Friday, August 01, 2008

Twins -- What's it like?

Now, bear with me, I have VERY little experience with being around one infant.

(Background: I'm an only child. I also have a bit of a fear of baby-babies. I've yet to hold my infant nephew ... partly due to the fact that he's always being held by other people. That and to the fact that I'm slightly petrified by the fact that I could accidentally drop. him. on. his. head. AndthenI'dgotoprisoneventhough-
(So it's just safer if I wait for a little while to play with him. Right?)
(It's not that he's not cute. He is cute! I assure you! I'm not avoiding him because of his looks! Pinkie swears!)

BACKPEDALING to the topic at hand, though ... So, be aware that I don't know much about babies. Besides my own. And the COPIOUS amounts of research I did while terrified and nauseous incubating my litter.

From another mother of twins (one who had a set of twins, then two singletons <-- That's twin-mom-speak for "just one baby at a time, like the sane parents do), I was given this wisdom
Twins are harder in the infant stage. [You have to change diapers, feed/nurse, go sleep-deprived, etc., twice as much.] Once they're old enough to play with each other, it's so much easier than having just one. You actually get some free time.

And, really, it's true. I send my kidlets off to chase/tickle/play with each other... so that I have time to neglect them remember that I'm an individual first ... and read or blog or paint my toenails or take a shower or remember to EAT or the like.

When Bruise and Bucket were just wee little things, straight out of the birth canal ... Yes, I was TIRED. I remember feeling like I was sleepwalking through my life there for a while. I would be in a conversation with someone ... and I would be talking and talking ... and I'd lose myself for a minute ... and then I'd realize that I was STILL TALKING. And I could only HOPE that I made sense the whole time.

And that whole BS (that's butterscotch, of COURSE!) of "Nap while your baby's napping" ... That does NOT WORK when you have twins (or probably when you have more than one child). Because even when BOTH children would be asleep at the same time, I'd be too wired with the adrenaline of "Oh-Em-GEE-I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-
that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep for a nap. And the few times when I ALMOST managed it, I'd get a phone call. Usually for voting or for charity. (So don't feel bad it you called me during the time that I had infants. I probably wasn't quite napping. And I'm sure that I made no more sense than I would have if I HAD managed to fall asleep.)
So, yeah, I started to take advantage of their naptimes for things like SHOWERING (which explains my habit of being in my jim-jams until around, oh 2 in the afternoon sometimes nowadays) or READING or (on occasion) playing a video game or EATING (since I don't have to share what they don't see me eat. Mwha ha ha!).

Now, I will say that sometimes I think it would be easier to just have one child to work with at a time. But, truly, I am grateful that I have my little tag-team. I was an only child. Bruise and Bucket never had to feel that the other usurped his/her position. They have an instant bestest-buddy. They have LOTS of experience sharing and realizing that the world doesn't always revolve around him/her.

Sometimes, though, I would worry that I may let somethings slip through the cracks. Like how I was a little worried about Bruise's knowledge about colors. Bucket's really a crackshot about knowing (and saying) her colors. Enough so that she usually doesn't let Bruise have a turn at showing us his knowledge.

Overall, my kiddos aren't TOO clingy. Bucket's got a bit of a tendency to want to be held and coddled more as Bruise runs out to play with more people.

I do feel that I raise my voice FAR too much. But my friends tell me that I'm a good mom. (And I appreciate the flattery. Now, just pet my hair and I'll make you some baked goods in return. ^_^) I do try to let my kidlets know that I love them both so very much.

Another kinda-funny thing resulting in my overall inexperience with small children (I mean, yeah, I baby-sat when I was younger ... but I still barely knew what I was doing. I was probably more fun that way. ^_^) is that I can parent more as a sister-type than a mom-mom. I usually am not hovering or overly-protective. (I usually don't leave them alone a lot ... but that's more of a not-getting-a-babysitter-thing, really).

Example: I toss those big play-balls at Bruise and Bucket's heads. They think it's a riot. And, hey, I get to let off some steam, right? (I do it GENTLY, don't freak out.)
And, besides, I'm doing them a favor. They won't be like me -- freaking out when playing sports and a ball comes flying toward their faces.

And, really ... I worry about strange things. I do have to know that they'll grow a little apart. Especially around the time they hit puberty. They won't have all the common ground they have now. That makes me sad. I also feel like they're just on loan to me. I love them to death ... but I know that either one could be taken from me without a moment's notice. And I try not to get freaked out by that. (But, oh, it ticked me off to no degree about that happenstance in HP7, if you know what I mean.)

But, really, having twins can be superfun. Except for the preeclampsia and being absolutely GINORMOUS, it was really fun being pregnant with twins. Especially once they started moving. It was almost like having a mosh pit in your uterus. Good times. (And hey, you got a good hint of your children's dynamics before they ever made their appearance in the world. You could rather tell who'd be the instigator. ^_^)

There are the sweet, sweet moments that you wouldn't get with just one baby -- like the first day I was left on my own to be a mom. I woke up to no crying. I wondered to myself, "I wonder if anyone's awake. Maybe one of the kidlets is hungry?" And I padded over to their room to check. Bruise and Bucket were lying in their crib, snuggled together ... and she was sucking on his ear.

And with only having one child at a time, you don't have to learn how to tandem-feed, let alone how to tandem-feed without flashing your family at get-togethers. ^_^ Of course, you're not instantly outnumbered, either.

Still, you don't have to worry about spoiling one child too much. That your child will be lonely.

There will be times when you want to tear your hair out. Heck! There will be time when you want to tear THEIR hair out. There will be times when you say to yourself, "So THAT'S why hamsters eat their young." There will be times when you'll give yourself time-outs. There will be times when your twins will hit, kick, bite, pinch each other.
But there will be the times that you're given sweet, sweet kisses and hugs in tandem. The times when one will say to you, "We friends. Mommy, Bruise-y, Bucket all too friends." There will be the times when you walk into their room to check on them ... and they'll be snuggled together in a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor. Or the times when one is hurt/crying and the other will, unasked, walked over and give his/her sibling a hug and a kiss. Or the tickle fights. Or the snuggling as we watch a movie.

But, yeah, twins are sometimes a real challenge. But they are also really fun, too.
Expensive, but fun.

If there are any questions about twins (especially MINE), post in the comments. I can write a follow-up to this if you need more answers. ^_^

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