Twin FAQ for the Overly Inquisitive Stranger

Strangers like to make conversations about babies. Baby twins make you into a D-list celebrity at the mall. I don’t even know how higher order multiple parents handle the attention. Most of the time I appreciate that people are good and kind and generally curious and I am more than happy to chat. Every so often I run into a douchehole who interrupts me while I am trying to get other things done, or is just your general expert on every goddamned thing around and here’s what I would really like to say to them.

1. Are they twins?

I am not sure, I just found this stroller at the grocery store. Just kidding, I found them at the playground. I was looking for a matching set.

2. Did you do fertility treatments?

Wow, that came right out of the gate. They were spontaneous, but in general I do not discuss the shortcomings of my ladyparts with strangers. Tell me more about your ovaries, do they function?

3. How do you do it?

I don’t fucking know. Babies have pretty good ways of compelling you to do their bidding. Sometimes it’s like wrestling an octopus, so I feel like I am developing other skills at the same time.

4. Are their personalities different?

Personality is so complex, isn’t it? How do you define ‘different’? What criteria would you use? Do you have a scale for multiple factors for me to rate them? I am not sure if they’d score statistically different in enough categories to qualify as different. Oh wait, NO. You just want to know if there’s an evil twin. No, their mother can be a bitch on wheels when people get all inquisitive though.

5. Are they identical?

Yes, they are identical. (no smart comments needed here; it’s going to get worse)

6. How do you tell them apart?

I don’t fucking know. How do you tell your hands apart? How do you tell these little baby rhinoceroses apart?

Everyone join me in saying awww (desicolours.com)

Chances are if they lived at your house you’d figure out a system to remember which one steals shit out of the pantry all the time and which one thinks he’s a unicorn. I can’t describe it to you.

7. They don’t look identical.

Well, due to the weirdness that is epigenetics and the developmental process, including the fact that my twins developed twin-twin transfusion syndrome late in my pregnancy, there are small differences in their weight, height, face shape etc. And they have different personalities, so they tend to use different facial expressions.

8. No, those kids aren’t identical, I don’t believe you.

Please refer to my comments on epigenetics and, you know, I am not even sure why I am bothering; you clearly don’t know science.

9. They are not identical.

Well, you got me. You win at the “spot-the-difference” game. YOU MUST BE SO FUN AT PARTIES.

10. Well, they just don’t look identical to me.

Six sonographers and my OB were obviously wrong. You know what, just go fuck yourself.

11. Humph.

(ANGRY FACE)

12. Twin boys! Do you have any drywall left?

No.

13. I would die if I had twins.

Probably.

26 comments

  1. Okay, first, those baby rhinos are adorbs (yeah, I used the word “adorbs”–I’m ashamed of myself too). Secondly, every time someone tells me what people ask them about their kids, their pregnancies, or whatever, it leaves me stunned. It’s just as well I don’t have kids because I would have left my kids motherless after being sentenced to death for mass murder.

    1. Usually these people have the advantage of stunning you into silence when they ask about your method of conception at the grocery store or what have you. My favourite response of all time was a twin mom who was asked the fertility question and replied “Nope! Good old fashioned fucking!”

    1. And then I am sure the inevitable follow up questions: are your brothers close? Are they psychic? When one is hurt does the other one feel it too? Do they have the same birthmarks? GAH.

  2. Please tell me you didn’t read and understand the whole epigenetics link?

    Love that I am exceptional, strong and healthy, this research made my day :)

    People always ask me if I have other children, when I say, yes a 12 year old girl, I almost always get “oh, 3 girls!” “she must be a great help” and “that’s a big gap, were they planned?” in my head I’m saying “thanks I can count you moron” “that’s really none of your effin business” and all the while I’m smiling and saying “thank you, yes, ok bye now”….

