Twin Misconceptions

I am known to be a very sarcastic person with a somewhat “unusual” sense of humour. People do not always know how to take me or to be able to tell when I am joking. So for the interests of not offending anyone or being misconstrued:

This post is meant to be humorous. It may sound bitchy in parts, it may not be funny to you, you may not get it. These are actual misconceptions I have personally come across and dealt with, and are then honest internal dialogues I have with myself each and every time I come across them. It’s amazing how little people know about twins unless they are one, have a set, or have siblings who are twins.

Are they identical? . Hmm now how do I tackle this one?? I could try subtle but have found the whole one’s a boy and one’s a girl invariably leads to a repeat of the original question. The not-so-subtle sledge hammer type approach of one has a penis and one has a vagina does get some strange or shocked looks, but it does not always lead to understanding. All that’s left is a deadpan “uh no” while internally I laugh my ass off and roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all. The worst cuplrits of this are actually adults, kids get it pretty quickly when you explain the impossibility of having identical male / female twins!! The scariest thing is I have had medical professionals ask me this one!!!

How can you tell them apart? Yep another variation on the above! You mean beside the fact that one has a penis and the other a vagina??? Don’t even worry about me, how can YOU not. I’m making it easy on you. One is in blue, the other in pink. Simple really. Unless of course you think I cross dress my children??

My kids are 9 – 18months apart. That’s like twins. . OMFG are you really serious? Like really? Really???? It. Is. NOTHING. Like. Twins. It is hard I am sure, but it is not like having twins. At all. In any way. Ever. I mean for one there are different birthdays (unless you’re talking to someone with interval twins – born days or months apart – I kid you not that exists). You were pregnant twice and did not have the same risks, pains or difficulties a twin mum had. One is on solids the other milk only. One sleeps all the time (hopefully) and is still at that crying for no reason or every reason stage while the other is awake a lot more, can sit up, probably move and somewhere close to walking. I could keep listing reasons but I think you get the point!

Then there are the people who refer to them as “boys” or “girls” as the concept of twins to them means same gender.. This one I ignore. Honestly I do. There’s no point because its usually a stranger and they are obviously colour blind. And when I will subtly use he and she when referring to each child (especially now I know Harper is an old English girls name but an Indian boys name!) it makes no difference. Smile, nod, leave.

They’re not real twins. . I actually first heard this from someone whose best friend had a twin sister. To make matters worse HE WAS A TWIN HIMSELF! This is where I really just want to put on my best teacher voice and ask “What does the word twin mean to you?” This is a huge misconception. Twin = identical. Even if they don’t look the same, same gendered twins = identical. Lets just say I was at a party at the time, he was drinking, and I walked away when we got down to the very mature “Yes they are / No they’re not” retorts.

Did you do IVF / You must have had assistance (e.g. clomid or IVF). This is even after I have assured people my twins were naturally occurring. This really does piss me off. Not so much if its a question (although that is quite rude – lucky I’m an over-sharer and don’t mind) but when it’s a statement, or worse yet someone is arguing with me about the presence of assistance to conceive, that gets my internal bitch stark raving mad. And if you’ve caught me on a bad day I’m imagining slapping you on the upside of your head. Do you realise you are calling me a liar when you question my “no they’re natural”?

Are you sure you’re having twins, you’re not that big. This may surprise you but I found that just as insulting as if I was carrying a singleton and you asked if I sure I wasn’t having twins because I was so big. It made me feel as if I wasn’t “growing” my babies properly.

Linked to the above was “they must be really small, even for twins“. Um no they’re really bloody big actually. 95th percentile at 30 weeks kinda big. I think people should have a filter inserted when speaking to pregnant ladies. Comments about their weight / size are a no no. So are comments about the babies’ weight / size. When you link the two it’s better just to STFU because I guarantee you will offend.

You’re bottle feeding because its easier with twins / You can’t breast feed twins. First of all many women breast feed twins very, very successfully. It’s amazing how capable a woman’s body is when it comes to their babies. Unless of course it’s not. I did not make the choice not to breast feed my body made that choice. It can be a sensitive issue for me now considering Declan’s allergy could be more easily managed if he was breastfed. There are times I feel like a failure. So if you just assume I made the choice because its easier for me, that I am the sort of person who would put my own needs before those of my children, there are two words for you that I am too much of a lady to utter.

There must be twins in your family. This is a big misconception. There is no familial link with fraternal twins, or so I have read over and over again. There can be hormonal problems that can be passed down but this does not guarantee twins. I was shocked, I still am. This is a misconception I don’t want to let go of. Maybe that’s because I like to scare all the women in my family who are either at child bearing age or still too young. Lots of female cousins are still under 20 and I love making them sweat!

I bet its really hard and you’re struggling / You won’t be able to cope. I will be straight with you. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. When pregnant I would work myself up to a nice little panic thinking about how I would cope. It’s no harder than one (if your one is like Niamh was as a baby). My twins sleep better, are happier and are more settled than my first. The upside of already having a child. After I tell you this shut up. No seriously. I am not lying and if you push the point you are calling me a liar. Again. It’s amazing how many people think you are lying. It’s insulting. The whole you won’t be able to cope thing is seriously THE most single insulting thing that has ever been said to me. If you can’t figure out why not only are you nasty and rude, you are also one of the stupidest people on Earth.

No more kids for you! Why? Are women supposed to stop at two or three? Or is it because I have each gender represented? Do you think I wouldn’t be able to cope with more or am a bad mother to the ones I have? Seriously since when is it up to you to tell me when to stop??? It’s like those people who give couples a hard time that only have one child. It’s none of your bloody business!!! I actually like the thought of another (I have a fixation on even numbers) but I’m not sure financially and physically it would be the right decision. But guess what, it’s OUR decision (my Hubby’s and I) and not yours so back off.

So have I enlightened you any on the mysteries of twins? Is there something you were wondering or not sure of that I didn’t cover that I could help you with (if I know the answer lol)? Have you heard any twin misconceptions or old wives tales that I haven’t?

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