Watercolor of the Babies’ First Christmas

Watercolor of the Babies' First Christmas

It was very red.

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Yogurt Fail, and Some Wins

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So I guess we’re committed to this solid food thing now; there’s no going back! Tonight the babies had six ounces each, splitting a jar of sweet potato, corn, and apple puree, one of spinach and potato, and half a mashed banana. We’ve been bringing the highchairs to the table while we eat breakfast. Yesterday we had oatmeal and they had oatmeal and some mashed banana. It’s pretty fun.

Today we discovered that Bean hates yogurt. She cried the moment it hit her lips and kept it up each time we tried to offer the spoon. Even the smell of it seemed offensive to her. Mattie liked it okay. We’ll try it again some other time. It is, after all, a completely new food group. Here are the foods they’ve tried so far:

banana

avocado

spinach

potatoes

sweet potatoes

applesauce

carrots

pears

mango

lentils

rice

oatmeal

butternut squash

corn

peas

broccoli

prunes

turkey

yogurt

Not a bad list. So far everything has been mashed, though they seem to be tolerating textures better. Also, they clearly want to feed themselves. They grab the spoons and practice putting them in their mouths, they grab at the bowls and jars; their little hands are itching for action. I think finger foods are in our near future.

Then and Now: Flashback to the NICU

These babies are no longer infants. Seven and a half months old. I see them now, their round, happy faces. Squealing with delight at being tickled, at recognizing Mommy or Daddy, at having their hands and cheeks kissed. Sticking their feet in the air and grabbing their toes, rolling over to grab a toy, sitting up, talking excitedly, banging their spoons on the highchair tray, devouring spoonfuls of food. Apple cheeked. Beautiful.

This morning D walked into the living room, we had just put the babies down for a nap. “I keep remembering [M] in the isolette,” he said.

I knew what he meant. I also keep having flashbacks to when they were in the NICU. “She was breathing so fast,” he said. I remember. Her tiny chest heaving under the blue light, tube in her nose, eyes covered, a bit of foam at the mouth, crying soundlessly.

“I can’t believe that was her.”

“She’s so happy now.”

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This Post Is About Baby Poop

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So they weren’t lying. There really is a lot of poop. I didn’t see the big deal before, when the babies were exclusively breastfed. But now that we’ve introduced solids. …we need a better diaper disposal system.

Two days ago we gave the babies each a little jar of prunes and oatmeal. It lives on.

The smell. The sicky, off-sweet prune stink clinging to those tiny wiped and re-wiped behinds, to fleece pajamas, to my offended nose hairs. The whole nursery is completely offensive. No diaper pail could contain this. The SMELL will not be kept down. I feel bad putting the babies to sleep in a room that smells like poop. (Apparently, disgust at rotten smells is learned…but still.)

Our landlady got rid of the garbage can for our building because, she said, everyone put trash in the pail, but no one wanted to put it out on the curb. So we have twice a week garbage collection and no outside bin. There will be no more prunes, I’ll tell you that.

And another thing, I don’t think I’ll be one of those parents who lets their kids go as long as they want in diapers, “until they’re ready.” As soon as they’re capable of moving themselves to the toilet it will be time.

A (By No Means Exhaustive) List of Things I’m Thankful For

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So today I composed a blog about baby poop…then it occurred to me that this being Christmas Eve, maybe that wasn’t really in the spirit of the season. So instead of baby poop I’m going to take a moment to give thanks. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for my husband, D. We spent the last hour in the kitchen, alternating who got to choose the next song to listen to on Spotify. We have so many songs. We get each other.

I’m thankful for the babies.

I’m thankful for my family.

I’m thankful for city parks. Today I took a walk through Sunset Park to Green-wood Cemetery, and the few moments I spent there, watching the wind blow across the lake, grounded me.

I’m thankful for art, for poetry, for great writing, for music. I’m thankful I can share the art with people I love.

I could go on. I’m thankful for this cozy house, all these things around me, the little Christmas tree, the cards from family and friends on the mantel, the paintings on the walls from family members. I’m thankful for my friends.

Now that I’ve made this list, I’m feeling pretty lucky. I’ll save the poop post for another day. Merry Christmas.

And also, if you feel like it in the comments, what are you thankful for? It feels good to think about.

A Series of Word Images from Today, Home with Babies

I.

One baby started fussing as soon as I set her down in the highchair. To distract her I started waving around a red bib that was on the table, an impromptu game of peekaboo. She chuckled, slowly at first, as if something funny had just occurred to her. As I kept repeating the peekaboo she got more and more jolly, the chuckles rolling out in waves. Then both babies got into it. The second watching, rapt, as I covered and uncovered my face. Each time I quickly pulled the bib away both babies would give a start. Then came the happy belly laughs. This went on until my arms got tired of holding up the bib.

II.

Water!  In the little bathtub on the dining room table, she started kicking her legs vigorously. She was smiling, water droplets splashing all over her face. Half the tub water ended up on the table, the floor. You could tell she thoroughly enjoyed that sensation, the strong kicking, squeaky splashing, the warm wonder of it all.

III.

Both babies suddenly stopped nursing and looked up at me. Then both, wide eyed, reached their arms up to touch my face, my hair, my mouth.

My Recurring Waking Stress Dream, In Which I Can’t Find the Babies

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Soon after the twins first came home, over six months ago, I began having a recurring waking dream. Here is how it unfolds:

It’s dark. I become aware that the babies are in bed with us. We’ve just finished feeding them. I reach toward them, but what I thought was a baby is just a lump in the covers. I can’t find the baby under all the covers. The baby is suffocating. I become increasingly frantic, looking for the baby, who must be somewhere buried, or has just slipped over the edge of the bed, until I finally at some point realize I am having my recurring waking dream. I look in the nursery and find the babies asleep in their cribs, as usual. 

This summer, as we somehow muddled through weeks on two or three non-consecutive hours of sleep per night, these waking dreams recurred on a regular basis. Later, when reading about sleep deprivation and hallucination, I attributed them to the lack of sleep. But though our sleep has increased to a respectable seven hours these days, the dreams have not gone away. Last night, I again woke D up, poking and prodding at the covers looking for babies. 

Last month, after our marathon Thanksgiving drive, I realized that I have a constant lurking sensation that I’ve forgotten something. Dropped a ball, let something slide I was supposed to do. Maybe that’s what the dream is reflecting, all those balls in the air. Twins. Life.