September 30, 2006

Rising Fear

We all have things in our everyday lives that conjure up memories of things past. For instance, to this day the smell of Play-doh harkens me back to kindergarten, any song by Jewel reminds me of the time I met my wife, and the sight of a red, synthetic running track reminds me of days when feeling strong and fast was a way of life.

Already Swee’Pea is making these connections. Unfortunately her connections aren’t as positive as mine. You see, we don’t go in many elevators in our day to day lives but we do have to go in an elevator every time we visit the doctor. And most times when we visit the doctor, Swee’Pea gets a shot. So, in Swee’Pea’s mind elevator = shot.

At first I thought she just recognized the elevator when we were going to the doctor. It became apparent she was making an association because she would cry as soon as we wheeled ourselves in with the stroller. However, recently we’ve frequented a couple of other places that have elevators and Swee’Pea has produced the same reaction. She cries. Loudly.

So now we have to soothe her and promise her she’s not getting a shot every time we enter an elevator. This only works when we’re not actually going to the doctor and she’s not actually getting a shot. As a result, the next time we go to the doctor’s, I’m thinking of dragging the stroller up the stairs.

September 27, 2006

Random things I’ve learned since becoming a father

It’s impossible to look cool in a 1994 Nissan Altima with sun shades on the back windows.

Triple Paste Diaper Rash Ointment is damn expensive. But it works.

Babies don’t listen to reason.

Don’t whip out a sippy cup unless you plan on actually giving it to the kids.

Apparently, Honey Nut Cheerios don’t dissolve as easily in the mouth as regular Cheerios.

No matter how much milk you buy, it never lasts ’til the weekend.

Kitties don’t like loud, shrieking, mobile little girls.

Babies go straight for the danger areas – and they smile while doing it.

Having twins does not slow down the gray hairs.

It’s pretty much impossible to go grocery shopping with two not-yet-walking babies.

There’s never a good time for babies to get sick.

Love is not a big enough word to describe how I feel about my children.

September 23, 2006

Daycare Dazed Again

The twins were six months old when we first put them in daycare. The first daycare provider lasted less than a month. She lasted such a short time because she had more children under the age of two than what she originally told us and, more importantly, what her license allowed.

We found another daycare provider and we have been, for the most part, happy with her. It was obvious how much she loved them and we were comforted knowing the bond our twins created with her and that they enjoyed being with her each day. We appreciated her so much we even invited her to the twins’ baptism and birthday parties.

Last week that all changed. Over the past several weeks Andrea and I were questioning how many kids she had as we seemed to see new faces all the time. This came to a head when we noticed two babies under the age of two in cribs in the back room last week. When I questioned our daycare provider she became very offended that we would question her loyalty to our children. “I thought we were family” she said as she told us that one of the kids we saw was just there for that day as a favor to a friend. I explained that while we did love her that it was our responsibility as parents to question these things since it affects our children. She seemed to accept this and, I thought, we had moved on.

Then, on Monday, she gave us our two-week notice. I was out of town on business when my wife told me the news. I sat in stunned silence as Andrea explained what had happened. She claimed her sister was coming to stay with her and that she had a young son so she wouldn’t have room for us anymore. I’m not buying this. I’m fairly certain that we got the boot because we questioned her.

So now we are busy interviewing possible replacements. I am still bitter and angry at this whole scenario. The part that hurts me the most is knowing how much TheMonk and Swee’Pea love our daycare provider. It kills me knowing that they will not understand why we don’t see her anymore and I fear they will be scared to go with someone else. It makes me want to tell off our daycare provider with a few choice words but that will have to wait until our last day. But believe me, she will hear from me. And she’ll hear from the state’s licensing department too.

September 19, 2006

A Parent’s Bill of Rights

1) Unsolicited parenting advice shall not be offered to parents of small children.

2) Childcare providers shall not claim to have seen a major milestone prior to it being witnessed by one, but preferably both, parents.

3) No one person, without the express written consent of a child’s parent, shall introduce that child to any or all of the following: Elmo, Barney the Purple Dinosaur or the Teletubbies.

4) All parents shall use their kids as an excuse for not doing something they don’t want to do at least one time per week but not more than five times a week for fear of sounding inept.

