For another day. The contract was signed in May.
Don’t get the wrong impression! I genuinely love being home with my girls and feel blessed to be able to do so. I don’t think I would trade it for the world. But the reality of caring for twins, with no help, every day, can bring frequent and, honestly, dire occasions.
Countless days are filled with unbounded elation and pride, taking them to the park, guiding and watching as they learn, grow, and interact together; but, others offer the same level of exhaustion and desperation; picking up perpetually dropped food on the floor, pleading with them to stop brushing the walls with the toilet brush, dropping objects in the radiators, pulling diapers out of the diaper genie, and fighting, pushing, and biting each other.
Hearing other moms of “singletons” (a word I never heard before having twins) talk about heading uptown, or to Brooklyn, for some cool new mommy/baby yoga class or exhibition can be isolating, when, at least at this age, taking the twins out of the neighborhood, alone, is the equivalent of trying to commandeer a cruise ship through the Holland Tunnel.
The qualities that make my girls extremely mischievous and endearing, also make them arduous. When other kids are sitting nicely in their high-chairs, mine are usually standing and jumping up and down in the seat shouting “O-U-T!” While everyone else’s kids are sitting quietly in their stroller, my girls insist on standing and leaning dangerously over the tops, nearly grazing the sidewalk, taking all of my strength to keep our tandem double stroller from toppling over on my way to the supermarket.
And, the horrified stares and comments, from random strangers, can take their toll. “Do you see that they are not strapped in – that looks dangerous,” I often hear as my girls are blatantly jumping up and down in the stroller, trying to push each-other over; leaving me no room for denial. “It’s not nearly as dangerous as Maxine opening the car door on the Long Island Expressway while we were driving 65 mph, or when she opened the car door right as I was entering the Midtown Tunnel, at night, in the pouring rain, with no place to pull over. . . you should have been there for that,” I want to say. Usually when all of this is going on, I am carrying some chewed up cheese or granola bar that Laurel has just spit out, in my hands, and only trying to keep us all moving until I can reach the nearest garbage pail.
In truth, I have tried EVERYTHING to keep them nicely seated, but these girls can bust out of a five-point harness quicker than Houdini. So, a few months ago, I enrolled them in a great drop-off Pre-Pre K program, close to home, two days a week. I miss them so much during this time, but I know they are socializing with other kids, doing all sorts of super messy art projects, and having fun. Despite their mild protests on Monday and Wednesday mornings, I gleefully push them along explaining that in a short time mommy will be back to pick them up to go scooting or the park. But, before I know it, I’m often interrupted, “Ma’am, do you see she is dragging her shoes on the ground from the front of the stroller,” and I’ll look down, knowing that, in a few short minutes I will, actually, be stroller free for a while.
Lady, “This is how we roll.”