There’s something about having a baby or small child with you that seems to give most people the impression they have the right, or even duty, to say or do stupid things. How many strangers’ heads would you rub or feet would you grab? Exactly. So why do strangers feel it’s okay to rub a baby’s head or grab their feet? Let’s think about this for a minute.
And then if you happen to have two babies (or from what I hear, three or four), then even more people feel it is their duty to remove their mouth filter and just say whatever happens to come to mind.
Thankfully most of the weird people say the same crazy things so by this point, over a year-and-a-half in to having twins, and having heard the stories of other moms before they were born so I could prepare myself, I’ve got some pretty standard answers to their pretty standard crazy.
But my replies aren’t just to help the stranger reattach their mouth filter. My replies are also in large part for the benefit of my kids, who also have to hear these crazy comments and who pick up on them.
One comment I hear a lot is “double trouble!” by some person thinking they are being clever or funny. I definitely don’t want my kids thinking they are trouble of any kind so I always reply to that one with “Nope. Double the fun!”
Another one I hear a lot is “you must have your hands full.” Now that one can seem innocent enough. Until you are trying to explain to your 3-year-old what “hands full” means because she’s heard it so often. How would you explain it? I told her it means you’re busy and have a lot to do and have a hard time doing it. Isn’t that what you think of when you hear the phrase? Would you want your kids thinking you have a hard time being their mom? Now there are moments where it’s hard, definitely, but I do not want them thinking that’s the status quo. Because I baby wear, I’ve had a lot of fun replying to this one most frequently by holding up my empty hands and saying, “Nope, hands free!” And even now that the two little ones are walking everywhere I’m still mostly hands-free. In fact, with their pack-packs, Shimri is often carrying my wallet and keys for me and Shimei is carrying the diapers so I’ve just got my phone in my back pocket. So still, hands-free!
Note: I’ve only ever actually worn all three kids once, for this photo.
Hopefully my replies help the stranger think about what they are saying and maybe filter a little better in the future. Thankfully I haven’t had anyone say “I’d kill myself if I had twins” (seriously! who says that? because I’ve heard stories) or “Better you than me” (to which the reply will be “we think so too”), but I hope my kids always only hear me talk about them in the best of terms. They’ll live up to what we expect of them and I expect a lot of fun and adventures, so that’s what I tell others we do when I know my kids can hear.