I was supposed to be flying on a trapeze today. I was to climb a silky rope and unravel myself with careful abandon towards the padded floor. Then I was to go out for sushi and champagne. It was to be my adventure Thursday with other moms. Some I have not seen in ages since we left Gemma’s ex-school.
I got dressed in my gym gear. My one set of workout clothes had been hand washed and hung to dry an entire day in advance.
But instead, I am writing this in an old notebook I found at the bottom of my bag while I sit at a kid play center. It is the twins who are zipping down slides and jumping like little daredevils. There is no sushi here, certainly no champagne and all the other adults seem to be friends from a mothers group.
You see, I am here not because I was unprepared. The trunk of my car is packed with distractions ranging from old school coloring to various electronic devices. There is the portable car playmat map and carefully selected hotwheels. Lucille, Clover’s doll, has even brought toys. But when we got in the car, IT began. It being the seemingly new normal operating mode of four year old twins. Fighting, taunting, yelling, crying, more yelling and did I mention the yelling?
MAHHHHHHHH-MEEEEEEEE, she __dotdotdot__
KEEEAR-WIN! STOP ___fillintheblank___
So it begins and continues through the day. What is this new normal? And when is it going to stop? Bring back the more gentle and quiet normal. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked that one.
Twin babies are hard, but you get through. People look at you with a wistful kindness when you are out with twin babies who are crying at the same time. Strangers cluck, they empathise and even smile. It is not the same with twin four year olds who are crying in public. Nope, those same faces turn and look with expressions that are decidedly less kind. What is that look? Oh I know, it is disdain. The same people who thought I was some sort of hero for being out with baby twins treat me like a terrible mom who just can’t control those children. They roll their eyes, call out to their seemingly perfect children for a cuddle and praise and I have even witnessed one mother mouth “wow” to her friend.
So when I go out with the twins, I am on guard…super tense and ready to dive in and arrest the tantrum as fast as possible. It is exhausting and embarrassing. Well, I just couldn’t do it today even though I know I will probably not have another chance to go to circus class, sushi and champagne with these women again. And I know that these women would not judge me, but it isn’t really about the other people. It is about the stress and my raised blood pressure from trying to manage the twins behavior in public. Two little adorable time bombs.
I just could not make them stay still today. I did not have it in me to try…not today. The twins needed someplace where they could yell, scream, run and play. So we changed plans, turned the car around and since it threatened rain, headed to an indoor playground. They have been here screaming for about two hours as I write this. They occasionally come to me where I sit alone at a table in my running clothes. They have rosy cheeks, big smiles and no arguments. I only get one more year with them and our Adventure Thursdays before they are in school full time. I don’t want to wish it away. Time goes fast enough on its own. I do wish that it gets easier for their sake. I want to do so much with them in our year of Thursdays.
Just as I was calmly rethinking my decision to forego circus there was a crash on the slide involving Kieran and some other little kid and the howling began. Even here solely in the company of other parents with small children he attracted raised eyebrows and long stares. That feeling of embarrassment crept up my cheeks with a warm flush and I knew in my heart that until we love them through this stage, I must choose my adventures mindfully.