Saturday, 21 July 2012

Are they Twins?




I have just seen a really good side badge on Here Come The Girls its the answers to questions about twins, it made me want to write about my experience of the grilling that sometimes comes. I am sure mums of one, or even families get asked silly questions, but I find twin queries, at best amusing, at worst daft and sometimes really personal!
A glance from a stranger, will see a husband, wife, two teenage twins, (Gone are the days of the questions that used to make me bite my tongue about twins. Now we get, "Don't they make a lovely couple, they even look alike." Answers, they are not a couple they are brother and sister.
"Do they get on?" I always wonder at this question, do all parents get asked this? They actually were very close, incredibly so for siblings, still are for teenagers, there are many reasons for this, maybe they have personalities that suit, hopefully some of my parenting skills were quite passable. ( I believe there is a fundamental reason,  that is another story, I want to cover for a blog carnival I have seen! )
"Oh are they twins then?" Answers, yes they are, then come the range of questions probably common to all mums of multiple birth!!
 I have more time for this assault on my family, but when Paige and Conor are sitting there, the twin factor means they become something to be talked about as if they cannot answer for themselves! Stared at and they always look so uncomfortable and end up giggling. Are they used to it, I'm not sure, I will ask Paige to post the reply later! When they were little and could not reply,  it was down to Chris and I,even then, it sometimes got a bit much!

As a harried Mum of baby twins I was occasionally sharp and rude. I can be if stressed or defending a loved one, but on the whole, I like to chat to people out and about!
However, I have never gone up to a Mum who has a screaming child, let alone two to start digging about in the family history. I have held a, buggy, baby, anything to help if a woman looked  like she needed a pair of hands, a friendly smile. I have never seen fit to give an interrogation on someones fertility, how do I manage and thrown pitying looks, some from Mums who have three children even!



So back to my children when they were babies, I breastfed, no mean feat, I can tell you, it was tricky.  I had no extended or even immediate family at any point, to help, even just chat to (again this is for another post), which made Chris's help even more vital. He would come in from work on many days to find me weeping, once accusing him of abandoning me,  that he was 7 minutes later than normal. He would say sorry, the traffic lights were on red, scoop up the babies, make me tea, hug me and say we would get through it. It was never a case of day to day, it was a life lived and only managed moment to moment!
Which leads me on to being constantly trying to get through little tasks like shopping, going to get a prescription. I did not drive, buses were totally out for me, a twin buggy, two babies made the local transport a distant memory. I walked places, the upside was great legs, after a few years of street pounding and rocking baby bouncy chairs, I never needed a gym!!
So when I got stopped and asked these questions and I mean by lots of people all in one trip, it began to make me very aloof!  Head down, no eye contact and still they came!
Are they identical?...Answers "No a boy and a girl cannot be identical" Inside head " Are you a little dim, there are obvious physical differences!
Do twins run in the family? I wanted to always say "Mind your own business!  But I used to just say No. Like a flowchart this lead to more.I actually  had IVF, if I said this, that would end in a whole interrogation on this subject. It was still a subject then that people only knew from the news stories and tags of test tube babies! I always have been happy to discuss it, obviously as here I am, but the questions can get really personal, a total stranger asking, "Was it you or your husband that was faulty?" has to be the most ignorant!
Possibly the twin one that made me laugh a lot on a good day, but  growl the most on one particular day was this. On the way to Boots to breastfeed, after some errand, with two hungry cries of "Feed me now!" I was hurtling through the shopping centre, obviously on a mission, clearly with two babies, I imagine one is a challenge, I know in fact it is from friends!  Suddenly a woman planted her whole body firmly in my path and I nearly knocked her over.
She said "I just want to look at them, they are adorable!", I said thank you, I really need to go they need feeding, but thank you! 
I went to go around her and she actually put her hand on the buggy, to stop me, and said
Are they twins?
I looked her in the eye, I scowled and replied through gritted teeth.
No they are triplets, but one is invisible!!!!
So if you see Mums with one baby, twins, triplets, just several children and she has a far away, distant look, let her move on. If she is sitting happily smiling, then that is the time to go over!

Twins image thanks to Shutterstock



Mami2Five

23 comments:

  1. Thanks Jo, I have probably been guilty of some of these daft comments! Note to self, to think before I speak!

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    1. I probably have asked daft questions to Mums myself in the past, its the ones were its quite personal that were tough at times. Most of the time its taken with a pinch of salt!!

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  2. Do twins run in the family?..............oops I think I've asked this one a few times. I'll take more care next time I see someone with twins after reading this.

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    1. Ah no its really when a Mum looks harried and stressed!

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  3. Do you dress them the same? (If they're the same sex that is).

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    1. Mine are not same sex, but even if they were and little, I personally never would.

      I wanted them to be individuals at all times. Paige made a point after reading this about that and I want to leave it to her to comment when she has time. They sometimes co-ordinated in similar wear!
      I aslo chose never to call them the twins as a regular description. Did call them the twits though!!

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    2. My sister is quite close in age and my mother always dressed us up in the same thing, but in different colours. I found it really annoying, although, when I think about it now, it was easier for her to buy two of everything and probably cheaper. No online shopping then. :)

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    3. I guess so. I suppose quicker to grab two same/similar as well. I love shopping so I would never do it.

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  4. Cant believe anyone would ask which is your favourite?!

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    1. Oh I have been asked it?
      They get asked some really strange ones now!

