Going out in public with my twin girls is always an adventure. Part of that adventure often involves responding to comments and questions about my girls and pretending not to hear people loudly whisper things like, “Look at those twins.” The questions and comments I receive from those I encounter range from innocent and sweet to awkward and, occasionally, inappropriate.
I have enjoyed reading many lists compiled by other twin moms of what you shouldn’t ask or say to moms of twins. But since, unfortunately, most people can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to commenting, I would like to offer a list of alternative things to say when you see a mom out with twins.
Instead of asking me how I tell my twins apart, say, “It’s so cool that you can tell them apart.” I always feel like I am being given a pop quiz when I get asked this question. I appreciate when friends ask because I know they are asking because they genuinely care and want to know each of my daughters as individuals, but I don’t think the strangers who see me in the grocery store really need to know the difference.
Instead of saying, “Double Trouble,” say, “Wow, I bet you have a lot of fun.” Having twins really is the best. I love that they play together and have that special bond with each other. Nothing warms my heart more than when they show love to each other. While they may occasionally use their “power of two” against me, they are way more fun than trouble.
Instead of saying, “You must have your hands full,” say “You’re doing a great job.” I really don’t know any mother, twins or no twins, who likes being told that they appear to have their hands full. Whether it’s intended to or not, the statement makes me feel like I appear to be struggling. Yes, leaving the house with our massive double stroller and handling two toddlers out in public is not always easy, but anytime I can make it happen, I feel like a total rock star. So, please, don’t rain on my parade.
Instead of asking, “Were they conceived naturally?” just say they’re cute or sweet or pretty much anything else that’s nice and pops into your head. I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain that questioning me about the conception of my twins is highly personal, and should never be asked casually, especially if you don’t know me, but some people don’t seem to understand. Trust me; you have not known awkward until you have been asked about the conception of your children by a total stranger in The GAP. (Yep. That happened.)
Instead of asking, “Which one is the quiet one?” or “Which one is the sweet one?” etc., say “I bet they both have fun personalities.” Twins are not automatically opposites nor are they carbon copies of each other. They can be as similar or dissimilar as any set of siblings. A twin can be any combination of personality traits just like any other child on the planet. Oh, and evil twins only exist in soap operas.