Ever since I found out I was pregnant with twins, people have said some bizarre, ill thought-out and downright offensive things to us. I’ve consulted with some other twin parents and this appears to be the norm, unfortunately – along with people staring as if we are celebrities when we’re out as a family (this is particularly bad when we are carrying any of the three children in a sling).
When you have twins, suddenly strangers are interested in the method of conception, your family history, and whether you’ll plan to have any more children. They’ll want to touch your baby and if my experience is anything to go by, they won’t ask your permission or even acknowledge you before grabbing at your precious tiny twins.
During my pregnancy, I heard “twins! You’ll have your hands full!” so many times that I came up with amusing (imaginary) retorts, such as “yes, because having a two-year-old is a breeze!”
I’ve also been asked (by randomers in the street) whether they were conceived through IVF. I find this really odd: I can’t think of any situation where it would be appropriate to ask a stranger about their children’s conception. Asking about their birth is quite common, and I find most people assume they were born via C section. I’ve also heard “are you feeding them yourself?”, which makes me smile inwardly as I imagine using a feeding proxy (surely if formula-feeding, you still feed your babies yourself!).
The number-one weirdest thing we’ve been asked HAS to be “oh, a boy and a girl! Are they identical?” Some people can’t seem to grasp why our boy/girl twins cannot possibly be genetically identical. I haven’t yet come up with a sarcastic retort to this question, but I am considering just replying, “yes.”
I really dislike being the centre of strangers’ attention and so I tend to ignore the stares, smiles and comments – at the same time worrying I’ll appear rude. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to graciously deal with the unwanted attention – I suppose I’ve got a lifetime of being a twin parent to find out!