Thursday, September 5, 2013
The Traveling Freak Show....Otherwise Known as My Twins :)
This onesie says it ALL!
Taking my boys out in public has been quite an experience over the last few months...
First, there is a LOT to plan, think about, and pack. Everything is driven around meals. We have these small windows of time in which we know we can go places without having to worry about feeding. We have to constantly think about when they need to eat next. Do we need to bring the green monster (aka my huge XL twin boppy to feed them)?
I am in a constant panic about the behavior of my boys when we're out in public. This may seem a bit extreme or exaggerated, but just think about it... What are the odds of TWO infants being happy for an extended period of time at the same time?! I do not mind the occasional crying and unhappiness, but you sure do get looks of judgement when two babies are crying and you can't make two people feel better by yourself. My boys don't deserve that; they and we are doing the best we know how.
My diaper bag is insane. I need two sets of extra clothes, enough diapers for two people, two sets of toys to play with, etc, etc. Then there's the double stroller that weighs 43 pounds just by itself. Pushing that around town turns just about every head we pass.
When we go out, my twins are literally treated like a freak show. Everyone must come up to us and must interrogate us. Usually the interrogation goes like this:
Q: Are they twins
Q: What are they?
A: Both boys
Q: Are they identical?
Q: Do twins run in your family?
The answer to this one varies, but here is where things get tricky. I feel the need to educate everyone on twins. I use this question as what us in the education biz like to call a 'teachable moment.' People first need to understand that truly it is the girl's side of the family where twins matter. Josh and his family genetics have no control over whether I ovulate more than one egg to make fraternal twins. Josh and his family genetics also has nothing to do with whether my egg would split in half to make identical twins. Twins DO actually run in Josh's family. His grandma had boy/girl twins and in the last 1.5 years, he has had two girl cousins have twins: a set of girl twins and a set of boy/girl twins. All fraternal. So usually I start the answer to this twins question saying that twins do run in my husband's family, but they do not run in mine.
Next, I continue with my 'teachable moment' by saying loudly and proudly that my twins were fertility twins. People can get a little awkward in this moment if they feel that I've now shared too much and too intimately, but I could care less and that's what they get for asking. Josh and I endured A LOT to produce these beautiful babies and I find it imperative to share that these were not by genetics and not by some fluke, but out of blood, sweat, and a whole lot of tears.
After this conversation people usually make a last comment. Some of them are extremely kind such as, "wow, double blessings!" or "They are just wonderful." or "you look like a pro." or "God bless them!" Others are a little negative in their nature: "You must have your hands full" or "that must be extremely difficult." or "I'm so glad I never had two at the same time." When these more negative comments come, Josh and I always end the conversation on a positive note by saying something to the effect that we feel extremely fortunate or that twins are so much fun, or that we love having twins.
I think our family has done great at going out and seeing the world. My boys are not quite four months and have been to Canada twice, up north, to the west side of the state, Grand Rapids, Target, Babies R Us, the mall, my school, Josh's work, and over to many peoples' houses for a visit. Every month it gets easier and more seamless.
The most fun part of being out in public is having other twins or parents of twins come and talk to us; these are my favorite people to stop by our freak show booth :) They help us bask in the awesomeness that is having twins.