Thursday, April 24, 2008

The "fat" one

It happened again two days ago.
I was taking the boys on a two-mile walk through the neighborhood. The day was a little too warm and the sky was cloudless. A slight breeze took the edge off the heat. Matthew and Jonathan had tummies full of milk, were fresh from a nap and were happy to take in the houses, the trees, the birds and the smell of fresh-cut grass.
They felt good. I felt good.
Then, about ten minutes into our excursion, a minivan pulled over. The driver’s side window came down and a woman I’d met only twice before stuck her head out. She wanted a glimpse of the twins.
I obliged.
Within less than a minute, I regretted it.
“So let’s see,” she said. “He’s the fat one.”
She pointed at Matthew, who had just dropped a pound below his brother due to the loss of appetite that came with a bout of the roseola virus. I was dumbstruck. I found myself stumbling over my words, trying to explain that, generally, the boys are only a few ounces apart. If anything, Jonathan’s cheeks are a bit fuller than Matthew’s.
I should have been prepared. This happens all the time and it happened again half a mile down the road. A woman was trying to help her granddaughter differentiate between the boys and, this time, she identified Jonathan as “the fat one.”
For some people, my boys are like that puzzle I often see in Children’s magazines, the one where two pictures look identical and the challenge is to find the differences between them. Certain people seem obsessed with finding differences between my boys and they present their observations as if they might be new to me.
The “fat” observation is their favorite and the one that concerns me the most. Right now, the boys are too young to be bothered. But their comprehension will not always be so limited. I can only hope that people practice more consideration as the boys grow older.
I needed to vent and I needed a good comeback. So I posted a plea for help on the multiples thread on Cincymoms. Those women are awesome.
I’m not sure that I would ever have the nerve to put their suggestions to use, but their replies diluted my frustration and left me with a chuckle. Please feel free to chuckle with me:

_ We had only budgeted for one child

_ Give confused look..."Identical?! They're not even brothers! This is the neighbor's kid."

_ They're on a paid study for the drug Alli for Tots

_ Which one were you as a child?

_ It is okay if I say you are the fat one?

_ Is that how they distinguish you from your siblings?

_ Yes. One is on Jenny Craig so we can tell them apart.


The Myers Family said...

Oh know, don't feel bad...people say that to me all the time too. One of my girls also has bigger cheeks...and they are about 8 ounces apart at all times! Drives me crazy! I do love the comments on the website. I read them all to my hubby...he was ROLLING on the FLOOR about the one that said "we only budgeted for one"! THAT is HILARIOUS!

I wouldn't let it get to you...i just don't think people know how to approach a lady with precious identical twin boys...i'm sure they want to be nosey and don't even think about what they are saying when they say it. People say stuff to me all the time...i just consider them ignorant or maybe just not "TWIN SAVVY"! LOL!

Lexi said...

I love the Jenny Craig comment LOL! If it makes you feel better, I hear that all the time about my babies and they are not identical. Logan is always distiguished as fat or bigger. When in fact, he just has a big head and hands because he weighs a lot less than Laycee. I think people get by with "harsher" words when you are talking about a baby becuase they think the same courtesy rules don't apply.

Twinsmom said...

I'm glad to know I'm not alone! Maybe I'll teach the boys some good come backs. Now that would freak people out!


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