Tomorrow is National Multiple Births Awareness Day in Canada (held on the Dionne Quintuplets birthday) and this year the focus is on Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrom (TTTS) which “is a complication of disproportionate blood supply, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. It can affect monochorionic multiples, that is, multiple pregnancies where two or more fetuses share a single placenta.” Wikipedia. (go here to find more information). I was originally going to research and share other facts about multiples in honour of the day for this post, but the twins had other plans this week and so here we are.
They are starting to test the boundaries. W is throwing food she “doesn’t want”, only to want it the very next minute. She’s mastering her “squirm and holler” when it’s time to go although she is always happy with whatever we are about to do. They both think “pushing and pulling” is a fun game and don’t understand why other kids don’t like it as much as they do. The Montessori inspired room has proven far too intriguing for L, with access to toys, books, decals on walls he can peel off and fitted sheets and curtains that are thrilling to hind behind, who needs sleep? Needless to say they are back in their cribs until I have the strength to try again.
We also introduced LL into the mix last week and it revealed a side of the twins I hadn’t seen yet. The “this is my house, those are my toys, and I’m not sure about this cute little baby who has joined our routine” side. W became quite territorial and L became more needy than usual whereas LL just enjoyed the new toys and playmates. I am happy to say that the twins have welcomed LL into the family this week with big smiles and hugs when they see her each morning. I obviously knew introducing a 3rd child to the mix was going to be an adjustment for the twins, but I wasn’t anticipating an immediate personality change… I didn’t properly prepare them for a new “baby in the house” and we are learning how to navigate through it together.
I was Skyping with my parents and grandma the other night explaining (and showing) examples of this new temperament and leave it to my lineage, my teachers, my village to lovingly point out that they are still learning, this too shall pass and that they will continue to challenge me like this for the rest of my life.
So here are some Multiple Birth Awareness thoughts from my week. (with very little to do with multiples, and everything to do with parenting)
#1 Having 2 kids going through this “boundary pushing” stage at the same time is brutal. I know this is part of the deal. I know they have to be assholes to figure out how not to be assholes and that my job is to help them figure this out with the least amount of damage as possible.
#2 Some days I just don’t want to show up. I want to “call in sick”, “ignore the call”, “not RSVP” and perhaps stare at the ceiling for a few hours.
#3 The kicker is just when I think we are all about to go to the dark-side they do something adorable like squawk with elation (and in surround sound) at an airplane flying by or jump on my lap to give me besitos (kisses) out of the blue.
#4 Their reactions are honest and unfiltered. Along with the giggles and besitos are tears, frustration and confusion that has to be overwhelming for them (seeing as it’s overwhelming for me) which is why I do show up every day. I am who they test and I am the one who shows them unconditional love.
#4 Parenting is full of exhausting, anxiety ridden challenges you try to survive (sleeping, eating, teething, tantrums), and then as SOON as you are through it you look back with nostalgia at the “simpler time” that was. In essence parenting is bi-polar. I’m not alone in this right????
* I realize I used #4 twice in that list, but have chosen to keep it in honour of the chaos that
was my week is my life.