In some ways, I feel like I’m making up for all the parties I missed in college. I mean, I went to a few, but never the ragers. I’m surrounded by people who yell loud, inexplicable things at random times, cry for no discernible reason and occasionally wake up in puddles of … you get the idea.
I’ve been asked for advice here and there from some of my pals who are taking the plunge or still early in the process of being new parents. I find this to be somewhat hilarious, as I still feel like I have no real idea what I’m doing.
Each stage you go through you feel like you’ve just been through a war zone. There’s the newborn blitz, where you’re up every couple hours round the clock (change, feed, nap, change, feed, nap … sleep? Not for you!). Once you start feeling comfortable in that phase, they change it up.
Then the kids grow out of their larval stage of sleeping and yelling and begin to move and grab and eat. Everything. I find the best way to find a dangerous and unsanitary object is to put one of the kids on the floor and watch where they go. They are contractually obligated to find the worst possible thing to put in their mouths. Oh, you found mommy’s shoes – no don’t eat them. Please, stop playing with the garbage can.… Where did you find that Cheerio?
But with the added fun of running around and corralling the youngsters comes some real sublime joys. The laughing. There’s so much laughing. One of my daughters gets such a kick out of seeing the pages of a book turned that she guffaws and grabs the page. She’ll look up at me to make sure I caught the action, her entire expression basically saying “Did you see that? The whole thing just CHANGED! Look at all these new pictures! That was awes—OH MY GOD IT JUST HAPPENED AGAIN!”
When I walk into the nursery with bottles, they all but jump up and down (if they were coordinated enough, I’m sure that’s what it would be). They beam. They glow. I take a bow.
And soon there will be cake. Parties. And they will have completed their whole first year. When did that happen? Was I really there for all of it? But I just had them yesterday. Didn’t I?
So many people have helped me and my family on this journey. From my employer who has let me flex my schedule in ways never before seen, to my wonderful pals who babysit and let my husband and I enjoy and afternoon out on the town. My wonderful, wonderful friend Marion who has gone out of her way to make sure we’re comfy and well fed. To Gina Leonard and L Factor who put together a care box from customers for me and the kids when they first came home from the hospital, keeping me flush in laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, wipes and more.
To everyone who has helped me change a diaper, scrape soggy cheerios off the underside of the high chair, and mixed up a bottle. Huzza to the Parents of Multiples support group (I can only attend on Facebook, but they’ve been awesome nonetheless). To everyone who has been patient with my scattered brains. To my boss, who is beyond awesome and lets me flex my schedule in interesting (and undoubtedly annoying) ways. And my coworkers who put up with baby stories. Thank you. The bottom of my heart isn’t deep enough.
To my kids, my beautiful babies, who made this crazy year incredible: Happy birthday.
I can’t wait for you to open your presents and play with the boxes. Stop eating the tape!