Are they twins?
If you have twins, near twins, or 2 children within a few years of each other, you know what I mean. It's funny that even though I get tired of hearing this question 100 million times a day, I still can't stop myself from asking when I see someone else with a double stroller.
Must be a handful!?
Variations include references to how busy they keep me or how exhausted I must be. The thing is, I don't find twins harder than one baby. I've never had one baby, so how would I know? I don't find there are too many diapers, or too much mess, or too many bottles to make. I am old enough to know how quickly time passes; when you are raising children what you are complaining about today is gone tomorrow and I want to enjoy every minute I can. So please don't tell me you are glad you are not me. You should be so lucky!
There is one unique thing about raising twins that I find difficult, and that is when they both want to be held at the same time. It is heartbreaking to see a baby crying for his Mommy when his Mommy is busy, and with two this happens way more often than you want. Can someone please explain why both parents don't get parental leave for twins?
Are they identical?
The truth is, we don't know, but this is not really what you want to say. To me they look more alike every day, but my eyesight could be going. I guess the best response is "What do you think?"
Which one came first?
Why is this so important to everyone? You would not believe how many times I get asked this. Anh means older brother and Em means younger brother, so that would be an answer. I like "They both came at the same time," no-one has asked me to elaborate yet.
What heritage is their father?
I wish I had the nerve to say "Dutch" and leave it at that. But truthfully, I don't mind sharing. I'm proud they're adopted from Vietnam and happy to have an excuse to talk about how wonderful they are.
Something that surprises me is how often I hear how lucky I am. A few years ago, upon seeing children adopted from Asia people would exclaim how lucky they (the children) were. We were prepared to respond to such comments by explaining that is it us (the parents) that are the lucky ones. I guess a lot of parents have been doing a lot of explaining, because most people in Ottawa upon finding out they are adopted twins tell us (the parents) that we are really lucky to get twins.
We still get asked if we were expecting twins. Some are curious as to whether we had a choice - after all, parents of birthed twins don't get a choice. Well, to adopt as an Ontarian not only do you have to request twins, but you have to do extra research to demonstrate that you know what you are getting into and that you don't just have some romantic ideal of what twins are (as if anyone would want twins without a good dose of romantic idealism...). However, the chances pf being matched with twins are still very small, so if it happens to you you feel like you've won the lottery. Even then the agency (or at least our agency) still gives you a choice - you can say no, I am not prepared for twins, and you will be returned to your "place" on the waiting list and matched to a single child. So adopting twins is something you really have to want in order for it to happen, and something you feel incredibly lucky to have happen to you.
Those questions and comments are generally from strangers. What true friends and family will ask is
What do you need? (and most will mean it). Since you will be operating on double baby brain and will not be able to provide a coherent answer, here are some suggestions - These may apply to any new parent, or possibly just to me and not to other parents of twins, but I thought I would share:
2) milk chocolate
3) cleaning service
4) Heinz whole grain brown rice snacks
5) new broom
6) new floor
7) hand and face cream
8) ultra-light double jogging stroller with high handlebar, big wheels, and fixed or swivel option on front wheel
10) nice weather
6 months ago