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?
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.
12. Twin boys! Do you have any drywall left?
13. I would die if I had twins.