Every so often life blesses you with a pithy comeback, perfectly timed. I enjoy those moments.
The boys and I stopped by Subway to grab a sandwich for dinner.
Subway Sandwich Artist: Are they natural?
At that very moment, Destroy reached up in an attempt to swap out a bag of Baked Lays with the much more enticing selection of Cheetos. Suddenly the entire metal rack displaying a wide variety of salty snacks was impressively ripped from its retail hinges. Chips went flying – several bags cleared the threshold of the restaurant. Carbohydrates for everyone!
Me: Nope. Small Wonder Cyborgs.
(In defense of my son, that rack was totally already loose.)
Later that evening, a friend disrupted my quick-quip revelry with the question, “Why is that a bad question?”
“Are they natural?”
It’s a question all mothers of multiples get. It means, “Did you have IVF?”
Now, to clarify, the eye rolling comes as a result of probing strangers. For close friends and family I have no problem sharing our story. (Clearly, as their entire lives are being blogged on this very site.)
Is it a bad question?
It’s certainly an awkward question. (Again, I maintain friends and family are all too aware of “assistance” needed and progress made. Still, “natural”? Really?) It’s also a very common question. Yup, seriously.
At the root of the inquiry, this complete stranger is curious about the origins of conception.
Guess what – it’s still the birds and the bees. (Except some of those birds may have taken performance-enhancing drugs.) Sex was likely involved. And I can assure you that regardless of method for conception, gestation, delivery, or cryogenic living facilities – not a single one of our bundles of joy are synthetic. (That only happens in Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence, a truly terrible movie.)
I am in no way ashamed of how my children came into being. They were desperately wanted. And yes, the million dollar miracle muppets are the result of fertility treatments (not IVF in our particular case – gonadotropins via a hell of a lot of shots to the stomach).
Whether a naturally conceived surprises, shots that result in several babies, “test tube” babies, donor egg, surrogate, or adopted, there is nothing abnormal, unusual or different about these children. Their start may not have been the most typical – but they are all made of organic material.
And trust me, if the preschooler manages to get within arms reach of anything after engaging in a full body Cheetos experience – only the orange cheese-like coating is unnatural.
In closing, they’re real – and they’re fantastic. And no, they’re not identical. I promise. So maybe just comment on how cute they are.