Today the twins are three months old. I’ve been meaning to write something about the experience of them, but in the jumble of clichés and Frequently Asked Questions, the friendly advice and expert articles, and the straight lack of time to let thoughts settle, I’ve been unable to focus on what this whole thing has really been like.
No one reads this blog but Izzy and Joi, and sometimes my mom, so it’s a good place to take a stab at writing about it.
Here’s what I think it’s like:
It’s like a cross between having a very, very dearly beloved pet, and hosting a very tiny, elderly foreign man. Times two.
Beloved pet. You know how, when you have a pet you are really attached to, you just can’t wait to get home and see them? It’s sort of like that, but stronger. Whatever bigness and greatness you may have accomplished that day at the coal mines, it’s nowhere near as rewarding as making a baby smile. They are smiling now, and it doesn’t take much to make it happen. And it’s the coolest thing in the world when it does. Every time. It doesn’t get old.
Tiny. They were born about half the size of regular babies, and they’ve only recently become normalish sized. But a normal sized baby still makes for a very tiny foreign gentleman.
Elderly men. Complete with multiple chins and male pattern baldness. I don’t think they’re going to start looking like little girls until their baby hair falls off and they grow some little girl hair. Don’t get me wrong… they are cute. But in that miniature elderly gentleman sort of way.
Foreign. They don’t speak English, and they don’t seem to understand anything we say to them, though they do often grin politely while we’re talking to them. But as their hosts, we are obliged to decipher their needs. We want their stay to be a pleasant one, and so the burden of communication falls on our shoulders.
I imagine some sort of stork-run baby exchange program, and that my babies are in some foreign land, confounding their host family with strange noises and gestures that I would be able to understand completely.
My secret agenda has been for their first word to be aaarrgh! (with an optional “shiver me timbers”), complete with one eye closed and ugly pirate face. They’ve got the face down when they work it, but the noise they make needs practice. But in the past couple of weeks I’ve decided I should get serious, so I’m throwing in the occasional bit of Middle English, Chinese, and Klingon.
That’s a joke. The Klingon part, anyway.
Tags: babies, being a father, chinese, cuteness, kids, klingon, middle english, parenting, twins