Twinfant Tuesday: Mommy Fail

Early yesterday morning, Jake was getting ready to leave for work and I had just gotten the girls’ diapers changed, when I set them down in the living room with some toys while I ran to the bathroom. I normally do a quick check to make sure there’s nothing dangerous for the babes lying around, so I looked around absent-mindedly, made sure the stair gate was locked and ran to the bathroom. The one thing I didn’t do was shut the door to the girls’ room, which normally wouldn’t be a problem since it’s completely baby-proofed.

All of a sudden, I heard Samantha screaming. Jake and I dashed into the nursery to find the humidifier knocked over, with water spilling all around the floor. Amelia was nearby playing with her toys, and a Samantha was sitting near the spilled water, crying. Since it was the first thing in the morning, we had totally forgotten to put away the humidifier, which is a cool-mist, but the water can still get hot after being on all night. Since Samantha seemed ok after she stopped crying, we figured the noise or water had simply scared her.

About an hour later, I was changing Samantha’s diaper when I noticed three red splotches about an inch in diameter on her leg around her knee. One of the splotches was blistering. Poor Samantha had burned herself with the hot water and I hadn’t even noticed for over an hour! I called Jake at work to come home so that he could take her to the doctor, and since I was still sick with a sore throat, I stayed home with Amelia, nervously awaiting to hear whether or not the doctor would call the authorities to throw me in jail on several counts of epic mommy fails. Part of me was happy to not go in so that I didn’t have to endure any OH MY GOODNESS. HOW COULD YOU LET YOUR DARLING BABY GIRL GET BURNED? glares from the staff.

Our ped said that the burns weren’t anything to worry about (in his own words to Jake: “You didn’t need to come in, but don’t tell your wife that!”), slapped some antibiotic ointment and a bandage on there and sent Jake and Samantha on their way, but I still felt like the worst mom EVER all day. All those times I’ve heard of people’s kids accidentally scalding themselves with hot water or coffee and thought, accusingly, “How could you not be supervising your babies?” came back to me like a cosmic slap in the face. Total mommy fail. And it could have been a lot worse.

Anyway, after driving myself crazy feeling like the worst person on the planet for the remainder of the day,  a friend sent me this funny article on twins that made me laugh out loud.

It’s all true! Especially:

3. If you have identical twins, get used to them drawing lots of attention when you go out in public. The attention is not so much directed at them, but in your general vicinity, like whispers on the sidelines but everywhere you go. In fact, it’s kind of fun if one parent takes both twins, and the other parent walks 20 feet behind them to observe all of the faces of people reacting “Did you see those twins? OMG. TWINS!”

4. No matter what kind of twins you have, the first thing everyone you encounter will say is “Are those twins?” People will cross the street to say this to you. They will come out from behind store displays, roll car windows down, leave their vehicles at the gas pump. No matter how many advanced degrees they posses, how many children they have of their own, or how intuitive and erudite they may be normally, they will still ask, “Are those twins?”

Duh, they are twins!

10. You may think that changing diapers for two babies requires the same amount of effort as changing the diaper of one baby, times two. This is inaccurate. It’s actually more than twice the effort, because while you are changing one baby’s diaper, you will simultaneously have to keep the other baby occupied so that she will not steal the clean diaper you are about to put on or the poopy diaper you have just removed, or crawl over the head of the baby you are attempting to change, or run screaming through the house pulling wipes out of the wipes box and throwing them on the floor while using your phone to update your facebook status to “e29,28889xmn”. (All of these things will happen. Regularly.)

The same principles apply to eating. Definitely more than twice the effort. 

12. You will have no money. Ever again.

15. If you already have a young child, and now you are having twins, you have to buy a minivan. This seems like a joke. I wish so fervently that it were a joke. But you literally have to go. Right now. The guy who shows them to you is going to talk up the cup holders, as though you care at all about cup holders. Just tell him to quit it with the snow job and find you the cheapest, safest minivan on the lot. Then come home and cry. You just bought a minivan!

17. (My countertop looks identical to theirs)!

18. You really don’t have any money. Check your bank account; if there’s a balance, that means you forgot to buy the car seats.

22. If you have identical twins, people will ask you, “How do you tell them apart?” People just assume that, because you are the parents, you will have this magical ability to make the distinction between two completely identical children who have not yet formed personalities. It’s much harder than you think. We kept the hospital bracelets on for a week or two, until one of our twins developed a very small, very faint birthmark, which is all we had to go on. Even still, you will call your twins by the wrong name at least three times a day. It does not make you a bad parent. In fact, during the first year, you will not only call your children by the wrong name, you’ll call your spouse by the wrong name, and probably your boss, as well. There’s a very good chance you will forget your own name from time to time.

And my favorite: 

6. “I knew a twin!” Everyone has a twin story. None of them are interesting. Your cousins are twins?! Wow! Okay! Your mailman’s brother had twins and one died. Jeez! Wow! Okay! Your grade-school had seven sets of twins and your mom always said there was something in the water! My goodness. Listen: the only people who have interesting twin stories are parents of twins, and they know you’re far too exhausted to hear and/or remember any of them. Older twin parents will smile shyly at you and say “I have twins, too. It gets better. You’re doing great.” They are like unicorns. Take photos with these people and keep them in your wallet.

Absolutely true. EVERYONE has a twin story, although unlike the author of this article, I don’t mind random strangers telling me theirs. And the unicorn thing? True. Anytime I randomly meet another twin mom, it’s like lightning has struck and this instant friendship/connection has been formed. 

I’m still replaying scenes in my head in which I remove the humidifier from the nursery floor, thus avoiding yesterday’s harrowing events and my subsequent mommy-guilt. Nevertheless, knowing I’m basically a unicorn makes me feel a teeny bit less like the worst mom of the year!

Lots of love, 

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