Dear Person at the Grocery Store

Dear Person at the Grocery Store,

Yes, they are twins. We did not hit a baby B.O.G.O sale; the hospital did not throw in another one as we walked out the door; nor did we cosmetically alter someone else's baby to look exactly like ours and then tote him around in a double stroller pretending like we have twins only to be foiled by your cunning line of questioning.

Yes, they are a lot of work. Please stop using the expression "double trouble."

No, they are not a boy and a girl. I don't know why you think twins only come in this option, but I'm glad you understand statistics.

Yes, God is playing a practical joke on me, but it's still not polite to giggle as I walk by or when you suddenly realize the person standing next to you has two babies.

No, my babies don't have socks on. There are several reasons for this, the most important of which is that one of my babies has brain damage and needs all the sensory input he can get while his brain is trying to figure out what's going on. The second most important reason is that baby socks are scientifically engineered to fall off. You are welcome to spend your entire day wrestling four tiny wriggling feet into the negligible warmth of flimsy socks, but don't expect me to.

No, I don't really care that someone you know is a twin or that your mother's cousin's neighbor just had a baby. However, yes, guy at Wal-mart, I do want to hear all about your cousin who raised three babies using an irrigation ditch instead of diapers.

And finally, yes, they are very cute. And, yes, their smiles are adorable. Thank you.


  1. I feel your pain! The one I cringe at the most now is "which aisle did you find them down"? I really just want to say "wow, you are so original and walk off". I just smile and continue on. Mine are 4, it doesn't quit, let me tell you :)

  2. lol, I actually hadn't heard that one. ... yet!

  3. I sometimes laugh/giggle because babies (or pets) are cute and that seems to be my instinctive reaction. I can't really seem to control it, though I have tried. Though I usually just make eye contact with the parent, smile, and let us both move on.

  4. Yeah, that's reasonable and usually this is what people are doing and it's fine. But there are other people who literally point and laugh, usually while saying something extremely unhelpful like "Boy, you have your hands full, don't you?!"
    It makes me feel like a circus performer.

  5. lol, wow, my first hate mail. Well, first hate mail on this blog anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Whoa! I don't think Miss Anonymous is a twin Mommy.

  7. "Are they twins?" is my favorite question!! I have been tempted many, many times to respond "No, one is mine and one is my husbands" but I have never had the guts! Oh and the worst is the woman who works at Safeway (grocery store) and every time I run into her she likes to tell me that she has twins and how awful it was raising them - I avoid her like the plague. What a thing to say! I do (for real) love the people that come up to me and tell me how blessed I am - these people can talk to me any time!

  8. Jill W9:19 PM

    I, too, hate the "double trouble" comment. So I'll usually say something like, "Nope, it's double fun/love/laughter." and I try to smile politely and move on. But if I'm exhausted because my little angels kept me up half the night, they may just get a deadpan stare!

    Sam was born with a head full of hair, while Gabe wasn't as lucky. (He's since caught up.) I think for that reason, I was frequently asked if they were a boy and a girl, despite the fact that they were both dressed in very "boy" clothes - sometimes matching! I could never figure that one out.

    I really enjoy your writing, Shasta. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and that is a friggin' cute smile!

  9. jnelson: Don't worry about it. I feel it's a mark of honor to get hate mail — it means more people are reading it than just my friends!
    Jenny: That's a good one, I'll have to try that sometime! This one time I was having a really bad day and just said "No" but in a way that I thought she would get that I was joking. She didn't get it.
    Jill: Thank you!! And we still need to meet up. I'll send you a mail.

  10. Christina Lent10:48 PM

    Your hater is blind. I love the new picture of your sons.

  11. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Double trouble, you have your hands full. I want to say "do you really think you're being original?!" It's died down a bit now, mostly because I have perfected the art of not looking at anybody as I walk by.

    I have had one person say to me once, "I bet you're glad they're not triplets!" and I wanted to puke. I just said "Oh, I think that would have been so much fun."

    People always thought Julia was a boy. Even when she was decked out in pink with pink bows around her neck. People would say "a boy and a girl?" so often that I just said yes (plus I'm not one of those who get offended if you can't tell my kids' gender). But once, the guy then said, "What are their names?" Ha, so I had to fess up.

    Another time I had a man ask me if they were maternal twins. He was being so nice, I couldn't bear to say "yes, they are fraternal", and for some reason just saying "yes" didn't occur to me, so I just said, "They're not identical."

  12. Christy: It's true. His/her comment would be much more convincing if it didn't fly in the face of logic, such as that my babies are completely adorable.

    Amy: I think about you now every time someone asks me if they're twins. I just know one of these days I'm going to blurt out: "Well, it sure would suck if they were triplets, huh?" and walk off to leave them to figure out what that means. You're much nicer than I would have been to the person who said "you must be glad they're not triplets."

