Friday, January 28, 2011

It's like living on an Island

Sometimes, actually most times, having twins is like living on an island. Not like Fiji or Hawaii or some exotic or heavily populated island, but like one of those islands on a lake... You know, people visit now & then, there is no power, but there are all sorts of cozy cottages around the lake with their glimmering lights and music playing... Meanwhile, the people on the island are rubbing stones together trying to cook a meal from whatever they may have harvested or caught. This is it in a nutshell.

Twins are like a side show at the fair. You want to look, but you don't want to stare directly at them. People, no matter how well meaning, just do not get that when you are out with two babies it is not for fun. I remember going out for fun, just to get out of the house, when Isabelle was a baby. When you go out with two babies and a preschooler in tow it is out of necessity. There is nothing fun about getting three kids into car seats, packing a suitcase sized diaper bag and a giant stroller in your car. Only to have to unload it all at your destination to have people stop in the middle of store aisles and stare. Literally, stare. Often these gawkers had nothing to say and when they did it was not helpful. I mean, when you see someone pushing a huge stroller with two infants and a third small child should you not at least hold the door?

However, the isolation does not stop there, particularly when you have tiny babies in the winter. I mean going out means exposure to the cold and to germs that are likely to be fewer if you simply stay home. Then there is the part where when the boys were first born we did not have a car big enough for all three kids and us to fit into at the same time... Which meant either taking two cars or people coming to us. Unfortunately, people coming to us was a concept lost on many. Everyone wants you to visit them in their space for some reason, and it continues through toddler hood, where visiting in their space can actually be dangerous since it is not child proof most likely.

Then there are the empty promises of help. The please let me know if you need anything comments that when you do actually need something is met with some lame excuse. I will say that the reality of having twins has definitely caused me to refine my thinking those who are there for me and whom can be counted on when needed. This is not to say that I expect anyone to help, but it is sure nice when someone offers to come for a couple of hours so that you can get out of the house and go to the doctor or to the store without the sideshow. It has also made me aware of my own promises to help. Rest assured, if I offer you help, I mean it! When I say please let me know what I can do to help feel free to say you know things have been crazy and I have not had a chance to clean my bathroom, would you mind? Nope, not in the least!

On a brighter note, help comes from the most unexpected sources. Just when you think that you are going to starve on that island some stranger or family member that you never see stops in and lifts a little piece of your burden. It is those little lifts that keep you moving forward and able to function even if it is simply in body!

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