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February 16, 2012

Don't Over-romanticize the Twinship...and DON'T TOUCH MY KID!

One of my big takeaways from Abigail Pogrebin’s book on twins, “One and the Same”, was “don’t over-romanticize the twinship”.

I think this idea can apply to so many aspects of parenting. In one of the easiest examples, Pogrebin cites the tales of twins, living in separate geographies, who instinctively know when something has happened to the other. A stabbing pain in one’s leg prompts her to call her sister, who just fell down the steps.

Such occurrences may happen to some sets of twins, but Pogrebin cautions not to “expect” those supernatural powers of our twins. If A doesn’t grab her knee on the playground with Mommy at the exact moment B stumbles while riding her bike with Daddy, it doesn’t mean she’s failing her twin sister.

I try to think about my girls as two kiddos, who happen to share a birthday. And they seem so different to me, each with her own personality, strengths, and challenges. Sure, I keep them on the same schedule and feed them the same things (careful to make sure they each get the same number of grapes), but I hope and pray I’m nurturing their development as individuals.

For as intentional as I try to be with my girls, though, all bets are off when we step out the door. Every mom of multiples can relate to the random…sometimes maddening…sometimes outright intrusive…comments we get in public.

The most bizarre to date happened last week. We went to one of our favorite restaurants. It’s the definition of shabby-chic in my mind…mismatched chairs, displays from local artists on the walls, a collection of books and games like Scrabble and Jenga on a bookshelf in the corner. We’ve gone there for years, and I always envisioned bringing our kiddos one day…engaging in a rousing board game while we awaited the delivery of The Best Pizza in the World.

As we aren’t quite ready for family Scrabble, we walked over to speak with another family while we were waiting. We didn’t know them, but they looked nice enough…Mom, Dad, and a couple of daughters, maybe 12 and 8…playing Jenga. We thought A and B would enjoy seeing them playing “blocks”.

Sure enough, the family was nice enough to illustrate a few moves for the girls, and then we started to chat. The older daughter got up to talk more directly to Baby A, whom I was holding. “Twins?” she gasped. I introduced the girls. “You know twins are supposed to feel what the other feels!

Before I realized what was happening, she PINCHED Baby A, and then asked B if she felt it.

I’ll give the kid a bit of a break…she was 12, after all…but seriously??? You don’t touch my kid, much less PINCH her! It wasn’t a hard pinch, but still!

Fortunately, we saw our pizza headed towards our table so we quickly parted ways.

I’m adding this to my list of things to beware of in public…as if I needed another phobia!


Jenny Borders said...

So so so weird!!

championm2000 said...

I'd laugh if the whole pinching/touching thing wasnt so very inappropriate!

I'd say I am surprised but after the week of highly inappropriate remarks we've received (from family no less), I can't say that I'd expect much more from the random public. People :-/

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

OMGosh! Pardon me as I pick my jaw up from the floor....what did the parents say? Anything?

That is bizarre at it's worse!

WoW...W-O-W is all I can say.

I am very proud you didn't PINCH her back...not sure I would have been able to resist...LOL!

IASoupMama said...

OhMiGosh! I think I'd flip if someone pinched my kid!

My mom keeps asking me if my twins have a secret language yet. I say, "Umm... no. They are almost 10-months-old. It is a miracle if they say anything with meaning yet."

Now, my four-year-old, on the other hand, is fantastic at making up words!

Carrie said...

That is the WEIRDEST thing I have ever heard! What is the deal? Twins aren't a circus side show. Sorry you had to experience that!

cat said...

That is one of the weirdest ones I have heard of! I will never forget what the maternal fetal specialist said to me - it's two separate pregnancies just by chance happening at the same time.

Charlene said...

Geesh! Never had anyone do that to my twins (maybe because they are boy/girl?) weird. I would chalk it up to curiosity since it was a kid that did it, now if an adult tried it...all bets are off!

Beth said...

Oh my goodness!

I am still in shock.

Please, please, please tell me that her mother was horrified and quickly jumped up to correct her daughter and tell her you do not touch-- much less *pinch*-- other people-- especially a young, sweet child!!

Wow. I guess she is still a child herself, but wow. I can not get over that one.

Amazing self control Mommy. I would have considered pinching her, but I know I would have said something.

Miss Megan said...

AGH!!! She pinched her?! What on earth was she thinking??? 12 is old enough to know better for sure! Good for you for not going a bit postal on her...I think a "that was definitely not appropriate" would have slipped from my lips before we walked back to our table! Hopefully her parents said something to her! Eek! Agreed - don't touch my kid!

Johanna said...

Twelve is WAAAAY too old to be doing things like that. I try to laugh off things like that, but to have someone pinch my baby, I would freak out.

Our pet peeve is people taking pictures of my girls. Some ask (which we say no), and others just go ahead and try to take their picture like they are in a show. Freaky!

Jayme said...

OMG were you dying to pinch her back?

Holly Ann said...

Wow. I think my kid would've just pinched her back.

Liz said...

Sounds like you had to use self-control in that instance! Crazy! I'm not sure what I would have done!
I hope the mother apologized at least!

Barbara Manatee said...

omg...she actually PINCHED her? I get really annoyed with kids and their parents in instances like that - I know we can't always control what our kids say and do, but shouldn't they have told her to back off a lil before she reached that point? sheesh!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Holy crap...I can't even imagine how incredulous my face would have been. Did the parents say anything??