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Double Trouble, or Twice as Nice

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#1 prue~c

Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:18 AM

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!

Edited by EBKatie, 29 December 2011 - 08:45 AM.

#2 scmboard

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:02 AM

I love this post! I am a mum of 2 sets of twins. Exactally what its like for us when we leave the house! biggrin.gif

#3 mummy nicki

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:50 AM

Wow! How amazing. To be honest I think having twins would have been easier for me then having my DD and DS 16mths apart.  They were close enough for one to be moving past a milestone as the other began, and for the youngest (DS) to want everything DD has and gets yet is still to young for it - example xmas this year - DD got a DSi and DS wanted one too, but struggles so badly that there are minimal games he can play without help and is nowhere near as careful with it so I bought a secondhand DSlite, the same happens with the wii and the educational games on the computer gotten when DD started prep.  Twins at least have a closer chance of reaching milestones together, and being able to play together and with the same age toys, and will go to school the same year. Although DD and DS were born 2006, 2007 respectively DS was born in Oct so goes to school 2years after DD and will be in Prep when DD is in yr 2 rather then DD being in year 1 when DS is in Prep.

I cant see how twins are any more 'double trouble' then have 2 or more children, regardless of the age gap. Any and all children are beautiful and a blessing.

As my babies were close together and my DD had some health issues and didnt grow for 12months I had a dbl pram and once DS was 12mths I was constantly asked if my kids were twins, and DS was nearly always called a girl despite the BOY clothing due to his blonde curls and big blue eyes surrounded by long dark lashes sitting next to his sister with blonde curls, big green eyes, (lashes not so long and dark, poor thing got her mothers blonde eye lashes) and in dresses and girly clothes.

I too have had the photo thing! Everytime we went to Dreamworld (had year passes kids were free) for wiggles concerts and the animals mostly photo after photo was taken, several even asked if I would take a photo of them with MY babies! lol. I wonder if twins are a rarity in the asian countries and cultures?

#4 TheLittleRedHen

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:53 AM

This is how it is with us, too.  
We have the added fun of having our children close together and very similar in size.  I can't remember the last time we left the house without someone tapping me on the shoulder to ask if we had three sets of twins!  I'm never rude, because they usually mean well but being a very shy person, I find it quite difficult.
I'm looking forward to the day I can duck into the shops secret squirrel style.


DD 9
DS 7
DS 6
DS 5
DS 5
DD 2
DS 1

#5 Bam1

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:01 AM

QUOTE (mummy nicki @ 29/12/2011, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I cant see how twins are any more 'double trouble' then have 2 or more children, regardless of the age gap. Any and all children are beautiful and a blessing.

You'll know once you have twins, especially if you are after 2 children and then end up with twins and a toddler!

At least you had a choice to how close your 2 children are, most twin parents don't have that choice.

OP I hear you!

#6 busymumof1&1/2

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:02 AM

My sister had twins and she was often stopped in the shops by people wanting to have a look at them. She also had a 3 year old, and when he thought that a person had looked at them enough, he would pull the blanket down over their faces and tell them it was enough for his babies  lol.
It was very cute that he was soo possessive of them.

#7 Mumtang

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:16 AM

My partner and I have just sat here laughing at how familiar this blog is.
We have heard "double trouble", "oh my you have your hands full" (to which we frequently reply, actually we have 5 children), and "are they twins?" (really are people that dumb!!) so many times it's not funny. We also frequently get asked if they are 2 boys or boy and a girl, to which I would love to scream they're wearing pink what do you think!! but I don't.
We too are sick of hearing the same comments over and over again. It's a relief when we see other parents of twins and all we recieve is a nod and a knowing smile.

#8 mummy nicki

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (Bam1 @ 29/12/2011, 11:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At least you had a choice to how close your 2 children are, most twin parents don't have that choice.

OP I hear you!

Actually I didnt have a choice, unless you believe aborting a perfectly healthy fetus for the sake of an age gap between children a choice, which I do not.   I had 6 mc before DD and had 4 threatened mc while pregnant with her including losing her twin, and then only barely had labour stopped at 30weeks, was pumped full of drugs and on my way to a hospital who had the facilities to deal with a 10week premie baby and a sick mother and spent more time in hospital then not, She also nearly died at birth due to a delay in a medical condition that is 99% fatal to the baby after 38weeks, she was born at 39weeks blue and not breathing.  We then fell pregnant with DS on the full pill and using condoms when DD was 6mths.  We were very careful as we werent ready for more kids due to the problems we had conceiving and during pregnancy and birth.

