Just SAY It Already

I’m going to follow a bit of advice I read recently, and just jump in and tell the stories I have to tell. No need for excuses or introductions or whatever, but for posterity’s sake, when I look back at this blog and wonder about the paltry posting for this and several prior months, I really only need to remember this: mobile twins. Papa being gone and raging sinus icky and exhaustion come into play, too, but really, the reason for such light posting is having two children who are really excited about exploring their environment…

In one week, we leave to take a three-day road trip to go to Texas for a month. And while I lost my mind about our trip to Germany two years ago (same time frame, only -obviously- sans babies), for some reason, I’m feeling incredibly laid back about this whole thing. Have the “Tra-La-La“s come back to find me? Am I just crazy? Or has the zo.loft finally kicked in? Who knows? All I know is that my lack of concern over planning for this trip has my Twin-Mama-Senses tingling like mad. Worried over not being worried? Sounds just crazy enough for me.

But seriously, I’ve read/heard other twin mamas talking about this phenomena, but somewhere along the line, most twin mamas become some of the most hyper-organized women in the world. And other mamas comment on this, speak of it in hushed, awed tones (or the ever-popular, “gee I just don’t know how you do it!”). But here. Let me answer that for you. Here is how I do it– by being incredibly fucking organized. I didn’t try to become this way. It just sort of happened. Somewhere, sometime when you are about to head out the door with your two little love-bundles, the twin mama kicks in, and you think: Do I have enough diapers? Do I have formula/a nursing cover/food? Do I have a change of clothes for everyone? Blankets/hats, if needed? Sunscreen? Toys and books? Do I have my keys and sunglasses, my wallet, my cell phone?

Because all it takes is ONE time forgetting any of your essential items, and you will never, ever leave the house without thinking of it again. And while this happens with some parents of singletons, I really think that the brain is trained to remember things directly proportionate to the amount of hassle it will cause you to forget stuff. And if you aren’t a twin mama, then you will simply have to imagine how hard it is to get out of the house with two babies, much less to have to turn around and unpack everyone and carry them back into the house, and then back to the car, all so you could go back in for that item you forgot (because 90% of the time, at least here in NC, it’s too cold or too hot to leave the babies in the car for long enough to go back inside and rummage through the mess your curious babies have made to find that slip of paper with the directions on it, etc.). It just becomes second nature, an unconscious list-checking of sorts– do I have what I need to keep my day from falling into complete chaos?

I am still uptight about being on time, though I admit having become a little looser on that front when I know that I’m meeting other mamas, because I know they will understand and/or be running late themselves. However, I have to say that certain ethical dilemmas/behavioral quandaries that would have previously been clearly answerable in a very certain direction have definitely changed since having twins. As a four year old, I once broke down in tears upon discovering that I had walked out of a pharmacy (one we went to all. the. time, that shared a wall with my mom’s office, that she visited daily to get sodas, etc.) with a magazine that we hadn’t yet paid for, a magazine that I always got when we filled a prescription there, that the pharmacist saw me take, that the pharmacist knew we would be back to pay for in 30 minutes when my prescription was ready. Inconsolable sobs, because stealing is NOT okay. I am still probably more uptight about not stealing (in any way) than I am about being on time.

But a few weeks ago, when I was loading the boys into the car after a trip to the grocery, and I discovered a lemon rolling around in the basket under the stroller, a lemon that was critical to that evening’s meal, I admit to tossing it into one of the grocery bags, promising to pay for one the next time I went to that store. Because I did not have it in me to unload the boys, restrap them in the stroller, roll back in to the store, wait in line, pay for the lemon, roll back to the car, re-unload the boys, wrestle with Jack a second time to get him strapped into the car seat, re-fold and stow the incredibly heavy double-stroller, etc., just for this lemon. And I can promise you that pre-twins, that would have horrified me. It’s simply something that falls so far outside my personal ethical bounds that it still bothers me (especially since I haven’t been back to that particular store in some time and thus have still not paid for that stupid lemon…). Stealing is stealing, even if it’s unintentional, and it’s just not okay to me to do it.

