Most people love babies, but everyone, apparently, loves twins.
Since the boys were born, we seem to have become public attraction number one, drawing comments, clucks and adoring glances from people including the local mad cat lady, to the cooler than cool barista who makes my morning coffee and never even bothered to look in my direction pre-babies.
But it would be nice if someone came up with a few new one-liners when it comes to comments on twins. Lord help the next person who thinks they are being oh so clever, and trots out that tired old cliché - Double Trouble. In the early days, I just smiled and gave a tight laugh. Then I came up with a few little jokey retorts - Twice as Nice, The Dynamic Duo, Double the Joy - but now I don't bother being cutesy about it. I just tell them that no, my children are very good boys and are the lights of my life. Oh and that Teddy has slept through the night since he was 16 weeks old. But they are determined to ruin it for me. But how old are they? Just you wait! Followed by a maniacal laugh.
Another favourite: Are they twins? Umm, no, I just had them really close together. Or Did you know you were having twins? Really? Does anyone with access to current, first-world medical care, not know they are having twins? Do they think they are having just a really, really big baby? I have read the trash mag stories that tell of the doctor announcing a surprise second baby after the first comes out, but if that was my obstetrician, I would be asking for a refund on my pregnancy and management fee. Close to $10k and s/he can't tell that there are two babies?
I suspect we are also featuring heavily in the holiday footage of many Chinese tourists. When it's not raining, as it invariably is in Sydney these days, the boys and I spend a lot of time in the park, with Bondi being one of our favourites. But the white sands and crystal blue waves hold no attraction for the tourists when Teddy and Hugo are flailing around on their blanket. I have had, I kid you not, an entire busload of Chinese men and women crowd around us, snapping away with their cameras, taking video, chatting animatedly at the boys, one woman was so excited she even tried to pick Teddy up before being reprimanded by the tour leader, while I sat there a sort of stunned amusement. The boys, of course, loved it. They are such little show-offs and will mug for any camera or stranger who shows the slightest bit of interest in them.
But for few exceptions (a not so gentle-man commenting on the size of my tandem pram. I have twins, what can I do? You either go long or wide, and I chose length) most people have been exceptionally kind and helpful with their lovely, if sometimes silly, comments about the boys. One interesting trend I have noticed is the comments about Double Trouble or Don't you have your hands full? Almost exclusively comes from non-twin parents, while mums of twins have all had positive things to say, with the overriding message that parenting twins is an amazing experience. I get to hear lots of stories, with one elderly woman telling me she had two sets of boy twins within a year of each other ("Darling, my husband just couldn't keep his hands off me"). And I was almost brought to tears with another woman telling me she felt like only half a person since her twin sister had passed away a few years earlier.
I know twins are not the desired outcome from IVF treatment - my difficult pregnancy and subsequent early delivery of the boys at 31 weeks is a prime example of why clinics aim for singleton pregnancies, but I truly love being a mother to twins. Watching them interact with each other - usually in the form of kicking scratching and eye gouging, but increasingly with smiles, squeals and their own little language, is the most fun I have ever had. I don't usually go in for twee little nonsense sayings, but one thing I am often being told, and I agree with it 100% - I am truly blessed.
Happy New Year to everyone and see you in 2012!
Do you have your own twin obsessed stories to share? Comment on Prue's blog.
I suspect we are also featuring heavily in the holiday footage of many Chinese tourists ...