Monday, May 09, 2005

And the twins are not even here yet!!!

Have you been pregnant? Or do you have kids??
Then I am sure you will nod your head along with me when you read further down...

The twins are not even here yet (in fact so far they have been an "abstract" thing and some black and white smudges in rice thin paper - nothing like the Lennart Nilson pictures) and I have been the (unfortunate) recipient of much unsolicited and most times, downright stupid advice.
According to a (brilliant) writer, mom of twins, whose book I am currently reading, what you most need is a good sense of humor...

OR (this is my recommendation)
A truckload of solid arguments based on medical information ;) (and yes I can hear you Mary..."typical Tina!")
Hey, where would I be without my statistics, huh?? Or my bookcase full of books (with the gory pictures you so hate, lol)

In a nutshell, WHY on earth do people assume that a) I know absolutely nothing about babies, b) they know everything, c) its the inherited birthright to pass on information in a tone that implies you are a moron and d) it all comes from parents of singletons!????

YES I DO KNOW how to change a diaper! Doing a quick calculation in my head, I started babysitting when I was 13, then I helped raise oh.... 20 kids to date, I work (or least worked before the accident) as a kindergarten teacher... well not kindergarten, my class was the 2 years old... so TRUST me on this. I can change a diaper.
I can/know how to make a bottle. I can feed a baby, burp it, bathe it, dress it, take in and out of the car seat, properly fasten the car seat to the car, go shopping with a baby, entertain a baby etc.

What I do not know (and neither do you, dear total strangers-I-had-never-seen-you-before-tonight advice givers) is how to juggle twins. How to organize twins (though I do have a pretty good idea and a list of things that I think might work) but trust me... My kids won't go hungry, be dirty, miserable etc, without your advice. So, as politely as I can muster, shove it sister!

Of course the ones that annoying the heck out of me are those patronizing, women whose only response to every sound argument or medical fact you present them with is: I have been there.
Uhm, excuse me... but no you haven't. To date I am the ONLY mother to be of twins I know in my social circle.
NO mother of twins will EVER give you all this crap I mentioned above.
I am SO grateful for people like Monika or Dian who are NOT patronizing or pretend to know what its like to have two newborns all at once (or two crawling/walking, in of course opposite directions, babies) and yes they are both mothers (of singletons).
Monika offers me kind advice by sharing her pregnancy with me, and from time to time tells me what its like in her house with a 4 year old and a 2 year old around... but she has never once told me things like "Poor you, you are having twins" or "how will you manage" etc.

Dian on the other hand has two grown kids (so she has survived two teenagers, lol). She too has never ever pretended to know what its like to raise twins. She will share stories of when the kids were young but she too is not going around pretending to be this all knowing person who won't even hear your arguments out because "she has been there and you haven't" (so what can you possibly know!?) because when the twins do come, I will be in a place that not one of the "well wishers" above (not Monika and Dian of course!) has ever (and will not) been...

I am so thankful for my Monika and Dian (and Sherry and many others)...

I am especially ticked at my MIL who has one response to pretty much anything you say.
Per example:
I am saying how it will be nice if my husband and I, don't forget we are man and wife (and no you dirty minds you, I don't mean sexually, geez!! :)) and once in a while go out.
My MIL will smile in a smile that surely comes from the experience of raising 3 kids (not at once!), and nod and say "Yeah right... wait until the baby gets here".
And thats her response to everything that is not baby related. The other day I was discussing how I was saving to buy a nice rocking chair for the nursery and again I got the same nod, same sentence. Oh, she also says quite often "that baby is going to teach you real good"
What is this? What am I? This totally clueless, moronic person that will be "taught a lesson" after the "punishing" baby arrives?!??!
What is parenthood? Capital punishment!?

Of course all this crap comes from parents of a) singletons and b) people that had no problem conceiving whatsoever.
I never, EVER heard a former IFer complain about parenthood. They sucked up every moment of it.. .and YES I DO know its NOT all smiles and roses and dressed, clean, make upped women and babies who swallow everything moutful of baby food and never make a sound, like the TV shows it. I do know I will probably think this IS indeed some form of capital punishment, especially when its 4am and I haven't eatten, slept or showered in 3 days and I have to get up for the 10th time since 10pm to change yet another diaper...

But I also realize that babies grow up... that they offer so much more and that the bad times will be there, but will be in the long run so much fewer than the good!

And why do those women ONLY talb about the "tortures" they have endured while pregnant or raising their kids? Don't they remember ANYTHING about the good times? You know, I have heard from anyone except my... (wait for it, this will be good.... waiiiiit) MOM (of all people, yes you are shocked I know!) about all the fun stuff kids do, first birthdays, clever things they say etc...

Didn't these women want to have kids? Do they feel cheated because no-one warned them about the "troubles" ahead, though I highly doubt this last part because based on the amount of advice I receive, surely they received something like this too...

OR, is this some form of a game? "Present motherhood like a horrible, horrible thing, so that person about to become a mother, receives a wonderful surprise when she realizes there ARE indeed so many good things about it!".
Don't you want to scream?

I need some witty answers and fast. And one last request ... if you are not the mother of twins, I don't want to hear how you know exactly what it will be like... because you DON'T!!!! (that does not include my friends btw... your advice is always welcome because I know you love me. I am mostly ranting about those total strangers who sat by me all night Friday at Peggy's party, bombarding me and scrutinizing how much lasagna I ate!)

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