A Day in the Life, part 1.

3 May

What’s day to day life with twins like? It’s like day to day life with a single baby, except you have twice the chaos, twice the laundry, twice the mess, twice the feedings, burpings, and changings, and the crying is in stereo. Or to put it another way, you have half the time, freedom, meals, showers, and downtime. And with most of those things, half means zero. For example, every morning I have to ask myself “breakfast or shower?” Thanks to those yucky instant breakfast drinks, shower frequency has increased, to the relief of all around me.

At the same time you have double the adorable soft chubby babies to squeeze, better odds that there will be a baby in a cuddly mood around, twice the toothless smiles when they see your face, stylish outfits in both blues and pinks, and coos in stereo.

Plus you get eerie moments that you don’t get with a singleton. Take a few minutes ago, the babies were stretching out on the ground and making various baby noises while I was logging into this blog. All of the sudden I noticed it had gone quiet. I looked down and saw that both babies had twisted around and were staring at me silently. Two sets of eyes watching me, the distinct feeling that they were plotting, and the uncomfortable realization that I was outnumbered and if anything happened no one would find me until late afternoon.

I get asked often what life with twins is like and I usually just say “chaotic.” Today though, I’m going to give you a little glimpse of what goes on. Here is my Monday, May 3.

4:30 am – Twin noises rise from the crib at the usual feeding time. I grab my double wide nursing pillow and alternately read and doze. Luckily the kids fall right back asleep after eating. Some nights they, and by they I mean Lucy, decide that it’s party time and start giving big wide awake smiles, then protesting angrily when the party is shut down. The angry protests wake up peaceful Rhett who is cranky without his beauty sleep. When this happens, Patrick and I take turns grumbling while trying to get feral children back to sleep. To be fair, Patrick usually bears the bulk of this burden.

7:30-8:30ish am- twins have gotten arms out of their swaddle blankets and are having a boxing match. I bring them into bed and alternately feed and sleep. Patrick gets himself and Finn up, dressed and fed and heads out for work and play. Nadine, patron saint of Melissa Masons, has Finn over to play with her girls on Monday mornings.

9:00 am- twins start to stir after a briefer than normal post-feeding nap. Breakfast trumps shower and I have a quick bowl of cereal while babies stretch out and make sure their vocal chords still work. Satisfied, they begin squirm and yell while I run upstairs to brush teeth and dress. I look at my hair in mirror and sigh. Thank goodness for ponytails. My makeup bag continues to gather dust.

9:30- Angry babies! They both want to be held and are cranky about not having longer morning sleep. Me too.  I debate throwing them in the stroller for a walk but with the mathematics of ideal feeding, napping, to-dos, and keeping my sanity, I chicken out.

10:00 am- I feed Rhett while Lucy gives me the stink-eye. Switch. Rhett prefers to voice his anger loudly. Internal debate on whether it would be possible to hit the grocery store. Do we really need food? What are the odds of these kids sleeping through it? Can I make it there and back before Finn gets home? I get children dressed, then decide not to go. Then change my mind and put them in car seats, then chicken out again. I leave them in their car seats, hoping they’ll drift off to sleep.

11:00- twinners still awake. Might as well go. The ride will likely knock them out. Run around grabbing gear and grocery list, loading babies in car, looking down to double check that I’m fully dressed.

11:30- arrive at store, both kids wide awake. Stare at them and debate getting back in the car and going home. Terrified of them throwing fits in the store. They smile  angelically so I wrap Rhett up against my chest in the soft bay carrier I made (and love!) and put Lucy’s carseat in a shopping cart and head in. This may work.

11:32-  Rhett screaming, bright red face, rejecting pacifier. Sympathetic looks as I put the bananas and strawberries back and steer the cart to the exit. The frantic motion lulls Rhett to sleep and by the time I reach the doors, he’s passed out against my chest. Sigh of relief. Pick the bananas and strawberries back up.

11:45- Lucy screaming, purple face, will not be consoled. What to do? Have too many items in cart to put back. Head towards the checkout and get in line while waving pacifier in Lucy’s face. Finally she calms down long enough to take it and starts falling asleep. I finish the rest of my shopping, which isn’t easy when every two steps someone stops me and says “oh, you have two there!” To which I reply brilliantly “yep.” Then invariably, “you must have your hands full.” I laugh and nod and move on.

12:30 – I’m rushing home hoping to get there before Nadine drops Finn off. I took a detour and picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch because 1) I deserve it, and 2) I can sense that this may be a no lunch day. I get home and put away the cold things while twins scream. Finn gets home and demands my fries. I hoard one or two for myself and then hand them over. Sometimes its just easier to give in to his demands.

1:00- Finn is yelling for more fries, Rhett is nursing, and Lucy is screaming because she’s being neglected. Rhett gets a quick burp, Lucy’s turn, Finn scampers off to play on the computer while I’m unable to stop him.

1:20- I lay the babies down on their blanket and take Finn up for his nap. He hugs me close and babbles about his bunny and his red shirt. We cuddle for a few minutes and then he points to his crib. I put him in, he holds his bunnies up for me to kiss, then snuggles into his pillow. I eat my nuggets on the floor while checking e-mail and waving rattles for the babies to watch. I have become an amazing multitasker.

2:00 pm- Both babies are starting to get fidgety and high-pitched so I wrap them each up and put them down for naps. Lucy falls asleep immediately but Rhett always takes a little longer so I rock him while writing this blog. After a little while he finally gives in and goes to sleep. I return a few phone calls, clean up Finn’s mess, check headlines on the New York Times and then decide to try and get a nap before Rhett stirs. He naps like Finn did as a baby- for only about 30 minutes.

2:50ish- Rhett’s eyes pop open and he starts cooing. When I look up from where I’ve been trying to fall asleep on the couch, he gives me a wide toothless grin.

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2 Responses to “A Day in the Life, part 1.”

  1. Liz May 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    And… at 2:51… you all collapse from exhaustion? And Patrick comes home, cooks dinner, cleans the entire house, and then changes out of his Superman outfit and goes to sleep?

    I know you just ‘do it,’ but dude, I don’t know how you ‘do it’… while keeping a smile on your face, at least in public and/or when people ask you how you’re doing.

    The fact that nobody has called the cops because you were found in a sobbing, incoherent state in some corner of Wal-mart at a 2:30am makes you my hero.

  2. Melissa May 6, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    I guess I forgot to post my 2:30 am entry:

    2:30 a.m. – was found in a sobbing, incoherent state in Walmart; cops called.

    There it is, the ugly truth.

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