Friday, November 22, 2013

The Twins at Three Months

Flynn and Margot at Three Months
The twins are three months old today.  At their check-up last week they both weighed more than double their birth weights.  Flynn has bulked up to 10 lbs. 13 oz. and Margot is not far behind at 9 lbs. 5 oz.  They are 23 and 22.5 inches respectively. 

Their personalities are beginning to shine a bit, I think.  Flynn is pretty mellow for the most part.  He finishes his bottles without a lot coaxing and general falls asleep once he’s done.  He can be content hanging out in the jiminy-thing or sometimes in his crib.  Margot, on the other hand, is a wee bit more high maintenance.  She likes to sip on her bottle; drinking an ounce here, maybe two ounces there.  Then she might take a quick nap and then maybe she might have bit more to drink.  She does not like to be put down; she is happiest when she’s being held, cuddled and rocked. 

One evening recently -- when I was home with them on my own -- I was holding Flynn and chatting with him a bit.  Margot was in her bouncy chair on the breakfast room table across from me.  I glanced at her and, as I watched, it seemed to dawn on her that I was holding Flynn.  Which meant I wasn’t holding her.  As that realization came over her, a mixture of stunned surprise and outrage flashed across her face and – wait for it, wait for it – she erupted into bawling and tears.  I looked at her and was like, “Seriously?  Can’t you let your brother get just a lil’ bit o’ love from time to time?” 
In the past week or so they’ve started to spend a good deal of time watching the world around them, taking it all in.  Just this week they started smiling quite a bit and making their first sounds (other than crying). 

I have to confess that parenting “3 under 3” can be rough, and it’s even rougher with twins in the mix.  When Coco was born, I took six weeks of leave before I went back to work, and Ken took that much time off as well.  By the time I went back to work Coco was sleeping four to five hours a night pretty consistently.  And course with Coco it was two dads per one baby. 

With the twins, it’s been completely different.  When we came back from India Ken and I went back to work right away.  We got home on a Saturday and I was back in the office on Monday morning.  Ken also started traveling to Los Angeles almost weekly for appearances on Home & Family, while I’ve made three trips to Seattle in the last two months.  And the twins are not on any sort of schedule – despite Ken’s continued attempts to impose one.

When one of us is away, the other one is at home alone with three kids.  Ken seems to be nonplussed by it.  I was gone for five days in late October and kept calling and asking, “how’s it going?” “is everything going okay?”  “yep, it’s all fine,” Ken would say.

Why, then, is it not “all fine” when Ken’s away and I’m home alone with the kids?  When it me on my own, I come home from work, Mari leaves, and I immediately start worrying.  “When are the twins going to start crying?”  “What if they’re crying at the same time?”  “How do I get Coco her dinner if both twins are crying?” “How do I make dinner for Coco if she insists on jumping off her stool and both twins are crying?”  (Jumping off things is one of Coco’s favorite things to do right now.)  The worst is when all three – Coco, Margot and Flynn – are crying at the same time.  I admit that a few times I've parked Coco in front of the TV with “Dora” while I tried to make dinner or alternated between picking up two crying babies.

As for sleep those nights?  Forget about it.  I mentally prepare myself to pull an all-nighter every time.  Just like in college, right?  Yeah, except college was 20 years ago.  Okay, more like 25 years ago.  I put Coco to bed and give the twins their 8:00 p.m. bottles.  Typically they sleep for 2 – 3 hours and I logon and get some work done.  Then, around midnight, the “up and down” starts.  Basically I am on call for bottles for two babies who are not on the same schedule and who are not sleeping more than three hours a stretch.  (I know, I know, you’re supposed to get them on the same schedule.  Except I’m not very good at giving them both a bottle at the same time.  So the "same schedule" theory doesn’t work very well for me.)  In the morning I get ready for work before Coco is up and then when she wakes up I get her breakfast – all the time hoping that the twins won't wake up until Mari arrives at 8:00.

Then, a few weeks ago, it dawned on me.  Those kids have figured it out.  They know that Ken is “no-nonsense Papa.”  They know that Ken is like, “Don’t you cry for no good reason!”  Me?  Daddy?  I’m like, “Huh?  What do you need? Bottle? Diaper? Rocking? Cuddling? What do you need?”  Last Saturday Ken left the house to work at the store for a few hours.   As he left, and as the front door shut, I swear Margot and Flynn turned their heads, looked at each other, paused (for dramatic effect) and then started wailing.  Full. Throttle. Wailing.  And, in the same instant, from another room in the house, Coco looked up, cocked her head slightly, and started yelling, “Daddy!  Daddy!  Come jump with me!”  Yep, those kids have figured it out.
Those kids . . . . 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween 2013

Oh, how times have changed . . ..  On Halloween
this year I left the office early.  Not just a little early.  Like, really early.  Like, 2:30 in the afternoon early.  And I don’t even like Halloween.  Never have.  But I was off to the Halloween potluck at Cornelia’s pre-school.  Yes, times have changed.

This year Coco dressed as Dora the Explorer.  Ken created the costume himself and did a great job.  He re-covered Coco’s backpack so it looked just like Dora’s, made a Map to peek out of the backpack, and even created a bracelet to match Dora’s.  To complete the overall effect of Coco’s outfit, Ken dressed as Boots and I dressed as Diego.  Ken even found time to make caramel-covered apples for the preschool potluck (and they were awesome).

Halloween was quite an event on Potomac Street for the second year in a row.  Last year I distributed flyers to all the houses on the block to encourage neighbors to trick-or-treat in the neighborhood and to expect kids to be trick-or-treating.  With so many kids on our block it seemed like we could have fun if everyone stayed close to home rather than trekking off to other neighborhoods.  This year we distributed flyers on Potomac Street and on several other blocks as well.  The turnout was great.  Ken and I think we saw over 100 kids.

Cornelia had a great time.  She definitely understood the drill right away.  “Say ‘trick-or-treat’ and someone hands you a dolce?  Brilliant.”

Chatting on the porch with Sam and Elizabeth from next door we talked about trick-or-treating in the suburbs when we were kids.  First, we all of lived much further north and only remember trick-or-treating in the dark with flashlights.  We also remember lots of long driveways and long walks between houses.  Our kids, meanwhile, are trick-or-treating at twilight and only walk about a dozen steps between porches and those heaping bowls of candy.  They don’t even have to walk up the porch and ring the bell; everyone is sitting on the steps with their bowls of candy.  We also wondered -- as we sipped on our margaritas -- if our parents carried adult beverages with them as they followed us around on the those dark streets with flashlights.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  Who knows, maybe I might just come to like Halloween.