• Thu, Feb 27 - 11:00 am ET

Things Not To Say To A Parent With Twins Unless You Want Them To Fight You

shutterstock_149428748Every 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.

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  • Smitthh

    I think the only appropriate thing to say is “How adorable!” and move on before finding a foot in your mouth (followed by another one headed swiftly for your hindquarters)

  • jane

    With the exception of the fact that this should actually be titled, “Things Not To Say To A Parent … Unless You Want Them To Fight You,” this is spot on. WTHF is wrong with people?

  • Guest

    Who are these people that make comments? Is my Grandmother asking you personal questions at the grocery store? I just can’t imagine who else asks these kind of personal questions. I usually just smile at the person and/or say “cute kids!”.

    Edit: In the event of twins I might congratulate you on being a bamf as well, because I don’t know how you do it.

  • ChelseaBFH

    When my twins were first born, they were under doctors orders to eat every two hours but I was still determined to get out of the house.

    So, if you subtract the hour it took them to eat (since we all know you time it from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next), the 15 minutes to get to the mall, the 15 minutes to get home from the mall, and the 10 minutes of getting them in and out of the car, it meant that I had AT MOST 20 minutes to scour Old Navy for something to hold me over until I no longer looked like a potato (still waiting on that one.) I wanted to punch everyone who used up 5 of those minutes with the “Are those twins?” routine.

  • AugustW

    The only thing I’ve said to a parent of twins that may be dumb is “I can barely handle one! How do you do it?”
    To be fair, I say this to any parents with more than one, twins or not.

    • Kelly

      LOL, I do that too, especially when they have several under the age of five. I’m always like, “Wow, respect.” One infant is hard enough, I think I might have a breakdown with several.

  • Guest

    I hate the “Things not to say to a…” trend.

    Sure, some people say stupid or even hurtful things. But most of the things we are instructed not to say in these articles (and are rudely insulted for saying) are pretty well-intended and generally inoffensive. Someone shows interest in your and your kids by asking if they are twins? Is that really that bad? Someone wants to see your sleeping kids? Be flattered that they are interested and then say no. Get over yourself. You aren’t an A-list celebrity fighting off the paparazzi here. Sure, it’s wrong to ask about breast feeding or how a kid was conceived, but that is across the board and is perhaps a topic for a more serious and thoughtful article.

    In the end, the things the authors of these articles say are usually far more rude and offensive than half of the things they are advising against saying.

    For a website that is anti-mommy war and anti-judgment, these articles are just awful.

    Post more of this: http://www.mommyish.com/2014/02/26/how-to-talk-to-other-parents/

    And less crap like this article. Put a stop to these articles, Eve!

    • Kelly

      I don’t know how anybody can justify asking a stranger about their weight or asking about personal medical information like taking fertility drugs or having surgery.

      That’s really not ok and it’s not flattering nor well intentioned. It’s just nosy and rude.

    • Guest

      Of course that is bad but it’s not unique to twins and doesn’t need to be lumped in with innocent things like “asking to take a peek.” Everyone mother these says seems to have a chip on her shoulder and is offended by everything. Articles like this make that seem ok. Maybe we need to stop assuming the worst in everyone and take comments at face value. Try to brush off the offensive ones and not turn the innocent comments into more than they are.

      Maybe that is the way to end the mommy wars, rather than rude guidelines on what people can and can’t say to one another.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      Oh, I see. It’s articles like these that are rude, not someone interrupting my grocery trip (made during the short timeframe that I have when both kids are happy) to ask me personal questions about my boobs, my waistline, or my medical history; and I’m sorry, but asking to stare at my kids when I just want to get out of the cereal aisle and home IS rude too, however innocently-intentioned it may be. I don’t need to “assume the worst” in someone; they’re not terrible people because they want to stare at some cute kids: they’re just annoying. But it doesn’t take very many annoying people to make a quick errand take twice as long, to make the next feeding late, and to get me a pair of grumpy, screechy babies. I don’t find a lot of these questions offensive except for the “are they natural?” one – like, wow – but I do find them irritating. I signed a lot of forms at the hospital but I’m pretty sure I didn’t sign over the right to find things irritating when I popped out two kids at once.

