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Offensive Questions

We've all put our foot in our mouths at one time or another. But the real question when you're the target, do you put your patient pants on or do you shut them down with that answer you've been practicing in the mirror?

I was on Facebook the other night and saw in my constantly moving ticker that someone had commented on a page for parents of multiples. The page showed a pie chart of the most annoying and offensive questions that people with multiples are asked and the comment section was filled with add-ons.

I've seen and heard about this complaint before from people with multiples, and I'm sure they do get a lot of questions. After all, if you don't have twins/triplets/etc. I feel like multiples are pretty interesting to the rest of society (Hello, Jon and Kate!). People have a lot of questions, and apparently they feel uninhibited in asking them. They ask in Costco, they ask in church, they ask at birthday parties, restaurants and more, and people get pretty annoyed. I learned my own twin lesson last year when a mom I know told me she was pregnant with twins, and I made the huge mistake of asking if twins run in her family (annoying question number two on the pie chart). The snarky answer that I received back has me biting my tongue from any future questioning.

But guess what? I don't have twins or triplets, and I still get a ton of questions. I bet you do too. Here are the front runners in my house...

1. Oh, how did she lose her teeth so early?

2. Your daughter is so tall, how tall is your husband?

3. Wow, your kids have a lot of hair! Have they always had so much hair?

4. How much did your son weigh at birth?

5. How much does your son weigh now?

And the list goes on. But you know what? I don't feel annoyed. I feel like people are just trying to make conversation. And if they ask something that I don't really want to talk about, I just sort of move on from it. Do I give snarky answers to shut them down? Nope.

I'm pretty sure the list of questions (thus far) on the journey of life goes like this, give or take a few...

1. What colleges are you looking at?

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2. Where are you going to college? What's your major?

3. What are you going to do when you finish college?

4. When are you going to get married?

5. What are the colors at your wedding?

6. When are you going to have a baby?

7. When is your baby due?

8. Are you having a boy or a girl?

9. When are you going to have ANOTHER baby?

I will admit that the question about the colors at our wedding did sort of drive me nuts. But at the end of the day, people are just trying to make conversation and find something that they can relate to you about. And kids are something pretty relatable for a lot of people.

I know people can be thoughtless when asking questions. But to be honest, when I got my clearly well thought-out but not very nice answer to the question I asked about twins, my feelings were a little bit hurt. I learned a lesson that day regarding my own sensitivity as I ask questions but also about the way you treat others.

As the questions flow at me, I'm going to try to put my patient pants on and answer kindly in the same way I try to answer my own children and just like I hope they learn to answer others. I'm going to think the best about people and their intentions. Kindness goes a long way.

Image from NAF

Image from NAF


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