I Went Away With a Girlfriend for Two Nights So I Wouldn’t Crack

I went away with a girlfriend for two nights. My husband insisted. I had been going through a really rough time, due to anxiety problems combined with some truly evil migraine medication side effects combined with potty training. He knew I was about to break. He told me, “You need to call your friend and ask her to go away with you. Right now. If you don’t call her, I will.” She is also a mother of three-year-old twins, so she heard the desperation in my voice text, and scheduled a beach weekend with me right away. Her husband must be as smart as my husband.

In order to make it to my weekend away, I had to sludge through my husband’s six-night business trip first. It was such a huge strain on my body and mind that I could barely even look forward to my beach weekend. I survived, but potty training didn’t.

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I did force my friend to do this with me and she will never forgive me.

When my friend and I told our strength-training instructor that we would be going away to the beach, he got a sparkle in his eye and said something about us “going out” and blah blah. We looked at each other and laughed. Sleep. Lots of sleep. And maybe a couple long walks on the beach. (Oh, and somehow I would force my friend to do one of those old-timey dress up photos with me, but that would be pushing it.) Our trainer, a man with no children, had no idea what we were really looking forward to. Sleeping through the night. Deciding when we wanted to go to the bathroom. Eating a whole meal without witnessing anything gross enough to make us stop eating. Eating a whole meal without getting up. Not having anyone demand anything of us. Not dealing with anyone else’s poop besides our own. Not having anyone ask us 900 questions a day. (Not exaggerating: the average three-year-old asks upward of 400 questions a day. Times two for us. It’s science.)

It was finally time to leave. My kids, ages 6, 3, and 3, are finally old enough to basically say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out” when I leave. A year or two ago, we were still in the cling-to-my-legs stage. Sometimes they seem better off without me. I know that is the anxiety talking, and it’s not really true. But they fight less when they aren’t around me. They potty train properly for my husband. My husband can keep the house in order. Sometimes it seems that I shouldn’t be here. Anyway, I was so emotionally drained by the week of single parenting prior to our departure that I sagged into my friend’s car with not quite as much enthusiasm as I had imagined I would have. I wanted to weep, but more from exhaustion rather than from sorrow at leaving the kids or from joy at leaving the kids.

As the house got further and further behind us, we realized it was so much … easier… to talk to each other without four three-year-olds talking to us at the same time. Wow. Imagine that. We were able to finish thoughts and sentences. Have a real back and forth like normal people. It was so… easy. And not once did I turn around and strain my neck looking into the back seat!

We arrived at our hotel and both of us had to take Benadryl. It’s been so long since we slept through the night that we know we can’t actually sleep through the night anymore. The body is a cruel mistress.

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My first time alone in a hotel room. Age 36.

I had never slept in a hotel room alone before. Since I married at age 22, I can’t remember a time that my parents or my husband weren’t with me in a hotel room. (I did go to college and also studied abroad in Italy, but I always had roommates!) It was weird and scary and intimidating. And yeah, kinda nice.

We did all the usual things that you would expect Mormon moms to do at the beach in the cold springtime: walk around, sleep in, eat at cheap restaurants, look at dolphins, not drink, and maybe make fun of the cheerleading competition that was in town. It wasn’t life-altering. But it was good. Very very good.

I was surprised that I couldn’t make myself call home.

I was also surprised that I never did relax. How many days would it have taken?

I was also surprised that when I came home, I discovered that my kids are the cutest things in the whole world. Those little voices? Those chubby legs? Those giggles? Those fat arms around my neck? Are you kidding me?! Beautiful.

It lasted about an hour. Then they were the same old kids.

I need to go away again.

 

Also, this is a non sequitur, but this sign made me laugh every time I got on the elevator.

Also, this is a non sequitur, but this sign made me laugh every time I got on the elevator.

 

Mom Math

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1 + 2 = fighting

 

You are exhausted and the kids are wild. Subtract the pain of getting them into the car from the total number of wiggles to get out.

A friend reports the pukes at her house. Count backward to the last time you saw them. Devise a theorem to prove you are not in danger.

Your own kids get the pukes. Add up all the things you are going to miss for the next seven days.

Amount of fun at the bounce house divided by the germ potential equals whether or not you go.

Child is teetering off the deck railing. Count the number of steps to reach him and divide it by the milliseconds left until he is in free-fall.

You get a headache. Base your medication choice on how many hours until your husband comes home.

One twin is falling off the slide while one twin is running into the parking lot. Quick! Who is most at risk?

You have ___ minutes until someone cries. List the things that you have to do and then prioritize them. Start with number one. Calculate if you will make it to number two.

Your toddler’s whines are growing into sobs. Calculate number of feet to the nearest exit. Will you make it there before sobs turn into wails?

Two 3-year-olds does not equal one 2-year-old plus one 4-year-old.

It is unseasonably warm outside. Your kids are tired and grouchy. Weigh the importance of exercise versus the importance of nap and decide which has more value. Show your work.

You see your child lick the arm of the chair in the doctor’s waiting room. Devise a hypothesis about your prediction of illness onset.

Your baby just woke up from nap/finished nursing. It is time to leave. How many minutes until a poop blowout?

Your baby just woke up from nap/finished nursing. It is time to leave. How many hours do you have until you have to be back home again?

Children are begging for snacks. Multiply how much they didn’t eat at lunch by the number of minutes until dinner.

Subtract the kids’ bedtime from your bedtime. The total number of hours between their bedtime and your bedtime is The Golden Ratio.

Does your need for Netflix outweigh your need for more sleep? By how much?

One twin is sick. If you infect the other twin on purpose right away, you will only have to miss three days of work instead of five.

Use the Richter Scale to determine how much stress one more child will add to your family.

Subtract your current age from your best guess of your onset of menopause age. Take that number and shove it deep into the bins of baby clothes you refuse to get rid of.

Having Twins is Not the Same as Having Two Children (The Parking Lot Double Tantrum Event of 2015)

A few of my friends have eight or nine kids each. One neighbor, a few houses down, has ten children. Contrary to my expectations, they are the most relaxed mommas I know. My theories are either:

  • those moms were just naturally relaxed people to start, or
  • having that many children forces them to relax and/ or give up.

I want to shadow them for a day. I want to be their apprentice. Be their mother’s helper. I demand that they write a book or a blog so I can get inside their worlds. Do they want to take a sledgehammer to their to-do list at 4:00 PM? Or do they not even have a to-do list?

The word on the street (the SAHM street) is that after four children, it doesn’t get any harder. Apparently, having three to four kids is the most intense, and after that, they begin to take care of themselves and/or each other.