Twins run in my family, and I have spent more then enough time living with cousins with twins and other children as an older teenager to have an idea how much "trouble" twins are.  

Every persons situations are different and every mothers coping skills are different. I still believe it is rude to call twins double trouble when all kids can be trouble regardless of age, age gap and amount of kids.  Its similar to calling large families crazy for having that many kids or having more. Its no ones business.

#9 Mumtang

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:36 AM

QUOTE (mummy nicki @ 29/12/2011, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I cant see how twins are any more 'double trouble' then have 2 or more children, regardless of the age gap. Any and all children are beautiful and a blessing.

Having had my second and third child only 13 months apart and then having twins, I completely agree that twins are no more double trouble than having 2 children of different ages. They both have difficulties but in different ways. Having said that they are also both delights but again in different ways.

#10 domestically~challenged

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:48 AM

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.

I used to do that too - "no actually, they are really good babies. They sleep really well". Now at 2.5y/o I am the one telling DH they are double trouble as they both smear yoghurt all over the windows or team up to take down the Christmas tree or splash around in the toilet. Unlike singleton siblings there isn't an older one who should know better. If someone said "double trouble" now I wold just laugh and say "hell yeah!". Definintely not as precious as I used to be.

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.

My girls started sleeping through the night very early 7pm-7am without a peep. Then one day it all went to hell in a hand basket. I probably give others the maniacal laugh of a sleep deprived mother too laughing2.gif

My Nanna and my Grandpa are both twins and watching the bonds they have with each other is amazing. I hope my girls are always there for each other like they are for their twins.

#11 Wut??

Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:54 AM

My favourite was when an elderly lady told me all about her grown up twins, and how lovely they were, and how lucky we'd both been to have twins.

I've always said that twins were one and a half times as hard as one baby.

#12 skylark

Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:00 PM

Nothing I can contribute on the twin front, but I have to tell you that my son was just as much of a tourist attraction down at Bondi, back when he was a baby and toddler. It might have been the blonde curly hair, but we used to be surrounded by the madly photographing mobs from the tour buses too. I don't think that bit is unusual!

#13 fibilly

Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:08 PM

OP I hear you. I remember going to the Botanical Gardens when the boys were about 10 months - they are identical with blonde hair and blue eyes, and we were stopped by 3 groups of tourists for photos.
There is an upside to all the attention - my boys are very well behaved when in public and they love smiling at everyone, I think because everyone always smiles at them.
The inane comments do get a bit tired, but I feel so lucky to have twins that I just let it wash over me.

Enjoy your babies!

#14 cattymeow

Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:42 PM

Thank you for sharing Prue! I found out five weeks ago that I'm expecting identical twins and the response (even though I'm not expecting their arrival until June 2012) has been much the same.  If it's not enough for a first-time mum to be anxious about her pregnancy, surely peoples' comments of "you're going to have your hands full" and "double trouble" MUST be put my mind at ease!  I, like you, found that arming myself with retorts has helped.  In particular, the comment of "you don't do things by halves" has been frequently heard.  My response, "well, I halved an embryo to create these twins so if you want to get technical, I did this by halves"!

Admittedly, the last few weeks have been anxiety ridden, but I am comforted by the fact that I have a huge amount of support from my brother and SIL who had fraternal twin girls 11 weeks ago and, for the most part, family and friends have been rather sympathetic and excited for us, without the cliche comments. The other benefit I'm assured of is that, this being our first pregnancy, we've never known what it's like to have a singleton so, while it may be a shock to the system, we will be able to give our focus 100% to our twinnies, without having to chase another child/ren around on top of everything else!  Having seen my bro and SIL raising their twins, all while trying to entertain their 4YO son, I feel rather privledged to be in my position.  To the mothers and fathers of twins after singles, I take my hat off to you and think you are AMAZING!

#15 Soontobegran

Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE (Bam1 @ 29/12/2011, 12:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You'll know once you have twins, especially if you are after 2 children and then end up with twins and a toddler!

