Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Questions from Strangers

on December 12, 2011

Before the girls were born, one of the things I came across the most was the agitation parents of twins felt because of questions they got from strangers. I read a lot of parents saying how much they got annoyed at questions from strangers about their twins. Although I’ve had my moments of slight irritation when I’m trying to get things done and it takes an extra 15 minutes because of every other person stopping me to get all the details of my twins; for the most part, I think it’s great. It seems to me that people are just curious, and although the statistics say that multiples are more common than ever, most people don’t see that many twins or triplets. Since it doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to bother other parents, I’m going to put my own spin on “Questions from Strangers”…

Top Stupidest Questions about Twins

1. “Are they twins?”

Sure, most people would assume that two babies in a double stroller are twins. But, this can’t possibly be the only explanation for having two children? Maybe they are both adopted; maybe I’m babysitting; maybe Daddy had babies with two different women at the same time. Is it better to assume that they’re twins and continue on with the rest of the questions? Or, shouldn’t you get this one out-of-the-way first? Chances are good that anyone who is asking you this already knows the answer, but wants to be sure first before they continue…

2. “Are they Identical?”

Mine aren’t. But.. how on earth would someone who doesn’t see them every day know that?! I can understand parents getting a bit agitated if they’ve got a boy and girl but still… Not everyone has spent nine pregnant months reading all about twins. I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t know whether it was possible or not to have identical boy/girl twins. Is it that hard to just say “Nope! They’re fraternal. More like siblings than twins.”??

3. “Which one is older?”

Some seem to think that labelling one as “older” is somehow a negative thing… but it’s the truth isn’t it? They didn’t both come out at once. Again… the people who are asking are just curious!

4. “Do twins run in your family?”

I think this might be a case of some people thinking this is a personal question? I don’t know why parents would get annoyed at this one. When I got pregnant with twins, even though we used fertility drugs, I was quite interested to see whether I had twins in my family history; turns out I do! I mean… if i couldn’t contain my curiosity, how would someone else?!

5. “How do you tell them apart?”

Again, maybe under different circumstances (boy/girl twins; a blonde and a brunette, etc.) I would have a bigger problem with this question.. But, I have two six months old babies. Family can’t tell them apart unless they’ve been looking at them beside each other for a few minutes. I can tell them apart because I spend all day with them, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying exactly that.

6. “How come they are/aren’t dressed alike?”

I have no idea where the obsession with twin clothing comes from, but there are some people out there that think all twins should be dressed alike, and somepeople who think you should never dress them the same. We do both. It all depends on what we pulled out of the dresser drawer. And… that’s exactly what I tell people when they ask. No harm done.

7. “Were you taking fertility drugs?”

I don’t find this question as intrusive as other people do. Yeah, I needed help. I’ll even tell you why I needed the help. I’m proud to have test-tube babies.

8. “Did you have them naturally? Or a caesarean section?”

Caesarean section, and proud of my scars. Yea, this question is a bit personal but whether you had them “naturally” or via c-section, you should be proud enough to tell people. Getting through childbirth, especially a twin childbirth!, is a rewarding experience and I, for one, think that anyone who has twins should be an awesome enough person to talk about how it happened!

I guess I’m pretty easy-going when it comes to Questions from Strangers. I like that people are interested in my girls. And, after every Q&A that I’ve had with a stranger, they always walk away smiling; and so do I. So… where’s the harm in sharing? Even those slightly personal questions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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2 responses to “Questions from Strangers

  1. Yup, it always starts with “Are they twins?” It’s funny because although there are other possibilities, they probably are. I don’t mind that question at all. Twins are special. Even if they are now a little less special than some time ago because there are more of them. I also get the “Are they identical?” but not so often anymore now that they are a little older and the difference is really visible by now. However, now I get comments on E being rounder (i.e. fatter) than her sister (“Oh I can see who likes to eat most!”) even though E is about average for a Dutch baby and it is her sister whose weight is an anomaly. Also: actually L eats at least as much as E only she moves about 3 times as much. Figures.
    I used to hate the “Do twins run in your family?” question because of its insincerity: people were mainly asking it because they were curious if we conceived naturally or through IVF. I’d rather they ask me straight away. Even then for some time I was annoyed because I’m not asking how they conceived their kids either (“upside-down in a tree? really?”) so I found it a bit strange to ask that from a stranger. But later I realised that I was keeping the social stigma on infertility alive myself, by treating it that way, so now I’m simply telling them that yes twins run in my family (they do) but that’s not how I got them. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Good luck with the twins, they look very very sweet.

    • samonnier says:

      Thanks for the comment. I know it’s easy for me to not be bothered by these questions, because my girls are only six months old… But, I’ll try and keep the outlook on them the same all through their years. Although today, at their six month immunizations, someone did ask me “A boy and a girl?”; even though they were both wearing pink/purple outfits. Oh, what can ya do though!?
      And thank you for the good luck. I figure we’ll need it.. they’re starting to learn how to crawl now… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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