Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ranters and Ravers

I was perusing an online bulletin board yesterday for moms of multiples when I came across a thread of rants about people who stop moms and comment on their twins in malls, in grocery stores, in Target and in Wal-Mart.
One woman was furious with people who praise her older daughter for being such a good helper. "Come on people. She's only three," she wrote. Another could not believe that anyone would ask whether her babies were, indeed, twins. A third was insulted by people who ask her how she handles it all.
People can be so rude.
No, no, no.
Not the folks who make the comments: twin moms.
Sure it can be tough sometimes. I've had my share of incidents. One man insisted my twins were not identical. He just wouldn't give up. So I did. A clerk at Dillard's once blocked my way. She just stood there ogling the boys for several minutes. When I tried to get around her, she stepped in my path again. She persisted until another clerk pulled her away. A neighbor's 9-year-old son once grabbed one baby by the face and screamed in another baby's ear (We stay away from them now.).
But that's three incidents in 11 months.
And they were real.
It was not a matter of perception.
Before I had twins, I was not versed in twin etiquette. I had never referred to any twins as "double trouble," but I can't imagine I would find it insulting. Nor would have considered that acknowledging the difficulties of juggling twins or complimenting a three-year-old sibling would be rude.
Many of the comments on that thread were funny and light-hearted. But there were some twin moms who just seemed to get a high off of the opportunity to be haughty in return. Their babies are their power trips.
It's a shame.
Some folks are just a little overwhelmed when they see twins. They want to say something. Anything. And they don't hire speech writers. It just comes out. Sometimes, it comes out beautifully. Other times, the result is awkward.
Who cares? Really?
My boys are a blessing. They are not double trouble. I don't need sympathy. And sometimes I get exasperated when errands take me three times longer than they should. But when I do feel myself becoming exasperated, I think of the smiles and I remember how easily the twins can brighten a day, simply by their existence. How selfish that would be of me to deny someone that moment.
There was one mom on that thread who saw the light. She was shopping with four of her children, including her twins. A woman asked whether they were all hers. She felt that rage, that urge to be rude, rising inside her, but she decided to fight it this time. She smiled and said that yes, they were.
"I almost cried right there," she wrote. "She had two kids like 5 or so years apart and she wished they were closer in age. We had a great conversation for the few seconds my wildness would allow."
Thank goodness she let her wild side rule.

12 comments:

GChen said...

Lori,

This is Gina Chen. Cool blog.

Congrats on your boys. We just got your Christmas Card and found out about your blog and all your news!

I've entered the world of blogging, too: blog.syracuse.com/family/

Take care.

kathleen said...

well said!

Lexi said...

I think that people complain about being stopped with twins too much. We get stopped all the time, especially by europeans and that is really frustrating becuase I don't know half of what they are saying! But I just take it as it comes. People think that my kids look exactly alike and I don't think they could look more different. I think it is just one part of having multiples, you have manage time for people stopping you and commenting ont he babies!

twinboysmom said...

Have you ever joined any twin groups? I would be interested in sharing email stories with other moms, but have not found time to join any groups.

TwinsMom said...

Twinboysmom,
I have not joined any local groups for a lot of reasons. Time is a big one. But I do sometimes check out the multiples boards on Babycenter.com. It's a great place to find other moms who understand the things you are going through.
Lori

Amanda (munchbucket) said...

I do not know if you will get this comment as this is an older entry, but that was me. The mom with the wildnesses. It brought my to tears to see it here. It really put it into perspective. That was a great day! I saw your blog adress in your signature on bbc so I thought I would peek. Our boy are simular age and this has been a joy to read. Tears and laughter abound.

twinsmom said...

Hi Amanda,
I get e-mail when someone posts, so I saw your comment. Hopefully, you will look back and see this. You have a great attitude and you'll have a better life because of it. I needed to read your comment that day on that thread. Thanks for posting both here and on Baby Center.
Lori

Amanda (munchbucket) said...

It is always wierd and hopefully good to see what impact our words/actions have on thers. Who knew that something that was big to me but i was sure would be little to everyone else had an impact. Pretty neat. By the way yor boys are dolls. I love your blog and how true to my life it feels! Thanks for making me feel like I am not alone. I hope you don't mind that I will be reading this often. It is so fun!

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Melissa said...

just reading some old ones. I agree with you here, absolutely. I've only been mad with the attention once when I lady went on and on about how wonderful the babies were and even how cute my dog was, but failed completely to even acknowledge my two year old who was standing right next to me the whole time.

Nanner said...

I completely agree with you. These people usually mean no harm, and for me there have only been a few instances of true rudeness (touching my kids or getting in their faces usually is the line for me - and starts a huge cry-fest). If us twin moms need to complain about strangers' questions...let's complain about this one, "oh congratulations, when are you due!?!" My answer is usually something like "Oh, I was due a year ago when these cuties were born, this tummy is just my souvenir!"