      Sure, all moms experience some of this kind of thing – in fact, a lot of women in general experience rude questions about their weight or their parenting plans (“When are you gonna have kids??” being the classic example). Does that mean, since all women go through that, that moms shouldn’t be allowed to write about mom-specific experiences? Why then shouldn’t twin moms (or moms of large numbers of kids, or moms of only girls/boys, or moms of sick or disabled kids, or moms with any other particular perspective) be allowed to share their side of the story?

    • Guest

      There is a way to write about it that educates and tries to understand why people might not “get it.” That way isn’t “Don’t ask me to look at my kids unless you want me to fight with you.”

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      The onus is not on people on the receiving end of rude behavior to be nice about the rudeness. It’s on people who are rude to STOP BEING RUDE. If you are bothered by parenting humor in the face of parenting annoyances, maybe find a different website? That kind of thing is not exactly out of the ordinary here (I mean even the article you linked to is about how to “not suck”; and how much explanation do these seriously need? Do I honestly need to explain to someone why stopping in the middle of Target for them to paw at my sleeping children is a no-no, and if so, how small of words should I use?)

    • Guest

      Aimee go home and ask your husband to rail you. You obviously need it. Enough parenting humor for you?

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      I’ll take the fact that you didn’t respond to any of my actual points to indicate that 1.) you don’t have a response and 2.) you’re a colossal douchecanoe. Also, if you can’t see the difference between poking fun at both rude questions and the twin parents themselves (do you think we actually want to start a fistfight in the grocery store parking lot?) and telling a woman that she needs a dick to force her to loosen up (never heard that one before! What’s next, rape jokes? CAN’T WAIT), then you need glasses the size of the Hubble.

    • Guest

      That last guest was an different writer than the original “guest.”

      And to address your points, yes, rudeness should be address. But innocent comments like “Are they twins!?” or “Can I take a peek!?” don’t deserve the treatment put forth in many articles of this kind.

      I’m infertile. I am subjected to a wealth of inappropriate comments and have been brought to tears by insensitivity. I try to educate people about why what they say hurts me because they often don’t even realize. I will be firm and honest and I will directly tell people things are none of their business. But I don’t curse at them, tell them to shut up, or threaten to fight them. Because we are all just doing the best we can. A lot of times people just want to connect. Responding to every perceived slight with vitriol is hurting us all and doesn’t belong on a thoughtful parenting blog, in my opinion.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      Sorry, I didn’t realize that you weren’t the same anon, I apologize for not paying enough attention!

