In the seven years that I have been a parent I have had countless conversations with other moms/nannies/fathers/grandmothers at the park,or on the bus, or at school. A good deal of these encounters are wonderful and joyous; a momentary touch with other people just trying to do the same thing I try to do every day: raise decent and kind people who are somewhat clean, reasonably well fed and rested, and to do this without losing my mind. My children are wonderful and amazing and very special to me, and, I do believe, my husband, but I do not really expect anyone else to feel the same. Given the opportunity I would talk about them for hours, days possibly, but that is why there is a time limit set on parent/teacher conferences.
All of this understood, I do believe there are some truths that are just not that hard to understand. I don't expect that everyone should be able to tell my girls apart, even though they really look nothing alike. Let me be honest, I will confuse the names of your children, even if they are born much further apart than two minutes, I might confuse them if they are not even the same sex. It might be possible one day that I will call your child "Snickers" and expect that he or she will turn when what I have really done is call your dog. It happens, we all do it. But what I do not understand is why I must have the same conversation over and over and over; why must a day on the playground/park/ bus be a Groundhog day without end in sight?
Playground Mom: "How is the older one doing in her class? Does she like second grade?"
Response: They are twins. They are both in third grade.
PM: "What? They are twins, really? How? You're kidding!"
Response: I'm not. They are twins, and here's how it happened: they were born on the same day, minutes apart, from the same uterus and have, we believe, the same exact father. They were also twins last week when we had this same conversation.
PM: "How is the older one doing, the tall one, in her class?"
Response: They are the same age, they are in the same class. They are twins. They are not, however, the same height.
PM: "Really? How? How is the tall one doing in her class?
Response: Just fine, about the same as the last time we discussed this. And, just one more time, they are in the same class. Third grade.
PM: "What? How? I didn't know that. I thought she was in second grade".
PM: "The older one, of course!"
Response: Pardon me, the older one just fell off the top of that ladder/slide/climbing apparatus and her younger, yet taller sister, is screaming about homework in her third grade class. It's been lovely chatting with you again, hope to see you next week for the exact same conversation. As you know, there is nothing I like more than talking about my children.