However, twins change the equation entirely (as does having a special needs child). A woman in my circle, who is a mother of eight children, recently cared for a set of three-year-old twins for three days. She had 11 children under her care for a long weekend. Afterward, she said to the twins’ mother, “I don’t know how you do it every day! Twins are completely different.” A mother of EIGHT doesn’t know how WE do it?! Game-changer. It made those twins’ mom (and me, another twin mom) feel completely validated and relieved. Finally, finally, we have some anecdotal evidence that what we do is ridiculously hard and abnormal.

Mom math: Having two three-year olds is not even remotely like having one two-year old and one four-year-old. A mother with two small children that are properly spaced might invite us to a nice adventure. But a twin momma would have a much harder time saying “yes” to the zoo or to the restaurant. The best example I have about how having a twin is different is the Parking Lot Double Tantrum Situation of 2015.

Have you ever seen a twin toddler tantrum in public?

We all have lived through a toddler tantrum in public. We all have had to leave the full cart of groceries behind at some point. But how many of us have lived through a twin toddler tantrum?

See, the thing is, only one twin at a time ever gets mad enough to have a meltdown in public. But that twin causes the other twin to join the meltdown, and thus, the unfairness of motherhood is evident. In the Parking Lot Double Tantrum Situation of 2015, Twin B just decided he didn’t want to ever leave the gym daycare when I came to pick him up. Was he sick? Had something happened? Was he exhausted? Whatever the case was, we had to get out of there.

He screamed on the floor. I tried Nice Mommy, Bribery Mommy, Mean Mommy, and even Batman-Voice Mommy. When all that failed, I heaved his 37 pounds into my skinny arms and dislodged my scoliosis back. He wildly kicked and screamed and writhed in my arms like an angry octopus. And, with my octopus, I run into my (bemused) weight-lifting trainer in the lobby. Now, if you had a singleton, or evenly spaced children, your embarrassment might have ended here. Red-faced, you heave the tantruming child into the minivan and drive away. End of story.

For a twin mom, however, that is not the end of the story. I also had sensitive Twin A trailing along. At first he was mildly concerned, but obediently followed me and his octopus brother into the gym lobby. Twin A’s worry soon turned into whines, and then his whines turned into full-fledged high-decibel wailing. Full-fledged wailing turned into screams with words: “PUT HIM DOWN!!!! STOP HURTING MY BROTHER!!!!!!”

wpid-wp-1438022892485.jpegAs we reached the parking lot, I could no longer manage to contain octopus-limbed Twin B (screaming in my arms), AND drag screaming defensive Twin A by the hand. I had to calculate who was more likely to die by running from me in a parking lot. Mommy math: Twin B was more of a threat. I couldn’t dare put him down. So I let go of Twin A’s hand.

Twin A defiantly crumpled in a heap in the parking lot, all while screaming at the top of his lungs, “STOP HURTING MY BROTHER!!!!” Twin B is still flailing in my arms and screaming.

Forget being embarrassed. At this point, I know I will need a chiropractor visit as a result of this incident.

And yes, they know they are never allowed to do ANY of these things. Usually they are mostly obedient children. However, they are also children. Children who have bad days. Children who get scared for their brother. There is no reasoning with any child in this state. I used my Batman voice to propel Twin A onto his feet and into the van. I heaved Twin B into the van with the last of my back muscles.

Lecture, discipline, more tears, more Mommy Batman Voice, blah blah. Whatever.

What is important here about the Parking Lot Double Tantrum Situation of 2015 is that this was a twin problem. I’m fairly certain that most mothers who have a toddler tantrum in public would have other children who were either older or younger than that toddler. The older child would be able to understand that his brother was having a tantrum and that momma was not hurting him. The child younger than said toddler would be a baby, perhaps too little to worry about what was happening.

Even though I am sincerely in awe of the moms with eight, nine, or ten children, they wouldn’t necessarily have this double tantrum situation to deal with in public.

And, if they do, I really really really need them to write a book or let me be their apprentice. Now.

 

***

 

(Yes, I did go to the chiropractor that night. Twin B owes me a $30 copay.)

Mothering My Child Named “Anxiety”

My anxiety is one of my children. It’s new, so it’s just a baby. Maybe a toddler. I wonder what gender it is? Let’s call it a “she”, because I don’t actually have any girls and I don’t know what they are like. She – my anxiety toddler – is demanding. Selfish. And I don’t like her.

She was dropped on my doorstep. I have no choice but to live with her. Where did she come from? No one knows. She might have been created in pregnancy hormones. she might have been birthed in the operating rooms where I almost died. She might have decided to stay when the demands of “triplets” became too much.

I am learning how to live with her. I am learning what she needs, and what makes her flip out. I am a little ashamed of her, because she is badly behaved and has a black spot on her heart.

I am ashamed that I am ashamed.

She makes me tired and scared at the same time. She confuses me. She is a paradox. She doesn’t want anyone to see her, but she begs for reprieves from others.

She is selfish. So so so very self-absorbed, as most (all) toddlers are, but she doesn’t give any of those cute wet slurpy kisses and fat arms around my neck and warm heavy snuggles into my bony chest to make the selfishness feel worth it. She just takes takes takes. And then, when other people need me, I am too stuck under her weight to physically move.

wp-1456000594353.jpgShe is the reason that just taking my children to the park makes my hands shake. She is the reason that laundry seems like an insurmountable mountain (which sometimes it literally is). She gets hold of my phone and gives it some sort of virus that prevents me from emailing people back. She, like a newborn, keeps me up at night and causes me to pace the floor to rock her back to sleep, and makes me feel exhausted upon waking.

She makes me sweaty and headachy from the adrenaline of chasing her. She overstimulates me so badly, that once the children are in bed, I collapse onto the couch and have to turn my body to face the couch. I block all else out, and just stare at the busted up leather two inches from my face until I can breathe again.

She hides in the shower curtain and jumps out when I’m least expecting to play hide and seek. Worst of all, she steals from my children. She sneaks up on them too. She steals experiences and time and games and imagination from them.

She doesn’t know it, but, as her mother, I am determined to find her best qualities, no matter how hard I have to search. Since no one else will love her, then I have to try even harder.

Against her will, she is teaching me to say “no”. It’s embarrassing at first, but a surge of relief later. I say “no” to chores during nap time. I say “no” to baby showers, even though I love my friends dearly. I say “no” to doing more than one thing in a day. To certain places, certain activities, certain people, and certain responsibilities . And this can be a positive thing. She is teaching me my own limits. She is helping me draw that line between what *I* can do and what *other moms* can do.