      Megan didn’t tell any actual humans she was going to fight them, she’s writing jokes about it on the internet where people can read it and say, “Oh my god, why did I ask that woman last week at the grocery store how much weight she gained, what was I thinking?” I’m guessing she has never actually slapped someone for commandeering her grocery store time or cursed them out; I know I haven’t. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think it’s my place to elucidate the concept of privacy to someone who just wants to connect when I just want to buy eggs and bread. I don’t have enough time to take a shower every day, I do not have time to have a special moment with every stranger who wants to coo at random babies next to the bananas and I don’t think it’s fair to say that we can’t take to the internet to complain off some stress about it – no one is actually slapping anyone’s hands away from the baby carriage at Walgreen’s, but hopefully we can safely yodel our annoyance online.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through that. I spent two years dealing with infertility before we were fortunate enough to have the twins, and I hope you don’t think that it’s ingratitude to having our children that makes us take to the internet in frustration – as much as I cried every month I didn’t conceive, I still cry over an interrupted nap, a double poopslosion, a horrible outing that was supposed to take 20 minutes of no fuss and instead yielded 45 minutes with bonus screaming. I think it’s important to let women express frustration, express stress, express anger and annoyance, because so much of our society says that women who express negative emotions are bitchy, or whiny, or weak; that if you’re not breastfeeding while doing yoga with a beatific smile on your face you’re a shitty mom, and if you don’t have a five-course meal on the table after running a half-marathon to keep your 20-year-old physique after you come home from work you’re a shitty wife/girlfriend. I say screw that. Sometimes things suck and we’re not doing ourselves any favors by pretending other people don’t have the power to help spoil our day, or at least part of it. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with making an effort to educate people about the dumb things they may say, I just don’t think it’s the job of person affected by the dumbness to explain how it is dumb and why not to do it. It’s great that you’re able to explain to people why “So why don’t you have kids yet!” is a crummy thing to say, but that was never something I could manage beyond a “Just hasn’t happened yet” and a quick change of subject. Likewise, a “Sorry, no” when someone asks to see the kids at the grocery store should be good enough; and when people ask me either question eight trillion times, I should feel safe going to my blog to say “ENOUGH, FOR GOD’S SAKE, PLEASE”.

    • Megan Zander

      I think this was very well said. Maybe part of it is for those of us who biotch slapped infertility the mamma bear instinct is strong, these are the kids we fought for, so yes, we are overprotected. And part of it too is I don’t know that I owe society at large access to my kids merely because they were born at the same time.

    • Megan Zander

      I don’t mean to barge in, but I just want to say that I feel Aimee summed it up perfectly in her response to this comment. I think there is space for both humorous venting and thoughtful discussion in this space and I like to think that my overall body of writing has both. I also said directly within the post that NONE of these frustrations pertain to anyone dealing with infertility. I left stores in tears frequently I saw a baby while I was trying to get pregnant. We even tried to get away and went to disney world which was hands down the worst decision ever bc we were surrounded by kids. So I understand how reading this could be interpreted as I’m ungrateful to someone dealing with infertility. I empathize, and I am always polite to people with questions and make the time to stop if I can and the boys are not crying, but I still think asking to see a sleeping baby is over the line.

    • bali1228

      So you don’t even have children and you’re telling parents what they can and cannot find annoying regarding their children? People are much more invasive with twins than singletons, sometimes I feel like the circus freak show. The other day we were sitting in a meeting at my daughter’s school, and I realized one of the admins was snapping pictures of my babies from across the table with his cell phone. I doubt that would happen if a parent came in with one baby- no matter how cute it was. If he had asked, I would have said sure, but it annoyed me that he didn’t even think to ask my permission to photograph my babies. He’s also not the first person I’ve caught doing it, but I was stunned it happened in that setting. Also, the “Are they twins?” thing is universally annoying to MoM’s (mother’s of multiples). When you hear it from every person you happen to make eye contact with it gets old, and just once you want to say “No, I found this identical child in the parking lot on the way in, so I decided to keep him” just to see the look on their faces, but you don’t, because you realize people are fascinated by twins….but it doesn’t mean you aren’t annoyed. This article is in no way reality, it’s just a steam vent for some very common MoM annoyances.Oh and the “Are they natural?” question is actually hurtful to those MoM’s that have conceived their babies through IVF, because it carries the connotation that they somehow aren’t “real” twin moms. Yes it may be innocently intended, but rude nonetheless.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

      Sorry, but when every trip to the grocery store with the twins takes an extra twenty minutes with people I’ve never met stopping me to ask if they can ogle, or what if any invasive medical procedures I had to have in order to get pregnant, I think that is well beyond something worth complaining about. They’re twins, not unicorns.

  • K.

    In all honesty, I got pretty much ALL these questions for my plain ‘ol loner. I think the one that I haven’t been asked is about fertility/drugs (–seriously??…Although I have gotten: “Yours?” …No, dipshit–I stole it), but everything else I chalk up to having a baby and being with it out in public.