5) All parents with children under the age of one may claim sleep deprivation as a valid excuse for just about anything, including but not limited to, falling asleep at work, wearing one grey sock and one black sock, forgetting your cup of coffee on the car roof, and just plain acting dumb.

6) All parents with children under the age of five shall be free of riducule when caught singing “Wheels on the Bus” while at work.

7) All parents, when questioned by their children, shall be able to use the phrase, “Because I said so” when they absolutely cannot think of a valid reason.
8) No parent shall be patronized by a child’s teacher or pediatrician simply because the parent advocates a different approach than said teacher or pediatrician.

9) No parent shall intimidate or threaten another person’s child unless that child is about to date your daughter.

10) No parent shall be tried in the court of public opinion for simply admitting, “I don’t know.”

September 16, 2006

Quick Hits

Some random observations from the past week…

Bri, I forgive you for laughing so hard when you noticed Daddy’s belly button for the first time today. (Mommy, I’ll eventually forgive you for encouraging her.)

You know your child is tired when she tries to climb into her crib.

You know your child’s an eater when he tries to climb into his high chair.

When you watch your children stand by themselves for the first time it’s exciting and sad at the same time.

No one tells you the horror you will feel when your child gets introduced to Elmo for the first time… and he likes it.

Spending naptime cuddling with your spouse is time well spent.

September 14, 2006

It’s all fun and games…

TheMonk and Swee’Pea are happily playing with each other. They are chasing each other around and squealing with delight whenever they make eye contact. I sit and watch from a distance and can’t help but smile at this beautiful scene. It is times like these that remind me how much fun it is having twins.

TheMonk catches up with Swee’Pea and they sit up to catch their breath. They are so close to each other they are almost touching. Swee’Pea reaches out and pats TheMonk on the head. It’s a hard little pat and I remind Swee’Pea to be gentle. TheMonk then reaches out and pats Swee’Pea back. Again, I remind TheMonk to be gentle.

TheMonk keeps his hand on Swee’Pea’s head and then moves it down her face and sticks his fingers in her mouth. He thinks this is hilarious and begins to laugh hysterically. His little belly shakes and his eyes squint in laughter as he watches his hand inside Swee’Pea’s mouth.

Suddenly, the look on his face shifts from glee to horror. He pulls his hand quickly out of Swee’Pea’s mouth. You can see his little mind trying to comprehend what just happened. He looks over at me, confused and hurt. Then he begins to cry. His cry crescendos to a fever pitch and I scramble over to comfort him.

I take his little hand in mine as he sits on my lap crying. I inspect his fingers. And then I see it. Two little bite marks on his finger. I look over at Swee’Pea and tell her, “Bri, no biting!” She doesn’t seem fazed by my admonishment. In fact, she smiles a bit. I tell her again, “No biting!”

I distract TheMonk from his pain by handing him a favorite toy and he goes off to play. As I sit back to watch again, I find myself contemplating my earlier thoughts. Did I say having twins was fun? I meant challenging.

September 9, 2006

It’s like trying to stop the tides

I had TheMonk and Swee’Pea by myself today. Everything was going well and we were busy playing in our playroom (formerly known as the “formal living room”). The playroom has two baby gates. One at the base of the stairs and the other, which happens to be right next to the stairs, to the entrance to the kitchen. After an hour of playing, singing, mediating, consoling, and pretending to be asleep (which TheMonk thought was hilarious), I glanced at the clock to see that it was time for a nap (Yay, nap time!). For some reason I can no longer remember, I opened the gate to the kitchen to put something away before I opened the gate to the stairs. Normally this would not be a problem because they seek out danger the way Paris Hilton seeks out publicity. Normally, they head right for the stairs the second I even hint I’m going to open the baby gate at the base of said stairs.

Not today. Instead, they both rush the small opening to the kitchen and I soon realize I’m outnumbered. I dart after TheMonk who is getting much quicker these days. He shrieks and crawls away from me as fast as he can. While I reach for him, I notice Swee’Pea has darted around the other side of the island in our kitchen. I quickly put TheMonk down in the playroom and dart over to scoop up Swee’Pea. I’m certain that TheMonk will have seen his clear path up the stairs and started climbing so I am quick. He’s quicker however and, unfortunately, he’s not interested in climbing the stairs.