  13. Jill W2:07 PM

    I just time my husand and I had the boys out for dinner. It was summer and we were sitting outside - so, pretty casual. There was one other couple sitting next to us and they started chatting with us about the boys. Then the guy started asking me all these questions about identical v. fraternal twins, how it was different, yadda, yadda. By the time they left, my husband turned to me and asked how much I enjoyed giving that guy a course in reproductive science?! You have to admit - if you're in the right mood, it CAN be entertaining!

  14. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Shasta, I once had somebody apologize to me on Facebook because her status update read "Just chaperoned my son's kindergarten class and was responsible for three 5-year-olds. I'm glad I don't have triplets!" I wouldn't have wanted triplets either, had I not gotten pregnant with them. I just can't bring myself to say to people who say that "well, they are, their sister died", because I know they just think they're being funny.

  15. Jill: That's true. Sometimes it is nice to have a conversation-starter.

    Amy: Yeah, I've yet to blurt out that my son has a disability to all the people who tell me about how great it is that they will develop at the same rate or ask me how I can tell them apart and blah, blah, blah, so probably I would just smile and nod, too. In fact, that's why I wrote this post! So I could finally say all the things I don't have the guts to say in person!

  16. This put a smile on my face... I hate stupid people. I dress my identical boys, identical and I still get " are they twins?" "Are they boys?" Jesus people, think people you speak! I hate feeling like I need to put on a pageant face just to go to the store... Its inevitable that someone will strike up a conversation... blahhh ;c)

  17. I have the exact opposite problem. I have had a woman yell at the top of her lungs that my boys are not twins. Then I had a diffrent woman ask me if I got pregnant in the delivery room. I told the second lady yes I couldn't help myself the doc was hot and walked off. Granted my boys are 10 lbs and 4 in diffrent, but come on. Most people do realize they are twins though. And I love how the people who say you have your hands full will drop the door in your face. The people who are trying to be nice ill talk to on most days, but the people being stupid I just have fun with. 8). I know I have said stupid things when trying to just talk to other moms. So I assume they have logarhea like me. I was a bit socially awkward to start w now that I'm out of practice I hear myself and I'm like really sometimes. Anyway what I'm trying to say is laugh at their issues.

  18. I once got asked if my three toddlers were triplets (two are Asian and one has blonde hair). I just said yes so I didn't have to explain.

  19. I can't stop laughing. I'm not sure what is funnier... your post or all the comments.

    p.s. I'm jealous of your hate mail

  20. I'm sure it's quite frustrating for you, but we mean well--I mean, there's not much else to say to you while we take in those baby smiles. All we want is just another moment or two of their sweetness!

  21. What about "Which one came first?" I used to get that all the time, and it really bugged me because the truth is I don't know. Oh, and "Are they identical?" because when they were babies I had no idea, which people didn't believe...

    Anyway I've just found your blog, really enjoying it!


  22. PS Those babies of yours are so BEAUTIFUL!!!

  23. My husband is rolling at this one...Seriously, I thought I had heard every rude, unoriginal, impolite comment or question when I had one baby, but when we had twins, I was shocked at the things people found funny or clever.

    Damn but they are adorable, and I love their smiles!

  24. I have two of my own (22 months apart) I run a home daycare and I often am out with 6 kids, all within 3 1/2 years of age of each other, also note that they are not at all lookalikes, not even the same nationalities, and I get, "wow you've been busy" or "they are all yours?". The worst is: "wow, you have your hands full" as if stopping my cart that has more children than groceries to answers your questions and tell you their names and ages is going to help me complete the impossible task of grocery shopping with 6 kids...

  25. Shasta, sorry, I just couldn't stop laughing about the baby socks. Ellie is 20 months old and doesn't where shoes or socks. Actually, just not on the left foot. She always takes the shoe and sock off. Or she kicks it off (or bites it off--she is THAT flexible).

    Oh and that anonymous person. . . uck!

    I would be the person at the grocery store staring. Yep, I stare at babies. All babies. I cannot help it.

  26. LOVE this post Shasta! I am so enjoying reading back through your blog now that I've found you.

    The weirdest thing anyone ever said to me was by a man in the PT waiting room at the hospital...he asked if the boys were which I replied "yes" and then asked if "fraternal or identical?"...I explained "fraternal". He then went on to explain to me "that fraternal twins are born at different times and identical twins are born at teh exact same time!"....strangest id vs. frat explanation I've ever heard!

    Oh...and I'm jealous of your hate mail!

  27. First. I totally relate and have had a couple complete rants and melt down about the weird and wildly inappropriate comments people say to us when we are at the store. Secondly, your hater me chock on my tea. What an awesome example of someone completely making an ass out of themselves.

  28. Anonymous4:09 AM

    I got my first "what's wrong with him?" question today, and an unsolicted comment of "he looks like he's slow".

    I ALWAYS smile at babies, anywhere I am. And then I feel like a creeper unless I have my LO with me, lol. It's a disease....and when I see really little ones, my uterus cries ahahaha.

    - Olivia


Post a Comment

Popular Posts