At least you had a choice to how close your 2 children are, most twin parents don't have that choice.

A little bit snarky don't you think?
Why do people feel they have to compete? I don't know what it's like to have twins and don't presume anything about how it is to care for them but then many people don't know how it is to have multiple children a year apart.

There needs to be mutual respect and understanding that for some people having one child is difficult and others who have twins and triplets cope very well.

Prue--I would find the comments rather tedious but I love the fact that in this day and age people still want to engage with others and there is nothing like a couple of gorgeous babies to get the conversation going. original.gif

#16 G+2

Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:34 PM

They attention dies down as they get older, or at least that's what I have found. Which in my opinion, is a relief.

I think the reason you're getting more attention from Chinese tourists is that the incidence of 'twinning' in most Asian cultures is much lower than in other parts of the world. Highest in Africa, if I recall correctly.

In addition, as a result of the one child policy in China, having twins is seen as VERY lucky, especially twin boys! Because then you beat the law  biggrin.gif

One of my daughters does the family PR, she loves the attention and recruits people for her fan club  biggrin.gif  She has always been people orientated, she's been like that literally from birth. Her twin sister on the other hands squirms, scowls and would tell people to get out of her face, except less politely, if she had the words .laugh.gif

Edited by G+2, 29 December 2011 - 03:37 PM.

#17 prue~c

Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:04 PM

There is an upside to all the attention - my boys are very well behaved when in public and they love smiling at everyone, I think because everyone always smiles at them.

The inane comments do get a bit tired, but I feel so lucky to have twins that I just let it wash over me.

So true! My boys are so happy to interact with strangers and they smile so much. As for the comments, it only really gets to me when I am super tired and just want to go home. Despite what some regular readers may think, I am actually very polite and I am more than happy to chat with anyone, even the Double Troublers, but last week, my parking was about to expire and I had to ignore someone who was making a beeline towards the pram for a peek. I felt like a total cow, but Bondi is expensive!

STBG I love chatting to people about the boys. And if someone wants a cuddle or looks like they want one, nine times out of ten I will hand over a baby. I know some people don't like their babies being touched by strangers, but if it makes someone's  (usually an elderly woman) day, why not? And the boys are totally fine with it.


#18 lizzy2073

Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:53 PM

I have twin girls who are now 3 years old. We had the same thing happen to us and it gets old very fast, how did you know, did you have them naturally, ivf or natural, are they twins, double trouble, and much more. If I had money for all of these comments I would be rich or at least have more money.

I do agree that with twins it is hard to just go into shops and do anything quickly, you get stopped and it is just harder.

Although the girls are the delight of my husband and I and we feel very blessed to have been able to have the girls and that they are healthy, smart and happy little things.

Watching them develop from their own language to learning to speak and become more independent is just wonderful. The girls are so close and at times horrible sisters, but that is just part of being a sister.

I do understand what you are going through with the comments and the feeling of being on show, I thought in the early days that there might be some interest but never thought people would be that interested.

Have a wonderful new year and enjoy the time with the boys, congrats and I am sure that you will develop a way of getting into the shops in recored time and back to the car/house or wherever you need to be to maximise your time and keep away from silly comments. Some I admit are nice and some are just unwanted.

Have a good time and a great 2012.

#19 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 30 December 2011 - 01:59 PM

Oh I feel your annoyance!!

I now tell people the twins are three months apart just to get away from the neverending parade of innane, stupid and downright rude comments!! Luckily now that they are older it's pretty hard to tell they are twins so the comments have stopped. I'll never forget this one lady: I was in the park with the twins and their cousin, who is a week older. This lady came up to ask if they were triplets. I said, no they are twins, that one is their cousin...and I kid you not she said "oh my god, you gave birth to their cousin as well?"...I think she thought I was some sort of miracle surrogate or something!!

Having twins is an amazing experience, it's not double trouble at all! I love watching them play together, they are seriously best friends! In the mornings I can hear them laughing and singing together in their room and more often than not I go in to check on them before I go to bed and they are snuggled up together in DDs bed! My two were also sleeping through early (11 weeks) and we've never had any sleeping problems (we have been VERY lucky).

I also found that the people who were negative were people who don't have twins. But I think this is because when you have one baby you can't possibly imagine what it's like to have to look after two.

