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The Most Ridiculous Things People Say To Parents Of Twins

Nothing brings on more unsolicited advice than appearing in public with a baby. Suddenly, everyone is an expert on what your baby’s cry means, how you should be holding them, what you should feed them and the right way to get them to sleep. Sometimes these recommendations defy common sense, and sometimes they contradict each other. It’s harrowing for a new parent, low on experience and confidence, to be confronted with so much “help” — often offered with a good dose of judgment and aggression.

For parents of twins, this maelstrom of commentary is not simply double what other parents receive. Two children mean exponentially more hilariously off-base or just incredibly obvious observations from strangers. “Two! Two babies!” someone might exclaim, as though you hadn’t noticed. And it doesn’t seem to let up much as they grow.

We asked parents of twins on our HuffPost Parents Facebook page to share the most ridiculous things people have said to them, and they delivered — at more than double the usual rate. Here are some of their stories.

You really wouldn't believe some of the things people say to parents of twins.
You really wouldn't believe some of the things people say to parents of twins. James Woodson via Getty Images

“I have twin girls. I also have an older son who was three years old at the time of this incident. A few months after the twins were born, we went out to lunch and brought them in their huge double stroller. As we were all walking out of the restaurant together, a man held the door for us, looked at my husband, who was pushing the stroller, and said to him ‘Man, your fish can swim huh?’ My husband gave an awkward laugh, but now it’s turned into a funny story we tell everyone who asks what it’s like being in public with the twins.” — Elizabeth, Massachusetts

“I’m a mom of twin 12-year-old girls. I’ve been asked my share of ridiculous questions but I think the most memorable one was when they were tiny and I had them in Walmart, side-by-side in a cart. Two ‘older’ ladies approached me and were very interested in the twins. Instead of the usual, ‘Are they twins?’ or ‘Are they identical?’ I got, ‘Soooo did you just have them on your own?’ I gave a curious look and said, ‘With a little help from my husband.’ Still, I was perplexed as to what they were asking. She proceeded, ‘I mean did you have help having twins or were they natural?’ Really? I honestly don’t remember my response, I was so shocked.” — Cheryl Maxwell

“My twin boys heard ‘double trouble’ so many times. One day when they were three-and-a-half a lady said ‘Oooo double trouble!’ and my twin A responded, ‘I’m not trouble, I’m Hamish and this is my brother Keegan.’ The look on the lady’s face was priceless.” — Michelle Lisa McKinlay

“I was walking into Macy’s with my identical twin girls, who like to dress identically, and an older gentleman asked me, ‘Are they both yours?’ I answered, ‘No. I found this one in the parking lot but decided to keep her because she matched.’” — Kim Grace-Brezniak

“I have identical twin girls (for sure) but one is a little bigger (from birth and now 19 years later). I love when strangers (and relatives) debate with me (and them) on whether they are identical because they are not ‘exactly’ the same.” — Twila Upchurch Alexander, Colorado

“Cashier goes, ‘Oh wait, they both can’t be yours, they look so close in age’ … ummm yes, they’re a minute apart.” — Heather Honiotes Leffers

“I have a set of fraternal twin girls. When giving their birth dates, I always got asked, or told, ‘Oh, they are twins.’ Yes they are. ‘But they don’t look like twins.’ Yes, I know they don’t, that is why they are fraternal twins.” — Jennifer Rodriguez 

“Boy/girl twins and I constantly get asked if they are identical!” — Rachel Colyer

“My sisters are identical twins. Someone once asked them how they know which twin they are.” — Jamie Michele

“Asked if they were still twins because they had different birthdays. (One was born after midnight.) I was asked that more times then I should have been!” — Christa Buckland

“The most ridiculous is when people ask who is my favorite (or least favorite). Like, WTF??” — Carly Cohen

“I have boy/girl twins.The girl at the register asked if they were twins. I said yes. She asked what sex and I told her a boy and girl. She looked confused and then asked, ‘Are they still twins if they are a boy and a girl?’”  — Jhina Alvarado-Morse 

“I have twin girls that are not identical. Different hair color and hair texture. People will ask all the time, ‘Are they identical?’ to which I answer no. I have people ask me ‘Are you sure? They look so much alike?’ And I would answer ’Well, they are sisters and have the same parents so ...’” — Brittany Roussel

“Most people these days do NIPT testing and so they know for sure if their twins are identical or fraternal. People often tell me ‘Well ,you can never be sure!’ And … I am sure. I had their DNA tested! — Sarah Butler Piscatelli 

“So many people ask ‘Who is older?’ I often don’t remember as I never saw the first baby before the second baby was born two minutes later. Who cares? It was a C-section … it was the baby the doctor took our first.” — Courtney Harrington Setteducate

“A good one was when someone confirmed that I had a boy and a girl then did a little ‘victory dance’ kinda move and declared, ‘You’re done!’ ”— Katie Hodge

“Someone at Walmart looked me dead in the face and asked, ‘Did they come out at the same time?’” — Kristine Price 

“My oldest is three-and-a-half years older than my twins, and I guess he realized we had planned on adding one more rather than two more. He said at one point, ‘If you only wanted one more kid why didn’t you give one of the twins up for adoption?’” — Ashley Bartoletti Smith

“Someone at the grocery store stopped to give the typical ‘Awwww so cute, are they twins?’ comment. It took a weird turn when she said ‘I can tell they’re different. That one’s the smart one.’ I was glad they were young enough that they had no idea what she was saying.” — Elizabeth Jane Maske 

“Once, we were at a store and the twins were in a double stroller and their older sisters were walking alongside. A lady looked in the stroller and said, ‘Oh twins!” then looked at my older two daughters, then back at the twins, and proceeded to say ‘Wait! Are they all twins?’ Once i realized she wasn’t joking, I just said ‘Yes, yes they are.’ ”— Krista Sutherland

