Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!

I've said (many many) times before that I must have some sort of permanent sign on my forehead that everyone but me can see. The sign says, "I care. You can tell me." Even though most of the time I honestly don't (care) and would in fact prefer that you (that odd stranger in my path of vision locking eyes with me then darting back and forth between me and the babies) did not share what happens to be floating through your mind at this very second.

(I'll take a wild stab at what it is though - you want to announce, "TWINS???" in a really excited, all knowing kind of way. Then you want me to acknowledge your infinite intelligence with a minimum of a pat on the back and approving nod. But really you'd prefer to tell me about how your brother's cousin's sister in law's great grandmother had twins and that those twins are now 42...and a half. You'd also like to proclaim that you've observed that I have a boy AND a girl and isn't that just the most perfect thing in the world and you're so glad that I "got it all done in one shot" and "won't be having any more children" - because really, it's within your power and right to make that decision for me.)

So obviously, this has happened - oh I don't know - about 1053 times and though I've gotten pretty used to the Tourettes-ish tick that overcomes people and makes them explode into over-aggressive beasts poking at me with sticks shouting TWINS TWINS!!! (ok - that last bit is a little exaggerated - but I did have a lady physically pull on my arm the other day because, rather than pausing in a good conversation with Brent, I simply ignored her...) I keep my cool most of the time and have only been outright rude once or twice...ok maybe twice - or 4 times, whatever. If there's an opening, I'll say they are surviving triplets. If they ask if they are identical, I'll say no most of the time - and the times I don't simply say no, I gently point out that they are in fact a boy and a girl. Only twice have I felt pushed enough to point out that, sure, a boy and a girl can in fact be identical - except for those pesky genitalia that seem to get in the way.

I understand that people are curious - that babies are cute and beg to be ogled. I know that my chip comes from our particular experience, from the fact that no matter what, I see 3 and others see 2. I get that. My ache is my own. I just can't, for the life of me understand why so many people seem to regularly display a complete and utter lack of self reflection. Seriously.

So the point...or the actual happenstance that has brought me to rant and ooze sarcasm at an all new level...

We (Mary Louise, David and I) went to the mall this afternoon. I rarely (as in almost never) go there anymore - and really, today's experience didn't help at all. I only needed one thing - and couldn't find a free shipping coupon online so I opted to simply run into the store, grab, purchase and be on my merry way. The day was gorgeous. Mary Louise and David were in great moods and I knew I could squeeze a 15 or 20 minute mall excursion into our day before their fussy time hit.

We strolled to the store and just before we entered, a man came up to us - young - probably late 20's...he worked at one of the stands in the middle - some sort of uber classy hair extension place.

He announced, "Hey! Thems twins?? I gots twins - girl I gots to see them!" So I smiled, turned the stroller so he could take a look - see. "2 girls?" He said. (a little miffed as they were dressed in, to me, obvious boy / girl clothing and let's face it, David is a stinkin' cute little boy - but would be all sorts of awkward and off if he were a girl!) "No," I replied, "a boy and a girl."

"Oh! I gots that too! You done then! No more for you! Girl, I don't want no more - especially girls. I don't want no more 'dem girls. They crazy."

"You have no idea." I thought to myself as I calmed my insides and managed a smile while saying, "actually, we thought we might have 5 or 6 more." He paid no attention and went on with his story...

"My girl's all sassy and say hello to everybody. My boy don't say nothing to no one. Kind of like yours." He noticed Mary Louise grinning and David glaring.

"At first I thought about having another boy...cuz like I says, I don't want no more girls." (Obviously, he felt he could easily choose the sex of the hypothetical baby - who am I to correct him on biology?) "But instead I gots snipped." ("Awesome, we've reached an all new level of TMI with the public." I thought as he demonstrated what "snipped" meant by scisoring 2 fingers in the air around his nether regions - I needed that visual.)

"Yep - I gots snipped - but I thought about having one more boy..." (here comes the kicker) "you know, just in case my boy turns out to be gay or some sort of druggie, or dies or something. I'd have a replacement." (don't worry, he didn't stop there)

"Maybe that's wrong to say..." (I stood there, mouth open. I thought about giving a run down of our story, of our Kuylen and stopped short of starting - it would be wasted on such a moron. Seriously. I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing - and may have resorted to beating him with my purse- but I hadn't brought one in...) "But you know, I just wanted my boy and girl."

I paused a little longer, the squeaked out, "Ok, I'm going to move on now."

"Ok girl! Bye!" He called as I rushed off.

Tears welled as I left the mall - as I thought of cradling Kuylen in the NICU begging his body to heal so we could just bring some part of him home, staring into thick plastic and surrounded by machines at such a tiny broken baby boy. How fleeting life can be - and how lucky I am to know it.

I called Brent. "Oh Heather, I don't know how you find these people!" he said. "But there is a bright side...he may be an insensative and shallow idiot - but he did have enough sense to do the world a favor and get "snipped!""

"Best. point. ever. punkin!" I said as I took a breath and sank back into my world and pushed the moment with dummy out of my mind. My 2 precious HEALTHY babies in the back seat singing away...



  1. LOVE this!!!! You only have the rest of your life with the whole people shouting "twins" thing (and requesting joint weddings). As a twin it won't be much better for them as people will expect them to share the same feelings, "read" each others minds, and finish each others sentences. If that is not bad enough people will actually be unaware that they share a birthday. Oh the fun for many years to come. Bet you can't wait! Oh and a few people might even point out the fact that they looking nothing alike.

  2. Some people are such idiots. I had someone tell me that Carter " might just outgrow down syndrome" and this idiot was a certified special Ed teacher. Some people don't think before they open their mouths. I cannot believe that this moron told u he was snipped. What a super freak! I am still here for you and would to stop by and see mary Louise and david

  3. Oh Heather, I think another one of my "Only you Heather, only you" is in order here. I too often wonder why you are a magnet for these annoyingly idiotic people... Oh, wait maybe I am one of them. haha! Love you and keep your head up. The rest of the world can't help it if they are morons.

  4. Wonderful story with a huge dose of humor to ease the poignancy. All Love Always.

  5. Wonderful story--a huge dose of humor to ease the poignancy. All Love Always.

  6. So sorry that you had to go through that.

    People always tell me "at least you have a boy and girl". Like it would have been WORSE if my two sons had lived and my daughter had died.

    People also ask me how I do it, raising "twins" (a word I've come to hate).

    My response is; 1. I have no choice (smile), 2. I don't feel overwhelmed because in my mind I have more than enough time to raise three children and 3. I AM raising triplets.

    After #3, I always get "the look". People feeling sorry for me, wondering if I REALLY think that my son is here on earth. I might not have to change his diapers or tell him to eat his vegetables but I worry about him and care for his soul every day.

    People just don't get it.