    • JLH1986

      I’m gonna have to give a pass on the “yours?” because sometimes people employ nannies or the aunt/uncle will have the kid. I’ve assumed a person was the parent and they weren’t. It wasn’t earth shatteringly embarrassing but the person kinda seemed peeved. Plus I frequently have my god children, who have fair skin and blonde hair and people ask me if they are mine.

    • AmazingE

      My nephew looks a lot like me, so I’ve gotten the “yours?” question almost every time I’m out with him. I think people ask because they don’t want to assume and then be wrong.

    • JLH1986

      Or they assumed, were wrong which is normally ok because it happens, but at some point get a lashing or something so they ask.

    • Mystik Spiral

      I’ve had people mistake my nieces and nephews for mine when I’ve taken them out. For a random stranger that I’ll never see again, I don’t bother to correct them. I don’t get embarrassed or peeved about it though…

    • JLH1986

      most don’t. But now if for some reason I feel the need to ask questions of a stranger I ask if the baby is theirs.

    • pixie

      I’ve had a sales lady in a store call my aunt my “mom” when I was about 8 or 9. That really bothered me because although she has blonde hair like me, we look nothing alike, and I can’t stand her 90% of the time, (though I didn’t have much of a choice to spend time with her).

      When I think about it, though, it did annoy me that the lady thought my aunt was my mom, it was made worse by the fact that she was very condescending to me. My aunt was buying a new tea set, was deciding between two that she liked, and asked me which one I thought looked nicer (as much as I can’t stand her, she does try and she means well). I told her which one I though was better and the sales lady looked at me and said very condescendingly, “sweetie, it’s your mom who’s buying the tea set, it’s not for you, why don’t you let her decide”. She knew my aunt had asked me my opinion because she stayed behind the counter and in front of us the entire time. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if she wasn’t a jerk to me.

      Though I really doubt you were a jerk when you made the mistake. :)

    • JLH1986

      Ha no…I just commented on how much the baby looked like “mom”. Well mom was the nanny…who had similar coloring I guess? Sounds like that clerk was just a bitch. yeesh…

    • pixie

      Yeah, she was lucky I wasn’t a more confrontational child instead of being shy, or she might have gotten an earful.

    • Guest

      Maybe you stop telling her who to get tea set opinions from or we take our business elsewhere clerk-bitch..whaaaaa -airhorn noises-

    • Toaster

      My younger sister is 15 years younger than me and I was absolutely MORTIFIED when people asked if she was mine when she was a baby/toddler, because teenager.

    • Beth

      My husband was in high school when his older sister had a baby, and when the 3 of them would walk around town, many parents of his female classmates would pull a disapproving “ohhhh, I didn’t think you were that type of guy”. To which, obviously, my husband would protest “SISTER! NIECE!!”.

    • Lu

      My brother is only ten years younger than I am, but I’ve always looked older and I got constant side eye. Now that we’re older I don’t get as much shade but when we’re out with my parents people assume he’s my son. It makes me parents very uncomfortable.

    • K.

      Eh, maybe I’m taking it too seriously. I mean, I don’t really say much except, “Yup!” but part of me still thinks it’s kind of a strange question to ask, especially because the issues surrounding it can be pretty thorny (such as it’s a step-kid or something).

      Maybe I’m offended that people don’t seem to think I’m as gorgeous as my child ;)

    • Katherine Handcock

      I was just going to say, I have gotten most of these questions for my two kids – including, funny enough, the twins one, because sitting down in a grocery cart they look close enough in size that their two years’ difference in ages isn’t obvious!

    • SusannahJoy

      I had someone ask me if my cousin was “mine” once. I was 14. She was 6. Sometimes people are stupid.

    • Karen Milton

      My daughter looks like my sister and my husband got together and had a baby, and she looks nothing like me. One person did ask if she was mine, and they joked about was I SURE, because she does look an awful lot like my sister and ‘you never know!’, hahaha etc. Except, no. I DO know, which one would assume is common sense. I could only say “I’m not sure you understand how pregnancy works”.

