“Oh, are they twins? I always wanted to have twins.”
How many times have you heard that one? It ranks right up there, for me, at the top of the list of incredibly annoying things that complete strangers feel compelled to say to me. As with most of the inane comments, I generally give a half smile and continue herding my cats children through whatever errand I’m trying in vain to accomplish.
But what I really want to say is… Oh really? You always wanted to:
- have a high-risk pregnancy, in which you live in fear of going into labor too early, get five times as huge as a normal human being, and stop being able to tie your own shoes at about 24 weeks?
- leave the hospital without your babies, because they’re still in the NICU?
- attempt to breastfeed two premature babies whose mouths are so small they can’t possibly get a decent latch?
- try with all your might to keep these two infants on roughly the same schedule, in the hopes of maintaining a small shred of your sanity?
- have your vision of what it’s like to be a first-time mom completely turned on its head, because you don’t have a single spare moment to actually enjoy your babies?
- live your life by your babies’ synchronized nap schedule in the name of survival?
- push a double stroller that drives like a school bus?
- have a simple cold take three weeks to go through your house, as it gets passed from baby to baby to mom to dad?
- get pulled in the direction of two new crawlers, and then two new walkers?
- worry about gross motor delays, fine motor delays, plagiocephaly, torticollitis, and speech delays?
- get stopped by EVERY SINGLE FREAKING PERSON IN THE GROCERY STORE when all you want to do is get a gallon of milk and get back to the car before they both start crying, again?
Oh, no? No, you weren’t saying that because you wanted to experience the most intensely difficult 4 6 12 18 months ever known to man?
No, I think what you really wanted was to have a nice matched set that you could dress the same for formal pictures, and imagine them to have some sort of secret language or ESP or something.
Oh, and maybe you always wanted to:
- have two babies who became two toddlers who could entertain themselves much better than most of their age-mates.
- hear the shrieks and giggles and babbling that becomes shrieks and giggling and conversations from their shared bedroom (even if it means they aren’t asleep when they should be).
- watch them make up games and invite each other to play at a surprisingly young age.
- have your own little built-in social/parenting experiment, watching them grow in ways that are the same and different. And having the second one there to let you know that not all of the hard stuff is your fault.
- have that “instant family” with two kids, without having to actually go through labor twice.
- be a somewhat more laid-back parent by necessity.
- find an awesome sisterhood of moms simply by virtue of having parented two kids of the same age at the same time.
- feel kind of like a rock star whenever someone says to you, “I don’t know how you do it.”