When I had Stephen, I felt overwhelmed taking care of a baby. It was all new to me: swaddling, diapering, nursing, bathing, etc. It took me an hour to pack the diaper bag in preparation to return to work. Grocery shopping seemed insane.
Very early, Stephen developed a horrible skin condition where his skin kept peeling off. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and was on the verge of taking him to the doctor, sure he had leprosy, when Eric discovered I was slathering him in body wash after his bath instead of lotion. Another time, I was shocked at a well baby check up when the doctor informed me Stephen had a yeast infection.
Funny, and also true to the commercial; Stephen wore pampers but Luvs were good enough for everyone else.
Three babies later, I can tell the difference between a yeast infection and diaper rash in a glance, and I have the correct cream for either in my medicine cabinet. I can differentiate between eczema and chicken skin rash; I can treat cradle cap. I’m an expert ear infection diagnostician. How much medicine can I give the baby? I have an app for that.
Packing the diaper bag to be prepped to take 4 kids out? Takes me 5 minutes. Tantrums, scraped knees, and dirty diapers don’t phase me. I can nurse 2 babies simultaneously while reading the paper.
But I get reminders that my situation is not the norm.
We attended a birthday party for a 4 year old with a new baby sister, who was the second child in the family. The parents and grandparents were rushing around and seemed stressed about the commotion. When we left, I thanked one of the grandmothers.
“I’m sorry it was so crazy!” She said. “We’re not used to all this!”
I laughed. “I am. It wasn’t too crazy. Everyone had a great time. This is pretty typical for a 4-year old party.”
“Oh,” she said, looking relieved. “Good! Thanks!”
This week, my parents took Stephen and Adrian to San Diego for Spring break. I’ve found myself using the phrase “only two” a lot. One of my friends said, “Wow, your parents are brave! I can’t believe they’re taking the boys to California!”
I looked at her funny. “They’re only taking two. The twins are staying home,” I replied.
“I know!” She said. “But it’s still a lot of work!”
(Alright, props to my parents!)
Eric will be a stay-at-home dad to the twins this week. Those unfamiliar with our situation said, “Wow! Can your husband handle all that?”
“He’s only staying home with TWO!! I still expect a clean house and dinner when I get home!”
Those who know us have said jokingly, “Just the twins!? What are you guys going to do all week? You’ll be bored.”
And we laughed.
But seriously. No joke. Parenting twin almost 2-year old boys really is a break. Who knew?