The twins seem to wake up just at the same time as J. This is also just about the same moment when Josh is heading out the door (H is already off on the bus), so most mornings are Mommy vs. All the Boys. As I shuttle twins between their room and mine, changing diapers and getting them ready for their breakfast, I can hear J start talking to himself and rolling around in his crib. J cannot be trusted to eat breakfast by himself, so he gets to wait in his crib while the twins eat. Thankfully, he’s kind of slow at waking up and rather likes having time to himself in his crib.
The twins are impatient, as all babes are, to get to breakfast, and waiting their turn while brother is getting changed or even latched, causes tears. I can’t tell you how many times the one is trying to latch himself on my boob or arm or stomach, while I’m getting the other latched. Once the three of us are settled, everything is fine. Tandem nursing has turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. It helps tremendously that before the twins were born I’d already spent 3.5 years nursing babies. It also helped that I got a special twin nursing pillow (made by My Brest Friend). There’s room for both boys and generally I end up with at least one if not two hands free. This morning I got to spend their breakfast looking at wedding proofs of my sweet sister-in-law.
This is the giant pillow. (M on the right)
Inevitably at least one twin poops during breakfast. If the other doesn’t follow suit within moments, then he will in the middle of my breakfast later on. After nursing we do another round of diapering and set the twins up in their bouncy chairs in the kitchen. They tolerate those chairs infinitely better than either of our other two, who really didn’t like them. My life is made so much better by how incredibly laid back M and little J are. I can’t stress enough that my sanity is due more to their disposition than my parenting prowess.
While the twins chill in the kitchen, I head down the hall for the big boy. We cuddle and say good morning and change his diaper. Occasionally we even put his pajamas back on. J just learned how to take off his clothes. We are therefore going through an anti-clothing phase. (“At least it’s warmer weather,” she sighs to herself.) Then it’s time to get breakfast for J and myself. If I stay in eyesight then I can usually eat breakfast before the twins start freaking out. By the time we are both done eating, it’s usually been about an hour since the twins woke up, which means they start getting fussy. If I’m lucky, I can get the dishwasher emptied and the breakfast dishes put away before we start the nap dance.
Today Josh had a break in his schedule mid-morning and because the twins needed shots, we picked him up and headed to the clinic. It just so happened that this was during normal nap time. But it was that or no adult helper. Instead of waiting for nap time to shower, today I got to shower with one bouncy chair in the bathroom and the door open so the other twin, just outside the door, could also see in. It’s not my favorite, but my tender heart can’t take the dramatic increase in crying if I stuck them in their cribs, and I was too lazy to wake up early and shower before they woke up. I’ve trained J for years now to play in his crib during my shower, so he’s easy.
After my shower was another round of diapers, car seats, and coaxing J into clothing. It went well because his favorite color-changing Lightning McQueen shirt was clean. Everyone was loaded into the car and off we went to get Josh.
Shots went well; J also wanted to get shots, because somehow it seemed cool. He eventually settled for Cars stickers instead. We all headed out for lunch, where J refused to eat a single bite of the hamburger and fries he requested and both grown ups ended up holding babies while we ate. We dropped Daddy off, J asking, “Where Daddy go?!” and headed home, praying that J wouldn’t fall asleep in the car and ruin the lengthy afternoon nap he usually takes. It’s never fun when he doesn’t nap. The twins did sleep because it’s impossible to keep them awake in the car at this point.
The nap dance began with carting all the boys upstairs because J decided walking was lame. I had to run back down and get J’s leftovers. When I came up J had one hand on each car seat handle and was rocking the twins and shushing them. Have I mentioned that he is the best big brother ever? My heart was appropriately melted. Then I had to harden it and leave the crying twins in their seats to take J back for his nap. He is the easiest child on the planet to put down, thankfully, so a few minutes later I came back out and decided that M was crying more, so he got picked up first. I changed everyone’s diaper, ferried them back to the bedroom, got us all situated, and within minutes they were asleep, happily nursing.
Now here is the thing about twins. I have long been a fan of nursing babies to sleep. It’s easy and kind of wonderful. When there are two of them and they’re up on this great, giant nursing pillow that looks vaguely like a pool inner tube on steroids, it’s nearly impossible for me of the short arms to keep them both asleep while I somehow unlatch them, put one down, pick up the other, remove the pillow, and transport him to his crib. Events were complicated today because little J pooped halfway through lunch. These boys do not like being poopy. If I didn’t change him, he wouldn’t stay asleep long.
So, I nursed them to sleep. They both woke up when I tried to put them down. I changed little J. I picked them both up, cause I’ve gotten good at that, and then paced the room, jiggled, and rocked them until I had them both asleep on me. It is incredibly sweet to have two babies asleep on you. It is also nearly impossible to put them down once you do. Only very rarely are they so tired that when I let one slip down into the nursery chair while I put down brother, the first doesn’t wake back up. This was not that day. So I put M down on the chair and little J in his crib. Then I picked M up and put him to sleep for the third time and finally into his crib.
I wandered out to the kitchen only to realize that in my haste to make it out the door this morning, I hadn’t actually cleaned up from breakfast. The oatmeal was on the counter, the dishes were on the table, and the dishwasher was full. Basically, I live right now in a state of perpetual motion, punctuated by enough moments of calm to keep my sanity. There are always dishes to put away, toys to pick up, diapers to sort, and babies to pick up. I can’t help but ending by sharing the well-known secret of how and why we do it. When those tiny men smile at me, I’d do anything in the world for them. And the same goes for the slightly bigger man and young lady down the hall.