Friday, September 08, 2006

Random Thoughts on a Friday Evening

Well, let's see. We'll start with a quick reply to the new-mom-of-twins in the comments. Do I have some advice? Why, yes. Yes, I do. In no particular order:

1. Having twins is not like having a singleton. If these are your first kids, you won't know what I mean, so just skip this one and go to the next one. But if you already have other kids then let me just make a few things plain. They're going to cry more than your other kids did because there's only one of you and there are two of them. You can make yourself miserable feeling badly about this, or you can sing, bounce, jiggle--do the best you can to calm and comfort everyone--and then know that these two will still be fine in the long run. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. They spend the first few years having to wait longer to be comforted, and yet divorce rates among twins are among the lowest of any "group." Maybe having to wait a bit to be comforted plays some role in the fact that twins tend to get really good at "lov(ing) the one they're with." [Just so we're clear, I went with "make yourself miserable" which is why I can honestly tell you it does no good.]

2. Take pictures. Sleep deprived people have rotten memories.

3. You're a great mother. It'll all be fine. This too shall pass. Yes, this is harder than with just one. No, it won't be like this forever. Yes, it will be more than worth it. Yes, you will never doubt that twins are a blessing beyond that which anyone can "deserve."

4. Pace yourself. Twelve-year-olds make wonderful mother's helpers. Buy a few from the neighborhood and get some sleep when you need it. Do *not* hire a mother's helper and then clean. If you have enough money to spend on helping you get the house clean, then hire a HOUSE CLEANER and sit with the twins on the couch until she's done. But even when funds are very, very tight, there are still times when the best use of that money is to buy a few hours of sleep. [Buy a 16 yr-old next summer to help you take them to the pool a few times. It's good for the babies to get used to the water, but it should be a 1:1 adult child ratio.]

5. Life is long. This is not the year to take up knitting if you have never knit before. In fact, I put down my needles when the twins were 3.5 weeks old and they were past their second birthday before I picked them up again. I also went about that long between reading anything other than a parenting book or a professional publication. If you don't have a paying job, you might do better than that though. Don't feel guilty if you don't though. You have two BABIES. Very time consuming way to spend a day and night. In four years they'll be entertaining themselves watching Dora the Explorer and you can read and knit then.

Ask for help if you need help. Be compassionate. Be tough. Having twins brought me more humility and taught me that God's love is a fierce, unlimited thing. I have done nothing that earned me twins. I just can't be that good. We had six pregnancy losses and then we had the twins. The first two years were unrelenting lessons in God's grace, wisdom, and devotion.

Congratulations, Mama. You've been blessed--and don't worry if you have days or nights when you don't feel blessed. The tide will turn and it will come back to you.


Now, gushing done. What's next? Oh, yes. I should blog about this week. I'll try to be less verbose than I was above.

This week the twins started preschool. They *love* preschool--and it is kicking their collective tushes. Chris notes that they look completely worn out when he picks them up. This particular preschool is big into structure, so I suspect that my little Free Spirits may be having to make some adjustments. In a bad way? No. They leap out of bed and into clothes and harass me mercilessly to leave for preschool on time on preschool mornings. This is a good sign.

This week the twins started music lessons. Chris and I are reserving judgement for now. They have the same teacher for both their group music lesson and their individual piano lessons. I wasn't impressed with the first lesson, but then again--I think she was thrown by the "twin" thing. Two kids, same age--why not try to teach them together? Well, that was a disaster. I let it go for about 10 minutes until I was sure that she "got" that it wasn't working. Then I gently suggested that we do this like any other sibling pair--one kid at the piano at a time. This worked fairly well. I'm optimistic that once the boys adjust to preschool a bit (their first lesson was only 90 minutes after their first full morning of preschool) that things will go more smoothly with piano. Yesterday's practice session was much more productive than I expected, and that's a good sign.

This was Max's first full week of school (except, of course, Monday) with three nights of football practice, a Wednesday private piano lesson, and a Thursday group piano lesson. This is turning out to be as difficult as we anticipated and our rule of thumb on Wednesdays and Thursday is officially--do the best you can and no more. Football won't last forever, so we'll get through this.

That said, practicing piano first thing in the morning before school is resulting in some very good practice sessions. My son is making beautiful music.

Tomorrow he has his first actual football game of the season. It is my job to bring oranges and sit and knit and try not to look worried. Or maybe it's Chris' job. We'll decide tomorrow.

Today the State College dog park opened. Much chaos and mayhem. The dogs were thrilled. I could do a whole blog entry on this alone, but I want to go to bed, so I won't. Suffice to say, my dogs made me laugh. Emily is really amazingly fast when there is a ball involved--she beat every other dog to the ball until I made a really awful throw and threw it far from where she was. When the ball came back to me it was covered in the spit of a 34 strange dogs. ewww.

I worked this week. I worked and worked and worked and worked. I still didn't get everything done that I needed to, but dear me I tried. I now get to work all weekend, but the pressure isn't so bad. By Wednesday or so, things should be better.

And that about wraps it up. G'night.


Eliza said...

"Two kids, same age--why not try to teach them together?"

In the context of piano lessons and preschoolers this statement made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

PupDaddy said...

My beautiful Shmoopshoes, that is phenomenal advice. It is exactly what I would want to say to someone, but you said it so much better than I could on my best day.

-The Prime Minister

Jeni said...

Thank you, Alaska Pupmom. Your twin advice is good, and I'll take it to heart. I needed that encouragement right now, since it looks like it's gonna be a rough night...