During one of my afternoon strolls, I was walking towards another person who was most likely another stay-at-home dad. There are a few tell-tale signs that someone is a stay-at-home dad. They usually wear shorts, t-shirts, and a baseball cap. Facial growth is visible. Eyes are glazed over. And in this case, we were both mailing our unemployment benefit forms.
As I approached this man pushing his baby in a single stroller, he stared at me. For a moment I thought to myself, "At least I can tell him I voted no on Proposition 8." But as we passed, he looked at Emma and Andrew, and then told me with a big sigh, "I don't know how you do it." I answered, "Well, I do push-ups and sit-ups every day." Only later did I realized he was referring to the twins.
You see, this is something I have noticed: People have a tendency to have sympathy towards parents who have twins, triplets, or more -- like that damn Jon and Kate couple. I don't know how warranted it is to have this sympathy, but I do know I have used it to my advantage. With whom? Telemarketers and solicitors. Let me give you a few examples...
During the day, it is amazing how many phone calls I receive from telemarketers. I usually screen my calls, but there are times when I answer the phone because I'm expecting a call (Yes, I have friends...not many, but I take what I can get.). One time the phone rang while the kids were napping. The kids were not having a good day, so I rushed to answer the phone for fear of them waking up. Of course it was one of those happy-go-lucky UCLA Fund whores. They started their long spiel of how they need money for teacher assistants, student activities, and the new Cinnabon they want to build in the Student Union. This UCLA whore was especially chirpy and was starting to irritate me. She irritated me even more because the phone call did wake up the kids. So what did I do? I walked into the kids' bedroom and put the phone directly next to Andrew's screeching cry.
"Your phone call just woke up my twins."
"Twins?" said the Bruin money whore. "I am soooo sorry."
"Yah. Please don't call again. I'll donate online. Bye."
And I will admit I have done this more than once to telemarketers.
As for solicitors, I was approached by one this week as I was leaving the grocery store. It was a sunny day so I had the stroller's canopy pulled all the way over the kids' faces. I don't know what the guy's pitch was, but he had a tin can with Sharpie writing on it which never bodes well for legitimacy. Before he could continue his pitch, I raised my index finger to my lips and went "Shhh" and pointed to the kids. The guy looked down and saw Emma's and Andrew's feet dangling out from the edge of the canopy.
"I think they're asleep," I whispered to the guy I shall name Jack Ash.
"Whoops!" said Jack Ash. "Sorry, man. I'll let you go."
And off I went on my merry way. I know I could just be polite and tell these people I'm not interested, but I find my methods to be much more amusing. In a way, I feel like I'm teaching the kids how to participate in practical jokes. I think the next natural step for the kids is to teach them how to light up their poopy diapers in front of someone's front door. Any other suggestions?