She is accidentally teaching me compassion toward others’ “faults”, which may just be their own evil babies dropped on their doorsteps, too. She would hate that she gives me empathy.

She is somehow reminding me how to breathe, count my blessings, pause, and contemplate. Because of her, I am learning to retrain my brain about a few things. She doesn’t like that either.

wp-1456000626204.jpgMost importantly, she has taught me that she is the source of my stress, not the children. It isn’t them who make me hide in the bathroom. It’s their evil sister! This realization is big news in my addled brain.

Anxiety, and not my children, is the source of my stress. 

How long will I have to raise her? When will she be grown enough to leave the nest?

Verbal Twin Fights, Two-Year-Old Edition

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Ah-choo!
No that’s MY AH-CHOO!

I’m a strip mall!
No! I’m a strip mall!

You’re a tator tot.
Momma, I not a tator tot!!! I not!!!!

You’re a darny darn.
I not a darny darn!!!

I saw a garbage truck.
No you didn’t!

That’s a truck.
No, that’s a BIG truck.
That’s a truck.
No, that’s a BIG TRUCK!

I see the moon.
NO you CAN’T!

I want to go outside.
NO I want to go in DRIVEWAY!

You can’t see my monster truck shirt!
YES I DO SEE!!

I like raspberries.
NO YOU CAN’T I LIKE RASPBERRIES!

You’re a Bobby Bob.
I NOT A BLOBBY BLOB. MOMMA!!!

I pooped.
NO I POOPED!!

You’re a bunk bed!
YOU’RE A MICROWAVE!

Geez, kids

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After I finished vacuuming:
“It’s not better. I think you need to do it again.”

When coming inside:
“You need to vacuum more.”

While watching TV:
“I think you better make dinner now.”

While making dinner:
“What’s that SMELL?!?!”

While snuggling:
“What’s on your face?”

While poking my mole:
“What’s THIS?!?!”

While backing up:
“Don’t crash Grammy’s house!”

Also while backing up:
“Don’t crash my cars!”

While accelerating in the car:
“Slow down!”

While turning a corner in the car:
“Hey! You knocked my toy down!”

While driving:
“I saw another policeman.”
Me: “Uh-huh.”
“SAY YES, MOMMA. SAY YES!”

While I am taking a shower and he pulls my shower curtain back for no reason:
“HEY! YOU GOT ME WET!!”

And…

While standing on an elevator with a woman in a veil:
“You Batman?!!”

 

 

I Used to Be Good at So Many Things

And now I’m not.

I was a good caver. I was a good hiker. A voracious reader. I had a huge vocabulary. Took enough Latin that I could figure out most definitions just by the etymology of a word.

I kept a clean house. I was an excellent cook. I made things like Japanese hibachi and biscotti from scratch.

I made plans, like what beautiful thing to frame next and where to put it on the wall that would be oh-so-visually pleasing. I emailed and called people back. I made plans with them too.

Ice Bar, Stockholm

Ice Bar, Stockholm

I traveled. I drove across the country a few times. I lived in Italy. I visited Hawaii, Sweden, Italy again, Mexico (for one day anyway), Finland, and even Australia.

When something broke, I fixed it or replaced it. I bathed my dog. I think I even took her to the vet. I had beautiful flowers and planned which annuals I would plant each year. I grew vegetables in containers on the deck, and then we ate those vegetables. I watered things.

Now broken things sit in a pile on my counter for months. And then more broken things go on top of them. My dog is so filthy that even a two-year-old who can lick a doctor’s waiting room floor will pull away from petting in disgust.

Every flower and every plant dies. I don’t actually buy plants. My mother gives them to me as gifts, prepotted and beautiful, and I still kill them. (Actually, Twin B usually kills them. On purpose.) My houseplants look like skeletons.

I still cook every day, three times a day (because “triplets” do not go to restaurants), but the meal has to be made in under fifteen minutes. Many delicious and healthy things can be made in that time frame, but none of them is red lentil curry. I burn things for the first time in my life. I scorch pans. It’s not my fault. Changing two poops during cooking will throw anyone off.

caving

Can you tell why this maneuver is called “chimneying”?

I haven’t been caving in five years. I itch to get underground again, where no one can find me. I miss hiking – the real kind that takes all day and you have to pee leaning against a tree and you run out of water and you see heaven when you reach the top. I still hike, but it’s the kind with a triple stroller on a paved path, or the kind where you’re carrying twins and a diaper bag and groceries from the car to the house.

I miss reading. Desperately. I still read… Facebook. (Hey, it’s adult interaction, mmmkay?) I also read scary horror articles about how this modern world will poison and screw up my children. I read (quick) recipes and I read Lego instructions. I read IEP evaluations and drafts. Sometimes I even read a (chapter of a) parenting book.

My house still gets cleaned. When a kid spills, I mop. When a kid wets the bed, I change sheets. When a baby poops in the tub, I bust out the disinfectant.

I still plant and water things, if you can accept a cheesy metaphor about how I plant seeds of information and learning in my children’s brains. And then I water their brains.

I still fix things. When a toy four-wheeler accidentally becomes a three-wheeler, I put it back together. When the kids storm the baby gate right off its hinges, I repair it. When my child is sobbing, I hug him. And, when my kid falls off the deck, I call the doctor. I’m a fixer.

I still travel… if you count going Target for diapers (and for that cute dress on clearance that accidentally fell into my cart while three kids cried and whined). When we’re feeling really brave, we venture a whole one hour to the grandparents’ houses. Whew.

I still make plans. I plan to change my sheets and vacuum the steps and empty out the trunk and upload all my photos onto Shutterfly. Soon. Real soon. I do, however, make and follow through on plans every day to go to the park, the gym, and the playground.

I set the bar low, because I’m an Okayest Mom. It’s how I survive. I’m okay (pun intended) with that, but I do ache for my old life sometimes.

Calling people back? Caving? A decent vocabulary? Now those are just gonna have to wait.

***

PS, I was never good at driving a motorcycle. The motorcycle course remains the only class I have ever failed. I have decided I am a passenger in life. I love sitting on the back. That’s okay too.

How Do Moms Ever Keep Makeup On?

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I only wear makeup so people don’t think I have the flu. Or so people will think I have this twin thing down. (Even though I might go all day with mascara on just one eye, if I happened to break up a twin fight mid-mascara.) Too bad all my makeup melts off my face before Mr. Okayest gets home from work. Every.single.day. Why?

The wind was blowing.