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  5. I think the worst comment had to be 'Is it you or your husband that's faulty?', and we were asked by more than one person!! - Chris (Mr Jo Bryan)

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    1. Aww xx It is you that is faulty!!
      Not in the IVF way, that was me!
      But just because I haven't had enough cups of tea made today!!

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  6. Jane C English22 July 2012 at 12:22

    My girls only have 15 months between them & if I had a penny for everytime I was asked are they twins! Sadly I had twins, but lost one at 35 weeks pregnant, but even I've been guilty of asking some of the stupid questions!

    I had five children under 6 at one stage, eldest in infants, next in nursery, so it was always hectic in our house, but I remember once going to the hospital to see my consultant it had been one of those mornings! Hubby had the car for a presentation so it was public transport for us, I'd dropped the eldest two off at school/nursery then made my way to the local bus station, kids had been fighting & fractious all morning, we got on the bus for the 35 minute journey to the hospital, reading always seemed the best on these occasions so I got their favourite book our & that filled that journey, waited almost three hours for the consultant to see me, to tell me my back pain was a) imaginary b) down to having five pregnancies in quick succession c) having been a county gymnast at the age of 14/15 & to go home & get on with looking after my husban & children!!! I'm not even going to tell you what I said as your blog would be pulled - I don't usually swear day to day, but I remember telling him exactly what I thought of him - we then made are journey home, which was two buses to get back, on the last bus I'm still mad & fuming at what has been said to me, the only seat was near the back so all four of us traipsed to it, twin buggy (McClaren folding unbrella type there was no special parking area as now, you had to put your buggy down & carry it on) baby bag -extra large - baby in arms still to young to walk but getting very hungry & letting us all know it, one just toddling & one extremely inquisitive 2 year old boy, as the bus got near our stop I pressed the bell & the bus driver pulled over as we are walking down the centre of the bus, my toddling daughter's nappy decided to part company from her so I just told her to walk out of it and keep coming, I can clearly hear this woman, make-up done, hair done, clothes immaculate saying something along the lines of "tut your should have children if you can't cope & look after them" boy did she pick a bad day to say it! I flipped I plonked my baby on her lap, gave her the bag, the buggy & said go on you do better if you can Baby is ready for her feed not sure how you are going to manage as she's breat fed & that might mean you have to solve that one yourself, & I almost walked off it was one of them times that everything was closing in on me, but the woman apologised & got up & helped me off the bus with them all, picking up the lonely nappy on the way. She made the bus driver wait until we was off the bus, buggy up with children fastened in, everything in order then she got back on waving bye to us all & the bus drew away, I've never even seen her since, I never even thanked her but I was just so glad for that help in getting off & sorted.
    Sorry Jo, another one of my long posts, but if someone seems to be struggling with a situation just see if you can help, 9 times out of 10 you can waved most of it off, but it was just a bad morning all round.
    Oh and the doctor was very wrong I have a disease of the spine that is eroding it away in cetain parts - further ops to come -shhhh don't think about it!

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    1. Wow thanks for that, I love that you could come here and have your say, people who make judgments about others often are so wrong and as I said before ignorant of the truth. Good on that woman for being a good person deep down, admitting it and helping in a time of need.
      Drs often are the worst when judging people!

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  7. Jane C English22 July 2012 at 12:24

    Goodness thats long even for me LOL

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    1. Hehe, sure you don't need to start a new blog?? x ;)

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  8. I can't believe someone stood in front of your speeding buggy to ask a question! I'd have run her over (and that's only with one!) I think people ask the oddest questions about all babies, but I guess you get "double the trouble" with twins!! ;p

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    1. Hehe Mel indeed, I seriously considered running her over!

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  9. Great post. It never ceases to amaze me the questions people deem OK to ask... You sound incredibly patient :)

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    1. Thank you, it passes on more to my two now more than me!

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  10. I had a few giggles and a few tears at the same time reading this and I have to say this is by far, my favourite blog post of yours!!
    I get similar questions too "Do you talk to each other through your mind?" and "Don't you hate sharing your birthday?". The response anybody gets from that is a laugh, followed by "We're just your average brother and sister".
    I have to say that I love being a twin and love sharing my birthday with him! We do have some tiffs now and then, but on the whole he's very loyal, funny and at times my best friend!

    I wouldn't wish to be normal, not ever! :P

    You've done a great job Mum and I can only wish and hope that I will be as amazing as you are when I am all growed up! xx

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    1. I am as ignorant sometimes, as I never thought about the daft questions you too get. Its lovely to see you together two totally different people and both so lovely (at times hehe).
      Thanks for saying I have done a good job, that means the world to me, my job as trying to be a good Mum is rewarded by these moments, now you made me cry. I think you are already pretty growed up, but you will always be my little girl at the same time xx

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  11. Mine are 13 now but I remember those questions well!
    I was only 18 (and looked about 12!) yet I still got the 'are they natural'. Alongside the 'Are they identical' we also got 'oh how nice a boy and a girl, you can stop now!' I had two little girls dressed head to toe in identical girly clothes!
    I bought 2 of everything and dressed mine the same because it was much easier to buy two and not have to chose another outfit that I liked just as much.
    This isn't to say that by the end of the day, or even lunchtime, they would still be dressed the same. I have known twin mums to change both outfits if one got dirty but I never went that far!

    Thanks for linking up to the very first #multiplemadness! I hope you come back next week x

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