Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BeTWIN You and Me

You know, I've noticed that when strangers see that I have twins, their reactions place them in one of two factions:

1.) The "OMG! Twins?!" group, or
2.) The "OMG! Twins?!" group.

I know what you're probably thinking...Ummm, is this lady under the delusion that everything comes in doubles just because her kids did? Aren't those, like, the same thing? (I apologize, dear reader, for the unfounded assumption that you would use such mundane fillers as "ummm" and "like"...this is all for literary effect.)

Allow me to clarify:

1.) The "OMG! Twins?!" group:


2.) The "OMG! Twins?!" group:


I take it no further differentiation is needed. (Side self-reflection: Is it sad that I can relate almost all things in life to some aspect of Harry Potter? Sometimes a girl just wants a little magic in her life. And Chocolate Frogs. And maybe a pint of Butterbeer on the particularly rough days.)

More often than not, people fall into the latter group, and I really have a difficult time understanding why. While I can appreciate the gut-reaction of “That must be a lot of work,” I feel like it’s also pretty obvious that the “extra work” yields incalculable dividends. On the rare occasion I do encounter someone whose reaction is more along the lines of, "What a blessing," I get so excited that I tend to scare him or her away with my over-emphatic, "I KNOW, RIGHT?!" response. It probably comes off a tad too self-congratulatory, even though that’s not my intention. I simply find it refreshing to meet someone else who realizes how AWESOME being the Queen of Twinsylvania is. Usually, I end up having to enlighten naysayers at the playground, grocery store, and even—at times—church (which especially baffles me, considering Jesus was all, "Let the children come to me!") about the joys of raising twin toddlers. It’s as though people assume the two of them are in a constant state of criminal collaboration, and one day I’ll find myself bailing them out of jail for car theft or something…

But, bro, we agreed it was my turn to hot-wire the car!

All joking aside, to put it in terms these Doubting Thomases (keeping with the holy theme here) might understand, having twin boys is, like, umm, The Greatest Thing Since Divinely Multiplied Bread (Jesus loved children and carbs, truly a man after my own heart). But for those skeptics out there who still require rhetorical convincing, I present to you a CliffNoted list of why being the mother of twins is The Best Career in the World (attempting to type the full version would likely result in this blessed Twin-Mama developing carpal tunnel syndrome). These are in no particular order:

* The boys’ interactions with one another breed so many proud Mama moments. Yes, they fight at times, like any other siblings, but I also witness them practice compassion toward one another on a semi-regular basis. They inadvertently teach each other the value of benevolence, and the importance of making others happy. Sometimes it’s sharing a precious “M” (M&M) with the other; sometimes it’s one of them handing his brother a favorite stuffed animal or blankie when he looks sad. I love seeing them intuitively perform these little acts of kindness without being goaded into it, because it is unadulterated, innocent altruism in its purest (and most adorable) form; they have no ulterior motive and expect nothing in return but the gratification that comes from making someone smile when he's "zah" (sad). They can’t articulate their feelings verbally all that well yet, so they use their actions. And it seriously makes me feel like the Grinch on Christmas morning:

Now if only my boobs would follow suit.

* They make each other laugh. All the time. And when they really get one another other going, it’s infectious. There’s just no better sound in the world. If I could get it on my iPod and listen to it on repeat while I run, I bet my race times would drop significantly. In fact, it does give me a burst of energy when I’m pushing them in the stroller on one of our runs together. They think the wind is hilarious. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s the wind, or the labored breathing and comical grunts escaping my mouth as I run into it. Oliver finds this especially amusing, and has been known to mimic the cartoonish sounds I make; he may be the outwardly sweet and quiet twin, but he has a slightly sadistic side when it comes to Mama’s workouts. As soon as Oliver starts laughing, Trystan joins in, and I’m running to a harmonious blend of toddler giggles. Apparently their twin bond begets a propensity for inside jokes, because they find each other hilarious even when I have no idea what’s going on.

Three words: Coordinating. Halloween. Costumes. 

We love being Mama's personal Barbie dolls!

* Sometimes this happens. In real life. Often unintentionally:


It is freaking hilarious right now (even though poor Ollie doesn't stand a chance against Trystan's behemoth skull), and has the potential to develop into a special bonding ritual when they're older:

Nothing better than horsin' around with your best bro!

* Yes, we have double the tantrums, double the dirty diapers, double the fishy cracker bill (okay, triple…I'm rather partial to the Vanilla Cupcake ones), and double the tears of frustration. But we also have double the tears of joy. Double the hugs, double the kisses, and double the laughs. We had double the excitement of a first step. Double the pride of a first word. And when one of them finally strung together the phrase, “I love you,” we got to hear it echoed back in another—separate, but just as heartwarming—voice, shortly after. And our hearts doubled in size.

* Continuing in that vein, we’ll have double the dough should Wrigley’s ever decide to do a modern remake of one of these babies:

And if they turn us away, we'll sue for unlawful twin discrimination against FRATERNALS.

* I am in way better shape than I'd be if I'd only birthed one little goober. When we go out for a run, I have to push two toddlers in Robert (what we've christened our trusty BOB Duallie running stroller). It’s twice the challenge. And an awesome arm workout. My pull-ups have improved exponentially. It’s basic physics, dude: F = ma. Throw in some wind resistance or hills, and I’m basically this guy, in a running skirt:

Does this count toward my frequent flier miles?

* It is pretty dang awesome when we’re under a blanket reading together, and they snuggle up on either side of me to make a Mama Sandwich. I feel like the cream of an Oreo: sickeningly sweet, and loved by everyone. Every mom deserves to be the cream of an Oreo every once in a while.

* And speaking of being in the middle of things: Even when they’re fighting over my attention, I can’t help but feel the love. Do I like that they're fighting? No. Do I kind of revel in the fact that it makes me feel as popularly coveted as The Bachelor with a bouquet of roses? Uh, yeah. Kinda.

Each of my boys has a built-in best friend. And I have two.

* Double tax credit. Had to say it.

* I’ll let you in on a little secret: When I initially found out I was carrying twins, it kind of felt like triplets—Baby A, Baby B, and the irrational fear that I would unwillingly love one of my children more than the other. I think, throughout the pregnancy, that fear put more pressure on me than Trystan’s abnormally large cranium did on my bladder. But I love both my boys, in totally equal amounts, yet totally different ways. I love how strikingly individual they are, and how they love me in their own unique ways. My fears throughout the pregnancy proved to be unfounded, as I’ve since discovered first-hand that the experience of mothering twins rests on a mathematical paradox:

Your attention may be divided, but your love is multiplied.


Well, Voldy, actually, I have two things:

OMG! Twins!! <3
Okay, three, if you count the chocolate.