Parents of multiples are weird.
I can say this now because I am the mom of multiples, I couldn't say it before. This is one of those "I can call my family exasperating, but you can't because they're not your family" kinds of things. I'm not sure that this weirdness is something we grow into or if it is something we conform to.
When out and about with four kids six and under, you attract a lot of attention, particularly if two of them are being wheeled about in a Hummer of a stroller, hogging walkways as it lumbers around corners. Everyone and their uncle stops to ask, "Are they twins?" Though our wee ones are a mere 19 weeks old, I have to admit that just hearing the question causes me to grit my teeth just a very little bit -- I know people aren't asking it to be annoying. At least I hope they aren't.
So my husband and I have tapped into our inner weirdness and have silently agreed upon a challenge: whoever answers in the most absurd manner wins the day.
"No. They aren't twins. They were triplets, but healthy babies fetch a handsome price. Did you see our new minivan?"
"Actually, this is a test drive. We're trying to decide which one to return."
"We think they're twins. At least I hope they are because I was pregnant with them at the same time."
Usually an answer like this causes the question-asker to stammer for a moment, unsure if we are offended by the question or not. Some of the brave ones soldier on with the next inevitable question, "Do twins run in your family?"
"They do now!" or "Only when they're being chased" or "I’m not sure… are you my long-lost twin?"
The most persistent lookie-loos then take the dreaded step onto the TMI bus, "Are they natural?" Hoo-boy! It takes some gumption to start asking how other people’s children were conceived.
"Oh, heavens, no! One is an android and the other a shaved meerkat!"
"Hmmm… I think they came with artificial ingredients, so I couldn't in good conscience call them natural."
And then come the gem of all comments, "My! You have your hands full, don't you?"
Yes, I do. They are full of love. They are full of laughter and snuggles and cuddles. They are full of finger paint and puzzle pieces and swimming lessons and cloth diapers and learning to read and pink socks and (sometimes) lollipops. They are full of good days and bad days and sick days and fun days. They carry infants and toddlers and pull wagons. They read books and cook meals and tie shoes and brush hair. They are full with four absolutely wondrous and wondering individuals whom I am entrusted to steer toward becoming the people they are to become. And I am still stricken breathless with emotion when I kiss them good night every night, their soft breathing is all the lullaby I need to recharge my very busy hands for the next very busy day.
I'll gladly admit to being weird to think that all of that is natural, because to me it is.