Every parent knows what a project it is getting out of the house to run errands with a baby in tow. Multiply the “put on your jacket” tango and “get in your carseat” wrestling death match by two, double the potential for a mid-store meltdown and you’ll understand why the last thing I have patience for when I’m out with my twins are these ridiculous comments from strangers.
Are They Twins
Does it matter? I get it; twins are somewhat of a novelty. But when I answer” yes” these people act as excited as I am when gifted with a golden box from GODiva. I’m always tempted to say no, just to see if they will slumps away dejected. And if I tell you they’re not twins, then you’re conversing with a women who dresses her kids in matching outfits for Target runs on a random Tuesday, so I would back away slowly if I were you because clearly I have issues.
You’ve got your hands full
Sometimes I hear this when I really am struggling- either while attempting to carry two kids without bumping their heads together or while I’m juggling the door with one hand and my monster stroller with the other- in which case, nice going Captain Obvious and thanks for not holding the door for the person behind you JACKASS. Other times people say this during a rare moment of calm when we’re just minding our business, strolling the aisles while the boys do a taste test comparing Annie Cheddar Bunnies to Goldfish. Then I look myself over for bodily fluids and make sure I didn’t lose a baby in the cereal section, since apparently they feel I’ve deluded myself by thinking I had a handle on this parenting gig. Either way, shut up.
Asking To “Take A Peek” When They Are Sleeping
Everyone knows the universal sign for “baby is sleeping” is a blanket over the carseat and therefore STEP OFF. Everyone except this dummy, who will ask me to wake up a sleeping child so they can compare hair colors and point out which one of my own kids looks more like me. If you try this, I will slap you. Fair warning.
Do you breastfeed?
This question is a trap. If I say yes, I’ll be pulled into a conversation about the evils of formula. If I say no, I’m guaranteed a lecture about the benefits of the boob when all I really want to do is get through the frozen foods sections so I can get out of here. I usually say “We do what works” with a smile over my shoulder as I hustle by, then circle back around so I can ponder the shredded cheese options ( is the four cheese really superior?) in peace. Bottom line- my boobs -my business.
Which one is the quiet one?
Whichever one isn’t screaming. Next question.
Did You Use Fertility Drugs/Do Twins Run In Your Family?
I don’t know why people feel comfortable asking this of a complete stranger*, for me it is akin to going up to a particularly busty woman and asking if she has implants (I see those fun things you have there, how did you get them?) I never know how to answer this. If I say “No” I’m lying, but maybe this person is asking because they award prizes to the super fertile and free stuff is my love language. If I say “Yes” I worry they will scream “CHEATER!” in my face and quote Bible verses at me while making the sign of the cross over my devil spawn.
*Unless you are personally dealing with infertility, in which case if you confide in me I still need to go before the kids lose it but I will hug you if you let me and give you my email because I have been there and know how helpful talking about it can be.
Did You Have A C Section/How Long Was Your Labor?
I know exchanging labor war stories is common among new moms seeking company, and hearing someone’s labor tale can a good indicator of where they fall on the Santimommy Scale™, the one we all secretly have in our heads to filter potential mom friends that goes from “I had a homebirth because doctors are devils armed with autism filled needles” to “I scheduled an Elective C- Section and handed her off to the Au Pair so they could start on my tummy tuck.” So this doesn’t seem like it would be a loaded question. But twins are commonly born prematurely, are at a higher risk for complications during delivery and many, mine included, spent time in the NICU before coming home. It’s been over a year and I still have very strong and very mixed emotions about my pregnancy and labor. So unless you are my therapist, don’t ask me about it. And besides, even if I had experienced a full term, all-natural, orgasmic tub birth, this is still not a conversation I want to have with a complete stranger, particularly not while standing in the seafood department.
How Much Weight Did You Gain?
For some reason this questions usually get hurled as I’m in a crowded checkout line at a clothing store with no hope of a graceful exit and lots of eavesdroppers, meaning I can’t pull a Mariah Carey and storm away. Finding the time to shop is difficult and I really don’t want to have to leave and then come back to buy these exact same items just because you can’t decide by looking at me if I fit your definition of an acceptable post baby body. Rather than embarrass us both by asking me this, please just scrutiny my ass through my yoga pants and debate the issue with your girlfriend in a loud whisper. Even though I can hear you.
Here Comes Double Trouble
I haaaate this one, mainly because my kids very rarely do anything in public besides smile and wave frantically at everyone like miniature versions of Honey BooBoo. A parent with a one well behaving infant doesn’t get told by strangers that their child is a hooligan just for the sake of a verbal limerick. ConGAGulations, you made a rhyme, you witty devil you. Now move, you’re blocking the mac and cheese.
I know that I’m lucky to have my sons, and that the attention and comments are intended to be positive. But saying “cute kids” as we pass you and continue on would be much better for my kids nap schedule, as well as my temper.