Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Jen Convention

Here’s a snapshot of life with twins in New York City:

My friend Jen (and her two kids) and other friend Jen (with her little girl) (and yes that means that there were three women all named Jennifer) came into the city to go to the Childrens Museum and then to lunch. I was planning on joining them. I was planning on taking the subway. I was planning on a smooth commute. We all know what happens with best laid plans. I change out of my stained white tee shirt into my nonstained, cashmere trying-to-make-it-look-like-I-always-look-polished sweater, pack a bag, pack up the girls, put on lip gloss and head to the subway station. Dare I say there was a bounce in my step.

I ask the ticket seller which subway stop on the Upper West Side has elevator access, and she politely informs that there is no elevator access to any station on the Upper West Side that I can get to from that station. I could go into details here but suffice it to say that the only way I was getting up to the mid-80s was by walking. I live in the mid 50s. This works out to a 30-block walk.

By the way, a cab with infant twins is out of the question. I am not holding two babies on my lap while we barrel through city traffic. A cab with two infants and two mommys is fine. I feel it is safer when there is one lap per baby. Yes, I know my logic is faulty, but let’s let me live in my bubble.

The 30-block walk isn’t that awful, but pushing about 80 pounds in cold, cold weather and wearing 2-inch-heel boots adds its own particular challenges. But the cherry was I get to the museum only to find out that ALL strollers must be checked. No exceptions. Not even for infant twins. So the only way I can go in is if I want to carry both babies. That isn’t going to happen.

So I waited on a bench in the lobby. Silver lining, it was a nice way to relax after the long walk.

Lunch was less eventful, but it did take an inordinate amount of time to arrange seating. My double stroller was too wide to park next to the table. And my kids are too little to sit up by themselves at the table. Two little seats that attach to the table were brought over and the girls sat in those. A first for them! Avery spent most of the meal grabbing anything within reach, so we had to create a half-circle safe-zone around her. Then she learned that if she leans, she can reach out of her safe zone. So we had to come up with new borders. A lunch with three adults and five kids (and one more in utero). We survived!

I got home and put the girls on the carpet and scatter a handful of toys around the room and call it playtime. It gets tiring talking to them all day because I run out of things to say. “Who’s a big girl?” and “Look at you, standing like a big kid!” only goes so far. I don’t know many songs, other than boring ones about frogs that go a-courting and shooing flies that bother me. So I sing them Nicole-style songs, which basically (merely) describes the object. Deluxe versions include scatting or interesting phrasing. Examples:

“I’m a green cup. I’m a gre-he-he-he-heen cup. I’m on the car-car-car-pet. Yay.”
“I’m a turtle with a mirror in my belly. I’m a tur-hur-hur-hur-tle with a mirror in ma be-he-hell-y. Mere-mere-mere-rur in ma ma ma ma ma ma ma be-lehehehe. Bell-lee-leee-leee-leeeeeeeee.”

Nicole’s most famous songs are:

“My name is Avery and I got a belly that’s like an old man
My name is Avery and I got a belly that’s like an old man
I’m standing tall and I’ve got my pants hiked up to my chest.
I’m standing tall and I’ve got my pants hiked up to my chest”

“My name is Madeline and I’ve got the car seat blues
My name is Madeline and I’ve got the car seat blues
I’m a fussy baby and I make a lotta noise
I’m a fussy baby and I make a lotta noise”

The girls love it. LOVE it. It is the song we sing to calm them down. Reading the words doesn’t do it justice. It is the way it is sung, in a low, low voice, very s-l-o-w-l-y. Very bluesy. The girls always stare at us, wide-eyed with mini mouths opened in little ohs, as if they are wondering if Barry White is possessing their mommys.

Time to go Christmas shopping….

Pictured above, Avery in her seat getting a kiss from Aunt Jenni and the girls during playtime. That bus Avery is playing with features a bus driver with a British accent. But the driver is on the left side of the bus. Strange.


Melinda said...

Hee!! The song lyrics! I think I just peed myself a little from laughing.

We find ourselves sticking random baby-related words into pop songs. Like "Stop! Baby time!" (U Can't Touch This), "I am just a baby though my story's seldom told", "YOu gotta fight for your right to baaaaabeeeee."

Whetever gets you through the day, is what I say...

Shelli said...

Jen - please, please, please never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever get into a cab with either of those beautiful girl WITHOUT CAR SEATS! I don't care if it's a pain in the ass, but that's my soap box.


And as far as CMOM - we'll happily meet you there any time - Narda and I have the stroller schlep up the subway stairs thing down now!


Wow. Silly me thought most subways had elevator access. What the hell do the disabled do? Well, it sounds like you kind of had some fun.

I am afraid to check out the link above in the Nypost. My gf and I plan on taking a taxi every now and then with the twins.

infertilepediatrician said...

I love that you sing about random things. I too am deficient in kid song lyrics. So I make shit up all the time. I feel somehow lacking as a mom for not knowing kid songs so it's nice to hear that others make things up too.