I am greasy.

I ate something greasy.

I cried because the kids stressed me out.

I cried because the kids are sick.

Twin A sneezed on my face.

Twin B drooled on my face.

My oldest coughed on my face.

I got sweaty when I chased Twin B in a parking lot.

I got sweaty when I worried about what will happen when my oldest starts kindergarten.

I live in Virginia.

It’s spring and there’s a lot of pollen.

It’s winter and it is snowing.

It’s summer and there’s just so much humidity.

It’s fall and it is raining leaf mold on my face.

I took a nap on the couch.

I decided to play airplane with the kids right after lunch. Whoops.

I had to change my shirt AGAIN because someone snotted/vomited/pooped on it, and the neckhole was too tight.

I got some amazing wet baby kisses.

I’m not sure why I bother. Maybe it’s because I’m blonde, which means I just look… khaki… without any blush. I didn’t resume bothering until the twins were many many months old. I sure saved a lot of money without doing any of that bothering! At this point, I’m just proud of myself for attempting to bother to atttempt.

Kiddie Music? They Prefer Bowie.

guitarThere is no such thing as “kiddie music” in our house. There is only one music, and it’s called MUSIC.

Twice, I took my kids to those free kiddie music “concerts”, where musicians perform kid songs and the kids dance up front. All three cried. Both times.

I guess they prefer David Bowie. Lou Reed. Rolling Stones. Black Keys. Neil Young. Black Sabbath. Led Zeppelin. Loudly. With dance parties and miniature guitars.

The normally extroverted Twin B clung to me with shaky arms as he watched the other kids sing along to “Wheels on the Bus.” My oldest, who has his own toy guitar, could barely stand to look at the guitarist singing about cats. He had a look of disdain on his face, before sobbing that he wanted to go home.

There is no such thing as “kid music” in our house.

Sure, I sing the kid classics to them myself every day, but there is no way in heck you will hear it coming out of my speakers. Momma can sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” but the subwoofer can’t. Won’t.

Montessori schools maintain that you should always teach the children with real objects, like real tools and dishes, only smaller. There should be no baby-fying of everything. Adults in the Montessori world are expected to use proper terminology as well. Objects and vocabulary should not be dumbed down for children.

I take the Montessori thinking and apply it to our music as well: I am not dumbing down music for them. They get classical (from my husband) and rock (from both of us), because that is what we enjoy. (Oh, and plenty of church hymns on Sundays to round us all out. We love Jesus *and* we love rock n’ roll.) There is not a separate world for them. I was raised in this way, only much much louder. My dad didn’t turn it down for my bedtime, and I loved going to sleep with 110 decibel Led Zeppelin.

If you and your kids enjoy kid songs, then more power to ya. All I’m saying is, if you don’t like to hear kid music in the car, then don’t play it. They’ll be fine. Although they might not like free kid concerts.

***

My favorite rock n’ roll from two-year-old twins:

“Hot tramp, I wuv you so!”

“Another one bites the bust!”

And, the best ever is their version of “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways:

“I’m your ch- ch-ch- ch- DAIRY FARM!”

Four-Year-Old Kid Quotes

First I brought you Two-Year-Old Kid Quotes, then Three-Year-Old Kid Quotes, then Three-Year-Old Kid Quotes Part 2 (goodness, put a cork in it already), and lastly, my personal favorite, Momma Quotes. Now it is time to continue the tradition.

wpid-wp-1425383170841.jpeg…Awesome One-liners…

I will fight your foot. I will fight your head. I will FIGHT YOUR PENIS!

Momma, do you have your penis yet?

Momma, you’re making me crazy.

My hair hurts so I can’t go to church.

I’m not hitting them. I’m petting them.

Please, we buy another baby?

I forgot to remember.

I’m hugging you because I want lunch.

After you’re done cleaning the dishes, will you clean this bleed?

I’m not happy. I don’t want to have fun.

We’re holding hands. Like friends!

I’m a naughty man. Because I have a gun.

Daddy, I will catch it to ya! [throw]

Momma, stop talking please. I’m looking at my blankie.

With the windows down in the car:
Momma, you need a haircut because your hair is blowin’ out.

We have to buy a sister.

The policeman said we have to sleep. It’s the rules.

We should go outside. That won’t make us fussier.

Yay! We don’t have diarrhea anymore. Heavenly Father made us better! And bananas made us better!

Daddy, I want a piggybank ride. [piggyback]

This cape helps me be naughtier.

I want to watch Elmo so we can calm down.

…Weird Conversations with Momma…

Me: But there are no more dinosaurs.
R: Where they go?
Me: They all died.
R: They in heaven?
Me: Uhhhhhh…. Yes?
R: THE DINOSAURS EAT GOD?!

Me: Good morning. I love you.
R: No.

Me: Where are you taking baby Jesus?
R: To the Christmas tree farm. Jesus needs a Christmas tree. We are going to look at mountains. Look at mountains like Grammy does. Did you hear me? LIKE GRAMMY DOES!!!!

R: Who gave you two babies?
Me: Heavenly Father
R: Why?
Me: To give you brothers.
R: I don’t want brothers anymore.

Me: You will be fine.
R: I will not be fine.

Me: Don’t jump off that.
R: I’m not jumping. I’m flying like a bird.

Me: Where is your pee-pee? Where did it go?
R: I’m holding it out. [holding it in]

The first time he told me a tale:
Me: Who opened your closet and spilled all these toys?
R: The Open-The-Closet Man. He’s real. And he opens closets.

…Strange Religious Stuff…

On the way home from church:
Me: How was your first day of Primary?
R: [Thinks] We be so noisy.

In his bed, in the dark (the only place I’m allowed to sing):
R: Will you sing me a song about Jesus?

Prayer:
R: Please bless the quinoa.

After church:
Me: Did you sing ‘I am a child of God’?
R: No! I hope not!

Me: Your brother has a fever.
R: Don’t worry. I will pray on his head.

…Brother Problems…

To his brother:
You better not do that or I will hurt your penis! [?!]

About his brother:
Can we take off his head?

I’m gonna give G a hug. Otherwise he’s my favorite.

Momma, G is playing with a cord. G, you can’t play with a cord. Now you have to tell Daddy and Daddy will be so sad.

R: Get out of here!
Me: Talk nicely to your brothers!
R: Get out of here, OKAY?!

My brother won’t hug me! [cries]

Why my baby brother have little hands? And a baby doll head?

Me: Did you miss me today?
R: No, I missed my brothers.

