Goo Goo

I thought it was only in cartoons that babies said, “goo goo.” Little did I know! That is exactly what these babies say. And they say it in such a happy, bubbly way. They are clearly communicating with you. D says, “They think they’re talking.” And I guess they are. Here’s how the conversation goes:

Baby A: Goo?

Me: Hi, baby!

Baby A: Agoooo (bats eyelashes)

Me: Oh, yeah?

Baby A: Gaaa (chuckle)

Me: You don’t say.

Baby B: Goo-aaa

Me: Oh, you too?

And so on. We could talk all day.


Pretty in Pink

I know I’m not the first to ask: what is it with baby girls and pink? I can’t just blame the market, since the need for pink exists somewhere in my brain, too. I make a special effort to find non-pink girl clothes, but often even if I dress one of them in a blue onesie I feel the need to put on a pair of pink socks. Where does this compulsion come from? I have a nagging feeling that by failing to dress them in pink I am somehow rebelling, or trying to disguise them as boys.

This seems to be purely my issue, not D’s, who would dress them in any color, and I’ve noticed this pattern in other couples as well. At the baby clothing swap a couple weeks ago I picked up a few clothing items that were obviously “boy.” One was a pair of navy blue overalls with a very happy-looking green dinosaur on the leg. I showed them to D when I got home, feeling a bit guilty. He liked them. “Our girls can wear dinosaurs,” he said matter-of-factly. Yes, and who owns dinosaurs, anyway? Though I will probably feel compelled to put them in the dinosaur overalls with a pink shirt underneath.

Part of the problem is that when we take them out in the stroller people often assume they are boys, as if boy were the default gender. The first question is always, “Are those twins?” and the second is, “A boy and a girl?” No one has ever assumed two girls.

A friend with an older baby handed down some clothes to us. Among them was a blue fleece onesie with yellow duckies on it. “I wasn’t sure if you’d want it,” she said, “since it isn’t necessarily for girls. But really, what’s so manly about blue with duckies?” Seriously.

First Laugh

Last week I made one twin laugh. Laughing with her was pretty much the most joyful thing I’ve ever experienced. They’ve been smiling but not laughing so long I was starting to wonder if I just wasn’t funny enough. “Try nun jokes,” one friend suggested, but those didn’t seem to work either. Neither did funny voices, crazy dancing to Captain Vegetable, or even ripping paper.

Here’s what she finally found funny enough to laugh: napkin rings. We have different color napkin rings on a little black stand. They’re made of wood, and if you drop them onto the stand they make a loud clacking sound. I showed her this once and she widened her eyes into saucers. I did it again and she made a half happy, half downturned-lips shocked face. I did it a third time and she laughed. Then we were like addicts, dropping the napkin rings and she chortling, me laughing like crazy.

So now you have two of the best joys of life, babies: eating and laughing. Milestones indeed.

Strange and Mysterious Baby Toy #1

Strange and Mysterious Baby Toy #1

Now that the babies are starting to interact with their environment, we’ve gotten a few more toys. Some of them are truly amazing objects. I can’t imagine why the babies are transfixed…

This baby’s first rattle is actively trying to hypnotize. Or it’s watching you with its one bloodshot eye. Or at least transmitting some sort of code.

The toys remind me a bit of David Macauley’s book, Motel of the Mysteries. I could imagine an archaeologist of the future postulating strange ceremonial uses for them.

Baby Clothing Swap

This past weekend I went to the Park Slope Parents’ baby clothing swap. I was really excited about this clothing swap. I’d had it on the calendar for weeks. The idea of exchanging old things I can’t use for new things I need, not spending money, gets my blood pumping.

The event was in a stuffy, dank basement of a church in Park Slope. Volunteers had set up a bunch of tables mounded with baby clothes, which grew higher as more people arrived with their own clothes to swap.

After depositing my donation I angled my way into a spot at the 0-9 table. I was somewhat surprised to find women standing around idly chatting, sifting through the clothes in a leisurely fashion. “Oo, isn’t this cute?!” “What size are you looking for?” “This is nice, but I don’t know if it will fit Franny in the spring; you take it.” Some had babies on them in carriers. Meanwhile my adrenaline was pumping as if I were embarking on a Survivor challenge. “Grab the baby clothes! Winter is coming! Winter!”

A little war began to wage inside me. I tried to listen to the “Be polite! Make small talk,” voice, but I couldn’t keep my hands from searching and grabbing, flipping over whole stacks like pancakes to get at the clothes underneath. I could appreciate that maybe these women didn’t want to feel like they were at the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest, but I couldn’t hold myself back.

I don’t even know what ended up in my bags. Stretch pants with cherries, a dress from Guatemala, anything fleece that looked warm, and at least four pairs of overalls. (Turns out I can’t resist a pair of overalls.) At the end, I quietly made my way out with my two large bags feeling like a thief. I have twins! TWINS! I wanted to say. I brought this much with me!

When I got home, I showed off the haul to D as if they were hunting trophies. “If we can do this every year, maybe we’ll never have to buy baby clothes again!” I said, “Except for maybe winter jackets and socks.” “It’s true,” D said, “All the baby clothes have already been bought.” I don’t know why I’m this way, but at least D humors me.

These babies have done a number on me

This afternoon the doorbell rang, so I put down the baby I was holding and headed down to get it. I was halfway down the stairs before I looked down at my shirt. On one shoulder was a big wet patch from one baby sucking it, the other shoulder had spit up, and what must have been baby drool had left an oblong splotch all the way down my left breast. I really need to get serious about using burp cloths. Not that that completely solves the problem. Last month I definitely made it out to the mailbox before realizing my shirt was unbuttoned. That has happened more than once.

Here is what sounds amazing right now: Going on a nice long run, then taking a leisurely shower, putting on a smart outfit, earrings, and going out to dinner.

First Food

Today the babies had their first bite of food. Actually “bite” isn’t exactly the right word, since it was baby rice cereal. A tablespoon of rice cereal powder mixed with three tablespoons breast milk, which is really just a slightly thickened liquid. Still, they ate it off of a spoon. Or rather slurped it and seemed confused, and a lot of it dribbled down their chin, and very soon they had had enough and wondered why we weren’t eating for real. Still, it was so fun to see the thoughtful expressions on their faces, and their sputtering mouths making little chewing motions. Almost an imitation of chewing.

We each held one baby and sat on opposite sides of our kitchen table. Sun was coming in behind D, though it is a very damp and fall-ish day. Outside, the ivy on our clothesline has turned red, and the edges of all the trees are  yellow.

It still feels special, having twins. Each of us holding a baby. Next we’re going to try prunes, which is apparently also a first food. I’m looking forward; and maybe the babies are, too. This week there has been a definite increase in drool.

Cuteness Break

Cuteness Break

Uploaded by Catherine M. Kunz "CK" on 10/9/06

Uploaded to Amazon by Catherine M. Kunz “CK” on 10/9/06

Need something distracting and happy? Customer images of baby items on Amazon are it. I’m telling you. The babies are cute. The parents are obviously proud. There are a lot of them and you can just click through. Here’s one of a baby and cat playing on the Gymini Activity Gym. Click the link for one of a baby with the goofy grin chewing on a giraffe. And another of a big brother playing with baby, and twins, and a baby sleeping on the gym, and…