Come play in my world for awhile!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Double the fun

Growing up I always wished I was an identical twin. I envied the bond I assumed identical twins would have. I fantasized about letting my "smarter half" take my trigonometry test. When I discovered I was pregnant with twins I was thrilled when I discovered they were identical. If I couldn't be an identical twin then the next best thing is to be a mommy to identical twins, right?

As a result I have always been welcoming of comments and curiosity from strangers. As my babies girls have gotten older (they're closing on 7!) strangers notice their similarities less frequently. The older they become the more they become individuals -- different personalities, different facial expressions, different tones of voice.

So when I was out with Abby and Emily the other day and a stranger stopped to comment on my daughters I was especially patient. After all, it isn't like the old days when I couldn't leave the house without answering a barrage of questions about "the babies." I hardly even remember all of the "advice" that was more of a personal attack on my parenting style. Or the one lady who happened upon me at a bad moment in the park when the twins were screaming and needing to be nursed.

I was trying to sort through the logistics of nursing twins in the park without getting naked from the waist up. Hannah, barely two, had stumbled into a fountain on a 50 degree day, and was moments away from realizing she was freezing. Rachel, barely four, was having the time of her life on the monkey bars, and was just old enough to realize that the situation had reached near-calamity stage. I could tell by her angry posture that she was bristling at the idea of being taken home prematurely.

It was at this moment that the "lady" passed by on her power walk. She quickly sized up my situation, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "This is why they make birth control. You should try it." She never even broke her stride. The worst part is that I was too sleep deprived/shocked/furious/hurt (just pick one -- they all work) to zing her back with a snappy retort. Anyway, I was not thinking about those days. I'm completely over it. Can't you tell?

The stranger made some initial conversation. She was polite and considerate, and I enjoyed talking with her. As the conversation continued to unfold she asked if my girls were related. The conversation went like this:

Lady: "Are the girls related? They really look alike! It's actually amazing..."
Me: "Yes, they're twins."
Lady: "Really?!? Gosh, they look so much alike I would've thought they were sisters."
Me: "Um. They are sisters. But they're also identical twins.

The beginning of this dialogue was clearly a harbinger of bad things to come. I tried to explain the concept of identical twins, but sometimes conversations just run in circles. The more you try for clarity the fuzzier the lines become. After a few moments of this circular conversation the nice lady was looking at me as if I wasn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I'm fairly certain I wore a similar look on my face as we went our separate ways.

I never realized how entertaining my twins would be.


sunnymom said...

The story about the park with all the little ones makes me really glad that I only have one. I admire anyone with more than one kid. But then again I am a single mom and Tooters feels like more some days.

ck said...

Wouldn't it be awesome to get the chance to pull a George Costanza and go back in time with witty responses?

(ps: I bet you could've kicked that speed walker's ass.) said...

Holy crap! What gets into people?! You should have chased after her and given her a piece of your mind. Although I guess the crying babies and soaking wet toddler might have slowed you down. But still! People need to think before they open their mouths.

Kathy B! said...

It would be fabulous to go back in time! I'm chronically challenged when it comes to generating witty/sassy comebacks. I usually have to mull it over for a couple days before I can come up with the perfect retort.

It's so not good for my blood pressure!

Anonymous said...

hey girl! A friend of mine has boy/girl twins........they are asked ALL of the time if they are identical. I mean, seriously!!!

you need to come up with a good retort for people, but you are always too nice for that!

Anonymous said...

ROTFLOL Are they related?!

I remember when my Crown Princes were 6 and 4 we went to Sprawl Mart and some guy at the cash register asked me if they were twins. One is blonde. The other is dark headed. One is a good 4" taller. I couldn't HELP myself.

"Yes sir. It was buy one get one free by mail. You know how slow the postal service is. I didn't get the little twin for two more years."

:) said...

Consider yourself as taking the higher road. It'll help your blood pressure, and give you peace of mind as well. Stooping to the level of idiots only makes you an idiot as well. Consider yourself blessed ;)

Gibby said...

I always wished I had a twin, too. All the good books and movies seemed to involve twins when I was a kid. Wow. That lady needs some help. But your girls, on the other hand, are GORGEOUS!

Modern Princess said...

I love twins. My mom/Aunt are fraternal twins. And I kind of always wished I had twins.

Of course, despite the myth that twins skip a generation, I was not blessed with twins. So I had the next best thing. Two really really close together. Now that they are getting older and starting to "even out" in size and development I get asked all the time if they are boy/girl twins, and I love every second of that question! "No, they are 11 months apart, but I treat them as if they are twins." ;)

Lana said...

Oh my goodness. I had a similar experience. I had my 3 nephews and own two kids at a park. I was trying to gather them to leave, and the whining started about leaving. I said loudly (to the kids) "I'm getting frustrated. We're are leaving. NOW!"

An old man walked by and said, "If you can't handle them, you shouldn't have had so many."

My first reaction was to throw the stroller in front of him so he'd fall and break a hip, but my daughter was in it. (Dang!)

So instead I hollered after him "did you ever stop to think that I have cancer and their dad died in a car accident 2 months ago?" Of course NONE of it was true, but he looked SO guilty and apologized repeatedly.
People should just mind their own business!!
Sorry about the novel here...

Anonymous said...

Ok, that woman is very lucky I wasn't around because I would have been very happy to deal with her for you. What a bitch.
I can only imagine how much more challenging you have it.