As you parade your new twins through public places, passers-by will seem compelled to somehow acknowledge the fact that you have not one, but two, infants in your care. Your outings will always (not sometimes, always) be peppered with succinct little "salutes" from well-wishers. Despite their undoubtedly kind intent, they may become annoying when combined with the tens of other well-wishers who've offered the very same greetings ... over and over and over. Adults do say the darnedest things ... and they tend to plagiarize each other, so be prepared. And try to be flattered.
If I've heard it once, I've heard it over two hundred times. That is no exaggeration. Don't let this one get you all hot under the collar. The individual tossing out the world's shortest poem was probably grinning jealously as he/she said it. Of course, your babies aren't "trouble." Even if at the present moment you believe they are, you sure don't want to reveal that to a stranger, and certainly not in front of your children.
The reality is you're commandeering a special twosome. You have a special role; one that not everyone has the opportunity to fill. Many, if not most, are daunted and awestruck at the mere thought. Folks want to acknowledge you somehow. Let 'em do it.
As far as the literal meaning goes, ignore it. Let's face it, we all like rhymes. From nursery rhymes to off-color limericks to rap music, the aural appeal of rhyme is undeniable. Take solace in the knowledge you will hear "Twice as Nice" from the more thoughtful poets passing by.
The folks who proclaim "they cannot imagine," despite their words to the contrary, are actively imagining ... inaccurately. Try to be kind to those who dispense these two pithy, but empathy-implying, pronouncements. Whereas it would be much more pleasant to hear, "What an incredible responsibility it must be to have two infants. I truly admire you," people don't find quick "wit" in compliment. Try to listen between the lines.
If there were any validity to these oft-doled expressions of sympathy, Hallmark would place "New Twins" cards in the "Get Well/Sympathy" aisle as opposed to the far more applicable "Congratulations" department. When someone consolingly extols God to bless me, I cannot resist responding with the obvious, "He already has ... twice!"
The accuracy of these comments is undeniable. You have two hands, and two babies. Your hands are full! You are busy. (You are forced to wonder if these folks are the same individuals who make similarly obvious statements on the weather just to start up conversation. You know the type -- "Hot enough for you today?")
Suppose in our fast-food/immediate gratification-driven society, these stranger-offered sound bytes are proffered as genuine compliments. Accept them as such. If you are bothered by their double-pregnancy-minimizing and twin-delivery-ignorant assessments, go on your way with your expedition exceeding the speed with which you acquired your "instant family"!
You will hear this, and hopefully often. When your double "blessing" feels more a yoke than a miracle, be grateful for the strangers who provide the reality-check reminder of the amazing gift that twins truly are.
Cheryl Lage is a full-time, fully fulfilled mom to fraternal twins Darren and Sarah. During twin-synchronous sleeping hours, she is the Web host of www.twinfatuation.com, a Web support site for new and expecting twin parents.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, May 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.