Once again, he darts out into the kitchen. This time, I put Swee’Pea on my left hip and reach down and scoop him up, placing him on my right hip. In my mind I picture myself looking like a dueling cowboy on some old western television show except instead of six-shooters on my hips, I have quick-scooters dangling precariously on my hips who are laughing hysterically at the havoc they have wrought.

I carry them into the middle of the playroom, set them down, and then race them to the baby gate leading to the kitchen. I snap it shut and quickly turn to them with a look of victory on my face. “Ha! I win!” I shout.

I point to the stairs and tell them we’re going upstairs to take a nap. Finally, with little other options for danger, they opt for the stairs. They race each other up but the one in the lead always stops to see where the other one is, so the race is close. I declare it a tie at the top of the stairs as I change their diapers and put them to bed.

I head downstairs and realize how tired I am. The babies must be tired too as there is no sound eminating from the baby monitor. I lay down for a few moments, knowing I’ll need to save my strength for round two in about an hour and a half.

It seems like five minutes.

September 7, 2006

Back to School

Eric over at More Diapers has challenged me to name my worst Back to School outfit and give background details about the time. My most vivid memory confirms that Eric and I must have had the same fashion consultant – either that or were were fashion lemmings willingly falling off the abyss of bad sartorial taste. So, I humbly present to you my worst Back to School outfit.

It’s 1986, sophomore year in high school, and I’m wearing totally awesome loose-Fit Bugle Boy acid-wash jeans, pegged at the ankle with a woven brown leather belt around my 30″ 15-year-old waist. My feet are kickin’ it in a very sweet pair of dockers boat shoes with no socks. My shirt is a light pink Izod polo shirt that looks so radical against my just-spent-the-summer-at-the-beach tanned skin. I have a light cream colored sweater draped over my shoulders just for looks. My left ear has a small diamond earring that a female friend gave me after she lost the other one. My hair’s long bangs are heavily moussed and slightly feathered to the side in a pseudo surfer cut that I have to keep pushing out of my eyes. I am the man.

Although, now that I think of it, it was the only year that I didn’t have a girlfriend. Hmmmm.

September 4, 2006


Over the past several months, we have introduced sign language to the twins in an effort to help communication and limit frustration over failed attempts to communicate. Both understand a number of signs but Swee’Pea has begun using them herself more and more frequently. Some early signs they know are “milk,” “more,” “all done,” “I want,” “bath,” “nap time” and “play.”

The sign “more” is the most useful sign for both of them. While TheMonk will use it only after all else has failed, it has become Swee’Pea’s most favorite sign. In the past, if she wanted something she’d throw a small tantrum if she didn’t get it. But now that we can communicate, things are different.

For example both TheMonk and Swee’Pea love to push the buttons on my digital camera. If the camera is out, they scramble for it so they can feel the power of technology beneath their tiny little fingertips. On a recent day, Swee’Pea, seeing the camera on the couch, came over to play with it. I let her for a few moments but then I told her it was time to put the camera away. I picked it up and stowed it out of reach. She then looked at me with a very inquisitive look and signed, “More?” I shook my head and signed “all done.” She contemplated this for a quick second, nodded and crawled away to find another toy.

As she crawled away, I couldn’t help but think how cool it was that I just had my first conversation with my daughter.

September 1, 2006

Perfect Posts!?

A Perfect Post

The Two Okapis’ Daddy (a fellow twin father) has very kindly awarded me a Perfect Post award for the month of August. Reading what he wrote on his blog about how I feel for my kids was very heartwarming to see. If there is one thing I hope to accomplish on this blog is for my little ones to have no doubt about the love their father has for them. It’s nice to be recognized for that sentiment. Thank you to JGS from Two Okapis for this kind honor.

He actually nominated two posts of mine:


Son Shine

The Perfect Post award is the brainchild of MommaK at Petroville and and Lucinda at Suburban Turmoil.

Go check out August’s Perfect Posts here.


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