If you’ve searched around Pinterest or other social media sites, no doubt you’ve run across articles of Top Ten Lists. I always get a kick out of reading lists other multiple Mamas have written because they often ring so true. No doubt about it, I’ve heard the following observations more times than I can count and often at times when I’m struggling with the twinkies in some public place – so the comments are typically unwelcome:
- Wow! You’ve got your hands full!
- One of each! Now you’re done.
- Are they identical?
- Are they natural?
- Do twins run in your family?
- Better you than me!
- I don’t know how you do it!
Funny thing though… I found myself in the same position recently as some of the people that make these off-hand comments to me. At the twinkies’ daycare there is a set a quads that also attend. Really, the quads and their family are somewhat of local celebrities. The quads are the cutest little kids and, every time I’ve seen them, they always walk calmly into the centre right at their Mom’s side. My kids of course are typically running ahead of me, pushing every wheelchair door button they can find, and sometimes joining in on exercise classes in the big gymnasium that’s on the way to their classroom. So, this one random day where there was actually a moment of silence and the quad Mama was cleaning one of her kids’ glasses, I found myself blurting out, “I don’t know how you do it!” I immediately wanted to barf. I had just committed the same sin I find so annoying when I’m out with my multiples. However, the quad Mama graciously replied, “You don’t have a choice. You just have too.” I think she must have also seen the embarrassment on my face because she added, “I also put another one on the bus this morning.” I was in awe, truly. I’ve searched out just about every organizational technique relating to multiples out there – but we still end up being a disheveled mess most of the time. It’s one thing to see how multiple mamas organize their life online, but a completely different thing to see it in person.
I think it’s our fascination with the unknown or mysterious that causes us to lose all grasp of manners. I highly doubt I’ve ever been so patient as to answer any of the common questions/observations that get randomly flung at the twinkies and I in public – it’s usually just a “Yup.” “Ha Ha.” or something similarly non-committal coming from my mouth. But, to find myself in the same position as the strangers that talk to us made me feel a little more humble.
My point; while from the day my twinkies were born I had a newfound respect for multiple mamas, I’ve also found some common ground with people who just can’t help themselves but to say something about multiples. We’re in awe of multiple mamas. We’re amazed by what we see and our brain somehow forgets to check in with our manners so we blurt out something completely inappropriate. Whatever the motivation, we want to make some sort of small connection with these strangers that intrigue us so.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to stop and chat with every random person that has something to say about my twinkies nor will I ever get into a discussion about how my twinkies were conceived (that is completely off limits for most multiple mamas FYI!). But, I may just take a couple seconds more, even make eye contact with the stranger, let them know, perhaps non-verbally, that I recognize their curiosity, and stop taking offense to people that forget their manners at times. No one is perfect and no doubt a couple of strangers that have commented on my twinkies in the past felt just as embarrassed as I did when they blurted out something inappropriate.