Are you expecting twins? Or, do you already have them? How about triplets? Quadruplets?
I’m the mom of three girls – including a set of identical twins. My older daughter was 2 ½ when my twins were born. They’re a little older than babies now, but when they were young I wondered each and every morning if I’d be able to make it out of the house with them on any given day. In fact, some days I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to walk outside and collect the mail out of the mailbox.
When my twins were newborns, taking the trash cans from the garage to the street was an event that had to be planned hours in advance. Figuring out how to get everyone fed, changed, and out for a walk around the block was a major undertaking. Going to the grocery store with all three of them was an impossible thought.
Besides the logistical difficulties associated with having 3 children under the age of 3, I was also forced to deal with inane comments I received from strangers in public on the rare days I ventured out of the house. I knew that most people meant well with their comments and intense interest in me and my kids, but learning how to deal with strangers was something I never anticipated would be a real problem. But it was. I learned very quickly that if I had to go out in public with my babies, I had to have pre-determined strategy. So I decided to come up with some canned responses to the most frequent questions and comments that I typically received from strangers. This made it easier to get through it all. Here are some examples:
“Wow… you’ve really got your hands full.”
This was the comment that bugged me the most. Were the strangers who felt compelled to tell me that I had my hands full really under the impression that I did not know that I had my hands full with 3 babies? I decided to give everyone who told me I had my hands full a blank stare as if I had no idea what they were talking about.
“Awwww… are they maternal twins?”
When my babies were really young, I was entertained by this question from strangers. At first, I actually spent time explaining to them that there is no such thing as “maternal” twins. There are only “fraternal” or “identical twins.” After a few weeks of explanations, however, I decided that I would never be able to educate the entire general public on the actual types of twins that exist. So I eventually decided to respond to this question with a simple “yes.”
“Do twins run in your family?”
This question was similar to the previous question mentioned above. At first I felt the need to explain the biology of twins to everyone who asked – - about the fact that identical twins are not hereditary and the incidence of women having identical twins is not affected by age, race, religion, or fertility treatments. To be blunt, identical twins are what I like to refer to as “just a freak of nature.” But when I noticed that people did not like my sarcastic response to this question, I simply decided to answer them with a little white lie, which was: “Yes, my grandmother, aunt, and cousins all had twins (which was really NOT true) – so this the reason I had twins. It must have been due to genetics.”
Do you ever receive strange, funny or aggravating comments from strangers when you take your baby/babies in public?