For the past two years, until, oh, about February 22nd, 2010, Big C and I would always try to imagine what it would be like to have just one child instead of two same age children. Yes, sorry, my friends who have singletons, we envied you, and even kind of laughed at how easy you had it and didn’t even realize it. It’s all perspective, you see. But we never knew that luxury of having one at a time. We never knew the luxury of being able to take a break and pass off the crying newborn to the other parent. We never knew the luxury of getting to take turns holding the baby so the other parent could eat. We never knew the luxury of one parent walking the child through the store while the other parent shopped. I was even jealous of parents I would see in public places whose one child would walk calmly with them, would calmly stand there while they paid for their things, and barely even strayed. My kids? Opposite directions. Like wild animals. The reason? While those parents get to be one on one or even double team their one child and teach them to stay close and not to run off like a crazy person, it was often just me, and there is no way in hell I was letting those two loose anywhere. Even with both of us present, we were still one to one, and all of our time was spent hand holding, wrangling, leading, etc, and no shopping or whatever ever got done. No, we did not have those luxuries.
And now? I look back on those days and think, “It was so easy!!!” We had things worked down to a science, so getting out of the house, even at the last minute, was a pretty efficient production. At best, we were one parent to one child, and at worst, it was me vs. the two of them, and I did fine. Heck, I did great. But now I don’t dare go anywhere with all three except to friends’ houses. Friends who understand my situation. Target? No. HEB? I loved taking my little twins to HEB and sitting them in the cart together. But no. And doing these things as a family of five is not our idea of weekend fun. Even a recent jaunt to a friend’s house for a little get together turned into a nightmare as I tried to console an exhausted, screaming infant while Big C tried to wrangle two exhausted, screaming toddlers. We were the stars of the three ring circus. Only no one bought tickets and the looks on their faces were more pity than wonder and amazement.
So now I look back on my days of only having twin toddlers as the easy days. My twin mom friends are all going out and doing things like the playground, sprinkler park, and children’s museum. Because their kids are older now and more manageable. And now that mine are too, I am again having to sit and watch life from the sidelines. Even going out in the backyard is only really possible when Z is sleeping. So we pray for long naps so I can spend some time with my big girls. Big C and I take turns doing our grocery shopping alone, during nap time or at night, which means I have to brave Costco in the middle of a Sunday afternoon because it’s literally the only time I can go. And I still have to take the baby with me.
But we’ll get this down. It won’t always be this way. Soon, very soon, my friends, you will be looking at us with wonder and amazement. Even if the only thing you are wondering is how I am still alive.