stranger: oh! twins, eh? me: yep stranger: boys or girls? me: two boys (thus the blue striped shirts, the blue booties, the blue hats, the blue blankets...) stranger: you've got your hands full! me: i sure do stranger: good luck! As much as I appreciate friendliness, warm wishes, and the like, it seems to me that people should either think of something wittier to say or just smile and walk on by. I mean, really, how many times a day do I need to be told that I've got my hands full? Don't they think that I know that already? And if my hands ARE that full, why don't you lend me one of yours instead of reminding me how difficult my life must be and walking away? Even worse are the people who have the audacity to probe deeper into the origins of my duplicitous offspring. Identical or fraternal -- now that's a reasonable question. However, I try to avoid a lesson in the genetics of twinning after I answer "identical" and someone proceeds to ask if twins run in my family (since identical twins are spontaneous). I just smile and say that there is a small pocket of twins on my mother's side. Some people go on to inquire into the number of twins on my husband's side (even if they were fraternal, what his sperm would have to do with the number of eggs I release is beyond me). The worst offenders in this category of passers-by are those who ask if my boys were "natural" or "helped out." Again, skipping the genetics of identical twinning, what business is it of anyone else's if my boys were conceived in a petrie dish or in an airplane lavatory? Does the more widespread use of fertility treatments truly give someone the right to inquire as to the method of conception used? That is a bit personal. I shudder to think of the lifetimes of questions like these my boys are going to have to endure! So the next time you think about allowing the phrase, "twins, eh?" to come from your mouth, think twice. Instead of offering up a banal comment, why not offer a smoothie or a granola bar. Chances are the mom DOES have her hands full and has missed a meal or two that day.