Vincelli: Party of 6

Vincelli: Party of 6

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Here's a great article a friend of mine messaged me. She's a mommy of boy/girl twins. I can honestly say that I have heard all of these except for #1, #2, #6, and #9. WOW!!!
Amy :)

Stupid Things People Say to the Parents of Twins
I've Got My Hands Full? Really??
By Lisa Smartt

I've said stupid things, and you've said stupid things. We're all guilty, but there's one classic stupid phrase in America today that wins first prize in the parenting category. It's used by people of all walks of life when they come face to face with a parent of small children. The following scenario takes place in every city in America. It goes something like this:

A perfectly intelligent person looks up from a grocery cart and sees a young mom trying desperately to separate the oldest of her three preschoolers from a box of over-priced, fudge-covered, muskrat-shaped graham crackers. The mom wants to send out a search party to arrest the person who devised the advertising campaign for these sugary "Muskrat Morsels."

Meanwhile, the 2-year-old dumps the diaper bag. The 3-year-old starts eating dry spaghetti out of a box on the shelf and begins to choke uncontrollably. This poor mom is about to dial 911. And all the bystander can think of to say is, "You've got your hands full." Ding Ding. You win the prize. That's the understatement of the century.

Most parents handle the above situation pretty well. They smile and say, "Sure do." But that's not what they're thinking. Oh no. I know what you parents really want to say when someone says, "You've got your hands full."

Here goes: "Really. Do you think I've got my hands full? I had no idea. I thought I was on a vacation in the Bahamas right now. I'm expecting a massage and a pedicure on aisle 7. The stock boy will probably be bringing my complimentary fruit tray any minute now. Being as I'm so relaxed, I considered writing a novel or experimenting with crocheting when I'm waiting in the checkout line. LOOK, LADY, I know my hands are full! If this concerns you, feel free to take these children and a roll of quarters out to that slot-machine carousel on the sidewalk. Stay at least an hour. I promise to stay in the store. I'll be right here in the snack bar with a lukewarm cup of coffee and two cucumber slices from the produce department resting comfortably on my eyelids while the gal from the bakery paints my fingernails."

OK. Therapy session over. Breathe deeply. This is not an appropriate reaction. Keep smiling and say, "Sure do." Remember the value of kindness?

Parents of twins face a special brand of stupid comments, delightfully all their own. Three friends, all moms of twins, recently gave me some keen insight from the frontlines. I've compiled their comments into a special list:

The Top 15 Stupid Things People Say to Parents of Twins

15. "I could never do it." (Oh really. What would you do? Are you suggesting I put them on the curb with signs around their necks that say, "Free to a good home. My mom can't do it"?)

14. "Do they have different personalities?" (No. They are the same human being divided into two parts.)

13. Said by a stranger, "They're identical, right?" Mom answers, "No. They're fraternal." Stranger response, "They are NOT!" (OK. You're right. I have no idea what I'm talking about. These are not my children. I thought it would be fun to borrow them from a mom down at Baby Gap. It's been more than an hour. I guess I should return them.)

12. "Are they 'paternal' twins?" (Yes. They have a father. There was only one virgin birth.)

11. "Just wait till they're older. It only gets harder." (Thank you. I woke up this morning hoping I'd receive a word of discouragement while pushing a cart of preschoolers down the cereal aisle.)

10. "When one cries, does he wake the other?" (No. Twins cannot hear each other's cries because they all communicate with their special telepathic language only.)

9. From a perfect stranger: "Were they in the same sac?" (Hello. Nice to meet you, too. Will you be sharing your gynecological history with me as well?)

8. "Are they developmentally behind?" (Well, let's see. They're 3 years old and thus far, all their graduate school applications have been denied. We'll get back with you on that.)

7. "How do you do it?" (Haven't you seen the Nike commercials?)

6. Said by a dentist: "I was shocked that they didn't have the same bite patterns." (They are two different human beings, not clones.)

5. "You must be so busy." (Are you volunteering to clean my house?)

4. Said to a mom of fraternal twins who are different sizes, have different eye color and different face structure: "How do you tell them apart?" (I just look at them.)

3. "What do you do when they both cry at the same time?" (Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I go to Starbucks.)

2. Said to a mom of boy/girl twins: "Are they identical?" (Uh. Not exactly.)

1. Only one comment could be voted No. 1. The choice was clear. Drum roll, please. After a stranger had been informed that the toddler boys were twins, she asked a simple question: "Are they brothers?" (Enough said.)

Let's be honest. People are fascinated with twins. They don't mean to say stupid things. It just happens. It happens to all of us. Saying stupid things is one activity that joins us all together as human beings. Learn to forgive the frailties of others and enjoy the laughs later. Life is a journey. Enjoy the double-stroller roller coaster ride!