G is noising. [being noisy]

What you doin, sleepy-pie? [sweetie pie]

G has a penis! [hysterical laughter] Like me and Daddy do!!! [more laughter]

…Dog Problems…

Me: Do you wanna go ride your bike with Cleo [the dog]?
R: No thank you. Cleo doesn’t know how to ride a bike.

R: Can we please send Cleo to heaven now?
Me: WHAT?!
R: She be naughty and ate E’s bread and now she has to go to heaven.

Me: Oh, poor Cleo just wants you to pet her.
R: NO! I will be poor R.

Wait! Don’t let Cleo in! I need to get my underwear on. So she doesn’t sniff it.

After we took Cleo to the kennel before vacation:
Cleo’s not here to sniff my underwear. Oh well. [big sigh]

R: G is deaf like Cleo.
Me: No, he just doesn’t listen.
R: Ohhhh! He doesn’t listen!

I prayed on Cleo’s head so she wouldn’t get old.

I want Cleo to die now.

…And Some More Stuff…

While in time-out:
I’m trying to pee in my pants.

While riding in a cart, shouting to other Target shoppers:
Whoa! My momma goes so fast!!!!

To his cousin:
R: Hey, you can sit on my daddy if you want to. My daddy’s good at that. Not your daddy.

When I put lotion on his bottom:
Momma, stop it! Stop being a good helper!

While filling two cups in the bathroom:
Look, Momma, I’m saving these for the power.

At bedtime:
I need a lot of sleepies. A lot of sleepies because I wake up so late. [early]

Uncle T: What’s your favorite girl name?
R: Momma!

In a dressing room:
Momma, put your pants on PLEASE!!!!!!!

On Christmas Eve:
Let’s go nite nite cuz Santa Claus is coming to town..

To his brother:
Tomorrow I will be five. You will be five another day, ok? SAY OKAY!

…And the Scariest Thing I Heard All Year…

Momma, I tried to baptize the babies.

***

It’s getting harder to publicize funny quotes as he gets older… I don’t want to embarrass him too much! I left out most of the potty ones, although they were hilarious, and of course, most of the references to penises (penii?). I  also left out most of the adoption ones, because they are too private and precious.

It Must Be Weird to Be a Twin When…

wpid-wp-1437338656094.jpegYour brother kicks you in the scrotum in utero, and the ultrasound tech sees it and laughs

Your brother gets birthed and you’re just hanging out alone in the womb for the first time, just for two minutes

Your twin learns to poke your eyes, roll over onto you, or crawl away from you for the first time, and you can only lay there and kick your legs like an upside-down bug

You forget you’re not actually the same person, and accidentally open your mouth when the spoon is going in your brother’s mouth

You are minding your own business and your mom yells at you because she got your names mixed up

Your mom tries to change your poop even though she just changed your poop five minutes ago and can’t remember which one of you she changed

Your brother bites you for the first time

You wake up in the morning with a squeal BECAUSE YOU CANNOT BELIEVE HE’S STILL THERE and you have a built-in playmate

You start crying because you’re hurt, but then realize it’s actually your twin who was hurt (you got confused and had major sympathy pain)

Your mom takes you to the doctor alone for the first time, while your twin stays home healthy… and you look around at his empty car seat and freak out

You get called the wrong name, again

Your mom takes you to the church nursery alone for the first time, while your twin stays home sick… and you freak out

We try to put you in Daddy’s Volkswagen for the first time, with only one carseat, and you act like a cat trying to be squished into a crate, because you didn’t know there was such a thing as a car that only held one of you

Your brother is melting down about his “wrong” pants/ blanket/ shoes / cup, and you think he’s acting like a fool, because your pants/ blankets/ shoes/ cup are just fine

He convinces you for the first time to undo that child lock or jump off that bookshelf and your mom disciplines you instead of him

Your brother steals your identity and all you can say is “hey!”

You have both grown so much that you jostle for space on your mom’s chest so much that you end up fighting like alley cats, on her chest, because you don’t know why you don’t fit there together anymore, and you assume it’s his fault

You learn to hug, but your twins rejects you because he assumes you’re trying to fight him again

You wake up and he’s not there

You end up going in verbal argument loops, such as this one:
“Ah-choo!”
“No, that’s MY ah-choo!!!!”

Mom Secret: Gym Memberships are Cheaper than Preschool (and the Looney Bin)

I went to the gym yesterday. I feel like giggling when I say that.

Why does a thin girl who has never played a sport in her life, doesn’t know how to run, and can’t tell a treadmill from an elliptical join a gym? Well, thanks for asking. Let me tell you. All moms know this little secret: a gym membership is cheaper than preschool.

Also, the twins destroyed my body (no, not like that). But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Before I had kids, I had a good friend with five very small children, none of whom were yet in school. She worked out at the gym every.single.day. I asked her what in the world would possess her to be so hard on herself. She said, “Are you crazy? The gym is the easiest thing I do all day. This is the ONLY way I get a shower.” Huh.

Now that I have three small non-school-age children of my own, I see the light! I told my husband that we were gonna have to put the twins in preschool … or send me to the looney bin. However, this whole gym membership thing seemed like a more reasonable choice – even for me, the least athletic person ever.

I’m no slouch. I mall-walked four miles several times per week, while pushing a double stroller and carrying a kid strapped to my chest for months. I regularly trail-walked with a TRIPLE JOGGING STROLLER that weighed more than I did with the kids in it. And, I did yoga regularly for ten years before the twin pregnancy, so I’m not totally klutzy. But I have never played a sport … and the only way you will see me running is when my Hurricane Twin darts into parking lots. (My college roommate used to just burst into a run on the way to class, just as some people may spontaneously burst into song. She would burst into a run. I would not join her. She once asked, “Don’t you ever just feel like running?” No, no, I don’t.)

During this super long winter, I felt like a dog running in circles without enough exercise. Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, always says that there is no replacement for “forward motion” for your dog. Going on a walk is so much better than running in circles in the living room. I’m going to make a leap here and say that the importance of “forward motion” applies to toddlers and moms of toddlers, as well as dogs. (Sorry to compare you to dogs again, kids!)

Mr. Okayest and I looked at several reasonably-priced gyms. I’m not a picky mom (duh), but some of the childcare places looked a little less than okayest. I didn’t exactly think I would be motivated to work out if the childcare facilities made me feel sad. My twin-friend joined a rather expensive gym that had the most amazing childcare facility I had ever seen. Skylights. Indoor jungle gyms. Mini-treadmills. Just kidding about that last one. And my friend swore that they actually cleaned their toys. And they had closed-circuit nanny-cams that you could watch while you worked out on the ellipticals (treadmills? I dunno). You could watch what kid hits your kid and then stalk his mom across the sauna. Just kidding. This was a place that I could imagine throwing my three kids in – until I heard the price. After hearing the price, I said “no thank you” for a whole year.

