I remember having a bit of culture shock when I moved from California to New York for college. Everything around me felt new, and at the same time I suddenly saw myself through other people’s eyes. In our recent move from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh there’s been some of that, too. (For one, I must talk fast, because here I’ve found myself jumping into breaks in the conversation too soon and accidentally interrupting.) Of course being stuck in the house most days with babies, my perspective this time is a bit limited. Still, here are a few differences I’ve noticed so far:
1. Here people just ring your doorbell to say hello. The landlord, friends, neighbors, acquaintances. They drop by. In New York even your best friend wouldn’t ring your bell unannounced. You’d have to schedule with them a week in advance. If anyone was coming to your house (with plenty of notice) you’d have time to clean the place up and put on a good show. Of course, when people drop by they see the real you, in your pajamas at noon, dust bunnies all over the rug, unwashed bibs all over the table.
2. Not everyone looks totally put together all the time. Maybe this goes with the just-ring-the-bell mentality. It seems acceptable to wear whatever beat-up tshirt you happen to be wearing. That was different in New York.
2. People acknowledge and greet each other when they pass on the street, smiling or saying hello. In Brooklyn, skeezy men say hello if you’re youngish and female, everyone else respectfully avoids eye contact.
3. It’s very quiet at night. Very quiet. If I went outside I bet I could see stars. Actually, hold on a minute…Yes. I just went outside (that fast) and saw stars. Actually first I saw the moon, which is very full and bright, brighter than the streetlights. The sky is deep night blue, not the maroonish color it is in New York. There was nobody outside, just dark, and the night-lit houses.
Tonight at dinner D and I agreed that we feel a fondness for Brooklyn, though we don’t miss it.
Bean lifting the blanket to play peekaboo with us was really a breakthrough. They are not just watching anymore, they’re interacting.
Last night at the babies’ dinner I lifted the spoon to feed Bean and she blocked my spoon with hers. In response I tapped her spoon with mine. On guard! Then she tapped my spoon with hers. It was a game. We kept up our spoon sword fight until all the food fell off my spoon. Not sure who won that one, but it was pretty fun.
At bed time we read a book to the babies, Bunny’s Garden. Each page has an extra little flap to lift, with a picture hidden underneath. As we turned the pages, M began searching around the page with her hand for the flap to lift. When she found it and opened it a few times we’d exclaim excitedly, and she’d put her hand in her mouth and pant with glee.
Today M was sitting in the highchair with the wiggly giggler (a rattle that makes an interesting sound when you shake it). She was sucking on it. I made a shaking motion with my hand and in response, she shook the rattle.
So fine, these are small things, but they feel big. They are the beginnings of communication. Yesterday I came into the living room to find both babies facing each other in the super yard, laughing away. They each had one hand in the air, waving at each other, and something was absolutely hilarious. It seems they’re communicating with each other, too.
This weekend we discovered that the Bean has a new skill: peekaboo. Not just laughing when I do it, but actively initiating the game. On Saturday morning, after their first feeding, we were relaxing with the babies on the bed. I held Bean on my lap in a standing position. They’d both been playing with the afghan, but Bean suddenly gripped it with both hands and lifted it up so it covered her face. When she lowered it, D and I said “Peekaboo!” She smiled and giggled, then did it again…and again, and again, and again. “Peekaboo! Peekaboo!” we kept saying each time she lowered the blanket, making the motion, getting the reaction, smiling at the sheer joy of it all. She must have gotten a workout for her arms, too, with all the lifting up and down.
Now for three mornings in a row we’ve had a game of peekaboo. This morning I handed her one of D’s shirts to peekaboo with, and in the afternoon a pair of pants. I’m not sure which of us is more thrilled. I’m also not sure which of us is the one being made to perform. Lift and blanket! Yell peekaboo! Lift the blanket Yell peekaboo! We’re a good team.
We’ve mostly unpacked all the boxes at this point after our move from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh, but a few things have just gone missing. Here’s a list of them, in no particular order:
1. The vacuum cleaner head and post. Now you can only use the vacuum if you want to bend down and suction one thing at a time right into the hose. Having a filthy house is really helping me get my head in order.
