Caroline and Edward are sick and it has been a crummy week. It's all so illogical. If babies are going to insist upon both breathing and eating then they should either have greatly increased nasal capacity or possess a backup system that defaults to cutaneous respiration as needed. I have spent four (five now; no six... this post should be better considering how long I have spent writing it) very long nights trundling back and forth between Caroline and Edward's rooms degunking their faces, slurping out their noses, patiently negotiating the one tiny swallow-detach-gasp-gasp-gasp-attach-tiny swallow at a time... and all they can do is bitch at me. In Edward's fantasy world I would recline at a perfectly still 87 degree angle while he slept on my chest, rousing every so often to do something disgusting in my hair. For Caroline the perfect snot-filled night would involve sleeping in my arms with her face smashed into my left breast and I would not move a muscle. I yawned last night while she dozed in her preferred position and she snapped her eyes open and gave me the most furious of looks. How DARE I yawn - I now know what it is like to live through the instant before "Off with her head" is uttered. There is something imperious about young Caroline. I hope she winds up being clever enough to make a lot of money because she will need to pay people handsomely if she expects them to let her work off all that excess personality in their direction. I mean, anybody besides Patrick Edward Steve and me. We're all goofy about her. Edward follows her everywhere and Patrick carries her around saying "I love you! I love you!" all the time.
But back to the lazar house. Under normal circumstances both babies lose their minds like vapid groupies whenever Steve walks into a room. Caroline in particular has perfected this bouncy twiggle thing that draws Steve like a beacon. I am quite certain that laundry basket pirates is merely the tip of the iceberg and we will one day find Steve in a tutu and fairy-wings while Caroline dictates, "No daddy, the dance of the daisies goes like this." So you would think that either baby would be happy - nay, refreshed - to see Steve's face in the middle of the night. But no. I would have baby one and Steve would zombie upstairs to assist newly awake and crying baby two, only to have the cries increase in volume with his presence. They wanted their mommy and they were willing to accept to no substitutes. Which brings up a question that I been asking myself since we first realized we were having twins: what do you do when you have two babies and both of them need you at the exact same instant? It always seemed like that must absolutely suck.
The answer is there is no answer. It does suck. It is terrible. I sat in the dark waiting for Edward to finish his bottle and I listened to Caroline grow increasingly frantic in the next room. I walked Caroline around as she fell into a deep enough sleep that I could put her back in her crib and I heard Edward crying as if his heart would break.
So that's the downside of concurrent babyhood. Sometimes you have to wait your turn and sometimes the waiting is harder than others.
Fortunately they are both feeling better today. Still snotty but less miserable. Edward is taking a nap right now, Caroline has woken up from hers and is doing everything she can to get at the laptop again. She's one of those button-obsessed babies; phones, laptops, remotes... she loves them all. I learned this the hard way (also just how far she can reach and pull on her tiptoes):
Here's a hint. Even if the baby is having one of those Awwwww, she thinks she's people! moments - do not leave a spitty child with your laptop while you go to get the camera. You will regret it if you do.
- This is another rambling multi-day post. Sunday and Steve and Patrick woke me up so they could go to Home Depot for god only knows what. Steve has that look in his eye like he is on the verge on yet another project but I have no fucking idea what it could be. I need to take up a hobby that involves vast amounts of time but is ostensibly for the common good so I can stick Steve with all three children for entire weekends. Then when he complains I will look hurt and say, oh, but this seven-tiered elaborately decorated confection is for the whole family to enjoy. I'm slaving away for us, baby. That'll larn him. Also, cake.
- The problem with two (still and it is Monday) sick babies is that they have been sleeping at odd hours. Edward is napping in little snatches and Caroline is doing so at long stretches but none of these times seem to line up with each other. Under normal circumstances I try to align their sleep schedules by waking Caroline a little after Edward first wakes up and jollying Edward along in the morning so they can both go down for a nap around the same time. This is called "keeping twins on the same schedule" and although I publicly sneered at the notion when they were very little; doing so became both desirable and practical for us around six months. However, I cannot bring myself to wake up a sick child so they have each been doing their own thing this week and they obviously have very different sleep temperaments. Edward woke up at 6 today after getting me up at 11 and 1 and 3 and 5, Caroline slept until 8:30; waking up just as Edward went down for a nap. So I have had at least one baby 24/7 and thus I feel like I have been writing pointless tiny blurbs since the stars were born. I am posting this damned thing today regardless of whether or not it goes anywhere.