Then, we learned that the twin pregnancy had actually done some real damage to my spine. It turns out that carrying twins in your uterus and then carrying twins on your hips isn’t good for your back. Who knew?! The x-rays showed that adding 80 pounds to my 115 pound body was more than I could bear. I lost the weight, but I didn’t lose the damage. I’ve recently started going to doctors and physical therapy, but it seems that I have some permanent troubles. More muscle won’t cure me, but it will certainly help. (A little more muscle can only help with my day job, anyway.)

This back problem has also been making my lifelong migraines worse, and it’s all becoming a vicious cycle. And throwing my back out every couple of months (weeks) only makes life harder for my loved ones. My sweet husband and parents and in-laws have done more than enough taking care of me! I am so grateful for their help and so desperate not to need it.

I kept trying to get back into yoga, but my back problems would prevent me from doing the one thing that I knew would help. (Ah, the old familiar catch-22 of chronic pain…) Also, while I’m making excuses, let me add that the local rec center offered yoga at 8PM. In case you’re not familiar with being a stay-at-home mother of multiples, let me just say that 8PM might as well be 2AM. By the time the kids are in bed at 7:30PM, I am too tired to lift the remote or the phone. Seriously. (I made it there a few times over the last year, but it took superhuman strength.)

My twin friend and my husband both said that the only way the exercise was going to get done was if I took the kids with me. My twin friend and my husband both said that you couldn’t put a price on a gym buddy, or having time to yourself away from the kids. I said you can’t put a price on a closed-circuit nanny-cam that I could watch while I was on the elliptical (treadmill? I dunno).

I was terrified to go to the gym for the first time. I stalled for a few days. Or more. What do I wear? How do I maneuver three little ones into a new place? What do I bring? Where do I put my stuff? I had to convince Mr. Okayest to take me on a Saturday, to show me around, even though he had never been there either. (I have a weird quirk that going to new places alone for the first time makes me unreasonably nervous.) He helped me wrangle three confused kids into the childcare area. The good news about twins is that at least they always have each other.

Then he showed me the difference between an elliptical and a treadmill. He showed me which machines might be good for my back, even though I wanted to cry because I didn’t see any women on them. I’m only here for yoga classes, I said! I felt so self-conscious at first. Nobody looked like they were first-timers like me. Nobody looked like they had toothpick arms like me. And you know what else? Nobody looked at me, either. Nobody cares about me! They are just there to work out and get a break from their kids and fix their crooked backs.

And the best part? I got to watch my kids on the nanny-cam while I worked out. All three stuck together like glue. Often, they even sit in a circle, back to back, as if they are circling the wagons. “I’ve literally got your back, bro.” And the other best part? I felt great after working out… like I actually wanted to go again. Why didn’t you guys tell me I would like it?!

This whole gym thing won’t be forever. Once the kids are in school, I could switch to a less-fancy gym without the childcare from heaven. Plus, once I magically become a more athletic person, maybe I could ditch the gym and exercise on my own like Mr. Okayest. My okayest goal is to go once a week. Maybe I will get there more often, but we still have trails to walk.

It Took Me 32 minutes to Dress All My Toddlers in Snow Gear

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It took me 32 minutes to dress all my toddlers in snow gear – for HALF AN INCH of snow. Half an inch of snow made me sweat like the mom in “A Christmas Story” – but she only had one kid to wrestle into a fluffy snowsuit.

7:00 AM

Oldest son bursts into my room, saying, “It snowed!” Commence begging to play outside.

7:15 AM

“Yes, I told you we would play outside but we have to wait until the sun is up!”

7:30 AM

“Yes, the sun is up, but we have to have breakfast first!”

8:30 AM

“Yes, we’ve had breakfast, but we have to wait for it to get a little warmer.”

9:00 AM

I mentally berate myself for promising him I would take him out. How am I going to get all these kids into snow gear? I know it’s only half an inch, but it’s so cold that they really need snow gear. Where is all of our snow gear? I kinked my neck again last week by hoisting a huge twin over a baby gate and how am I going to have the strength to wrestle their fat bodies into snow gear? Maybe he’ll forget.

9:30 AM

He does.not.forget. Anything. Ever. I mentally walk myself through the whole house, mentally searching for boots, hats, waterproof mittens, and snowpants that actually fit – all while changing poops and cleaning up the kitchen. (Don’t worry: I don’t change poops in the kitchen.)

10:00 AM

It is warmer outside, the sun is up, the twins are going stir-crazy, breakfast is finished and cleaned up, and I have no right to stall any longer. I give myself a mental pep talk. I can do this. I can do this. I’m like a football player coming out of a huddle. I’m a bull snorting and about to charge. I’m a soldier. Hoo-ah!

10:01 AM

Commence Operation Search for Snow Gear.

10:02AM

I empty the hall closet of everything we might need. I find three winter coats in semi-appropriate sizes, and two pairs of boots. Miraculously, I find last year’s waterproof mittens in the bin labeled “mittens”. I whisper, “Good girl” to myself (even though it was probably my husband who put them there).

10:04 AM

I leave some twin fighting to run upstairs to find more gear. I can hear my oldest son begging for me to find the sled. I shout down that there isn’t enough snow for a sled. He shouts that there is enough snow. I shout down that I can’t reach the sled because it is high up in the garage. He shouts back that I can “just use Daddy’s ladder”. My brain feels like a ping pong ball.

10:05 AM

I frantically search the kids’ closets for snowpants. I find a thrift-store pair two sizes too large for my oldest (Size 7), and congratulate myself on my forethought. In the twins’ closet, I find two pairs of much-too-small snowpants (18 months). I realize that I have to either box them up or donate them or sell them, and a wave of sadness washes over me.

10:06 AM

I pity myself for just one minute because my babies are growing up so fast! They will never wear these cute little snowpants again. Were they ever this small? Woe is me.

10:07 AM

Pity party over. Back to my oldest son’s closet. In the way way back, I find two pairs of snow pants that are too small for him, but perfect for the babies (sizes 3T and 4T). I mentally congratulate myself for never cleaning out his closet. “Good girl,” I whisper to myself.

10:08 AM

I head downstairs again and am greeted by three crying children. I show them snowpants. The oldest stops crying and begs for me to put them on him. The younger two seem irrationally but unsurprisingly scared of snowpants and run away screaming, “NO!”