But enough of that. My point was to explain to people who want to know how twin mamas do it: We do it by working our asses off, and by making sure that we do whatever we can, each in our own way, to make our job easier. You offer to come over and help with my garden? Hell, yes, I’m taking you up on that offer. Want to have us over for a play-date? YES, we’ll be there, and if you try to schedule it during nap time, I’ll tell you so and ask to reschedule. You want to bring me dinner? YOU BET. Don’t you DARE jokingly offer to babysit, because I will be crushed when you don’t actually do it. Oh, and you wonder how I seem so calm all the time? Because I’m prepared for EVERYTHING, because to not be prepared would spell certain disaster. And with twins, it would be disaster times two. So. There you have it.

It’s like I’m not worried about traveling, because I know that my brain simply will not let me forget anything critical, even if I end up packing somewhat last minute. And I also know that there are plenty of Targets along every major freeway between here and Texas, and if I can’t get what I need at Target, I probably don’t need it that badly! We seriously need to clean the car out before we leave, and we need to put in the cling-film sunshades on the rear window and try the little mirror doo-dads we got for better baby visibility, but to be honest, it’s not those sort of details that I’m feeling stress about. The only thing I’m truly feeling some ishy-ness over is how the boys will handle being in the car for so long. And the only way to find that out is to just head out and hit the road for seven hours or so. Here’s hoping they end up as relaxed (hahaha) as I am over this whole thing.

In other news, I think the whole world is knocked up except for me. Not really, but so many wonderful people in my Reader are due any day now or have just discovered a pregnancy. And I’m so thrilled for all of them, but all it serves right now is to remind me that we’re not necessarily done with discussions re. planning our own family. We still aren’t even sure that there will be another effort mounted to add to the family, or that if efforts are undertaken, that they will be successful. There’s just so much, timing-wise, that has to be thought through. It reminds me that we aren’t, and thanks to my clever tubal ligation, never will be, “normal” as these things go. Because IVF (or in our case, FET) is such a scheduled thing, it simply does not make sense to not take scheduling into account. And things are busy for the next couple of years while H works toward tenure. But, I suppose if we want to give this another go, we’ll simply find a way around any of these obstacles, right?

Anyhow, as the squawks from the next room indicate, my blogging time for today is over. What about you? Anything exciting happening in your world?

Oh, and for those that hung on long enough, here are a few pictures:

We Are Eleven Months!
ELEVEN months! Can you believe it??

Henry and The Lens Cap
My sweet blue-eyed boy, my Henny-baby

Jack and The Lens Cap
Jack, the Ever-Curious

Henny and Bear
Henry eyes the bear suspiciously…

Jack On The Fort
My little goat, the Jack-baba

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8 Responses to Just SAY It Already

  1. Tara (TIMO) says:

    First, adorable! You certainly have your hands full. Please share, where did you get the rompers? I’ve promised myself no new clothing they have way too much, but I must have those. Blue & Green. Stripes. Collars. Everything I love in little boys clothing.

    Second, I totally agree on the organized thing. A million-times yes. We’re barely back home before the diaper bag is restocked and ready to go. I need a checklist (you’ve seen it) because I lost all short-term memory since having my boys. And you are right, there are stores in Texas.

    Third, don’t worry about the lemon. I had a similar experience only I was overcharged. The following shopping trip they undercharged us but the exact same amount. Karma will work out in the end.

    Fourth, have a fun and safe trip. Drive carefully. Take lots of pictures. Happy First Birthday Jack & Henry. And Good Job Kate & H.

