Friday, 3 September 2010

Life is unfair

Please note: Taking care of two kiddies takes time. It is a precious thing to be doing, and of course my girls are the most beautiful girls in the whole wide world so they are very much worth it, but the time it takes to care for them is kept away from other worthy endeavours such as writing. Therefore: my apologies for the gaps between blog entries. I didn’t mean for them to happen and I will try to keep up the frequency in the future but I can’t make any promises. Life is unfair.

First things first: the girls are fine. They are growing healthy and – hopefully – happily. They have very distinctly different personalities which matches their different appearances: blonde Esmée en slightly darker-haired Lisa, but fair-skinned Lisa and red-faced Esmée. Esmée is the impatient one, going from deep sleep to indignant screams for food. Lisa is the slacker, first crying to be fed only to fall asleep half-way through the bottle. Life is unfair, for us parents.

There have been more births in my immediate surroundings and recently I have made two visits to meet their new babies. Both are now the proud mother of a daughter. Only one. And this brought me to a realisation the other day: that having twins, as well as being part of a twin, is definitely different than having or being ‘only’ one.

I only really noticed this when I saw the other mothers and their babies. All their attention was directed at the one child. Their whole world, centred around this one little creature. And this is clearly how nature intended it. These mothers are alert for every little whimper from their baby and cannot stand to let her cry for more than a few minutes, if even that.

My girls have had to share my and their papa’s attention from the day, the hour, the very second they were born. They need to wait for each other to finish eating, to have their nappy changed, to be comforted. Crying from a baby is a call for attention but for them their cry is not the only one sounding through the house. (As is emphatically shown here:

At best they take turns in calling us, at worst they seem to vie for our attention at the same time and at the top of their lungs. They are becoming increasingly aware of the world around them and therefore also of each other. This means that when one cries loudly, the other will wake up and often join in. Separate rooms is only an option at times, usually they hear each other anyway. This proximity of the other, of your sister, is something inescapable for my kiddies. This will be clearer to them as the weeks and months progress and they become even more alert.

That they sometimes cry at the same time, are hungry at the same time, need their nappies changed at the same – it doesn’t change the fact that I can only take care of one kiddie at a certain time. I have yet to master the art of simultaneous nappy-changing, for example, and although it would be possible to feed them both their bottle at the same time (I tried it!) it is really uncomfortable for all of us. Better to feed, change, comfort one while the other one waits. And cries.

There is no helping it, my kiddies’ cries often go unanswered for some time unlike those of their singleton fellow babies. And that is what I realised today. It seems a little cruel but I guess the first pearl of wisdom my girls acquire in their lives is this: life is, indeed, unfair.

PS By the way, they are not always so unhappy as the video shows. Check this one out as well to see: See? I’m not that bad as a mother. ;-)

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