  • Crusty Socks

    Best gifs ever! Especially the breastfeeding ones

    • Valerie

      Kathy Griffin one was my fave. She looks like she is ready to boot. Love it.

  • Kelly

    A lot of things would be fine if you’re talking to a very close friend, in my opinion at least.

    But it blows my mind that a stranger would ask how much weight you gained, if you used fertility drugs or if you had a c-section, among other things.

    I know it happens because I’ve received several questions like that but it still surprises me that people can be so rude.

  • Valerie

    I want to know who these assholes are. Maybe I live in a very polite part of the country but I swear in my whole 6.5 years as a parent I have only been asked rude/idiot questions maybe twice. And they were both by my own mother. I think I may have a severe case of Bitchy Resting Face when I’m out in public that wards off any would-be question askers.

    • Kelly

      I think a lot of it depends not only on the community but how people perceive the mom.

      I looked very young when I had my son. I was in my twenties but looked like a teenager. A young teenager, like maybe 14. Plus, people seem to find me very approachable for some reason which sucks because I’m shy and don’t like to talk to strangers.

      I think that’s why I’ve received tons of rude remarks, to the point where friends don’t believe me until they’re out with my one day and actually see it happen.

    • pixie

      Ive seen a lot of people be rude to my friends when they were actual teenagers and were caring for children that weren’t their own (like a younger sibling) or a fake baby (for parenting class). I don’t know why people see a teen with a baby or toddler and instantly judge, or even people who look like teens. I usually assume they’re either an older sibling, cousin, or aunt/uncle, or they’re older than they look and carry on my way. I don’t stop to ask questions or make comments.

    • Valerie

      Maybe I’m an oblivious dope but I’m usually so focused on what I’m doing and why I’m out in the first place that I don’t give much thought to other people and the kids they are with. Like, unless it were a really outlandish People of Walmart situation it takes a lot to get my attention. Or if you look like Matthew Mcconaughey. I might have a few fucks to give if you look like Matthew Mcconaughey.

    • pixie

      I don’t normally, either, but if I’m at the store and there’s a person with a kid who’s waving at me in line in front of me or something similar, then I notice. Most of the time I just realize there’s people around me and don’t pay too much attention.

    • Valerie

      Well yeah I wave back to babies. I’m not a total ice queen. :-)

    • Kelly

      Yeah, I don’t why people make nasty comments either. When I was told off for being a pregnant, unwed teenager, the woman apologized immediately when i corrected her but I asked her, “How does excuse your behavior? So, if I was a teenager, it would be ok for you to go out of your way to be nasty to me about something that’s none of your damn business?”

    • Karen Milton

      SAME. If my son dared to cry in public I knew people would descend upon me to tell me all about how I was Doing It Wrong. He needs a hat. He’s hungry. He can tell I’m intimidates by parenting (?!). My absolute favourite was, as I was right that minute heading to the breastfeeding lounge at the mall (great invention, that), it was obvious that his crying was a sign of why I should have waited before hopping into bed, children having children is a disgrace and I obviously had no idea what I was doing (I was 21 when he was born, but I too have a case of the baby face – 35 year old me is certainly happy about that!).

      The immediate conclusion that I was clueless was annoying, but the touchers were worse. They would reposition his blanket, adjust his hat – one lady put his soother back in his mouth after checking ‘to see if he was crying because his teeth were coming in”. Yes, she indeed stuck her hand into a stranger’s small infant’s mouth. I’m sure they all thought they were being kind and helping the idiotic ‘teenager’, but in reality not so much. I can’t imagine how much garbage twins’ parents must go through – that’s no doubt even more Doing It Wrong.

