It's 1:30 p.m. and both babies are asleep. Both. And I haven't written in ages, so here I am, ready to blog my heart out for an unpredictable number of minutes.
When we're out in public with the twins, I get lots of questions from people who under normal circumstances wouldn't even make eye contact with me. (Put twins in the picture, and people suddenly realize they have a valid license to interact socially.)
What's interesting is that the questions have changed over time. When Sarah and Juan were newborns, strangers asked whether they were twins, whether they were identical, how much they weighed at birth. Now, since Sarah and Juan are obviously not identical and they're both chubby and thriving, the questions are mostly logistical: How do you feed them at the same time? What do you do when they're both crying? And my favorite: Are they on the same schedule?
It's 1:42, and they're both still asleep, though I occasionally hear someone touching a rattle every once in a while... shick-a-shick-a-shick
. Then nothing. I hold my breath, then keep typing. Right now, at this very moment, they're on the same schedule. But truth be told, it's their
schedule, not mine, and their schedule operates on a completely different time-dimension platform, largely undecipherable to me.
They're growing and changing. They work really hard during their awake hours, willing their little hands to reach toward and, yes!, make contact with the colorful things set within reach. They focus and ponder at the hanging things as they kick, kick, kick their core strength to a level they will eventually use to sit up.
Neither is much of a roller-over yet, but both are playing with and gnawing on their hands-- teeth will come soon. My linguist friend watches them gnawing and cooing simultaneously, and she tells me this is very good: the babies are using their hands to create sounds that their mouths can't produce alone yet. Which explains how it is that they really do, when overheard from the next room, seem to be talking sometimes.
Sarah is asleep in the Pack-n-Play, a hopped-up playpen with a changing table on top. This is new for her, for she is used to taking all of her daytime naps in the swing. Swing, swing, swinging for hours at a time since birth. I'm guessing she's grown tired of swinging, or maybe seasick, but whatever the reason, she's very suddenly able to take naps on her side lying still.
It's 1:50 and they're both still asleep. Now I don't want to stop writing, for fear that this keyboard is creating the white noise soundtrack of the perfect moment; for fear that if I stop, they will wake.
Juan is asleep in the bouncy chair, comatose after finishing a bottle. This, too, is new; I guess he got the memo from his sister that sleeping while motionless is now in fashion, while sleeping in the swing is so... yesterday
All of this is good. We leave for Mexico in less than a month, and guess what? We'll have to live for two weeks without the swings. Granted, we'll have lots of loving hands to hold and cuddle our babies, but even the most loving hands eventually have to put them down.
It's 1:57 and I'm feeling nervous. Lately, Juanito has taken to screaming, especially upon waking up. And seeing as it's inevitable that he's going to wake up, it's just a matter of time before I hear his outraged scream. I know he's fine, but that scream... it's speaks of betrayal. And what have I done? With two babies, it's easy to criticize oneself, for it's an inescapable fact of logic that when you attend to one, you're not attending to the other.
That doesn't mean they can't both be happy at the same time, as indeed they often are. You just have to remember that behind the scenes, the Wheel Of Needs is spinning, and where it will stop is hardly a mystery: Hunger, Diaper Change, Sleepiness, or Mysterious Discomfort (including the need to burp). And if they're on the same schedule, crying ensues.
It's 2:08, and I'm no longer nervous, for however they wake up, they've been asleep for 38 minutes, both in motionless states, and both in the same room at the same time. This is pretty monumental. And so I keep writing so as to extend the magic of the moment, this perfect wave of quiet.
I'm hearing a sound. A waking-up sound. And the doorbell rings...
It's now 4:20, and for the last two hours, we've been hosting our semi-weekly mother-baby group. The timing was perfect. My kids were perfect. And why? Because Other People were here to bring out the best in them. When Other People are here, suddenly we're all superheros, and smiles are passed out liberally.
Today we were four mothers and five babies. The baby names on display today are both singularly and collectively lovely: Clementine (19 wks), Olivia (14 wks), Sarah (18 wks), Juan (18 wks) and Quinley (3 wks). They're too young to really interact at this point, but what's important is that their mothers like one another and find some sanity in coming together. After just two hours, I feel better about Juanito's angry cries, knowing now that Christy went through the same thing with her 3-year-old son.
It's 4:35, and Sarah and Juan are once again asleep, on the same schedule, and... in their swings.