The girls and I went to the mall today so that my oldest could get out some of energy in the play area. I sat the twins on the floor on a blanket and they watched the other children play. A few of the children were curious and came closer to see the girls. One little boy, whose dad called him Holden, was very curious and he sat right next to them. When Evie came over and grabbed one of the toys that her sisters were playing with, Holden grabbed the toy from Evie, shouting ‘no’ and gave it back to the twins. It didn’t phase Evie one bit. She’s probably used to me doing that. It was the cutest thing in the world. His poor dad was so apologetic but I was holding back a laugh. Especially when he did it twice more.
Most of the people I encounter at this particular play area are, for lack of another word, decent. They’re polite, make adequate small talk, and look out for each other’ skids, as well as their own. One dad today (I think it was dad’s day out!) helped Evie out of a car when his son climbed in she tried to bolt. Everyone looks out for the runners, the little kids trying to escape into the mall, and the ones that are precariously balance on some piece of equipment or another. Occasionally, there is that parent/grandparent that doesn’t tell his/her kid what not to do, or doesn’t pay attention, but most of the time, it’s just good eggs out with their kids.
Today, there was a not so good egg. A woman came in with what was probably her mother and a young girl, maybe four years old. She sat on the bench behind the twins, maybe a foot or so away. I could tell the second that she opened her mouth that she was going to be one of those people.
Now, here’s where I go off on a tangent. I’m a pretty sassy individual. I’ve got some great zingers. But I’m also not a confrontational person. Confrontation, especially with an unknown person, is cause for anxiety. I like to stay middle of the road with people I don’t know or don’t know well. I believe in the ‘no politics, no religion’ rule. While I am firm in my own beliefs and ideals, I don’t always share them, especially when I feel they may offend or hurt someone else. Life isn’t worth it sometimes.
This woman started by asking if the twins were identical or fraternal. I had barely had time to answer before she was telling me that Aria was fatter and has fatter cheeks and is all over bigger and Ella has a really long face so they aren’t really identical.
Really? Fucking really?
I wish I could use my big cahones in public situations like this. But truth is I end up so taken aback that I just can’t form words.
She begins discussing awkward things about her children and question the dad of another set of twins (fraternal, by the way).
Now, there’s a level of polite conversation that you stick to in situations like this. And it doesn’t include third degree questioning of other people’s children, or giving off unasked info about your own kids. She starts giving Holden’s dad advice on potty training him, because her middle child was trained in three days, and trying to one-up him with regards to his daughter, a seventeen month old.
When he finally gets away she starts trying to talk to me (through my girls) again. I’m doing my best to pretend I don’t hear. ‘Oh you just want to get up and move, don’t you. You want to stand up. But you can’t walk yet, can you. Hold old are you?’
Here it goes again.
I answer that the twins are eleven months.
‘I used to walk around with my son while he held my fingers. I didn’t even know (imaging her voice lingers on this word and raises up a bit higher) that I was really teaching him to walk. He was walking at a year.’
I could’ve slapped myself for this. But I told her my girls were premature.
Of course, her son was too.
Well fucking la-de-da.
This makes me so mad, and so sad and just so aggravated. I know that children do not develop the same skills at the same time. Any parent with more than one child, or who has been around children often enough, would know this. I know that my girls are behind. It’s painful for me to admit that but I live it. I worry about the twins every single day. My oldest was eating food at four months, pulling herself of up on furniture and walking (with assistance) at 8-months. The twins are developing at their own rate. They aren’t holding their bottles, but will hold their sippy cups. They can sit up and put weight on their legs. But they can’t move from a lying down to a sitting position, or from a sitting to a standing, on their own. I feel like I am to blame, because with Evie around, I just don’t have that one-on-one time to work with them. And for some ignorant asshole to point to throw it in my face how soon her kid walked? It just hurts.
My girls are miracles. They survived to a healthy delivery with only a 50% chance of survival. Their smiles and their laughter and the enthusiasm with which they tear into their morning bowl of cheerios astounds me each and every day. I worry about them. But they’re happy. And they’re loved. And I know I just need to let strangers’ comments roll off my back. But the worry and the blame is always there.
At the end of the day, I know that they will be loved fiercely no matter what happens. And that’s what is important.