    • quinn

      NOOOO, the fact that a total stranger stuck her hand in your baby’s mouth turns my stomach, I’m so sorry that happened!! Family used to do that to my first and I silently seethed the first few times before I grew a pair and told them to keep their hands out of her mouth. With my second I’m a little more confident and a family friend went to check for a tooth and I slapped her hand away before even thinking about it. I don’t know what I would do if a stranger tried to pull that shit, UGH!!!!

    • Karen Milton

      I wasn’t confident enough to say anything, which bugs me to this very day. The sheer amount of whaaaaaaat shocked me into silence (which is definitely rare for me). She also did it really quickly without warning, so I didn’t get the chance to ARE YOU KIDDING ME all over her face. I was quite timid way back then, but I’ve definitely become more confident and would definitely speak up now. I need a time machine.

  • Peggy

    My personal favorite-”are they natural?” I’m always tempted to answer back, “no, we change their batteries every night”.

    And the “hands full/double trouble” comments-I know singletons who are more obnoxious than my two. At least as a parent of twins, I get to sit back and let them play together rather than having to be a constant playmate.

    • Megan Zander

      Charge the batteries- that’s a good one, I may need to steal it!

    • freemane

      To “are they natural” my response is usually “Oh no, they’re cylons.”

  • Jallun-Keatres

    And I’m the weird one that says “I’m jealous!” under my breath or “LOOK TWINS HOW COOL I WANT TWINS TOO!!!!”

  • AlexMMR

    I’m so sick of the phrase “double trouble” I can’t even tell you!

    I get the “are they natural?” too. I reply “no, I hacked them together with spare computer parts and bits of string.”

    I’ve also gotten “Oh, are you grandparenting today?” But that’s a whole different post.

  • Jem

    I feel like a lot of these apply to singletons as well. I remember feeling blind rage when I would be in public somewhere and my infant would start to act up and someone (usually an older lady) would unhelpfully declare “Someone’s not happy!!!” Yep. Thanks. I know that.

    Also, I was asked breast feeding questions, c section questions, and my favorite of all, if I got him circumcised. yes. someone asked me this in the pharmacy line in Target.

    • Guest

      “Did you cut skin off your son’s penis or no?” They may as well phrase it the way they’re asking it and maybe they’ll grasp how inappropriate it is.

    • Kelly

      I always responded to the circumcision questions by giving them a horrified, disgusted look and saying, “I’m not comfortable with the level of interest you have in my very young son’s penis.” Then I would gather my son up and walk away from them.

      Oh, if I only had pictures of the looks on their faces!

    • Guest

      Bwahaha that is perfect

  • Michelle W Lauve

    Hahahaha YES YES and YES! Sams club.. Saturday afternoon… our trip takes 5 times as long because we keep having to answer these questions. It was fun for the first 9 months… now it’s like a duck and cover mission just to shop! We have taken to getting two carts and going opposite directions at times. People seriously ask the fertility question!! I’ve been asked MORE then twice if my twins are “natural” ? I mean, yeh, they are natural babies? HUH? They are hinting if I got pregnant naturally I guess?
    I’ve even had someone tell me the complete details of her c-section scar and how it eventually healed to look like a shimmery sliver line since she used some type of ponds cream on it every day… say WHAT? I just smile and nod, smile and nod :)

  • noturmom

    So what you’re saying is if I see a parent with twins I should not make eye contact, avoid looking at the children and never EVER even let on that I can tell they are twins. Some of those are rude but most are people trying to make polite conversation. You sound impossible to please and rude and huffy yourself. Don’t worry, I doubt your twins are all that special anyway and I won’t be the one to make them feel so.

    • Megan Zander

      Call me rude and huffy all you want, I can take it, but please leave my kids out of it.

    • dy

      its more that you just stop for a second before saying anything to us and ask yourself if you really need to bother us with whatever “nice” thing you want to ask. Or ask yourself if you would say the same thing to a singleton parent. because most likely you are the 45th person since the cereal aisle to ask us if they’re fertility babies.

