13 January 2007

What I Learned Today

I can get through a day pretty much completely on my own with the twins. GH helped me as much as he could--with the first feeding of the day and with an outing to a friend's house--but he was pretty much out of commission today. I handled all the playtime, all the feedings, all the diaper changes, putting them down for naps, bathtime, and bedtime. I know there are plenty of single moms out there who do this every day, and hats off to you. For me, this was an important lesson: I can do this if I have to, and no one came out the worse for wear.

Bed and bathtime were a little rough. With twins, someone always has to wait if there's only one adult. Maddie and Riley are used to a tag-team bed/bathtime routine where GH feeds Maddie, I feed Riley, then we take turns for baths, but the one who is not in the bath has a parent to hold him or her and read stories. Then they get tucked in at the same time. I decided to bathe Maddie first because she is better about laying in bed and entertaining herself. I put Riley in his clip-on high chair in the kitchen, got Maddie all ready, did her bath, put her in her PJs, and put her in bed. Riley basically sobbed the whole time Maddie was getting her bath; he was tired and ready for bed and wanted to either be held or be in bed already. He pulled himself together and did great in his bath and loved his baby massage, as usual, and Maddie very patiently waited all tucked in for Riley to arrive. I tucked Ri-Man in, gave Maddie another kiss, turned off the light and left. Maddie, who normally goes to sleep without so much as a peep, sobbed herself to sleep. It took her almost ten minutes to finally give in, which is a long, long time for her. It's not a big deal, I know, but since it's unusual for her to do that, it was especially hard to listen to. I think she got overtired with the waiting. Next time, I think I'll tuck her in and turn out the light, then just sneak Riley in when he's ready. Even if she wakes up when he comes to bed, I think she'll go right back to sleep. We'll see.

Once they were in bed, I got some laundry going and then made myself a real dinner: ginger chicken, sesame cole slaw, and rice. The chicken was something I made a while ago and froze, and the slaw was made with bagged cole slaw mix, although it had homemade dressing. I was proud of myself for making dinner for just me, and especially proud that it included fresh veggies. It's the little things. When I'm eating by myself, it's so easy to just pour a bowl of cereal and call it good.

Now 9:00 has arrived, which is pretty much my bedtime these days. GH had been in bed since 5:30, poor thing. Tomorrow I have some help lined up in the morning, which will be nice, and then we're visiting some friends in the afternoon. I felt a little isolated and lonely today on my own, so I'm glad to have social things scheduled for tomorrow.


OTRgirl said...

I'm having trouble finding words. I'm checking in for the first time in a couple days. Just reading your last three entries makes me sad/scared for you and GH, but also very impressed with both of you.

kim said...

It's amazing how we can feel such accomplishment over the most basic tasks as a parent, but it's definitely well-deserved - kudos for making it through the day with your sanity AND enough energy for a real homemade dinner! (I can't always say that and I've only got one little one at my heels...)

DoctorMama said...

"the little things"?

They sure don't sound little to me.

Lisa said...

Sounds like you did a great job. You can do it, a lot of it is just confidence. I know for me that having routines that we follow helps the kids know how long they will be waiting and they do better with it. Also, they seem to do better when they are in proximity to me so I usually keep one busy in the same room while doing whatever with the other one. When they get a bit older, you can bath them both together and it will go so much faster. And you are doing better than me with cooking yourself a nutritious meal of real food. I'm trying to do better with food, but I ate a LOT of cereal and Lean Cuisine meals the first year or so.

Thanks for your comment. If you can spare some time on your trip, I'd love to have a blogger meet up. Hope GH will have a better day tomorrow.

Rachel said...

I'm impressed. The bath thing sounds really tricky. Good for you for cooking dinner, too. You have to take care of yourself or you won't have the reserves to take care of everyone else.

My friends who have two tell me that the second child learns to be more adaptable by virtue of having to wait sometimes. Of course with twins both of them have to wait, and I don't think that's such a bad thing. Sometimes I worry that Bella thinks every demand should be met immediately because she's never really had to wait. It's still hard to listen to them cry, I know.

Yankee, Transferred said...

I have done it. With only one baby, so not nearly as daunting. I speak from firsthand experience when I say you are totally awesome and I admire you. Love to you all.

Menita said...

Holy cow, woman. I can't get it that together at my end. Very impressive, very.