Things never to say to twins (or their parents!)

Montreal Families Magazine November 2012 coverAs a parent of 13-year-old daughters, I’ve watched with both awe and occasionally consternation at their unique relationship and how they are received by those around them. Their striking similarities and bond ignites our curiosity and admiration, and our cultural responses to multiples means we’ve gotten some pretty strange questions over the years.

Sophie and Alex have written about these sometimes silly, sometimes awkward questions in this article in the November issue of Montreal Families Magazine (yup, that’s them on the cover!). And I contributed my own sidebar on the questions parents of multiples often get from curious strangers and friends.

A fellow mom of twins pointed out that I had inadvertently left out what is possibly the most annoying question of all: are your twins the result of fertility treatments? I never understood how people could ask such an insensitive question. When did infertility go from being an intimate, and often painful, personal issue to a casual topic of conversation? And I wonder if the askers recognize the underlying assumption in their question is that the multiples conceived from fertility treatments are somehow less authentic or miraculous than those made the old-fashioned way. Their parents still did double duty (or more) on night feedings, diaper changes, temper tantrums, hugs and kisses. It doesn’t change how the world sees them, or the relationships they may have with each other.

On the whole, however, our articles are celebrations of their twinness – both for their similarities and their differences. I am proud to be a twin mom (and equally proud of my youngest daughter, who calls herself a “singletwin”), and like any mom I appreciate the kind words people offer.

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