"Oh my gosh - they're twins!" It's a phrase I hear more times than I can count when we go out to the store. Other variations include "you have twins" and "there's two of them!" And I can't help it - I'm a snark. Deep down I'd like to sarcastically reply "Really??? I had no idea!" It's like they've discovered America and are declaring my babies "twins" for the very first time. Then they go on to gush about how lucky we are, how adorable the babies are, and how it's perfect that we have one of each.
And it's not that I don't appreciate the compliments. I know the little old ladies are just excited to see babies, and two babies are of course, even better. It's just that sometimes, I feel like we're such a scene with the huge double stroller, the huge diaper bag, and potentially two wailing tots. I recognize that it's unusual to see twins - about 3% of all births, but my guess is less likely in Western Pennsylvania due to some social factors.
Part of the challenge is that in all social exchanges, you're almost expected to match the mood and emotional tone of the person with which you're speaking. When they're all thrilled and cutsie wootsie, it's tough to put on a big smile and be super cheerful up to eight times in a single craft store - when you're just trying to pick out some ribbon. Maybe I'm just not a people person.
See for me, I've come to realize that I don't even see them as twins. I have so much time with them individually, that I see them as my beautiful Julianna, and my incredible Brayden. They are so much their own people, and not at all "one half of a whole pair."
Then there are the people who are so personal. "A girl and a boy - perfect! Now you can be done!" I am pretty confident that we want more kids. And does that mean Dan's family growing up was incomplete because they had three boys? And they want to know how much they weighed, how far along I was when we delivered - and almost seem disappointed when I tell them that they were pretty normal weights and that I lasted 38 weeks. It just seems a little too much for me, standing in the checkout line, discussing this with my sales associate. The attention is just so uninvited.
Yesterday we went to the museum, and my brother was carrying Brayden in the Baby Bjorn and my sister had Julianna. These two ladies came right up and started congratulating them on their babies. Awkward for them - yes. Secretly though, I was standing by gleeful that I was able to avoid the conversation myself. It leaves me wondering, would they have walked up to any family with a single baby, and gushed in amazement over their child and asked all sorts of questions. Perhaps they would. And maybe I should be the one to try it some day. I'll walk right up to some unsuspecting new parent and exclaim "oh my gosh - you have a singleton!" They'll look at me like I'm some crazy woman, and I'll walk away smiling knowing that at least I got a little revenge.