I'm an LA-based writer who, after years of covering sex tips and diet tricks for magazines and the web, has recently discovered a new hard-hitting topic: Mommyhood! With two identical twin baby boys to raise (pause for audible gasp), I'm sleepless and brainless, but wow, am I in love. And like any smitten girl, I can't seem to shut up about these little guys, totally caught up in the highs and lows (cause yes, there are lows) of being a new Mommy.
Last week, I got to spend time with my two nieces -- one is 2, the other is 1 -- and fell in love with their pretty pouts and frilly dresses and sparkly shoes. Despite the fact that I'm far from girlie, I was outright squee-ing over all of their sugar-and-spice adorableness. At the same time, it made me a little sad, thinking about how I'll never have a daughter of my own. We're not having any more kids, happy with our twin boys -- the shop is closed. So, I can't help but get a little wistful thinking of the tea parties I won't get to have, the American Girl store outings I'll miss, going shopping with my teen...huh, okay, maybe it's not that great.
And, the truth is, I really do love having boys. I've always loved the playfulness and exuberance of little guys, and I feel so lucky to have a couple of my own. So instead of dwelling on the daughter I don't have, I thought I should instead be reveling in the joys of having rough-and-tumble boys. For example...
Before I had kids, I'd look at my friends who were already parents -- tired and run-down, lacking any of that spark they had pre-baby -- and think, "Oh, I would never let that happen to us." It's what we all say before we become parents, as we make googly eyes at each other over a shared cheese plate and shake our heads at those poor, sad saps (the parents of young kids) at the next table.
When I was pregnant, we agreed to still make our relationship a priority. We would get babysitters regularly. And, since we were homebodies anyway, we wouldn't really mind staying in most Saturday nights, right? But what neither of us was really prepared for was the strain that having kids put on our day-to-day. Despite our best intentions, our babies put a damper on our relationship.
A gentlemen's lunchAt 15 months old, my twin boys are starting to transition to one nap, or so it seems. After a couple of weeks of listening to them babble and squeal at each other for an hour straight during their afternoon "nap," I started pushing it back. They don't go down until closer to 3:30 now. That would be fine, except their friends (you know, the super cool babies they met at playgroups who they keep begging me to hang out with) are waking up from their second nap right around the time that my guys are going down. My happy hour playdates -- over! Thanks a lot, kids.
I mean, it's not like I don't get together with my friends, because I do. But it's either because their babies' naps are all effed up too or they just kind of take naps whenever and wherever. So hallelujah for those mom friends who don't have the same rigid parenting philosophies that I do because I need these playdates. Playdates save my sanity!
My boy, before he dived off the couchSo, you know all those things they tell you about toddler boys being really active and wild and mischievous? You know those warnings from Moms of older boys, that usually come with that, "Oh just you wait" smirk? Well, I guess I really should have listened because now that my twins are upright, they've turned into pint-size stuntmen. God help me!
They're climbing on the bookshelves, hanging off the baby gates, walking up slides and racing up playground steps. I want to be cool about it, I do -- not hover, not panic, just let boys be boys. But, dammit, they're my little precious baby boo-boo's and they're going to hurt themselves! Am I really supposed to let them learn the hard way?
It goes without saying that we're all proud of our kids, not just because they're clearly math whizzes/Pulitzer Prize winners/CEOs/cancer-curing doctors in the making, but because, well, they're ours. But when your little baby suddenly becomes a capable little toddler, you start to see glimpses of who he will be, peeks at his character, this budding person-of-the-world. You get to witness these really telling moments, little acts of kindness or bravery that make your heart swell with pride, bring weepy, happy tears to your eyes. They're the moments you want to video and share with your friends and family. Oh never mind, you just put them up on Facebook because, hell yeah, you think everyone needs to know.
A couple of weeks ago, my 14-month-old twin boys started walking, and while I was obviously proud of those first steps, I was even more proud of the steps they took to get there.