When we moved to this town people told me about a great children’s center place that has drop off babysitting for five dollars per child per hour.
“It’s great,” they said, “for you to run to the gym or grocery store or even to go get a manicure in peace…”
You had to be 18-months old to start.
At the time, that felt so far away…
You were a few weeks old then, sleeping in three-hour spurts throughout the day. (I imagine, if I had a day to myself with babysitters and no plans and no kids I would do the same.) I remember the six-week mark, six weeks after my c-section, when I got a clean bill of health from my doctor. I wasn’t a pregnant person anymore. I was cleared to exercise. I could stop having her number on speed dial. I was set free into the so-called functioning world, just like everybody else. I made an appointment for a regular check-up six months later. But doc, we went through so much together, and then, good-bye.
Little by little, my body began to work again. I stopped breastfeeding, which stopped the night sweats and the leaking and all of that bizarro bodily stuff I look back on and say “did I really do that?,” filed in my brain as “the bovine days.” I put away the stretchy maternity jeans, filed as “the sad day.” One by one I took out a pair of my old pants–ones at six months pregnant, walking past the window at Club Monaco in my tent-like dresses and taunted by all of the neat rows of pants, I was convinced I would never fit on my body again–and slip, I pulled them on right up my past my knees.
I stopped eating soft pretzels dipped in nutella, see also, “the sad day.”
I began exercising again. I’d try to squeeze in DVD workouts of yoga or Physique 57 during your naps. Sometimes it felt like as soon as I got you quiet, one of you would start crying again. Actually, most times, as soon as I got you quiet, one of you did start crying again. (You really do forget about the tough times in the beginning. Now I say of the first few weeks with twin babies, “oh, it wasn’t so bad! I wasn’t that tired!” This is filed as “delirium.”) I remember being in the basement once in my lululemon pants, wearing them just because I could (they fit!), and feeling so frustrated. I couldn’t exercise, who was I kidding? Every five minutes I was stopping a tape (always, tape, long live the 9o’s) and running up the stairs to answer a cry and go check on you. I felt like I was I never going to get there. I was never going to get into a routine with you guys. Life would be one long morning. Exercise, or anything for me? Who was I kidding! Who are all of these woman at the gym? They must have older kids…
Today I’m dropping you guys off at school for two hours.
I am going to the gym.
I am taking a class.
I must be a woman with older kids.
I don’t feel like her. I don’t know how she got here. These new stages keep coming and coming. I blink, and time flies by. I guess it’s all part of the delirium.