For the curious conversation starting stranger.

  1. Twins?
  2. A boy? A girl? Identical?
    A boy and a girl. Um, no – not identical…
  3. You’ve got your hands full
    My hands ARE full! But really, you should see me lugging grocery bags up from the car to the house…I counted 12 in one go once.
  4. Double trouble!
    They’re not trouble…they never will be trouble. False prophet!
  5. Double blessing!
    Well yes thanks, they are double blessings. How did you know!
  6. Do twins run in the family?
    Short answer: Yes.
    Long answer (you’ll regret asking): Okay, we didn’t know they ran in H’s family so we used to say no, until recently, apparently they do, and no they don’t run in mine, (except for that second cousin once removed who may have been a twin (I don’t know the details)…BUT my sister has identical twins – identicals are not genetic, so they still don’t run in my side of the family …but how weird right and what a coincidence, and you can imagine how many more stares and questions she gets!
  7. Did you know early on? What was it like finding out?
    We knew at 7 weeks…what was it like? Mind blowing, exciting, terrifying, amazing, what. have. we. done. time to rewrite that five year plan life changing.
  8. Is it hard? or Is it harder than your first two? or How are you managing…it must be hard? (this really is a daily one…and my answer seems to have a 48 hour expiry date, because guaranteed the same person will ask again within the same week).
    You know…strangely, two babies are harder to manage than one. I’m tired – my twins are not the same, they’re two totally different people who like to sleep and wake, eat and cry in their own special way, mostly alternating throughout the day, but I’m fine…not about to breakdown it’s okay.
  9. Mine are 18 months apart, so pretty much like having twins.
    (The following is an internal answer while I smile and nod) No, twins are not the same as having children 1.5 yrs apart. I’m sure that’s challenging…but not the same.
  10. Are they good?
    I genuinely pause and look confused (on purpose!) when people ask me this question. Really!? I just can’t imagine any mother answering in the negative to this…”No they’re awful, bad babies!” All babies are beautiful and innocent.
  11. I don’t know how you do it.
    I just do, as would you, I mean – they’re my children and I love them…there’s no super powers involved (actually, there kind of is because I pray every day)! But seriously…your capacity is an ever growing and very stretchy organ.
  12. Are they natural?
    I saved this till last because it’s only happened to me once…but can we please not ask parents of twins any variations of this question. Not only is it weirdly personal, but the the adverse implies IVF babies are ‘unnatural’, which is cruel and wrong.

There you have it. Though it’s at times annoying even frustrating to repeat myself over and over, deep down I’m pleased with the banal things of twin life. I once feared we’d miss out on these things in the face of LittleJ’s diagnosis, but life is turning out to be very normal and messy and wonderful indeed.

So keep asking questions! Making conversation with strangers creates important social connections, and we could all do with more of that! If my twins can brighten up one persons day, then I’m happy to swallow my pride, smile and nod – even with full hands!

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