10:09 AM

I run back upstairs for three pairs of socks. I wonder if it’s worth keeping a sock bin downstairs beside the shoe bin. I mean, seriously, why are our socks upstairs in dressers, but our shoes are downstairs in bins? In fact, why don’t we keep all our clothes downstairs, like the “19 Kids and Counting” family on TLC? Screw dressers.

wpid-wp-1424879000565.jpeg10:10 AM

I survey the enormous pile of gear on the floor. It looks like the back of a Goodwill truck. I feel overwhelmed and want to quit. I know it will make me sweaty to do this. I know I will hurt my neck again. Sadly, I note that there are only two pairs of boots. I mentally thank my mother-in-law for giving those boots to the twins for Christmas, but mentally scan the house for one more pair. I futilely ask my oldest son to go find his snowboots.

10:11 AM

My oldest son wanders the house and cries because he can’t find his snowboots. I look in the closet again. I run upstairs to his closet. We can’t find them. I start to panic. Half an inch of snow doesn’t really need snowboots, but he was just so excited about those used junky snowboots that he can’t accept wearing boring old shoes. No amount of convincing will help.

10:12 AM

I send him into the garage for one last look, and he finds the boots! I thank him profusely. I try to bury my incredible surprise that he actually found something by himself, and I whisper a silent prayer of thanks that he finally learned how to open the baby gate to the kitchen/garage. (Hey, moms pray over some odd things, okay?)

10:13 AM

Commence Operation Put Snow Gear On.

I start with my oldest. He is the most excited, and thus, the most vocal. The sooner we get him in his gear, the sooner he can go outside and give me some peace. I pour him into his too-big snowpants, making sure the twins are watching and understanding just how awesome snowpants are. Mittens on. Why are you a limp noodle?! Make your arm straight and push! No, don’t punch me! Just push! Coat on… Nevermind. Mittens too big. Must take mittens off and put coat on first. Now mittens again. No, don’t punch me! Just push! Socks on. Boots on. Here, sit in my lap, maybe that will be easier. Push your feet! Maybe we should stand up. Stand up and push! No, don’t stomp on me. Just push. Why are there so many straps? This Velcro is all worn out. Maybe I should have sprung for new boots for him. Hat on. I silently thank my best friend, who, despite living in California, knitted them the most adorable and soft and warm hats ever. Oh, it’s backwards. Here, now you can see. Is that better? Okay, please go out on the deck! And take the dog! For the love of all that is holy, please get the dog out of here!

10:18 AM

Phew. I am sweating. But our numbers have been reduced by 50%, and thus, so has our noise and chaos level. The twins are dancing around me and starting their slow keening wail of jealousy that they can’t be outside yet. Twin B opens the door and defiantly follows my oldest outside in the snow. He is surprised by the cold! Thank goodness he’s in bare feet so I don’t have to get new socks. I haul him back in.

10:19 AM

I start with my Hurricane Twin B. I sit him in my lap and pull his snowpants on. He freaks out and acts like I am dressing him in tin foil. He does one amazing ninja move off my lap and out of his snowpants. He kind of acts like a snake shedding his skin in fast-forward. How did he do that?

Okay, fine, you don’t like snowpants? This is where having twins comes in handy. I will simply dress your brother and make you jealous.

10:20 AM

I sit agreeable Twin A in my lap and proceed to pull on snowpants. He doesn’t like it, but he lets me do it. I make sure Twin B is watching so he can see just how cool snowpants are.

Mittens on. Kind of. Where is your thumb? Do you have a thumb? Good thing your hands are the size of a college sophomore, because I actually get your mittens on. Coat on…. Wait. Mittens too big. Coat off, mittens off, coat on, mittens on. Hat. Twin B is crying out of jealousy or regret or irrational fear of snowpants– I can’t tell. Okay, new snowboots. Twin A looks at them warily. Stand and push. Is your foot in there? Oh, well, when you start walking, your foot will probably settle down in there, right? You can’t walk? Okay, then, push!!! Push! For heaven’s sake, push!

Okay. Done. Can you walk? Okay, just go on the deck. You certainly won’t get very far in that poofy outfit. I am sorry I will miss your adorable reaction to the snow, but I have to deal with your twin.

wpid-wp-1424793852241.jpeg10:25 AM

I turn to crying, angry Twin B. It’s snowpants time. Yes. Yes. You’ll be fine. These are special pants to wear in the snow. Aren’t they great? See, brother is wearing them! And other brother is wearing them! Don’t you want to wear them? I berate myself for encouraging herd mentality. Am I setting him up for a life of peer pressure and drugs?

He finally lets me put the snowpants on when he realizes there is a zipper – his new favorite thing – and that I will let him zip them. It takes about five minutes for him to work on that “zap zap”. That’s cool. I needed to stop sweating for a minute anyway. I look out the back door to check on my slow-moving meatballs out there.

Mittens on. Kind of. Where is your thumb? Do you have a thumb? Seriously, there is no way that tiny thumb is ever going to be found. Oh well. Coat on… wait. Mittens too big. Coat off, mittens off, coat on, mittens on. Where the heck is your thumb? Hat on. He hates it. Hat off. Oh, no you don’t! Hat on. He takes it off. I win by putting it back on and tying it in a knot under his chin. I briefly wonder if it will choke him if he pulls his hat off. Boots on. Thankfully, Twin B gets super excited by any and all new shoes, so these are a breeze. They even have zippers for him to play with, although he can’t really bend over to try it. He gets frustrated. Hurry, let’s get outside!

10: 32 AM

I usher him out the door to join his brothers. I have no shoes on. I have no coat or hat. It is 25 degrees. I go back in to throw a coat on over my bathrobe, a hat over my unwashed ponytail, and unlaced boots over my slipper socks. I look like Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. I wish someone was here to laugh at that. I’m so witty.

I can breathe now. I can sit down and rest on this snowy patio chair and watch my beautiful children enjoy their first snow of the year. It will be so peaceful and joyful.

Okay, who pooped?!

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Don’t worry: He got to use the sled during the next snowfall.

Toddler Twin Survival Tips

  1. No snaps.
  2. No buttons.
  3. No ties.
  4. Jammies that zip.
  5. Crocs.
  6. Generic Target diapers, in bulk, on sale, with a 5% off RedCard, with a $10 gift card (they offer this promotion about once a month, and I get it every time. It brings the cost of diapers down to less than 14 cents per size 5 diaper)

    diapers in bulk

    This many diapers lasts a little over a month. I’m not complaining- at least I don’t have three in diapers anymore!