- Your comments on synesthesia amused me - what a bunch of freaks you people are. Letters are black as the good Gutenberg intended them to be. Black I say. Numbers too. I just sat here feeling righteously purinatnical in my non-synesthetic way which reminded me of Cotton Mather and then Nathaniel Hawthorne which lead of course straight to The Scarlet Letter. The scarlet letter A. Someone noted in the comments that most synesthetes who experience letters in color describe the letter A as being red, like Patrick does. Coincidence? I am more convinced than ever that you extra-sensory types are nothing but trouble.
- My friend Noelle came over the other day and was hanging out with us in baby jail. She asked Edward if he wanted to do something in that squeaky rhetorical voice people use with babies. He stared at her and then very solemnly shook his head "no". We died.
I am not sure if I have posted this picture of Edward before or not:
It nicely captures his sincerity. I want to buy insurance from him, or elect him to office.
- Oh what the hell, I have never figured out how to work this into a post. Since nothing is working together anyway I might as well... Lord of the Rings. The movies. Have you seen them? More than once? More than four times? If yes then this question is for you, otherwise start contemplating knee-high boots on short-legged women and I'll get to you in a second.
Steve and I made a tradition out of watching (and then re-watching) the entire extended Lord of the Rings around the end of every year, culminating in the Return of the King on New Year's. Since last New Year's Eve was celebrated with Steve Patrick and me going to Outback near the hospital at five in the afternoon before I returned to watch the isolettes where Caroline was fattening and Edward was de-yellowing [note: I still remember that night fondly. the nicu nurse asked if I wanted her to give them both a bottle for the three am feeding and I slept for six uninterrupted hours. it was the last time I have done so] we missed it. It then took us about nine months to feel inspired so it was only last week that we watched it again - drinking red wine, fast-forwarding 98% of Frodo's slow and increasingly pale march to Mordor, cheering when the beacons of Gondor are lit, and saying what the hell when Theodin congratulates Eowyn on choosing Aragorn. Are you familiar with the scene? After the Battle of Helmsdeep the Viking-types throw a Viking-type party. Eowyn offers Aragorn some wine (or mead - I'd offer Viggo a drink of whatever he fancied myself.) They exchange a significant look. Then Theodin wanders over and says to Eowyn something like, this is your night and you've made a fine choice. The fine choice being Aragorn.
Every time Steve and I wonder if we have missed something. Is there a tacit betrothal? It bugs us and I have been meaning to ask the internet. So I'm asking.
- Edward just pulled himself to standing for the very first time. He is ENORMOUSLY pleased. We need to lower his crib another notch. He is my only child with a normal head circumference (Patrick was in the tenth percentile at birth, Caroline was like a golf ball) and I worry that that his comparatively oversized melon will flip him right over the bars now that he is upright.
- I bought a Fall skirt that I am in love with. It is composed of strips of different silk prints, cut like a school kilt and it falls just to the knee. I say that it is a Fall skirt because it is in autumnal colors but from a practical standpoint it could only be worn alone in tropical climates where Fall is a concept more than a season. I will freeze in this if I wore it without tights. And by "tights" I mean something knit, not pantyhose like you Brits infer (see also the hood of the car and zucchini and mailmen who deliver things from trucks.) Which begs the question: is there any other shoe type that a 5' 4" woman with short legs can wear with a knee length skirt and tights beside boots? I feel like a Lego person in boots because they come so high on my body it is like I am all legs and torso. Or at least that is how it feels, maybe I am more stylish than I know. So two-part question: what else can one wear with tights and do you know of any good petite tights out there? I find that small pantyhose just bunches up at the crotch.
- This has become like a jigsaw puzzle on a table in the corner. Every time I walk by I add a piece. Enough. I'll strive for arc the next time. Patrick has a friend coming home with him after school so I need to make brownies.