I’m not surprised. She’s been doing this my whole life. She knew which friends would be with me for life and which friends would drift away. She knew that my broken 16 year old heart would mend and continue to love. She knew when I missed my 8am classes in University and that my temporary move to Vancouver was probably going to be longer than I thought (10 years and counting). Recently my mother’s words are ringing in my ear about how precious these years are with the twins and inside I think “REALLY?” because my day to day feels anything but:
Let me paint you a picture:
7:32am – Wake up to twins SHAKING their cribs, fairly certain they have climbed out (their new thing). Engage in battle to change diapers, put on new diapers, put on shorts, put on…oh forget the damn shirt.
7:45 – Need to go to the bathroom and am followed in by two very serious toddlers. One “shushhhhes” me so they can hear and confirm that I am in fact going pee. (we are potty training in our house)
8:00 – Make and serve breakfast, twins eat their breakfast and then immediately peck at mine and J’s while chirping “mommadadda, I too, I too”
8:15 – fuck, is it only 8:15???
8:15-11: I don’t even know what to do today? I begin to pack up our stroller with the diaper bag and water bottles which I have to refill again because L has finished them both. Put sunscreen and bug spray on each child and myself (have I brushed my teeth yet? – too late now) Explain AGAIN that they cannot run onto the road, get outside, twins immediately want to play inside – play for 20 minutes – usher them inside, give them crayons, explain AGAIN that we don’t eat crayons, take crayons away.
11: start making lunch while both kids are at my feet chirping “I too, I too”, point to their mouth, run to the table, climb on the chairs, climb on the table, grab kids off table put them in chairs, buckle them in – sigh.
NOON: finish lunch, twins bolt for the cupboard to hide, I sit on the couch and stare at the wall. Twins play with every toy, tupperware, fly swatter we have for no more than 3 seconds at a time until they start fighting …. CUE NAP TIME
1pm: Wrangle the twins upstairs to their room, fight with them to change diapers, put them in their cribs – they immediately crawl out and climb into the bed with me. (there is a Queen Bed in their room as well – our entire place is 700 sq feet to give you an idea of what we’re working with). We don’t watch TV yet, but we do watch home videos on my phone or ipad… Today we’re looking through my Instagram photos… and THAT’s when it hits me.
I’m having flashbacks of them at 1 week old, 4 months old, 1 year old. Memories of our first walk, their first smiles, our first Christmas. Watching videos of them merely days old with their little snorts, and I can’t help but smile…. you know what I wasn’t doing enough of back then… smiling. You know what I haven’t done yet today – SMILED…. okay inside I smiled at the thought of Nap Time, but not a real smile.
My mother ALWAYS ALWAYS says, “oh these years are the best years”, or “they are so precious”, or “I loved when you were all kids” and I think.. no you didn’t. There is no way that you (Mom) were going through this above routine DOUBLED (4 kids including twins) and thinking… “this is so great”. You were most likely thinking: “when the fuck does R (my dad) get home so I can go to the bathroom ALONE.” I’m probably right, in the moment I don’t think many of us enjoy this parenting thing but I realize that SHE is also right because when I look back and photos or think of things that happened even minutes ago I can’t help but smile. When I think about all the things “Kendahl” has been through these past few years, I smile. I think about how “Kendahl” has been able to witness so many changes happening with 2 people who are the greatest 2 people I know and suddenly my day re-writes itself into this:
“Sometime around 8am I wake up to the kids playing in their rooms, laughing and jumping. I get them dressed and they follow me into the bathroom and encourage me to pee “like a big girl”. We head downstairs where they eat their breakfast like champs and then want to “share” mommy and daddy’s too. After breakfast we play outside chasing bugs and calling out to the birds and iguanas. At lunch time they RUN to the table because these kids love to eat and after lunch they create all sorts of games, showing me their toys and trying to build tupperware castles. They learn something new everyday, today it’s how to take paper off of crayons. We head to their bedroom for nap time but first we look at photos and I am reminded of how little they just were and of how time flies – and then I think about my own family, particularly of my mother and feel lucky to have such great memories of my childhood and how she really DOES know everything.”
I will most likely wake up tomorrow and think “FAAAAAACK – here we go again”, and I will most likely still have to battle with them over the same things, but I also know that these days won’t last forever and one day I will be telling W how precious this time was – and I will be right – mothers always are!