    • Kelly

      Why not just leave people alone if they aren’t making eye contact? Can you read body language at all? I’m asking that because my son is autistic and he struggles with that so maybe that’s an issue for you too.

      It’s not that hard to figure out if someone wants to chat with you. It’s also rude to bring up subjects like weight and private medical information when talking to a stranger, just so you know.

      There are groups that can help you figure out what is appropriate conversation with a stranger and what isn’t. I hope you find one that helps you.

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Ogden

    When I was still pregnant with the twinsicles, we were buying tickets to the Field Museum in Chicago and the ticket vendor tried to strike up a conversation about whether I would breastfeed and, if so, what position I was going to hold the babies in. Um, what? Just give me my goddamn tickets or I’m going to miss the bioluminesence exhibit, lady.

  • Nica

    The fertility treatment one made me chuckle, mostly because it’s still absolutely unbelieveable that so many people think it’s perfectly OK to ask this question. Mind boggling. I don’t have twins, but I had both my babies in my late 30′s and not one, but SEVERAL of my co-workers asked if I went through fertility treatments to conceive. The reality of it is I did and lots of ‘em too, but the other reality is that is no one else’s god damn business how I conceived my kids. When they asked, I just smiled and said “Oh, God sent these children to me.” True statement that reveals absolutely nothing. LOL! What I really wanted to do was lie and go into great, cringe-worthy detail about the sex that resulted in said babies. But, given that I have to continue to work with these folks, I thought better of it… LOL.

    • Guest

      Maybe next time just say “Nope, got these the good ol fashioned way” and wink at them with a sly grin. Should do the trick.

    • Karen Milton

      There was a woman in the news recently who had identical quadruplets without fertility treatment. A dude on my facebook was all “I don’t buy it, there’s no way she didn’t have treatment”. Dude. They are identical. It’s a very unlikely thing to happen, but it did. There they are.

  • Sara

    I’m not trying to be rude, but why is it rude to ask if they’re twins? My mom got asked that all the time with my older brother and sister and it never bothered her. I sometimes ask people I know in passing if their babies are twins because to me it’s really cool that your kids aren’t twins and they look so much alike. But then again I’m the child that was congratulated on finding a nice family to adopt me (I’m not adopted) so looking alike and being related is super awesome to me.

    • Megan Zander

      OMG who congratulates someone on being adopted?! That’s crAzy! It’s not rude to ask if they are twins, I know that people are curious and babies in general attract attention, and I don’t mind people who ask this, it’s really the more invasive questions that get a bit hard to field. it just gets difficult and honestly time consuming when someone different asks if they are twins in each aisle, but that’s no ones fault really.

    • Sara

      It was more a congratulations to my parents I think, “How wonderful you adopted this little gutter-snipe into your home where she won’t be a heathen,” deal. Which is why I have acceptance issues with my dad’s side of the family (who I don’t look like). What’s funny is, I’m a pale version of my mom. Same features, same hair, just instead of freaking caramel colored, I have the pale skin/rosy cheeks.
      Do people really ask how your kids were conceived? And about your weight? Dude, excuse my language, but that’s totally fucked up.

    • Megan Zander

      You dad’s family doesn’t accept you bc you don’t look like them?! Come to my house, you’ll fit in there, three of my cousins are half Asian, My sister and I look like strangers but my mom and aunt could be twins, it doesn’t matter! Yes, people really do asks me strange things I’ve even been asked how much weight I gained and I was so shocked that I actually answered without thinking. I love when people say the kids are cute ( what parent wouldn’t want that!) but the more intrusive questions or people telling them they are trouble I just don’t get it.

    • Sara

      It’s like a grudging acceptance, and there’s always a “whispered” comment about the fat, lazy bastard of the family (ME). I will have you know all of us have the same mother and father. And the only one who doesn’t is my dad’s daughter (who is amazing). I will watch your children as long as they’re at or under two lol to join your family :)
      Also, my paternal grandmother measured my mother and aunt’s asses (what is the plural of ass?) while they were pregnant with singles.

