Thursday, August 09, 2007

Prepare To Qualify

Prepare To Qualify

This was our exchange during a let’s-calm-the-babies walk to get ice cream (our dinner) the other night:

Nicole: I have some bad news.
Me: Okay... [fear and blood pressure rising….]
Nicole: I have to go to Boston next Sunday [for work] and I have to spend the night.
Me: [panicking inside; trying to think positive, calculating exactly how many hours she will be gone, including transportation to and from the airport] That’s ok. That will be fine. We’ll be okay for a couple days. It’s not like you are going to San Francisco for a week or something.
Nicole: Well, I have to go to San Francisco for a week in September.

We discussed for a few minutes the concept of me and the girls going to San Francisco too, and Nicole was very indulgent in that fantasy. But we quickly determined that that would be unrealistic: baby jet lag; walking up those hills with a Bjorned baby and a stroller; and I would be alone all day while Nicole worked east coast hours on the west coast.

On the plus side, sourdough bread; family all together; a swanky hotel, in which I would most likely spend lots of time with napping babies. And maybe a trip to Muir Woods to visit the redwood trees.

Neagtive side: Cross-country trip with four-month-olds.

It’s not going to happen. As much as I want it to, it is just too soon.

The Adrienne Rich book is called Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. It might be a bit too extreme for my tastes, but I read a provocative quote from it and I must admit I am intrigued with Rich’s rather controversial take on motherhood as being both a blessing and burden. And I read a part that talked about how hard/overwhelming it can be. I like books these days that forces readers to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at everything for what it really is.

Today, the girls were little angels/ Nanny Annie and I visited my friend Jen (the one with twins) at her beautiful home (Trees! Nature! Grass! Bugs! Butterflies! Driveway!). We ate BBQ’d chicken and corn on the cob while sitting in the backyard where you can hear the breeze through the trees. The babies slept and ate and smiled and coo’d and generally just did a great job being cute. I had a sneak peek at what life with twins will be like when they are older and it is good! They really are each other’s playmates! Jen’s kids played on the swingset and played inside the house and on the patio and in the pool. They were so cute with one another.

Cuteness continued way into the evening. But Avery and I had a brief upset at the grocery store. I took Avery to buy a few things and she started to cry as I waited on line. Not a whiney little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cry, but a full on red-faced scream cry. I had no idea what to do. I still feel like there is an voiceover announcer following me around saying “And today, the role of mother will be played by Jennifer.” People we looking at me and I was looking right back at them, trying to convey “I have NO idea what is wrong with her ha ha ha” with my facial expression. Crying continued so I unstrapped her and picked her up. I bounced her and patted her back and wouldn’t you know it, she releases a giant burp and a lot of spit up, all over my shirt and her dress and the floor. I laughed nervously and made some comment about how silly I was not to bring a burp cloth, and proceeded to wipe Avery’s wet face and neck with the bottom of my tee shirt. Here’s hoping that no one behind me on line was from Child Protective Services.

This incident hits horror from several angles:

1. This is one of the first days this summer when I wore a “good” tee shirt. Meaning, one I did not want to ruin. It’s one of those $14.50 Gap ones. It’s soft, soft pink, like the inside of an aged clam shell. I only pull it out for special occasions or when I am wearing pants with pink in them. Best laid plans and all.
2. Lifting up the bottom of my shirt meant revealing part of my stomach. Some might say too much of my stomach. And I am not sure the general public is ready for that yet. Perhaps I will take a picture a do a little before-and-after here so you can see what I mean.
3. This is my local grocery store. I go here every day (sometimes twice a day). And I don’t want to look like an incompetent fool.
4. This little disturbance meant there was ample time for everyone on line to analyze my purchases: Dr. Pepper, pretzels and ice cream. Why couldn’t this happen on a healthy food run, when I am buying fruits and veggies? All I have to say is thank goodness I put back the enormous bag of Gummi Bears that I was going to buy.

Tales of life on a boat to come….

Pictured above are Avery and me on the hammock and Mad in her car seat. Both are wearing cute sailor dresses given to them by their Aunt Jenni, our host or the afternoon. I’m sad that they will grow out of these dresses!


ajs4ever said...

Sounds like a pretty interesting errand! I hope it will go better for you next time:)

Shannon said...

I have to say, I love reading your blog. You are so honest about everything that you're going through, and at the same time your entries are often so funny that I laugh out loud. Sorry to hear about the incident at the grocery store, but thank you for sharing it in such a humourous way. And, a tip: OxiClean stain remover spray works great to take out baby spit-up stains, even if the clothes have been washed before. We have a kid who spits up constantly (he has reflux and doesn't seem to want to outgrow it even though he's 7 months old) and we thought we'd ruined so many shirts until we bought OxiClean and the stains came out even on shirts that had already been washed! We go through about a bottle of the stuff a week.

Truck Driver Wife said...

I had an incident sort of on the same wave lengths. Only my son spit up in my face in Kmart. Not pretty.

Your babies are beautiful. I envy you for doing as much as you do with two babies. I had a hard time with one at at time.

Emory Student Midwife said...

Thanks for posting the title of the Adrienne Rich book :)

If ever you need any help or have questions, let me know. I was Nanny Amanda for twin girls from 4 mos old to 2+ yr. They're my sweethearts and I miss them terribly (I left their family to relocate for my graduate program.)

Sorry about the spit-up incident. Spit happens. Just kidding. :)

nailgirl said...

I agree with Shannon. I love reading your posts too. They are heart warming, honest and down right funny! Hugs you are doing a great job!

K J and the kids said...

I remember the first time J left me over night. I was sick to my stomach with panick. Up until then she always got up at night with one of them. I got up with the other. To take on the responsibility of both and then to have to take care of them on empty the next day scared the bageebees out of me. It was ok. I was tired the next day. They did better than I thought. I did better than I thought.

Several of us have been talking about judgment lately. We need to put it all behind us. SO WHAT if your kid was crying. SO WHAT if she spit up on the floor (sorry about the softest t-shirt EVER)
We need to stop worrying about what everone else thinks and just worry about getting the spit up stain out of our shirts :)

Oh yes...2 words for you...deflated and balloon, come to mind !
If you show before and after will be my IDOL !

Kerry Lynn said...

seriously, i will bow down to you if you show your belly now. It MUST look better than mine or you wouldn't be willing.
Jackson spit up ALL OVER my black dress 30 minutes before their christening.

I wouldn't count out the trip entirely. Jackson and Madison were like new babies at 4 months old. yes, it will be a lot of work but it may be worth it...that hotel room sounds nice :-)

Anonymous said...

well at least you weren't also purchasing BEER, ice cream, etc.