I told my mother this morning that I am beginning to believe that everyone should be lucky enough to have a twin. She paused and then said, "Do you think you would have liked having a twin?"
I said, "Oh god no, not ME. How awful. Another person around all the time wanting stuff from me and just... being there? No way."
Mom said, "And Patrick? Two Patricks?"
I said, "Unfathomable."
"Well, ok, but I still think other people should be twins, I mean. People like... like Caroline. And Edward. I think Caroline and Edward are great as twins."
HOW CUTE ARE THEY?
Look at them here on the first day of preschool. Edward all smiling and confident because he knows his superbestfriend will be with him and Caroline not trying to start the car without me. They... complete them.
The first day was Monday and drop-off went better than I had expected. Caroline flew around the room and started embracing children she remembered from last year (who instinctively flung their arms up in defense)
[Caroline is a bit of an air-kisser, if you know what I mean. A little showy in her meetings and greetings. I just watched her offer her hand to her tumbling teacher at the beginning of her second class as she gushed, "It's so nice to see you again." Her teacher had that, oh, one of these kids look on her face.
Something that still makes me laugh months later was the time when Caroline's beloved friend Lucy came to visit. As Lucy walked through the front door Caroline enveloped her in a strangulating hug, saying, "Oh LUCY! I love you! I missed you so MUCH!"
Lucy tactfully tried to extricate herself from Caroline's tentacles, while her mother prompted, "Lucy? What do you say?"
"Um, hello?" said Lucy]
So Caroline Paris Hilton'd her way around the classroom and Edward beelined to the cars and they both seemed ok with the fact that they were there and I was leaving. So I left.
Done and done.
Caroline has officially moved into Edward's room by the way. I gave it three solid weeks of sleepover status and then we set up the air mattress in her room (just in case we have to do a last minute switch) and moved her bed frame into his. They tend to stay up a little later and last night they woke up and had a wild rumpus at four am but - and this is the key part - the late nights and the middle of the nights no longer require my personal attendance. Where they used to bellow for me or show up on my pillow they seem content to keep me out of it. What happens in Edward's room stays in Edward's room.
I was sort of hoping that Edward's steady common sense and well developed self-preservation instinct might prevent her from engaging in some of her more untoward bedtime excesses but this has been met with only marginal success. Granted it is impossible to say what he has prevented her from doing but three days ago she came down to breakfast with burned lips.
At first I couldn't figure out what had happened. She was fine when I tucked her in but by morning she looked like she had contracted leprosy.
"What happened to your lips, Caroline?"
"Oh," she said, "I burned them on a lightbulb."
"Burned them. On a lightbulb."
"What? Really? WHAT? Why? WHY?"
"Uh-huh. In Edward's room."
I turned to Edward and he said yes, she had, she had burned her yips and he added that he had told her it was hot.
"And it was!" she cheerfully confirmed.
Someday, somewhere, somehow I am absolutely convinced that she will get a tattoo. And it is possible it will say
PS I am now obsessed with car spotting in parking lots. It seemed incredible to me that basically, like, all of you own a Mazda 5 and yet I was unsure if I had ever actually seen one. Today when I took Caroline and Edward to a swimming lesson* I got all excited because I realized I was parked next to one. I have to tell you, people, that is one clever looking little car. It's a minivan, right, but it's all compact. Like short and... short but sort of ninja. I've added it to our list. I have also considered your views on hybrids and crossed them off, alas. Minnesota just doesn't seem like quite the right latitude but should circumstances change and I find myself living alone in Buenos Aires I am totally buying a Smartcar.
Ha! That reminds me of two things. The first is that (I believe) Consumer Reports said that the Smartcar was the worst car they had ever driven, ever. The second is that a dear friend of mine works for a Mercedes dealership and Mercedes has the honor of selling Smartcars. A year or two ago they were selling so poorly in his area that he joked they were thinking about offering a Buy One Mercedes Get One Smartcar FREE promotion. He suggested that people could use the Smartcars like dinghys, parking their E-Class in the road and then shuttling to the curb in their Smartcars.
Whatever. I think they're cute as hell.
Where was I?
Oh right. Coveting cars and eyeing the ones you suggested. Right now my heart is with the diesel Volkswagens. I saw a Passat wagon tonight as I was driving home from tumbling and I admired its clean lines as I tried to remember what you had said about fuel efficiency. Then I laughed aloud because I noticed her Wisconsin vanity plate said EZONGAS. Thank you, license plate!
* Swimming lessons. Oh god. You might recall that I signed Caroline and Edward up for swimming lessons last Spring and they were awful. So awful that the teacher recommended that for the following session they sign up for the one below that which they had just finished. Basically they flunked Pike. Flunkies. Two of 'em. Patrick - as we know - took five years a while to set the aquanautical world afire but even he was never demoted.
Rather than try to put them in a Mommy and Me class (Mommy and Me and Me?) I opted to drop the lesson thing for the summer. They swam with floaties and enjoyed the water and now that they are a mature three and three-quarters I thought we were ready to try lessons again.
Today I sat poolside and watched their first class. For the first thirty seconds everything was fine. Then Caroline decided to hell with all the waiting and listening and dove into the pool. She was hauled out and tried, really tried, for at least three minutes to be still. But then a ball fell into the water and it started to float away and the teacher was busy with another kid so... what could she do? She jumped in again and thrashed after the ball. The two other little boys in the class looked at her in polite incredulity and Edward stared into space and the mom sitting next to me said, "She's not afraid of the water, is she?"
The class dragged on. The teacher tried to get Caroline to practice little kicks so Caroline attempted the breaststroke. She urged Caroline to dip her face and blow some bubbles so Caroline dove to the bottom. When it was her turn with the ball she was supposed to toss it gently into the zero depth area, instead she turned 90 degrees and threw it as hard as she could into the deeper end. Then she shouted, "Let's go!" jumped in after it and started paddling away as fast as her yellow chest floaties would allow. The lifeguard had to go get her again.
It's embarrassing to be the parent of the class looney. I went out to talk to her a couple of times and she had to sit with me once but I felt like this could be just the tip of the iceberg and for all the onlookers knew she regularly eats brown sugar out of the box for breakfast. Then I consoled myself with the fact that I have twins. See, I said to myself, look at Edward. Sure Caroline is a merdevil but look at Edward just sitting there. Obviously it is not my fault. Two kids, identical upbringings. One sits and listens, one thinks she should be teaching the water aerobics class.
Then I noticed that Edward was no longer on the edge. He had slipped into the pool, crawled into the shallowest water, flipped himself on his back and was lying there doing dreamy snow angels. The lifeguard went to get him.
I slunk lower on my bench.