Twins 101

My Mom said “This is my daughter, the one with the twins.”

The carpet cleaning guy said “Are they boys or girls?”

I said “One of each.”

The carpet cleaning guy said “And you still call them twins, huh?”

I said “Well, they came out at the same time”.

I realize I could have made my point in a more genteel way, but people say amazing things to the parents of multiples. This same guy asked me if they were identical. Boy/girl twins can never be identical, they are all fraternal. My friend Diana has boy/girl twins and when people ask her if hers are identical she will actually say “well, they have one big difference”.

Strangers often ask if my twins are “natural”. This doesn’t bother me much, but I know a lot of parents who are bothered by it. It makes them feel as if people think their children may be monsters or robots or something else unnatural. Would it ever even occur to you to walk up to an unknown person with one baby and ask if they had a sperm donor, or IVF or if the baby was adopted or if they had any other problems getting pregnant?

When I first found out that I was having twins a very close friend told me not to get too excited, because she knew someone who was pregnant with twins and one baby absorbed the other fetus. I had lost a pregnancy only five months before that.

It’s not like we were trying to trick the carpet cleaning guy into thinking I had twins when I really didn’t, like maybe it was some elaborate scheme to get a discount. It is not as if I tried really hard to have two babies at once to show up all of my friends and relatives. It just happened. I was as surprised as anyone when I heard about it. I know that the Aztecs regarded twins as such a bad omen that they believed one should be killed at birth. But we’re all beyond that, right?

While I’m at it – people in the hospital are not glad that they don’t have to do laundry. They are sad that they are in the hospital.

Wow. I feel much better. This blog thing really works.

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  1. Most people will say amazingly stupid things if given 1/2 a chance. It makes me weep for humanity.

    But it does provide good blog material.



    And it’s not a Cronenberg film?

    “There was a twin in the chamber…”

    If you haven’t seen the Jeff Goldblum version of THE FLY, you don’t know what I’m talking about, and I pity you , ‘CAUSE THIS STUFF IS GOLD!

  3. hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  4. When asked if mine are natural, I say, “No. They’re plastic.”

  5. Oh, and the whole hospital thing? It was NOT relaxing. It was NOT like a vacation. It was horrid.

  6. It was like nice jail with needles and blood.

  7. There is one big difference, now that’s funny stuff.

  8. I had a little Cuban lady ask me how I got them both out at the same time…….

  9. I hear the “Are they identical?” question everytime I go out with my b/g twins. I always say, “No. They have different parts.” Sometimes it takes a moment or two, but it seems to register with people. I also get a variation of the “Are they natural?” in the form of “Do twins run in your family?” — both of which is just a way people are trying to find out if you did fertility or not. I did, and it really doesn’t bother me to answer that question–I always tell them we had assistance. Oh–and the whole one twin absorbing the other–yeah, got that, too. From my fertilty doctor. Niiiice…

  10. I think that monster robot children would actually be kinda cool. You could start a retirement account with all the lunch money they’d be coming home from school with.

  11. I happy you had twins! I think it is really cool, but glad it’s not me, although I know you’re trying to make me look bad for only being able to have one at a time.

    People ask dumb & inappropriate questions when you have one at a time. After the 1st one, I got asked by people that barely knew me, when are you going to have another. Or have you started trying for the next one. Like my family planning & sex life concerned them.

    Now, it’s when are you going to have a girl. I tell them, maybe when I have grandchildren…

  12. People insert their feet into their mouths a lot. I’m glad that you helped cure the ignorance.

  13. My favorite response to the leading question, “Do Twins run in your family?” I say, “They do now. And with the right medications they can run in yours too!”

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