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Sunday, October 3, 2010

let it be a challenge to you

this is one of my favorite quotes from the novel up the down staircase.  it perfectly describes my feelings right now.  sit tight, folks, for yet another round of diva the disillusioned.  i pray there's light at the end of this tunnel real soon...

i knew that having twins would be a challenge.  having two babies thrown at you, when you're accustomed to dealing with one baby at a time, is a shock to the system.  it takes twice (sometimes thrice, sometimes more) as long to do a mundane task as with a singleton.  i do what i can, make allowances for myself and my family, and just deal (i'm going to have "just dealing with it", along with "must be nice!" and "damn it anyway" carved on my tombstone).

some days feel monumentally hard.  some places feel difficult.  one place, i'm discovering, is church.  today was a really bad day for me.

we take up one pew near the front of the sanctuary, near doors where we can make a quick escape if need be (we've been sitting in these pews for years.)  i like sitting in the front (sitting in the back is extremely claustrophobic for short me - i like to see what's up front).  

i try to bring toys, snacks, juice and things to entertain the kiddos.  i count on sunday school (which is before church) to wear out them out.  the kids nap mid morning, and it's always my fervent hope that they fall asleep in church.  yeah right.  that doesn't happen.

not only are my kiddos extremely curious, but they are extremely active as well.  petunia is especially a wiggle worm.  i have to hide pencils, bulletins, ribbon bookmarks and anything else they can get their hands on.  will they play with the toys i bring?  hell no!  do they like my snacks?  yeah, but they usually wind up dropping them on the floor rendering them inedible (i do not allow the 5 second rule at my church - there are mousies living there).  and i can't hand my child over to hubby for a break, becos he's holding the other one.  sometimes we trade off, but that just riles up the fussy kid more and ticks off the kid who was disrupted.  

if my church has a nursery, why not use it?  well, i could, but in my family (and as with a lot of parents at my church), we've always kept our kids in church with us, so they learn to mind and listen.  and anyway, i don't want to take them back to the nursery becos there are usually other kids back there (kids who are too big and too old to be there, so how is my child going to get attention when the attendant is too busy entertaining the big kids?

i've already conceded defeat in being a lector.  can't take a kiddo up there, can't read over a squalling kiddo, i've decided that i'll go back to reading lessons when the kids are bigger and can mind themselves better.  i'm still in choir, and i'm praying that mom will be understanding if i can't sing every sunday becos i'm off dealing with an unhappy kid. 

now, some ladies who sit near us have offered to hold the kids so i can sing/read, and i've taken them up on their offers, but i feel bad doing it.  i feel like i should be able to do it all.  or expect hubby and the boy to pick up the slack when i can't (and believe me they do.  they are my angels).  

today was world wide communion/blanket sunday.  that made church a bit longer today.  the kids were in rare form today.  neither would settle, both were overtired and of course wouldn't nap.  the ladies who offered to help were nowhere near us (one lady was helping with communion, the other was several pews behind us).  in front of us is a sweet older couple but both aren't in the greatest health and i wouldn't expect them to help.  the families behind us had more than their share of kidlet issues (dad was at church alone with a baby and his two older children;  another family have a very active toddler).  

i think i sat in church for a total of 10 minutes.  i was out with either kid, who wanted to either crawl like a mad person or toddle and explore.  neither wanted to nap.  by the time we got to communion i had to hold back tears, i just wanted to cry.  thankfully mr f in front of us flirted with petunia, which calmed her down and made me feel a bit better.

it's funny how an hour long service can feel like it's three hours long with twins.  becos of the kids' actions, i could feel all eyes on me.  someone actually made that comment to hubby - it's okay if they act up.  we're a show in itself.  i think people make allowances for us becos we're the PKs, but i don't want that.  i don't want to be a show.  i just want to sit in church. 

begin rant

shows like kate plus 8, raising sextuplets and quints by surprise piss me off to no end.  where to start...

first of all, i don't have volunteers knocking down my door to help.  outside of my mom and dad, who watch the kids once a week so i can run errands/swim and my ILs who watch the kids occasionally so hubby and i can have a date night, hubby and i take care of the kids all by ourselves.  well diva, these families have 5 or 6 kids or more and you only have 2 plus a big kid, you can do this all by yourself.  well, sure we do this by ourselves.  but imagine doing zumba for 24/7, with exception of a half hour bath, an hour of knitting, and a half hour of sunday school for a break.  all week.  this is my life.  it ain't pretty.  just becos i have twins and not half a baseball team doesn't mean i couldn't use a break now and then.