  7. Crying it out and sleeping through the night (but only after nursing is finished)
  8. A large deck that serves as a playpen
  9. Bike trailers from Craigslist

    Mr. Okayest is more than okay.

    Mr. Okayest is more than okay.

  10. Fenced-in playgrounds only (YOU try deciding if you save the twin who is falling off the slide or the twin who is running into the parking lot!)

    I made this meal planner while I was nesting during pregnancy.

    I made this meal planner while I was nesting during pregnancy.

  11. Hardcore meal planning
  12. Waking up before the kids (I know, I know, it sucks. I had to catch up on sleep for about a year before I implemented this.)
  13. Movie room in the basement for the adults – best date night ever, because it requires no babysitters
  14. No shopping– all shopping is done after they go to bed or by my husband. You just can’t fit three kids in a cart. Not even in a Costco cart, unless you’re only buying one thing. But then why would you be going to Costco?
  15. Going only one place per day – I know my limits. And, with three kids to buckle and lift, I can choose the playground or the library, but not both.
  16. Strict bedtimes. If they don’t go to bed on time, I never see my husband.
  17. Strict mealtimes/ meal rules. If they don’t like what is served, they are pretty hungry. But that never happens.
  18. This mantra: “Leave the living room by 9:30AM”. They have to have a change of scenery – it doesn’t matter if it’s the playground, the deck, or the basement, BUT IT CAN’T BE THE LIVING ROOM! The living room is where the fighting and the boredom happen, no matter how many toys are in there.
  19. Setting up playdates in the church gym.
  20. Locking them in a neighborhood tennis court and letting them run free in a fenced area. twin fight
  21. NOT buying two of anything. They will fight over whatever their twin has in his grubby little hands, so a second identical item won’t matter. They had a knock-down fight over a couch pillow today.
  22. Not doing chores during nap. (My only choices are blogging, tv watching, napping, or reading.)
  23. Not worrying about vegetables.
  24. BABY GATES! You can read more about my 180-degree turn on childproofing.
  25. Ikea high chairs. They are $20 each and you can hose ‘em off or put them in the shower. Seriously.

 

 

 

Some people might think I am too structured. But, they probably didn’t have three kids in diapers simultaneously! They would change their minds if they did what I do all day.

This list is a semi-continuation of my Infant Twin Survival Tips list from a while back.

It Takes 67 Maneuvers to Get Outside with Three Babies

IMG_0462

“We’re ready to go outside now. We’re sharing one pair of boots, mmmkay?”

1) Check the thermometer. 39 degrees. Let’s wait a little bit.
2) Check the thermometer. 40 degrees. Ok. Let’s do this!
3) Announce: “Let’s go outside!”
4) Children scream and scatter in every direction with joy.
5) Oldest starts yelling, “I’m still in my jammies!”
6) Twin B toddles over to the shoe bin and pulls it down on head while repeating, “Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.”
7) Twin A starts crying because he is confused.
8) Dog jumps up and down by the door because she heard the word “outside”.
9) I run around like a crazy person trying to gather 3 coats, 6 shoes, and, hmmm, 6 socks.
10) I ask my oldest to go upstairs and gather 6 socks.
11) He cries because the stair gate is locked and he can’t get upstairs to get said socks.
12) I find 3 half-dirty socks on the floor, so then I unlock the gate and ask him to get only 3 socks from upstairs.
13) Babies try to rush the gate and manage to get up a couple of stairs.
14) I pull Twin A back down.
15) Twin B gets farther up the steps.
16) I pull Twin B back down.
17) Twin A gets back on the steps.
18) I heave both of them down the steps. (Combined, they weigh more than 50% of my own body weight.)
19) I re-lock the gate.
20) I find a 4th dirty sock on the floor.
21) I yell upstairs to my oldest that he only needs to get 2 more socks instead of 3. He can’t count very well so it doesn’t matter.
22) I sit down to put Twin A’s socks on.
23) My oldest cries because the baby gate is locked and he can’t get off the steps now that he has found 2 or 3 socks for me.
24) I heave Twin A off my lap.
25) I unlock the baby gate.
26) I tell my oldest to sit down and put his socks on.
27) Breach! Breach! Twin B has made it up a couple of steps.
28) Repeat steps 13-18.
29) Twin A removes the socks that I had just put on.
30) Oldest puts on socks. I tell him to take off his jammies.
31) I put Twin A in my lap again and put his socks on.
32) Twin B runs off with Twin A’s shoes.
33) I get up to chase Twin B and retrieve shoes.
34) Twin A cries because he thinks he can’t have any shoes.
35) Twin A takes socks off again while crying.
36) Repeat #31.
37) I put Twin A’s shoes and coat on.
38) Oldest cries because he can’t get his jammie shirt off.
39) I get up and help Oldest with his jammie shirt. I put his real shirt on.
40) Twin A cries because he doesn’t know why he isn’t on my lap or outside.
41) Twin B has run off with his own shoes and hidden them.
42) I chase Twin B.
43) I retrieve socks, shoes, and coat for Twin B.
44) I sit Twin B in my lap and get all items on him.
45) I get up to put Oldest’s coat and shoes on.
46) Twin B has taken off his shoes.
47) I sit down and put Twin B’s shoes on.
48) Repeat #40.
49) I open the door to the deck.
50) The dog rushes the kids and knocks babies down.
51) Twin A cries but Twin B doesn’t (as always).
52) I pick up Twin A.
53) We all actually walk outside.
54) I am barefoot and coatless. It’s 40 degrees and I forgot my own coat, shoes, and socks.
55) I try and fail to convince everyone to come back inside.
56) I carry Twin A inside.
57) Twin B runs away to the other end of the deck.
58) Twin A cries as I leave him inside.
59) I capture Twin B.
60) Twin A escapes back outside.
61) I retrieve Twin A.
62) Twin B escapes back outside.
63) I heave both twins inside. Together, they make up over 50% of my body weight.
64) I open the stair gate to get my socks from upstairs.
65) Repeat steps 13-18. Just kidding. I slip through the gate successfully, but they both stand at the bottom of the stairs and sob.
66) I come back, put on my own socks, shoes, and coat – while two babies cry.
67) We all actually walk outside.
68) Somebody pooped.

IMG_0465Notes:

People ask why I don’t “just” do an exercise DVD after the kids go to bed.

I can’t wait for summer: no socks, no coats, fewer maneuvers.

This was an easy day. Staying inside on a rainy day is worse.

Stay tuned for how many maneuvers it takes to BE outside.