Friday, June 22, 2007

Touchy about twinfamy

To some extent, I get the interest they create. But to the degree that it occurs I find myself growing a bit irritated. Yes, we have twins. Yes, they are a miracle. Two babies, carried simultaneously and born within minutes of each other. Twins. But I find myself getting closer and closer to saying to some kind stranger, "They're just babies, just like yours and the other two I have, there just happens to be two of them."

Leaving the house is a challenge in and of itself. Four people to load into the car, four carseats to secure. Then, more times than not, the babies taking turns (and sometimes in stereo) screaming because they just don't like being buckled in the carseats. You finally reach your destination (hearing more impaired than it was when you set out) and you go through the same process backwards.

Four carseats to unsecure, four little ones to unload from the car. You get the picture. And this says nothing of the whole ordeal of getting everyone dressed, in clean diapers (someone always fills one on the way out the door) and fed in preparation for the trip.

Okay, you accept the process, what are you going to do? But, after you overcome the challenges of getting out and about, there's a whole circus atmosphere the surrounds your every move.

First you have the people who just look and think they're talking quietly ... "twins." While they gawk and whisper, they don't really engage in any exchange. Then you have those that at least acknowledge they're talking about you by making eye contact and smiling after they've made their comment and made sure their companion has also seen the pair.

Escalating up the irritation scale, you have those that stop, and ask the "stats" ... two boys, two girls, or one of each? How old are they? Followed by a comment about their size for their age.

And finally, we have those that you think you're going to spend the rest of the day with. Looking, talking, looking some more. And inevitably you get a story about someone they know that had two kids 11 months apart, followed by twins and finally ended up with a brood of eight. While I appreciate the sharing, look, I just wanted to pick up some formula.

But the kicker is the "You've sure got your hands full," comment. As if I wasn't aware of what we've got. Some day, I'm going to come back with a "lady, you don't know just how full my hands are or you wouldn't have just wasted 15 minutes of my day." In 15 minutes I could have easily given someone a bottle, made a potty trip, diapered at least 10 butts or bathed and dressed two babies. Now, I'm behind schedule!

As selfish as all my complaining is, what's really at the heart of the matter for me is Trace and Alysse. Will they always be an inducer of attention? Will they go through life constantly reminded they are one of two? Will they graduate from high school "the twins" to friends and their parents? Will they finally escape the twinfamy when each is on his or her own, with separate lives? No one would know I was a twin at this stage of my life if I didn't make them privy to the information.

Who knows, once they are old enough to understand it, maybe the attention they garner won't bother them nearly as much as it does their mother who just wants to say, "They have names. We don't just call them Twin A and Twin B." And perhaps the issue lies with me in that I look at them and don't see TWINS ... I see two little people with personalities, feelings and temperaments all their own. That they are twins is an afterthought for me.

In the meantime, if you see us out, please don't linger too long as you admire them. We've got places to go.

P.S. No, they are not identical. That one has a penis and the other does not is the antithesis of the word, but that's a whole other rant.

1 comment:

melissious said...

Are they all yours? Boy do YOU have your hands full!
Oh my gosh, I don't know how I stumbled upon your blog, but I love it! You sound like me. I think I blogged about the "you've got your hands full" comments on one of my other blogs. We just can't get that time back that those people rob us of. I want so badly to be nice, but seriously, don't they KNOW how many times we hear that in a day?? The past few times I've just rolled my eyes and said "I guess". It's like an epidemic!!
Anyway, I love your blog. Your kids are adorable. :) I can say that here because you can read it or not. I won't stop you if I see you in a store. :)