There are hundreds of books that claim to prepare you for becoming a new parent. There are websites and magazines and strangers at the grocery store ready, willing, and able to give you their opinion on what you need to do in preparation for “that magic moment.” But how many of them have ever had two babies at once? If you’re having twins, here’s how you really ought to be preparing for them…
1. Set a timer for 1 minute and 28 seconds. Set another timer for 1 minute and 47 seconds. Hit “go” on both and attempt to finish a task. When one timer goes off, drop what you are doing, briskly walk the perimeter of your house, hope you get to the second timer before the beeping drives you crazy, set them both again and then attempt to finish the task you started 2 minutes earlier. Repeat. All. day. long.
2. Name your kids in advance; don’t make that decision while you are hopped up on Demerol. (Do however invite all your friends to visit you in the hospital while you are on morphine – the hilarity of conversations you will remember later will get you through some of those 4am feedings.) Oh, and don’t give your kids rhyming names.
3. Buy as much used crap as you can. People won’t stop making those “two-for-one” and BOGO jokes when they find out you are having twins, but they stop being funny as soon as you shell out hundreds of dollars on two car seats that you’ll have to replace in 9 months. Also, sign up for Amazon Mom and buy diapers via Amazon Subscribe & Save. You can NOT get two giant boxes of diapers into those tiny baskets under any stroller. You just can’t. Have that shit delivered.
4. Take a course in commercial truck driving to acclimate you to pushing those giant double strollers around. Whether you opt for the “front-to-back” stroller where one baby gets to lay down and the other only gets a 170-degree recline, or you choose to go with the “double-wide,” you’ll have to put a sign on your ass that says, “CAUTION: This vehicle makes wide turns!”
5. Start sucking up to your friends and family members now; you are going to be leaning on them a lot once the babies come. Schedule them to come over once a week to give you a 2-4 hour break and learn to nap during that break – do NOT visit and catch up with your friends. It’s tempting, but you need to tell your friends in advance that you’ll focus on them again in 6 months.
6. Go to a place with lots of puppies and let them climb all over you, slobber all over you, pee all over you, and if you are lucky, one of them will have an upset tummy after all that activity. Encourage it to throw up in your lap, and then see if you can get one to rub it’s rear end on your elbow. Then go home and get right into bed and go to sleep. Really give those smells a chance to take root and grow – you’ll grow immune to them shortly.
7. Start exercising your sense of humor now; without it, you just might go stark raving mad. I used Facebook status updates to post my slightly twisted view of what the twins were doing to me and when. It not only made me feel better, but lots of people thought it was funny as well. You’ll also find that special group of people who are up with you at 4am – roll call on Facebook can make you feel better when you aren’t the only one slap-happy from sleep deprivation.
8. Speaking of sleep deprivation, start setting your alarm for every 2 hours now so you can get used to it. But in all seriousness, there is no getting used to it. You’ll just be crankier for longer so get all the sleep you can now and luxuriate in it. It will be gone soon.
9. Repeat after me: “Why do you want to know?” You are going to get bat-crap-crazy questions from total strangers, and a good half of those questions are going to be personal in nature like “are you going to breast feed?” and “how are you going to breast feed two babies at once?” The totally appropriate response to all those questions is “why do you want to know?” as it’s so much more polite than “it’s none of your damn business!”
10. Start road-testing your friends to see who you can be honest with, and who you have to sugar-coat things for. I had a friend come over one time and start waxing philosophic about how wonderful kids are and how you totally forget all the pain and suffering they cause you. I had to interrupt (with eyebrow raised) and ask, “Exactly when does this feeling start?” When I come up with an answer to that question, I’ll let you know. But on a positive note: It will get better and easier after every three months for the first two years. Then it will get better and easier every six months for the next couple of years. I’m still looking forward to them going to kindergarten, so I’ll fill you in on that particular joy in a couple more years.
And best of luck; You are about to face the greatest challenge of your life!
Related post: 10 Reasons It’s Awesome Having Twins