#20 joshuakalan

Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:48 PM

I hear you about the Asian tourists! When our twins were 2 we spent a week in Hong Kong and we were continually mobbed.

Now that our twins are nearly 5, there are hardly any twin comments as they are very different in size and height. Enjoy the comments because in hindsight, it was only people sharing in my joy.

#21 Mummalovin

Posted 31 December 2011 - 02:13 AM

Oh the Double Trouble thing got to me so when my girls and 3 lots of boy twins started school this year I told the journo "please don't use the double trouble line"  Thankfully she didn't LOL

I love seeing "new" twins as mine are now 9.5 and 6.  Sometimes I'll speak to the Mum but sometimes I see the look in their eye that seems like "if I have to speak to one more person I'll scream" (well maybe that's how I felt)

I remember the 1st time we went out with both pairs, DS and DD1 in the shopping trolley with DH and DDs 2 & 3 in the pram, well the looks we got ohmy.gif  Now days it's very rare for DS and DD1 to be noticed as twins (more to do with the boy/girl thing thatn any difference in size I think) and occasionally DDs 2&3 will get the "are you twins" question.

I love being a twin Mum, I do find it so special to see the interaction they have together and I think that it is specail for twin Dads too as they get to have a baby as well.

I get to wave my "freak flag" sometimes when I meet a new person who doesn't know I have 2 lots of twins and I get to see the fear in their eyes LOL.  I have a sticker for my car that says "you can't scare me I have two sets of twins"!!!!

#22 Ailime

Posted 31 December 2011 - 11:20 PM

QUOTE (G+2 @ 29/12/2011, 04:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They attention dies down as they get older, or at least that's what I have found. Which in my opinion, is a relief.

I think the reason you're getting more attention from Chinese tourists is that the incidence of 'twinning' in most Asian cultures is much lower than in other parts of the world. Highest in Africa, if I recall correctly.

In addition, as a result of the one child policy in China, having twins is seen as VERY lucky, especially twin boys! Because then you beat the law  biggrin.gif

I agree with G+2.
My OB also mentioned similar thing about the incidence of twinning (highest in Africa, lowest in Mongoloid/Chinese).

In addition, in some place/culture where boys are valued "more" than girls, having twin boys also means the mother will be seen as "very clever" original.gif

#23 DenverBlossom

Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:40 PM

Your story rings very true, people seem to be obsessed with twins. I have identical twin girls who are now 2.5yrs old and they have heard the phrase "Double Trouble" that many times from strangers that since the age of around 20 months they themselves starting saying "Double Trouble" in reponse to anyone approaching them and saying "Oh look twins". It makes me laugh to hear my girls get in first with this cliche but I do wish it was something more like "Double Delights".  

#24 Seven of Nine

Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:31 AM

I am not a twin mum, I have a close gap between my boys and they are similar in size now. I get asked if they're twins on every trip out, believe it or not it started when my youngest was less than 6mo! I get a ton of other comments about my enjoyment of sex and pregnancy when I say they're not twins. The boys have their photos taken with tourists regularly too, but everyone always asks me first, and we get 'double trouble' a lot too. One time a car pulled over to where we were walking on the footpath just so the driver could yell 'double trouble' out the window at me and speed away. I taught my older son to say 'I'm just trouble, my brother is double trouble'.

#25 JJC+2

Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:46 AM

I have 5mth old twin boys and can not go anywhere without it taking twice as long as it used to due to the cooing ect over my beautiful babies. I love the attention, everyone wants to show off their children and i'm lucky enough that people are fascinated with twins and want to look. However if im not in the mood for a chat or need to move quickly. I either don't take them (if its an option) or cover their pram..but make sure their cute little legs aren't sticking out. Thats all it takes to draw the crowds.

I had to reprimand my 6yr son for being rude not long ago. We were doing xmas shopping and must have heard "double trouble" at least 10 times. A lovely older lady came up and said it...my son must have just had enough and muttered under his breath "is that all you have got, come up with something new" I gave him a look and he hid behind me muttering .."if I hear double trouble one more time im going to scream". Luckily the lady didn't realise the issues my eldest was having as she was too busy playing peek a boo with the babies!
I have never had anyone say 'twice as nice" so if you don't mind that is going to be my new comeback. I am constantly saying.."no, they are really good babies".

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After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.


Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

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