The babies. They really are. EVERYWHERE.
10 months in and I still have absolutely zero clue how to respond to the inevitable, "I don't know how you do it." From friends, family, strangers. Well-meaning, all, for sure. And really meant to be a compliment (I think). But, still. What do I say to that?
"Me neither" is the obvious and, truly, most realistic answer. Because, seriously, the fact that we are all in one piece and somewhat clean and fed and living even close to a normal existence right now is a testament to the fact that miracles do happen. Okay, that's superbly dramatic, but not far from how it feels some days. I literally just asked The Barbarian today to confirm how it is that he really does feel comfortable leaving me alone with his children most days. Probably not the question one wants to receive from his or her fantastically sleep-deprived wife, but we like to keep things honest and real around these parts. For the record, he said he had the utmost faith in me. Or something like that. I think. I'm, in all honesty, too exhausted to remember.
As a longtime nanny, I have years and years of experience caring for more than one child at a time (not while hormonally imbalanced and lacking a true full night's sleep in well over a year, of course, but it's not like this is my first rodeo when it comes to wrangling wee folk). But two babies of the same age and developmental stage is, well, a whole universe unto itself. Parents of twins (I can't even begin to fathom what it's like for parents of higher order multiples...) like to say that caring for two babies at once is in no way equal to the sum of its parts--it's not double the work, it's at least triple, if not more. They say this BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. I'm really not quite sure on the mechanism behind this reality as yet, but I can verify that it is, indeed, the case.
I am constantly hearing from other mamas that they could barely hack it with one, and don't know what they would have done (or would do) with two. And all the while, I'm thinking, HAH! Give me ONE baby for a DAY and I will conquer the WORLD! Okay, not really. Not even close, actually. But if I said I didn't find myself thinking on occasion how much easier my day would be or how much I could be getting done if I ONLY had ONE baby, I would be a BIG, FAT LIAR WHO LIES. Because some (most?) days, I get a huge wad of NOTHING done. Except take fairly good care of my babies, of course. From what I've heard, they are extremely happy, engaged, present, content...and really, I would have to agree. They are, in a word, AWESOME. No bias here, of course.
But, DUDE. Stress. And serious feelings of inadequacy. And stress. Did I mention that one? Because, truly, those are my days. Amid all the giggles and smiles and cuddles and hilarious shenanigans and delight at new discoveries and simple pleasures and all that, of course. It really IS the most phenomenally astounding dichotomy of experiences, parenthood. The most amazingly rewarding experience of your life is, at once, the most overwhelmingly anxiety-, depression-, and stress-inducing event imaginable. I mean, seriously. I can't make this shit up. It's BANANAS.
However, more and more recently, as the beebs (as we call them) get older (which is, in and of itself, a most bizarre experience), I've been faced with the fact that I would like to have something else to occupy those few hours a day I (usually) have to "dick around online" (am I the only one who uses that phrase...?). I won't get into why I have so much dicking around time at this...time (we'll save the judging for later), but will say that I have considered blogging "again" (my "blogging" in the past has been erratic, to say the least) as something that might fill my time. A recent question from a friend as to the status of a former blog solidified my intent to make it so, Number One.
So here we are. A mama, a toad, a goblin, and a barbarian. And some furry creatures as well. Blathering on about whatever suits my fancy, really.
Welcome. And won't you stay awhile? Or come again? Or make yourself useful?
I'm sure we could use all three.