  3. Our two “favorites” (using air quotes here):
    Are they natural? That always left me and my husband with a puzzled look and wondering if someone failed in getting us a child ingredient list.
    Do twins run in the family? My husband HATED this question. It seriously makes him want to stab someone and the man carries a gun for work, so that’s a bad time to ask him. But his reply (and mine now) is, “they do now.”
    Oh and the last one, “Are they ID?” And we say, “Er, you do see they are a boy and a girl, right?”

      1. You would not believe how many people have argued with me that you can get identical boy/girl twins! Even my MIL the other day told me that her daughters’ eggs split which is why she had boy/girl twins and that was what the doctor had told her… (she’s another moron so I think she made up the bit about the doctor after I told her that that was impossible).

  4. This was awesome. I once had an amazing conversation at work (!) with people I barely knew about my family planning decisions. It was not prompted by me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I especially liked when someone told me by only having one child I was insuring my child’s loneliness forever. And I replied “Yup.”

    1. I am an only child speaker7, so let me be the first to tell you that siblings are bullshit. I got all the attention, I never had to share, and it was basically amazing. You’re totally doing the right thing. Unless you decide to have another one because that’s ok too. And not some coworker’s bizness.

  5. This was hysterical. It’s amazing what people must be thinking (or not) when they ask such questions! And epigenetics is fascinating. Dawson Church’s book – “The Genie in Your Genes” is a good book for the lay-person.

    1. I know, right? If they had a second I wonder if they would clue in that they’re asking about my uterus.
      Also, thanks for that title. I am totally going to look it up. Since having the boys I have been really interested in the subject and my brain has atrophied to the point of decay, so I should probably read some science.

  6. Love!! I too get the b/g twins questions….I seriously had a lady ARGUE with me in the middle of walmart about how my twins were so obviously ID. Despite the pink and green carseats, the pink and blue blankets, and the lavender “princess” paci and the blue “baseball” paci.

    Course it was walmart……that should explain the IQ of the person involved right there…..

    1. I just don’t understand the arguing. Why would I have any reason to lie about my children’s zygosity? Although they probably think zygosity is a religion or something.

      Take heart in the fact that you’re genetically superior.

  7. What? Kids have different personalities? Oh, man, I hope there’s no test or I will end up flunking Parenting 101…

    I love it when people tell me it’s okay if I want to be done having children (since I already have three.) Why, thank you. Now that I have your permission, I can be done without feeling guilty or lazy…

    1. Ha! I am going to try that next time. I do know of a set of twins that was born 9 days apart. Although I would never wish for complications, I would totally use that knowledge to freak people out.

  8. My sister has twins-so we always get to hear the weird questions people ask her. Sometimes i’m with her when people ask her things about twins, and seriously…the questions! Questions you would never, in a million years ask a total stranger, but because she has twins, it’s like she’s free game for reproduction 101?
    My absolute personal favorite question though,,,(and she gets this ALL the time..) is “are they identical?”
    One is a boy, and one is a girl. And if THAT doesn’t make it obvious enough, the fact that they look absolutely nothing alike should really make things clear. One is dark brunette, the other is white blonde. Their faces are completely different. Their builds are different.
    She gets people that insist that they’re identical (as if she wasn’t sure until said stranger stumbled into her life.)

    And her absolute, number one comment that she despises (and I would too, I did when my kids were all small at once ) is “boy, do you have YOUR hands full.”

    Ya don’t friggen say!! I always wanted to say “yeah, it’s starting to wear me out. I think i’ll go dump one at the zoo.”

  9. I have a 2 yr old at home already and expecting twin boys. My FAVE is …oh! 3 boys! Well you’re going to be busy aren’t you?! Wow, gee…I really hadn’t thought about it, do you really think. Do they run in the family is getting old as is so will you try for a girl next? Yes, given my luck I will only have another baby just to achieve that sacred girl….seems odds are in my favor. Not too many IVF questions …yet. I am so not looking forward to taking them out in public, especially the mall near our place…oye, full of seniors!

  10. I love when I tell people I have boy/girl twins and they then ask if they are identical… haha. I am so tempted to say ‘yes they are identical except for their private parts’!
    -texgirl from twinstuff forums

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