March 27, 2012

Dear Babies,

A little red-haired orphan named Annie once sang “the sun will come out tomorrow,” and thank god for that.

Amazingly, you guys still have not figured out that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing. (And, that a lot of the songs I sing to you are takes on dirty rap songs, “Er’body in the club get their shoes and socks on,” and then I’ll whisper, “er’body in the club get their shoes and socks on.”) Everything is trial and error, babies. Right now, life with almost 17-month-old twins!, there is no rhyme or reason. You like something one day. You throw yourself on the floor and scream until you turn purple about it the next.

The first half of today has been a goddamn nightmare.

Someone was always crying. From seven a.m when you woke up until about one when you went down for your nap, that was six hours of crying.

Someone was crying inside of me, too. Or rather, something. A beast who gets snippy when she’s frustrated. Defensive. Sharp tongued. Ugly.

I don’t curse a lot, but today the beast threw around a lot of profanities in my head.

I took you to the library to get books for me for research. With all the parenting memoirs I’ve been checking out any day now that kind librarian is going to have to ask me, “are you okay? You know that there are parent groups you can join, people to talk to,” as she slides me a pamphlet. I really had no intention of going into the children’s room. But you guys seemed good for the minute. I thought we could roll through. I thought we could try it. I’d read you some board books, I wouldn’t even take you out of the stroller…

Then, I heard it.

No, NO!

To my horror it was story time and a woman in the center of a domed tent was singing your favorite song, “Open and Shut Them.”

The beast within awoke with a roar. “*%#@!”

I tried to do a quick about face but it was too late. You’d already heard the music. And we can’t do anything quick.

You started screaming. Squirming. I had to take you out of your stroller. I thought I could hold you, Baby Girl, and maybe Baby Boy would walk around the tent with me holding my hand…

A-hahahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha! bellowed the beast in a maniacal laugh. One went that way out the door into the hall. The other toward the windows. She’s NOT walking yet? said a stern Jamaican nanny about you crawling like a bull, Baby Girl. “*@#% YOU!” You ran into a cement pole face first, Baby Boy. As you bellowed to the heavens a prim grandmother who looked like a basset hound dipped her tortoise shell glasses at me from the computer at which her five-year-old granddaughter quietly sat. “*%#@ YOU, TOO!”

Stairs, falls, cries, fits, emptying whole shelves of books. Think about every disastrous thing that would happen in a movie about multiple children starring Steve Martin, and then times that by two, and condense it in a span of five intense minutes.

I was sweating and surely had b.o.

And then you didn’t want to leave, of course not! One day you may watch drunk people at sporting events riot on TV and wonder what the hell is wrong with them? This is mayhem, this is fun! Baby Boy, you threw yourself on the floor and rolled around between my legs screaming and kicking your feet while I strapped your sister into the stroller first, who was also screaming with her mouth open so wide I saw that hanging thing dangling like you only see in cartoons.

She cried for the whole walk home, too.

The beast inside me cried, WHAT’S THE MATTER! SHUT UP! SHUT THE *&#@ UP!

I swallowed her.

I opened my mouth, calm.

I sang “Open and shut them, open and shut them, give a little clap!” uphill, out of breath, for eighteen minutes as you slowly, incrementally, calmed yourself down…

And then, it was nap time.

I said have a good rest, angels. Have sweet, sweet dreams. When you wake up we’ll have so much fun. It will be a great afternoon!

And I shut the door to your room believing that, thanks to Little Orphan Annie syndrome.

As a parent in the face of constant unknown, I have to.



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