By Rachel Ostlie
It began when my son was 5 months old and my daughter was 21 months. The very first time that a stranger casually asked, “Are they twins?” At first my reaction was one of shock. Twins? I know that they were in a double stroller so you couldn't see the height difference (as if Little Baby could even stand at this point) but twins? Seriously?
Then again, it's no surprise that we Baby Bunchers are assailed with this question... after all, the number of twin births has risen by 50 percent in the past three decades*. On the other hand, Bunching your children saw a sharp downturn with the advent of oral hormonal birth control in 1960. So two adorable babies are generally assumed to belong to the multiples category. Right?
Honestly, I don't know what I answered on that day. Probably some variation of what I have answered the other hundred thousand times I've fielded that question at a school, library, church, or any other public area: “No.” If they were lucky, I might have said something spectacular after that, like “Umm...This one is older, that one is younger.”
Which brings me to an honest plea, sent out to the whole Baby Bunching community. Perhaps it stems from the fact that my petite firstborn daughter will surely be shorter than her linebacker large brother by the time they are four and three, respectively. But more likely, it comes from my desire to look clever. To have something better to say that just, “Um... no.” I would like to have a pre-formulated answer to give to all the casual strangers wanting to know if my kids cutesy twins or not. Ideally, it should be a sentence long, roll off the tongue easily, and be somewhat witty. Please, will anybody out there help me?
Rachel is the happy mother of two adorable children who are not twins, ages 3 and 1.5. She also really wants to be clever.
*National Vital Statistics Reports - Volume 48, Number 3 - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention