I’ve reached my limit.

I can no longer be responsible for what comes out of my mouth in public.

During our first few outings with the twins, we expected people to “ooh” and “ahh” at our new bundles of joy. We saw it as a rite of passage; a merit badge we worked hard for.

As proud new parents, we entertained the questions and showed off our flock.

But then it got old, fast. I just want to buy my groceries in peace.

At first I didn’t mind all the questions like “Are they twins?” and “Are they yours?” and my heart was full of joy when people congratulated me or told me how beautiful my children were.

But then the novelty wore off and people started getting too comfortable.

Keep your hands to yourself and step away from the stroller.

I get it, people are curious, but people are also ignorant, rude and flat out nasty. I try to be kind to everyone because you never know the other person’s story, but my tank is full and I’m done playing it off like the comments don’t wound me. One thing I’ve learned as a mom of twins is that people love twins. I understand the fascination — two babies, at the same time. I wish I could just get away with saying “yes, they’re twins, isn’t that nice, OK have a good day!” and smile, but sometimes people like to linger. And say things. Things that make me hate people.

Just the other day I was out and about running errands, twins in tow, when a woman stopped me mid aisle and said “Girl, I don’t want your life!” She said several other things like “I’d kill myself if I had twins,” and “Your life must be so hard,” but her first comment rendered me speechless and I just stood there frozen. I had no witty response, no comeback. I just left the store. She may not want my life, but I couldn’t picture my life any other way. My life may be challenging at times, we have entered teething territory, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I am sure parents with several ducklings of their own can relate to how people feel so obligated to share their two cents about your family with you. Of course when I see a mom juggling her five kids — who all appear to be close in age — in a parking lot, I don’t say anything to her when I pass her. I may be thinking things like, “Yikes!,” “And I thought I had my hands full,” but I don’t say a word. I just keep my thoughts to myself and keep on walking.

The last thing that woman needs is for me to point out the obvious and add more stress to her day.

How would you like it if someone gawked, pointed at, whispered at you when you were just minding your own business? It’s not like twins aren’t common these days and neither are large families. People make it out to seem that I am pushing around a carnival freak show and cannot fathom why someone would want that many children.

I don’t stop people in a restaurant and give them the Spanish Inquisition about their one baby and I expect the same respect back when I am out with my family. I don’t have to share my kids with anyone. What people don’t realize is the barrage of questions they are asking happen to us several times during one outing.

Why is it that just because you’ve got twins (or more) people think it’s OK to say ridiculous things to you? My personal favorite is “Are they natural?” As opposed to what? Artificial?

Thumper said it best, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Vanessa Lynch is a former metro editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. An Army spouse, she and her husband live in Harker Heights with their two young children.

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