From The Field....

by Jennifer Mueller
(Saint Cloud, WI)

Paul & Vincent at 2 wks old in NICU

Paul & Vincent at 2 wks old in NICU

I was at the local Wal-Mart one day just to get a few odds and ends. I am already well versed in the fact that twins constitute a longer time frame for everything, including shopping, as they are viewed as a "side-show" to the general public.

I had been in the store for about 10 minutes when the first person stopped me to ask if I had twins. I just smiled and said, "Yes." and kept walking, trying to be polite enough to acknowledge her question and still make it obvious that I didn't feel the need to stop and talk with her. Another ten minutes, and six "Are they twins?" questions later, I was cornered by an overly curious woman, who proceeded to grill me about my babies. I was trying to be polite and finally got away from her, after fielding the "Do they run in the family?", "Are they identical?", "Were you trying for twins?", and the ever popular "Are they natural?" questions. I got about ten feet down an aisle when another woman, who had been listening raptly to the other woman question me, stepped right in front of my tandem double stroller, pulled the blanket covers off of both of my boys and exclaimed "Ohh...aren't they cute? Are they twins?!" At this point, I was feeling a bit peeved and promptly answered, "No. I saw this one at Shopko and decided to pick him up. As I was on my way home, I saw the other one in a field and stopped and picked him up, too." She looked at me like I was crazy and proceeded to tell me how rude I was for not just answering her question.

Luckily enough, my husband walked up just as I was about to tell the woman how incredibly rude I thought she was for uncovering my babies and stopping a complete stranger in the store just so she could satisfy her curiosity. He just looked at her and told her, "Walk away now before my wife's hormones take over." She walked off, complaining about it the whole way. Thank God for my husband, or I may have been banned from Wal-Mart for life!

Comments for From The Field....

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Oct 08, 2011
Twins and red hair
by: Anonymous

I am now 25 weeks pregnant with twin girls, but I have already experienced plenty of nosy questions regarding my son who is a red-head. People come up to me all the time and ask, "Oh, is you husband a red-head?" My reply of, "No, his hair is brown." Always leaves them unsure of what to do. A few times my husband has walked up while I'm being asked and with a big smile answered, "No, but our mailman is!" (Which, by the way, is not true and red hair does run in both of our families although we don't have it.) People just love asking dumb insensitive questions.

Mar 22, 2010
after almost 4 years
by: Anonymous

it's still annoying.

My fraternal girls are my joys. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I will admit that at first the questions were cool, even funny. It took something like a month for the novelty to wear off. I just started running past people when they would start to come up to me. I am much nicer than my DH. I would tell people to not touch the babies he would get all gruff about it. What ticked me off is when mothers would have their kids touch the kids. Like that makes it better??? The comments, questions and rudeness are why I didn't go out for a long time...Unless I had to.

What I hate is when other twin parents come up to chat it up. Don't they get that while we share an experience I don't want their comments in the middle of Target! If I see another twin mom or dad I smile and nod. A brief understanding without being rude...

My children are not freaks of nature they are twins! Leave us alone!

Mar 18, 2010
Snapping fingers!
by: Anya

I would have snapped the fingers off of that lady who uncovered your babies!
Who do these people think they are that they can just walk right up and start touching someone's babies! Who knows what they've touched, if they've washed their hands, what sort of awful germs they are carrying!

One time before I became a mum I was in line at the grocery store and the lady infront of me needed to pay so she just turned around and passed me her baby to hold for her, just like that! She'd probably be okay with random strangers pulling her baby out of its stroller while out shopping!

Some people!

Jan 23, 2010
Crazy rude!
by: Anonymous

Oh my goodness that is funny! I have a friend who has fraternal boys, and while they were out one day, someone, a complete stranger, tried to get them out of the stroller to hold..How crazy is that??

Jan 11, 2010
by: Jennifer

The boys are almost a year old now, and I am pregnant again. We still go out at least once a week, more for me to keep my sanity than anything, but DH and I split the boys up into separate carts. We had a lady stop us just yesterday because she thought she was going nuts. She said "I swear I just saw a man pushing this baby in a cart two aisles away. Am I losing it?" I just laughed and told her no, that they were identical twins. My husband walked up as I was talking to her, and got a chuckle out of it also. The poor woman really thought that she was losing it. lol

Jan 11, 2010
So frustrating
by: Anonymous

I have 3month old b/g twins, and although we almost never leave the house, it does occasionally happen. At first I didn't mind ?'s like "how old?" and "are they identical?" to which I say "really?". Then I have of course had the very rude people who want to get right in their faces to "get a better look". Which I won't tolerate. I even had one older woman who I had never met before in my life, ask if she could hold one. I couldn't believe it! I told her that was not an appropriate request and the answer was NO! Can you believe that she was offended? I wanted to yell at her, but I don't think it would have done any good. Some people just don't get it.

Dec 29, 2009
Old people
by: Meghan

I have 9 week old boy/girl twins and get the same annoying questions constantly. We never take the kids out to the store but coming out of the hospital on our way home an older lady TRIED to uncover my babies. I thought I was going to snap her head off....Why is it always the older generations that think they are entitled to do whatever they please? I always love the questions when people at work see pictures and ask "Did you have a boy and a girl?" No, I just think its fun to teach my kids to cross-dress. Obviously they are a boy and girl, one is dressed in head to toe pink and the other in some form of blue or green.

Dec 07, 2009
No longer from the field...
by: Jennifer

Now that the boys are older (11 months), I have found myself being not so tempermental when people ask questions about the boys - now I just answer with the obvious. I was at Wal-Mart (once again) yesterday, when a lady looked at the boys, clearly dressed alike, and says to me, "Oh, are they twins?". I just looked at her and said, "Nope, I just dress my kids alike for fun." She said, "Oh, they look just alike, I thought they were twins." I just laughed at her and kept walking. My husband told me I shouldn't be such a smart-ass, but I couldn't help myself. And that's pretty mild for what I usually say! lol

Dec 06, 2009
make stuff up!
by: Anonymous

I'm not even certain my pregnancy is a multiple (just a feeling), but years ago, when I was a teenager, I was a nanny. The best way to keep the baby and myself happy and entertained was to push her around the mall in a stroller. I had so many strangers approach me and ask mundane questions like: "How old?" "Boy or girl?" "What's her name?" that I began to use it as it's own form of entertainment.

I'd say she was mine. Or even claim she was a boy. Or tell one person I was the nanny and her name was Julianna then tell the next person (in earshot of the first person) that my son's name was Christopher.

As I came up with more crazy things to say to random strangers asking questions that are NONE of their business the more I began enjoying myself.

Dec 03, 2009
Kudos for you for your patience!
by: Anonymous

Goodness me! I'm all for being polite, but I think I'd break someones fingers for them if they uncovered my babies without asking!

Nov 23, 2009
I feel your pain
by: Anonymous

I am a mother of 7 month old twin boys. I swear one of these days I am going to make myself a sign to wear when i go out in public. It takes me longer to get thru the store becuase of other peoples questions then it does to actually shop. How old, do twins run in the family, will you have more, are the identical... The list goes on. I hate to be rude to people but dont they realize that being a mother of twins is in itself a handfull do i really need to make my shopping trip that much longer because of your curiosity?!

Nov 06, 2009
Wal-Mart Warning to all mothers of twins
by: Leah Ann from NC

I don't know why, but every time my husband and I take our identical twin girls to Wal-Mart, we too experience on average 5 "Are they twins," ," "Are they identical," "Are they girls," (even though they both are decked out in pink from head to toe) and of course my favorite "How old are they?" And then after answering, you get the "They are so small!" And of course you have to explain they were premature and only started out at 3 pounds. Then of course you always get those who feel the need to touch your baby and their hands, even though you don't know them from a hole in the ground. So, I say all that, to say this. If you are like my family, and most who have twins, and live on a budget, and have to shop at Wal-Mart, go in with time to spare, a lot of patience, a lot of germ x, well thought out quick answers to all those ?'s, and a help mate that is quick to step in and rescue you and your babies. Or, leave them at home with a lot of milk and their wonderful, patient Dad, and get that well deserved break!

Oct 18, 2009
by: Anonymous

I just always say...."No, I just had sex twice in one day."

Oct 18, 2009
You showed amazing restraint
by: lindy

I would have snapped her hand off when she reached for the stroller.

May 25, 2009
How rude!
by: Anonymous

Hooray for your husband stepping in! I'm 27 wks pregnant with twin girls, so I know my time is coming for these kinds of questions. :) I can't believe someone would uncover your babies!

Apr 09, 2009
Is this what I have to look forward too?!
by: Karen

I am 13 weeks pregnant with twins. We are just starting to tell people I am pregnant, and EVERY single person has asked if Twins run in the family? Now I totlaly undertsand that people don't realize this can be an insensitive question. And while we did not use IVF, we did resort to fertility medications. So I don't really want to keep going into it. Some people I felt comfortable with, I tell "we had a little help." But now I am getting so annoyed.

I am a very open person and always chatting with people in stores too. But do people really think they have the right to pull your babies' blanket off or touch the carriage/ stroller of a stranger in any way?!?! I think I would have lost it even more than you did. God bless your husband.

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