Sweet Potatoes, Sweat and Tears

It’s been a long day.

It started with one baby screaming at 4:45 a.m. We waited until maybe 5:15 and then decided just to feed them. We tried to put them down again afterward, but no go. D went grocery shopping and the over-tired babies cried. There was no sleeping at all, by anyone. When D finally got home I had one baby in a moby wrap, the other was in the crib still crying, and I was about to lose my mind. He put the second baby in a moby, and when they finally fell asleep we transferred them carefully to the crib.

We had wanted to go to a neighborhood baby play date at 10:30. No way we were going to wake the babies, though. At 11:15 they finally woke up. We tried to feed them quickly and then go. As if getting out of the house is ever quick these days. And today it was frigid. Bone chilling winds rattled the window panes. Bundling the babies took half an hour. Finally, with the babies all bundled, as I was putting M into the moby wrap she spit up all over my chest. I had to unwrap myself and change. We started off to the play date probably about an hour and forty-five minutes after the start time.

“I think I wrapped [E] too tight,” D said, before we’d walked a block, the frigid wind making our faces ache. “I don’t think she can breathe.”

“She can breathe.”

“I don’t think she can breathe!”

“Let’s go!”

“This is stupid!”

By the time we made it to the play date the last two people were leaving. We said hello then turned around and walked back home.

The rest of the day went similarly. I went to get a free high chair from another parent of twins in Clinton Hill. She had asked me to come between 2 and 3:30 because her three year olds would be napping.

“They’re not sleeping,” she said first thing when she opened the door. Her hair was unbrushed and her eyes bloodshot. Her husband appeared around the corner, about to say something to her then stopped when he saw me. “The only thing about these highchairs,” she said, “I sort of wished we had invested in some of the fancier ones with steps, like the Stokke, because…”

“Aiiiiii! Maaaamaaaa!” there was a scream from down the hall. The woman sighed and walked off mid-sentence. They husband offered to help me to the car. “I don’t have a car,” I said. “I’m taking the subway.”

“Can you make it?”

I hoisted the the highchair over my shoulder plus lugged two booster seats they’d given me in a big IKEA bag all the way to the subway, the wind blowing me back one step for every two forward. I was reminded of the scene in the movie, In America, where the father carries the Air Conditioner on his back across town. I was also reminded of an ant.

When I got home we washed and scrubbed the high chairs, we fed the babies, we washed the highchairs again, we washed the babies, we washed everything, we did laundry at the laundromat, we made dinner. Finally we put the babies to bed. They cried for fifteen minutes before finally going down. I don’t know if they were wired from the sweet potatoes or what.

It’s been a long day.

Is This Your Baby?

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I came around the corner. There was my landlady suddenly outside my door, standing over the baby I’d left there. “I was just coming up to the roof and ran into your baby, here.”

But here’s what happened. I swear I don’t just leave my babies lying around. I had just come back from a walk. Actually I had just come back from the most laborious trip to the bank ever. Or, just how every trip is now getting out of the house. (Eight trips up and down the stairs, lugging 25 lb of baby, car seat and stroller each way up and down. But anyway…)

When I got back home, I was at the final step of getting everything and everyone back into the apartment. Both babies were in their car seats back up on the third floor landing. All I had left to do was carry one into the apartment, then go get the other one and lug her in. Then shut the door behind me.

The landing is only for our apartment (and the door to the roof). We fill it with our mess of bicycles, shoes, boxes, ACs, etc. I carried Bean in first and took my time with her in the bedroom. She was falling into a nap, so I didn’t want to disturb her much, but I took off her hat, which seemed a bit too warm for indoors. Slowly I made my way back for M. I was tired.

“Aaaaaaah!” I cried.┬áThere was a big figure in black at my door. It took me a moment to┬ásee it was the landlady. Actually she isn’t big at all, she is maybe just over four feet tall. But big in comparison to the tiny people I am used to spending the day with. And behind her was a roofer. “I was just coming up to the roof and we ran into your baby, here.”

“Oh, sorry,” I stammered. For all they knew she had been there for hours. Maybe I made a habit of leaving babies lying around. “Every time I come in and out I have to carry the car seats up and down,” I said, as if that explained why my baby was in the hall. Oy vey.

“I’ll just close the door for the draft,” she said. Babies here, babies there, babies everywhere. And a mess to boot. Outed as a bad mother by a surprise visit from the landlady. It’s been a long day–time for me to go to bed.