"Double trouble eh? Rather you than me."
If I had a fiver for every time this gem of a comment was fired at me, my wealth would soon rival a Premiership footballer's yearly bar bill.
The equally grating "you've got your hands full," was guaranteed to make me wince, and possibly consider violence.
Others parents of twins recall people pointing and saying: "How did you manage that?" While others were greeted with "If I were you, I'd kill myself" or "good thing you stopped at two."
I couldn't hurt a fly. But to run a gauntlet of personal and mostly negative remarks from strangers about my children when they were younger sometimes made me long for a personality transplant.
I dreamt of emulating the fat orange man in the old Tango adverts who slapped unsuspecting and well-meaning but ill-informed passers-by about the chops.
Thing is, twins aren't just double the trouble. They also happen to be double the joy – twice the laughs, twice the cuddles and of course, twice the love.
Please forgive my outbreak of unabashed schmaltz but this is something it's quite tempting to shout from the rooftops now and again.
It may be hard work having twins, there can't be many people who would disagree with that – parents of triplets and quads may have something to say about it – but I wish there was more understanding that a double blessing is also quite brilliant.
The minute you let your mates know you're expecting not one but two tiny bundles of joy, the rolling of eyes, sharp intakes of breath and sympathetic noises start. They go on for years.
If you pick up a parenting magazine, brace yourself for news of the challenges in store. I'm not denying there are plenty but greater balance wouldn't go amiss. Books about bringing up multiple birth children are more common now than when I was a mum-to-be – but on the whole they still seem to be geared towards "coping."
While expecting, I was petrified and would quite often wail: "I'm scared" at my bewildered partner. Asked why, I'd say: "Because I'm carrying two babies." Enough said.
Yet 13 years on, it's much easier to recognise how wonderful having twins is. We just hear so little about it. I'd have loved my pregnant self to bask in the knowledge that there was so much to look forward to.
My girls have always had each other, so boredom is not a concept I've had to grapple with much. There's also a lot to be said for getting certain milestones out of the way at around the same time – potty training springs to mind.
That's not to say having twins isn't tricky at times, especially when they're young.
Writer Emily Carlisle, mum to three-year-old Josh and twins Evie and Georgia, two, says: "The media like to take a nightmare angle so you read a lot about how expensive twins are, how difficult, how stressful. Mainstream magazines focus on the shock of finding out and the expense of preparing for twins.
"Most other mums are supportive - there's always a helping hand at toddler groups for example - but I don't think they understand how hard it is to manage the needs of more than one baby at a time.
"At critical points - during tea at a party, for example, when they're busy with their own children - you're on your own," says Emily who blogs at www.morethanjustamother.com.
"Once when I was feeding both babies at a toddler group, someone asked why I was bottle feeding one and breast feeding the other.
"I explained that tandem feeding in public wasn't particularly easy and she asked why I didn't just feed them one after another. I remember looking at her as though she was stupid - had she ever tried suggesting to a three month old that they wait half an hour for their milk?"
Mum to toddlers Tilly and Jasper, Rebecca Mcluckie, from Two Become Four (www.twobecomefour.com) adds: "It has been an eye-opening experience to see the lack of understanding and support from professionals as well as friends and family.
"When a friend found themselves in the same situation, they told me now they understood.
"Yes, it is difficult - but it is amazing to see the bond building between them. The way their faces light up when they see each other just makes my heart melt.
"With twins you get all of those special moments twice over."
I couldn't agree with Rebecca more. Two is a magic number.
Do you have twins or are you expecting twins?
Do you wish having twins was seen as more of a positive by other people?
More:Baby's First Year
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