secondly, these shows make the families appear that they are living high off the hog (i'm talking about you, kate).  we do not live in a big home - the kiddos have their 2 cribs squeezed into a 12 by 12 room and not a lot of room to grow.  while our home is nowhere near hoarders condition, i can't stand the kid clutter.  we don't drive a big ass SUV or the fanciest soccer mom van - we drive a hyundai entourage, the last of its kind, and i will cry if anything happens to it becos we cannot afford anything else.  while i did splurge on yarn last week, i can guarantee it'll be the last thing i buy for myself for a long long time becos any extra money (what's that?) will go to the care and feeding of the kids.  we do not go on fancy vacations on anyone's dime - we're planning a trip to baltimore in the future and believe me it's bare bones.  

thirdly, i wish a plastic surgeon would knock on my door and say, "allow me to remove that elephant belly of yours, free of charge!"  then i could run around chasing the kids in short shorts and skanky halter tops and high heels.  any MoMs out you honestly do this?  and how?!  i'd wear yoga pants and t shirts every day if i could get away with it.  but i have pride, and that's why i wear jeans and khakis just to feel pretty.  and flats or sneakers.  please.  have you ever held 40 pounds of kids in a pair of heels for an extended period of time?  

fourthly, and i find this distressing, but of these three shows, one family is divorced, one is separated and experiencing family turmoil, and the other, while no couple issues have surfaced, have other issues to deal with (financial).  i know hubby was worried, when we first had the kiddos, that we would drift apart and head to divorce court.  we are working really hard to keep this from happening (read:  no we are not experiencing relationship issues.  just basic maintenance that any couple would do).  we both shoulder the responsibility of the kids (i pity the moms who get no help from the dads.)  we make it a point to have alone time every day, even if it's watching tv.  and we try to have a date night if not every week then every other week.  believe me, i really look forward to those nights when we can eat out at a restaurant that doesn't offer mac and cheese on the menu, or go to a grown up movie that makes me think.  (and while i should be more sensitive, i do get annoyed when we go out, just to escape the kids, only to have gaggles of squalling kids wherever we go.  oh well).  

lastly, and this isn't coming from a reality show, but my own experience.  i find it ironic that the people who fuss the most over the kiddos are people my parents' age (aka other grandparents).  ever since the kiddos were born, i can count on one hand the number of families my age at church who ever commented on my kids or even ask how i am.  not that i am fishing for comments or expecting you to chuck them under their chins.  but i've fussed over your little bundles of joy, is there something wrong with mine that you can't be bothered to ask how they are doing?  personally, i think these parents just look at me and pray to Bob that they aren't in my shoes.  and that's why they can't be bothered to say beans to me or hubby.  

end rant

i'm rambling, but this is what i want to you know:

ask me how i'm doing.  while hearing the ill spoken comment (such as "i'm glad i'm not you!") will either make me want to shove my kiddos at you or whack you over the head with my big ass diaper bag, i'd rather be acknowledged than to not be spoken to at all.  i'm just a mom with 2 kids born a minute apart.  i'm just a mom, like you.  

it's okay to offer to hold my kid/get something/do something for me.  i should wear a sign that says "remind me...if i don't ask for help".  i hate asking for help.  but with 2 squirmy sometimes fussy kids, i'm learning to accept the fact that i can't do it all, and just taking a kid off my hands for a few minutes really makes a difference to my sanity.

my kids aren't circus freaks.  please don't treat them as such.  freddie and petunia are brother and sister who happen to share the same birthday.  they're kids.  it's okay to ask about them.  and when i'm having a day where i'm frustrated becos freddie won't walk and petunia growls instead of asking for "more" becos she's hungry, i feel better when i can vent my frustration.  i promise it'll only take a minute, and maybe you'll have some words of wisdom that can help me.

while you're at it, don't forget the big kid.  the boy never asked for twin brother and sister.  he's a big help with the kiddos, but he's still his own person, with interests and talents.  i can't help it if he chews your ear off, but he feels like big stuff when someone asks him how he is, too.

just becos you have a certain lifestyle don't expect us to follow.  how wonderful that your kids are in soccer, football, art classes, ballet, horseback riding, bungee diving, etc. etc. etc.  i'm sorry that your weekends are taken up by all these activities (and evenings too).  but my family chooses not to participate in a lot of activities becos not only are they expensive, but they also take up a lot of time.  and at the end of the day, hubby and i are exhausted.  what energy we have left to expend on weekends and evenings, we keep for our family.  i'm sorry if we live in an nearly century old home and drive an unfashionable car.  i'm sorry if i'm carrying vera bradley 2008 and not the newest louis vuitton.  really, i don't care.  and you shouldn't either.

being a parent is hard.  being a parent of multiples is a challenge.  sometimes MoMs need a boost to get through the day.  let it be a challenge to you, to throw me a bone every so often.  i really do appreciate it.  when mommy's happy, the kiddos are happy, and that makes life easier for everyone all around.

the opinions expressed by the author of this blog do not necessarily constitute the opinion of all MoMs.  in other words, take what you will from my suggestions, and use your best judgement when talking with a MoM.

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