7:10AM I hear the alarm — how long has that been ringing? Did I already hit snooze? It was a coma-like sleep…did it wake the babies? Nope, babies are fast asleep next to our bed. Which stay-at-home-mom uniform should I wear today? Black leggings or gray? Colored nursing tank top or black? Let’s do black leggings, striped tank top, just to keep things mildly interesting. I’ve got to update their charts…they were up twice last night to eat. Do I have time to make Mike’s coffee and pump before the babies wake up?
7:20AM The babies are stirring…definitely no time to do anything else. I breastfeed Arden while Mike bottle feeds Henry. These babies! It’s like three hours of sleep has let me forget the precise perfection of their faces and seeing them again makes me swoon. Mike agrees; it’s such a grand injustice that dad should have to leave the house to make an income.
7:50AM It’s diaper time, and just LOOK at how they smile now that they’re really awake! It’s like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir bursting into song just for us. Oh! The best part…picking out their clothes for the day; it’s infinitely better than when I was six and picking out clothes for Cabbage Patch dolls.
8AM Babies are propped up in their infant seats and I’m pumping. Arden looks like she’s about to cry…here’s hoping rocking her with my only available appendage (my foot) will settle her. Fifteen minutes of pumping goes by terribly slowly when two babies are staring at you as if to say, “Why, Mommy? Why are you sitting in front of us but not holding us?” Must think of more songs, maybe Disney? Why not. “Look at this stuff! Isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think of a girl, a girl who has…everything?” They’ll grow to love Ariel because their mother’s a redhead — I’m sure of it (though they may never understand why she doesn’t share her voice…).
8:15AM I distract the babies by talking to them while I wash all the pump parts and make a cup of decaf tea. While it steeps, it’s time for daily “twin time” on the blanket on the floor, along with tummy time (which I’m pretty sure they think of as torture time) and singing. They look so cute right now I could just about die. I take copious photos and email them to great-grandparents.
8:45AM Upstairs the babies go, another diaper check, then story time from their children’s Bible which is really more entertaining for me then them. But they humor me and listen.
9AM Babies go down for a nap. I realize my untouched tea is now cold and pop it in the microwave. What to do with the next uninterrupted 45 minutes? Be practical, I suppose. Balance the checkbook, update our calendar, answer emails. Eat something. That milk doesn’t come from nowhere.
I’ll thank myself later if I prep for when they’re awake. So — make Henry a bottle, clean the bottles in the sink that fed him all last night, get the vitamin D ready to give each of them. Is it laundry day? Probably…in go a load of whites.
10AM Somebody’s crying through the monitor, so like a shotgun has gone off I race upstairs in the hope of snatching one baby out of the room before the other one wakes up. Today: no dice. They’re both wimpering, and due to our house rule of not carrying both babies on the stairs, I have to make Sophie’s Choice and choose the most unhappy baby to take downstairs first. Right now it’s Arden so she goes into her seat downstairs and I race back up to get crying Henry.
10:05AM The Boppy pillow goes on the couch next to me with Henry propped inside it, then I pick up Arden and start breastfeeding her, and then grab the bottle and start feeding Henry with my free hand. It’s a circus act, but everybody’s happy. It’s fine to watch some TV while they’re both eating, right? Right. Netflix live-stream it is.
10:30AM Play time on the floor, more tummy time, more twin time, more singing and dancing, more diapers. Perhaps even a few workout moves that involve them. Pushups over babies, ole!
11AM When was the last time I drank water? Must drink 16oz immediately. Did I reply to that person’s text? How many days ago was that?
11:15AM The babies are getting fussy but they have fifteen more minutes of wake time before their naps. Time to get creative — one in the swing (please don’t fall asleep, Henry) and one with a rattle-accompanied version of the A, B, C’s.
11:30AM Down for naps. Move wet laundry to dryer. I haven’t combed my hair today, or brushed my teeth — must take care of those now. Time to eat again, maybe a bowl of cereal? OH and I have to pump!
12:10PM I hear someone stirring in the monitor; please stay asleep for ten more minutes…I haven’t even sat down since you went to sleep.
12:30PM Babies are awake and ready to eat. Tiny circus act commences.
1PM It’s a nice day, how about a walk? First let’s change both diapers and run out to the car to get the stroller that we store in the back. I’m wheeling it inside when I hear a baby crying because I was out of sight for more than fifteen seconds. What will they need for the walk? Hats, blankets, a good attitude…check, check, fingers crossed.
1:15PM This walk is glorious. Both babies are thrilled to be somewhere other than the living room, and this mama is exhilarated by the presence of fresh air and walking in a straight line for more than ten steps.
1:35PM The bursting pride of walking the twins never, ever gets old.
1:40PM Arden is crying. This walk is getting old.
1:45PM We’re back at the house and the fussiness indicates it’s almost naptime.
2PM Nap time!!!
2:10PM …also means pump time. Sigh. And make Henry his next bottle time.
2:20PM I should really write thank you notes (for meals, gifts, acts of service) but the thought is a mental hurdle I can’t climb at the moment. Instead I will check Facebook.
2:30PM Oh yeah — I have laundry to fold. And it’s time to run the dishwasher after hand-washing the pump parts.
2:45PM Did I hear a baby wimper? Or was that a phantom baby wimper that my mind plays tricks on me with?
2:50PM It was real — Henry is awake. I snatch him up and carry him downstairs and start to feed him; please, Arden, sleep just ten minutes and then I’ll have finished feeding Henry.
3PM Thank you, Arden! Now I can focus on feeding you — see how brilliantly that works out for both of us?
3:20PM How many hours until Dad gets home?
3:30PM Floor time, play time, twin time. These babies are so cute I feel absurdly grateful, like I could just burst. Thank God I’m here! I tell them aloud: thank God we get the whole day together.
4PM When Mike gets home we’re definitely having an adult beverage.
4:30PM Nap time!!!!
4:35PM Pump time.
4:45PM What are we having for dinner? This freezer has chicken in it, why didn’t I think to defrost that earlier? I need a snack. When was the last time I drank water? Have I gone to the bathroom today?
5PM Must answer more emails. Falling behind on life.
5:30PM Both babies are up — shoot, I wish Mike had just gotten home so Henry could be held while eating.
5:40PM Mike’s home! Just in time to burp Henry.
6PM I scramble to make dinner while Mike does baby duty, joyfully reunited after eight hours apart.
6:30PM Please play idly in your little chairs, dear ones, so Mike and I can eat and talk at the same time.
6:45PM They are dream babies who inhabit the earth…they are just sucking on their hands and staring around the room.
7PM Nap/bed time…it could go either way…they could be asleep for a quick hour or for several. Regardless, it’s our version of Mardi Gras: we collapse on the couch, pour a glass of wine, and debate having an engaging conversation versus movie-watching. Movie watching wins.
8PM I better pump one more time, just for good measure.
8:20PM Henry is fussing; he wiggled out of his swaddle like the little Houdini he is. Luckily reswaddling him does the trick.
8:45PM I make three bottles for Henry for overnight, so we’re not running up and down the stairs at 3AM.
10:30PM We “dream feed” the babies, which means feeding them without really waking them up, then putting them right back to bed.
10:50PM Babies are sleeping, and with a kiss and an I love you, so are we.
2:45AM Arden is awake, so we wake Henry to keep them on the same schedule. It’s the midnight milk cafe.
6:50AM Henry wakes up — can we convince him it’s the middle of the night so he’ll resettle? Success.
7AM We look at each other, laugh, and snuggle in for five more minutes before the start of another day.