    • Megan Zander

      That is SO bizarre! They are 13 months, you’re good ;) why did she measure them? To try and old wives tale determine the sex or just to make them feel awful? So many questions!

    • Sara

      I honestly have zero clue! It’s bizarre because she ranges from being incredibly nice (like giving me all of her crochet things), but then makes horrible comments about my half-sister. I’ve just started chalking it up to the way she was raised.

  • issy

    People do go crazy for twins. I never had the more intrusive comments weight, how did you have them or how were they conceived but I live in New Zealand. People just told me how gorgeous they are and im not bothered if someone says something like double trouble. I had more than one person ask boys or girls? I say boy and girl and then they ask if identical? Less people say anything now they are almost 4 but recently the owner of a dairy went inside fetched an older man possibly his dad and gave them each a chupa chup just because twins.

  • Zettai

    Maybe as a society we need to stop being so damn polite. If someone asks you something you find offensive, tell them you find it offensive instead of giving them the forced smile and Dear Abby-approved response. A straight-up, ice-cold, “it’s none of your business” would go a long way, I think.

    I know it isn’t always feasible in most of our minds, “My grandma asked me that and I didn’t want to offend her” or “my secretary asked me and I didn’t want her to say something to HR,” but you know what, fudge em. If more people just confronted these assholes, it would become a society norm instead of a taboo. Then we could all be free to call people out on their bullshit.

    Maybe it’s just a dream, but it’s a damn good one. :)

    • Asia Woodley

      8 months pregnant, dead of June. Walking into diner with my husband, an old man asks to touch my belly. I was over it, and never had a man asked to touch me so I was weirded out. I simply said ” I don’t like people touching me, I don’t get what people get out of it” and walked away. His face… Mortified.

  • dy

    mom of twin 2 yr old boys here. I hear this shit daily. A total stranger at the grocery store asked me if they were a surprise or if I had twins “on purpose.” I can’t recall the entire string of obscenities that I hurled at her, but lets just say that my husband was scared that I was about to get my first felony that day. I never expected that having twins would be such a novelty these days that assholes think they’re entitled to say such stupid shit.

    • brebay

      Tell her “No, I only meant to have one, but the doctor told me to keep pushing; I’m thinking of suing.”

  • Asia Woodley

    As a mom to 2.5 yr old b/g twins, I can say that this gets easier. ( as they get older, I go out less lol) . Disappear? No. Less substantial stranger talking…Yes.

  • brebay

    My friend with boy-girl twins always get asked (by people who haven’t seen the kids, but who know they’re one of each) “Are they identical?” “Uh, no, one’s a boy…and one’s a girl, so….no.” And more often than not that’s followed up with: “Well, obviously, I KNOW that, I’m just asking, you know, if they’re physically identical.” What the what? I guess they’re asking whether they LOOK alike (which they don’t) but seriously…how do you get to be an adult and not know what causes identical twins??

    • freemane

      I get that for mine also, my response is, “well…except for the penis…”

    • Lilly

      my boss has boy-girl twins and has said he has been asked that a bunch, and not just when they were babies. Like people are asking that while staring at a little boy and girl — I think it is scary how many people don’t understand basic biology.

  • AlexMMR

    Mine are 15 months apart, it’s just like having twins!!!

    No, it’s not. It’s really not.

  • Ann

    I had my son in July and my sister had her daughter in September, I watched them together while my sister went back to work,it was like having twins all day, just not over night! We use to run errands and do stuff all the time and I would get the “Are they twins?” question a million times a day. I finally started telling people yes they are because it was easier then explaining the story time and time again. Then one day I said yes to a woman and she followed up with “Who’s older?” So I said “He is by 3 months and 3 days” and walked away while she tried to figure that out!