Double Trouble

My cousin just sent me this link.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-hughes-parker/12-gifts-of-parenting-twins-wed-like-to-return_b_4605461.html

It’s written by parents of twins.  You know I love me the twins, but can totally relate to these comments! Not all of them since ours have only been around 7 months (SOMEhow) but even the ones specific to older kids I have found myself wondering about.  So the regular text is what the author actually wrote and my comments are in italics. Just in case you forgot what italics are. Or you’re a visual learner. 

1. The pitying looks from friends and neighbors, when we broke the news it was two buns in the oven and not one; the comments, tacit and explicit: “Better you than me” and “What the hell are you going to do now?” I got this ALL THE TIME.  But I chalked it up to the fact that people lose any sense of appropriateness when confronted with a pregnant person.  And a person pregnant with twins- even twice the inappropriateness. 

2. The epic morning sickness, the constant doctor appointments, the time lost to bed rest, the impossibly stretched skin. If pregnancy is a monster, a twin pregnancy is a double-headed hydra. “So you’re due really soon, right?” Um, no, I’m actually due in three and a half months. I was hospitalized because I was so sick. So I love when people say “well at least you only had one pregnancy and got two babies!” It was a rough pregnancy y’all. That’s not really a fair statement. 

3. The misguided aphorisms. Buy one get one free? Tell that to my bank book. Two birds, one stone? Not particularly apt when the twins are birds three and four. Or when the infant experience was so traumatic it made you want a do-over with a single bird. Preach.

4. The surgery and the C-section scar we most likely wouldn’t have had if there was only one baby. The two months spent beside incubators in the NICU, when one of our sets came too soon, a common risk with multiples. Two months would be terrible. We were only in the NICU for a week. But let me tell you, that was a long week. A lot of people have said “A week? That’s not bad!”  It’s a bad week.  No, not near as rough as parents whose kids are in there for a long time, but any time in the NICU is scary when its your baby. Babies. 

5. The obscene amount of milk it takes to feed two tiny mouths, whether it comes from breasts that are cartoonishly large or jumbo packs of formula hauled home from the store. The hospital-grade pump that became a constant companion; the freaky mechanical swooshing sound that became the background noise to our lives. Yepper.  Ready for things to go back to normal sized. My mom always said some girls get boobs and some get hair. I have made one man very happy with my blessing.  Wait, I’m talking about TJ, my hair stylist.  What were you thinking? Come on! My mother reads this!

6. The baby carriers we bought, perhaps deluded that there would be a way to do the whole attachment thing with two babies. The trendy mommy-and-me music class we couldn’t attend, because we didn’t have another set of hands. I am heartbroken that we won’t be able to do Water Babies next summer because all 3 kids would need a parent. 

7. The 3,267 answers we gave to well-meaning but misinformed questions. No, boy/girl twins cannot be identical. Yes, identical twins can look a little different. It is amazing how many people ask if they’re identical even after finding out one is a girl and one is a boy. 

8. The damaged lower back we both have from lifting the dead weight of a small child in and out of the crib, in and out of the stroller, in and out of the car seat, in and out of the high chair. TWICE. EVERY TIME. Amen! Ouch!

9. The scratches, the bite marks, the bruises, the stereo screaming that are part and parcel of toddler twins. With one toddler, life is insane. With two — at the same stage, at the same time — it is Lord of the Flies. Not here yet… but I can only imagine.  We’ll have 3 toddlers soon.  We might as well just clear the entire first level of all furniture and let them have it as an arena. 

10. The same class/different class issue at school, especially when you have no choice in the matter. Different classes: the separation anxiety, the jealousy when one of them gets the “easy” teacher, the curriculum night you have to miss because you can’t be in two places at once. Same class: the repeat homework, the fighting over friends, the constant comparison. So what’s the best thing to do here? I find myself thinking about this a lot! Also now we will have 3 different sporting events to attend most likely all at the same time. This is where we are very thankful for Grandmas!  But also sad to have to divide and conquer. 

11. Always having to share a birthday. Schlepping double the cupcakes to school (half of which have to be vanilla and the other half chocolate). Hosting the extra party, because not every pair of twins wants to share this rite of passage or can agree about its details. The garbled rendition of “Happy Birthday,” because nobody knows which kid’s name to sing first. This made me laugh. 

12. The fantastical and romantic notions outsiders have about twins, which bear little relationship to the reality of raising them. Not every set of twins will be soul mates. Not every set of twins has a magical connection inspired by their time in the womb together. We are pretty sure by the way our twins fight over sitting in our laps that they have no memory of ever sharing that space. It’s SO hard to not make them be little best friends.  We had to separate them early on because they woke each other up so much and really sleep better apart.  People gave me super judgmental looks when I tell them because they SHOULD be together because they SPENT time together in the womb and blah blah.  They’re two different people- just happened to be born at the same time. I’m not saying I’m giving up on special twin bonds or that I don’t think there is something there, but it’s not the adorable little love affair I’d imagined. And that people keep reminding me it should be.

OK it’s me again. I’m out of italics because that’s annoying to read.  I hope this didn’t come off too negative- I don’t mean to portray that things are rough or solicit pity or any of that- we honestly love our disastrous life. But it is a little…. um, annoying to hear some of these things so if you’re doing it stop! Just kidding. But really, maybe do. It’s one of those lived life experience things… I said things to pregnant women pre-babies that I look back at now and want to slap myself. I’ll continue to say things I regret as I gain more life experiences (read- get older). But this list was as familiar as it was funny (to me) so I wanted to share.

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