“I have had people (mostly strangers) actually ask me if I was taking fertility treatments to get pregnant, like it is anyone’s business. I had one guy ask me if I could tell them apart. Who can’t tell their kids apart? I feel like the worst thing someone can say is ‘I’m glad it’s not me!’ Well sir or ma’am, I’m glad it’s not you either.” — Wendy Heald

“Soooo many wild/rude comments, but the one that really took the cake was some lady saying to me ‘I hope you got yourself fixed!’” — Amy M. Scholl

“My boy/girl twins are 13. When they were infants/toddlers, favorite was ‘How do you tell them apart?’” — Brandi Worrell  

“We had someone ask us if our fraternal twin girls would become identical when they got older!” — Lacey Cardin Quilhot

“I was asked, ‘Which one do you like the best?’” — Danise Simpson Phillips

“I’m the nanny. When I had twins to care for we got stopped all the time by people. One time a woman squealed ‘Twins! Oh my gosh! Where did you get them?’ I told her the technical truth: ‘I took them from their mom this morning.’” — Tara Lindsay

“One time, when making a doctor’s appointment for them, after providing their birth date, I was asked if they were the same age. ” — Cantrell SB

“When you walk into a store or restaurant with two Infants in car seats who obviously look the same age, someone will say, ‘Oh are they twins?’ Finally, I started saying things like, ‘No, they are triplets. I left the other one in the car because I couldn’t carry all three.’ or ‘No, one’s my husband’s and the other is mine.’ It always blows their minds!” — Staci Cuthbertson Breiner

“I was asked if I had to go through labor twice. ” — Nik Wallin

“My identical girls are now 11, but the best comment, when they were around three months old, was, ‘Are they both yours?’” — Sarah Ward 

“’They aren’t identical twins, they don’t even look alike.” Excuse me ma’am, my body was cut open and I saw their shared placenta. They are indeed identical (monoamniotic/monochorionic) twins.” — Kelli Gruen  

“I hate when people ask me, in front of them, ‘Which one is the evil one?’” — Rachel Brooks, Ohio 

“A woman shopper stopped to coo to them, asking if they were ‘fraternal or maternal.’ I said both!” — Kathleen Duke O’Melia, New Jersey

“As new parents we would meet so much (probably well-meaning) negativity: ‘Oh, what a handful,’ ‘Twins, poor you,’ ‘Double trouble,’ ‘Oh, you’ll never rest again.’ I was not prepared to have to say so often, ‘Actually, we are very grateful for our twins.’ I almost wanted to respond with ‘Oh, just the one child for you? Poor you.’” — Maja Touzari Greenwood

“‘How wonderful! Twins, right?’ Yes. ‘Are they yours?’ I blinked for a minute and said ‘No ... we found them on the side of the road.’ And: ‘Are you sure they are twins?’ Yes. ‘How can you be sure?’ I lost it with that one and asked if she wanted to see the stretch marks and C-section scar.” — Kathleen Otto Schotto

“When my boys were around two I was in Target loading them into one of the giant double seats. A young woman passed by and said ‘Ew, why would you have kids that close in age? I would never!’” — Katie Tripp

“I have quadruplets. Once a couple approached me and asked if they were all triplets. At which point I acted horrified and yelled for someone to call security as I was counting ‘One, two, three, four  — oh, nevermind, they are all here!’ The man behind me in line was highly amused.” — Kim Mecum 

“A cashier at Walmart told me my twins weren’t really twins because they aren’t identical. She kept saying they look like it, because they are dressed the same, but there’s something about them that makes them look different, so they can’t be. Then when I said they were fraternal twins she said it’s not possible — that, yes, they were born the same day, but they can’t be twins because they weren’t identical. She said they are just considered siblings born on the same day. As we were walking away she said ’Enjoy your twins.’ I looked at her and said, ‘Thanks, I will.’” — Melissa Rivas

“My first pediatrician appointment after they were born, I was making small talk with the receptionist. She asked how much they weighed at birth and then goes ‘So, do they have the same birthday?’ ... I guess there’s rare cases that one twin is born separately. I was very caught off guard.” — Jaimie Caicedo

“My brothers are twins. People asked: ‘Are they natural?’ (No, totally radioactive and/or aliens); ‘Are they identical?’ (One redhead, one brown hair); ‘How did you get them?’ (Really?!?) ‘Why don’t their names rhyme?’” — Allison Marie Landfried  

“When my triplets were young, several people thought it was acceptable to tell me, ‘If I were you, I would kill myself.’ I finally had enough of it and told one of them ‘If I were you, I would kill myself too.’ The look on their face was priceless.” — Shely Hanson

“People would ask if they were both ours. We had a blast giving ridiculous responses: ‘No, the hospital had a buy one, get one free promo.’ ‘One is real, one is a clone.’ ‘This one is ours, I found this one on the way here.’ Ridiculous questions deserve ridiculous answers!” — Keri Rinaldi

“One time when they were infants we had gone out to eat and a lady walked over and said, ‘Let’s see, which one is prettier?’” — Laura Graves Hendrix 

“I have triplets and more than once I have been asked, ‘Are those three twins?’” — Angela Fry 

“Lady on the elevator with me looked at my girls and said, ‘Oh such beautiful identical girls.’ I politely said, ‘No they aren’t identical, but very similar.’ She then said to the girls, ‘Well mummy isn’t very bright is she, anyone can see you’re identical.’” — Andrea Scott  

“Them: How far apart are they? Me: 22 minutes. Them: Oh, so they’re almost identical.” — Sara Morris

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

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