2. My breast pump kit. I had two. I just have no idea…
3. All my earrings. Except for one very fancy pair of studs I kept in my jewelry box. And one pair that was mysteriously in with the office supplies.
4. A mixing bowl.
5. The broom.
6. The mop. I think there’s a conspiracy. Yes, that’s why the house is so gross.
7. A few nuts and bolts.
8. My friends.
9. A Space Monkey. No wait, there are just two and they both made it.
10. My car. Wait, what?
11. My head.
That about covers it. But all is not lost. Tomorrow I will make a trip to Target and solve at least half these problems.
I am honored to have been nominated for what has to be the most prestigiously-titled blog award out there, the Blog of the Year Award, 2013! Thank you so much to Shannon at the amazing Game of Diapers. If you haven’t visited her blog, please check it out. You will find something interesting (She was one of the very first to leave a comment on my blog, and I’ve been an avid follower ever since.)
I was also nominated for this award by Melissa at Living in the Deep End. Definitely check her blog out! This week she had a post about potty training twins that will make you Laugh Out Loud. Seriously.
To learn more about this blog award you can visit The Thought Palette, Here. This award can be won up to six times (you can collect stars). So without further ado, here are my ten nominations. Enjoy! Hope you find some new ones to follow! The beauty of blogging is connecting with other bloggers. There are wonderful, kind people out there. And so, in no particular order:
The One in a Million Baby A teacher from New Zealand expecting her first baby in April and dealing with some pregnancy complications.
Four to Adore She has quadruplets. Or “quaddlers” as she says in the blog. They are all cute.
Positively Sarcastic She has twin boys. They wreak havoc.
Journey to the Finish Line “Mapping a course in running, motherhood, and everything in between.” She has boy girl twins.
Vrai-lean-uh “Cooking, eating, making sweeping pronouncements.”
The Monster in Your Closet “…is quite friendly, actually!”
Postcards Without Stamps “Photography and Beyond.” The “beyond” is parenthood, how to live life.
Put the Kettle On “Irish mummy on raising her boy and girl twins.”
Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth “Saving the world from stupidity…one blog at a time.”
Tales of a Twin Mombie “Because I will probably never sleep a full night again in my life, and I’m okay with that.”
Today our new landlord dropped by. It was the first time he’d met the twins, and they did what they always do when they meet someone new for the first time. They stare.
Not a subtle, through-your-lashes stare. A STARE. They both become very quiet and totally serious. Without a blink, they bore a hole deep into the person’s soul with their dark, blue-brown eyes. Something about the interrogation of those two baby stares often puts people to nervous laughter or joke-making. They are that serious.
Eventually they warm up and then they are goofy and giggly as can be. They’re actually quite social and love visitors. I’ll never forget the image of them at our goodbye party in Brooklyn, being passed from person to person, smiling away and loving the whole experience. But first they scrutinize. Closely. For a long time.
I wish I could see the world through their eyes. It must be a fascinating place.
The Munchkin has a tooth! Just poking through barely on the bottom. I tried to get a picture but it’s only just barely appeared and she covers it with her tongue. So I did a sketch instead.
I noticed it when I was feeding her breakfast. I put the spoon in her mouth and heard it click against something. What a happy surprise. She seemed to know something exciting was happening in there. Smiling away sliding her tongue over her bottom gum and putting her fingers in her mouth.
These babies are somewhat obsessed with teeth, I’d say, judging by the frequency and intensity with which they put their fingers in my mouth. Almost every time I hold them they get very serious, then reach a hand up to feel my bottom teeth. I usually fake bite them and then they giggle. Makes me feel like a mother lion or something. Teeth! Roar! Someday, little cubs, you too will have your own set of pearly whites like these! Ah, to be at the top of the food chain. Big-mouth lion yawn. Snap, snap.
Wonder when Bean’s will poke through. They are getting so big these babies.
Latest Parenting Trend: The CTFD Method
It’s Sunday and I haven’t had time to write anything, but here’s an entertaining Internet thing! A friend shared this with me a while ago. The CTFD Method. Ha.