Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hiding in the bathroom

A basic fact about being a mama to wee folk is that you are always "on." And again, even more so with twins. Yes, having two young children of any age is challenging, but even a year's difference in age makes a huge impact on their needs and level of independence. Having two of the same age means they essentially always need the same thing at the same time--and that, my friends, makes for some serious juggling on the part of the mama.

Being that we practice what some call "attachment parenting" (AP), but what I tend to refer to as "instinctual" or "intuitive" parenting (if you are meeting the very real needs of your child in a way that feels good in your heart and core, regardless of what some "expert" in some books says, then you're doing it right), the beebs have spent the vast majority of their lives thus far physically attached to someone, mostly me, of course, with The Barbarian coming in a close second because he's awesome like that. They get nursed, held, cuddled, carried, worn, and they sleep on or next to us. And we wouldn't have it any other way. We'll be super sad when they're too old and busy for constant cuddles. In fact, I'm sad just thinking about it. 

However, that is not to say I love every minute of it. Because I most certainly do not. Seriously, a ten minute chunk of my day can and does often look like this:

I'm sitting on the couch nursing one baby. 

Other baby comes over smelling decidedly like crap (and that's pronounced "crepe" in my house, the American pronunciation, of course...and don't ask...that one's The Barbarian's doing). 

I put first baby down so I can lift other baby up to change his/her diaper. 

First baby cries and fusses and tries to crawl back up into my lap while I am attempting to wipe crap off other baby's bum and not get any on the couch, my hands, other baby's hands, first baby's hands, etc. (yes, they've recently found their bits and it's wuv, twoo wuv, especially for King Toad Agooga--go figure). 

Other baby cries and fusses and flails and makes every attempt to get out of my reach, off the couch, to Mexico, etc. 

I finish with other baby and set him/her back on the floor so I can lift first baby back up to finish nursing. 

Other baby waits till first baby is latched back on before deciding he/she too would like to nurse. 

I lift other baby up to nurse without even unlatching first baby. I am that amazing. 

I nurse both babies for a minute until other baby decides she/he didn't really want to nurse, but instead wanted to use the location advantage to climb onto the side table next to the couch. 

I strong arm other baby off the side table and back down to the floor while keeping first baby latched. Yep, you guessed it. Amazing abounds.  

Other baby cries and fusses and wants back up. 

First baby pops off the boobie and slides off the couch (sometimes, as in the case of King Toad Agooga, the sliding off happens before the popping off...it's as fantastic as it sounds). 

I pick other baby back up and ask if he/she wants to nurse a bit more. He/she clearly indicates the desire to either a) get back on the side table, or b) climb up the back of the couch in an attempt to faceplant on the hardwood, so we both get down off the couch. 

I find first baby under dining room table eating a piece of mail that has been blown off said table by the ceiling fan. 

I remove piece of mail and small chewed up bits from first baby's mouth. 

First baby cries and fusses. 

I find something to distract first baby. 

I hear massive thud and look over to see that other baby has fallen off/over a box/toy/him/herself and rush to pick him/her up. 

First baby takes opportunity to bother Pig, the decidedly less beeb-friendly of our two beasts. 

I rush over to remove first baby from Pig's bed while still comforting other baby. 

First baby goes back for more. They are nothing if not tenacious. 

I remove first baby yet again and relocate Pig to the other side of the baby gate in the hall (poor, poor Pig), while still comforting other baby. 

Other baby finally decides he/she is ready to get back down. 

Just then, first baby knocks over the water glass I thought was out of reach (silly mama) and spills it all over him/herself and the floor.

I head for a towel...

And it goes on like this all day. ALL. DAYExcept for when they're sleeping, of course, in which case they're tucked into my armpits. A vast improvement on some levels, to be sure, but I'm sure you caught the part where they're still ATTACHED TO MY PERSON, even in sleep? Again, I truly wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes, just sometimes, I have the overwhelming urge to quietly slip out the front door while they're otherwise engaged, head to the pub, order a pitcher for one, and pretend I don't have children for a few hours. It's true. I make The Barbarian hide my keys sometimes so I can't, because I am far too lazy to walk to the pub. Just kidding. About the keys. Mostly.

So what do I do instead when I have support and the opportunity presents itself? I do what undoubtedly all mamas, but especially, it turns out, mamas of multiples, do--I hide in the bathroom.

I believe it may have been The Barbarian who first used that phrasing many months ago when it had become a discernible pattern, as in, calling from the other room, "Don't hide for too long in there." And I had to laugh because that's exactly what I had taken to doing. 

Now, I'm totally not that completely anal, OCD martyr of a mama who is convinced only she can and should care for her children at all times. I take help whenever and wherever (if not necessarily from whomever...these are my children we're talking about, after all) I can get it. But the truth is that, especially when they were younger and nursing more, they needed me (I absolutely loathe pumping and, therefore, they have had very few bottles of expressed milk in their lives). And oftentimes they just want me. And honestly, I know what it takes to handle them both, so even when it's The Barbarian on duty, I feel bad just leaving them to someone else.

So whenever I'm not "on," so to speak, with the babies, I'm ostensibly "on" in some other capacity befitting a person engaged in my line of work--I'm cooking, cleaning, running errands, doing laundry, etc. I'm not out on the patio lounging in the sun, drinking a mojito and reading nerdy non-fiction (as opposed to the seemingly requisite or predictable trashy novel of my station in life--I don't do trashy novels...I find them...trashy). I'm doing something that needs to get done. I'm attempting to make a dent in the chaos that is my life and home. I'm being productive.

But when I'm in the bathroom, attending to very real and pressing needs, I find that after I've actually been...productive...I'm not in any real hurry to get up. And seeing as I always visit the loo with my handy-dandy iPhone (sometimes even my MacBook), the situation lends itself perfectly for taking a real break just for myself. To peruse Facebook or read articles or send emails or texts or, even, blog. I can justify it because I can't very well NOT go to the bathroom, but who's to say how long such things actually need to take? Seeing as we have only one bathroom, on occasion The Barbarian will come interrupt, but who's really going to come bother a mama in the bathroom? I mean, rude people, sure. But I try to limit my exposure to rude people in my own home. Don't you?

So I take advantage of that fact and I hide. Sometimes I hide until my feet fall asleep. True story.

Because, seriously, being able to go to the bathroom ALONE and without being subjected to the pitiful cries of my poor abandoned children on the other side of the baby gate in the hall is, like, I don't know. I don't even know what it's like. But whatever that thing is that it's like, that thing is full of awesome. That I do know.

A while back, another mama in my fabulous Facebook group for parents raising multiples in the style we do, asked how other mamas found time for themselves. I was highly entertained and delighted to see that I was not the only one who answered, "I hide in the bathroom."

So fair warning: This and any future post you may read has a very high likelihood of having been composed, at least in part, while I hid in the bathroom.

And I know you wanted to know that.

You're welcome.      


  1. Ha! Funny funny. Classic parenting. Keep potty-writing! Your stories stay in my head, they are that fun.<3

    1. Apologies for the delay, Leela, but thank you, thank you! So happy you enjoy them. :)

  2. People don't get Attachment Parenting until they are attached. And with twins? Hard to imagine. Fortunately here you are to help us imagine. I've said it before, but you are a brilliant writer.

    1. Awwww!! Thanks, Mark! You are too kind. I'm glad you've been enjoying these. Yes, AP with twins is...intense. But it just feels right--not to mention the research is there to back it up. You are absolutely correct, though, as I didn't get it until I had children of my own. My views on child-rearing were quite a bit different when I was a nanny. Having your own changes everything, eh?