  2. strongblonde says:

    lol. i was going to ask if you have ever seen Tara’s lists!!! I am a little LESS organized now, if you can believe it, but i think that it was necessary to help me roll with the stuff that i can’t control. we used to keep a diaper bag in every car, though. can you imagine? i was stocking two car diaper bags, the stroller diaper bag, and the big diaper bag. it just got to be too much. but i totally agree that twin moms are uber organized.

    i’m super excited for your trip. and i’m excited to hear how it goes. b and i have some time off this summer and we’re not sure what we’re going to do…but i’m nervous to get back in the car and drive forever again. it was just so hard last time. (but can you imagine flying with all of the stuff you’re planning on taking????). i think doing it over 3 days is smart!


    and super cute pics, as always!!

  3. PJ says:

    11 months! Such cuteness!!!
    So, I totally stressed about my girls taking forever to learn how to crawl, but now that they are OHMYGOSH we are on our toes constantly and I am a little thankful for the delay!
    The being prepared thing, it’s just kind of a survival skill – I feel. It’s a lot like teaching, if you’re not prepared they will eat you up and spit you out! And yes, once forgetting something makes you learn quickly. It’s a lot of troubleshooting also.
    I’d totally not go back in to pay for the lemon! Are you kidding!
    So, we have these giant mirrors on the backs of the headrests, which I love. If one is off kilter and I can’t see the babies, I get all annoyed. I’ve been known to pull over to readjust them.
    Our girls don’t travel well. They are ok for a few hours and then they kind of loose it. We stop a bunch, and whoever isn’t driving gets in that 3rd row of our minivan and entertains them. Our 8 hour trip to Cleveland took at least 10. Hopefully your guys are better.
    I was on zo.loft for my post partumness. The doc asked me to stay on it for 6 months, which in retrospect I think was too long. I think I felt TOO relaxed on it. Like, when I came off of it I felt a lot more myself – easier to joke and laugh, more organized perhaps. Just sayin…
    I hope your trip is AWESOME! I’d love to hear what you plan on doing for their 1st birthday, and what kind of new foods, inc. finger foods, you’ve tried.

  4. Sue says:

    Oh my – when did they get so BIG?!!

  5. Rachel says:

    I love your description of your travel plans. I have to say, having done both the super-organized and the super-everything-will-be-fine no matter what we forget mode, I’m pretty sure I am back to alternating between the 2 depending on the day. Some trips everything is neatly packed and I never find myself short a bib or burp cloth. Today I took 2 babies out to the park, which turned into a playdate with a friend, which turned into dinner out … with a burp cloth, cell phone and wallet in hand. Total. Sure, the fusspot went home in nothing but pants, and even those were covered in tomato sauce and the dumpling was stuck in a poopy diaper for an hour (although it didn’t leak like yesterdays thankfully) but everyone survived and they both needed baths anyway …

  6. Candice says:

    Reader for a while, first time commenter. I love the honestly with which you blog. We have 6 month old b/g twins – Jack Henry (knew I had to follow your blog when I first saw you have a Jack & a Henry) & Ellie Suzanne. Your blog has made me realize I am not really as crazy as I sometimes feel while trying to keep up with it all. Your boys are absolutely adorable (which you already knew) and I appreciate what you’re doing for the rest of us (new-ish) twin moms – I’m not even sure you know! I created a blog when I first found out we were doubling the number of kids we had (now 7-yr old girl and almost 11 yr old boy) and have yet to do one.single.post. So…I don’t know how you do it – but I’m glad you do!!

  7. kimbosue says:

    Hello! They are HA-UGE! And uber cute!
    I have mommy brain and I only have 1 kid. I cannot tell you how many times we have made it to the exit of our subdivision and I say, “SHIT!” and he says, “What did you forget this time?”
    Where o’where in Texas shall you be? I’m down here….

  8. Angela says:

    SOSOSO cute! Love the musings on twin mom organization. I don’t know what I’d do without it, and I was never like this before them. Funny how , once in a huge while , when I get out by myself I will forgot my phone wallet, etc in the diaper bag though. I finad myself keeping it packed with extra bottles, formula, water, clothes, bibs, burp cloths etc, so in case we have to get out quick we’re prepared for a few hours away from home. Life with twins is wonderful…… but so full of work no matter what.

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