Friday, June 27, 2008

Sleep Week

Leave tomorrow for my first week without the twins. The bad news is that I've got almost 30 meetings in five days. The good news is that there's nothing scheduled between midnight and eight a.m. so I plan to sleep like a corpse.

Stacey has worked out brilliantly. If her favorite show weren't The Hills, she'd be perfect. We spend about five hours a day playing, 'do they have this in South Africa'. So far: monkeys and mild racial tension yes - squirrels and funnel cake no. Her burning question after meeting us was 'why aren't you guys fat?'. Apparently America's reputation preceded us. That and the fact that she was exposed to New Jersey in orientation.

We've been down a swing of late which has been like being down a leg. We told Fisher Price that we needed both our legs in order to survive. They said they understood and would rush us a new motor. Then Amy's mom showed up and put a baby in the broken swing and it just worked. She's going to try to heal the 20 year old TV in the nursery next.

I was on the phone the other day and a bird smashed into the window by my head. Somehow he flew off and I ended up with a mouth full of feathers and bird shit. There's not really a point to that story, I just wanted you to know it happened. Did you know that birds don't really digest bird seed? Neither did I.

I apologize for writing, as it appears I had little to say. If exciting things happen in LA, say more birds crapping in my mouth, I'll make sure to post immediately.

Insist On Medium - Medium Well

There's no way it's been 12 days since I posted. I posted the last time I had two free hands and computer access. Surely it was more like yesterday. Let's agree it was yesterday or I will start to cut myself.

Are you thinking of having children? This would be my advice to you. Do not bring them home from the hospital right away. The staff will be insistent. 'These are your children,' they'll say, 'you have to take them.' Don't give in. Your children are undercooked. You should not be shy about sending them back. If they hassle you tell them you need a pack of cigarettes and then come back in 2 months.

No one told me about this and I made the mistake of bringing home raw children. I did not like them. Not even a little bit. Unless you like miniature, incontinent, shrieking little old men, there's not much to recommend. For nine months people assured me I would love them at first sight. And every night for the first two weeks as I lay awake listening to their screams I wanted to strangle all those people.

Now the children are golden brown. They are crunchy on the outside, but just right in the middle. They still make me get up before I am ready and I sleepily haul them out to be changed. But the minute their straight jackets come off they start to flail and laugh and I think, yes, I will enjoy eating every little bite of you. You are my favorite food.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day: Just 17 Years 9 Months To Go

For my first Father's Day Amy got me a guitar. I used to have other guitars but we got rid of them. Something about me not listening to anythign she said while I was playing. I'm not sure exactly, I was only half paying attention. Since then she's apparently come to miss the sound of the same three chords assembled in various orders. That was a little song I call A minor G E. I'd like to finish up tonight with a new one I've been working on called E G Aminor.

The real prize of this, or any other holiday is the new swing. It's like baby crack. Up until now they've rejected anything that didn't require physical labor from us. They're the kind of people who would pass up a free cab to ride in a rickshaw if it meant that we would personally have to pull them. The other swing, the useless swing with like a hundred useless options was useless. But this one, courtesy of Craigslist (is there anythign Craigslist can't do?) has changed our lives. Honestly, I'm willing to discuss more children. I will have exactly as many as we can buy swings for. Rumor has it they're only good till the kids are 18 months. I'm hoping that's a misprint. I want the kids filling out college applications while swaying gently to the sounds of birds and rain.

The battle to decide which is really the 'evil' twin continues. Ripley has discovered her trump card is sleeping for 6 hours at a stretch and that I will forgive almost anything that happens in the daylight if you do not disturb me in the dark. Nixon really has no good counter for this. She just keeps pointing out that Ripley is going bald.

In the countless hours I've been pined to the couch with one or two babies I've been watching this true crime show. My chief observation is that people in the hood all have 'street names' and that no one else knows their real name which makes it difficult for the police to find them, even when everyone tells them who did it. I wanted our kids to have street names. We discussed a number of possibilities. It was just like naming the kids the first time only with options like Razor, Meaty Foot, and Wheeze up for consideration. At the moment we're leaning towards Mookie and Knockout. Can't wait till the first time we send Mook and KO to stay with Honey and Gigi. Soon we'll need decoder rings to understand the Christmas letter.

I find that we're running low on adjectives and superlatives with regard to diapers. We jumped the gun early on saying, wow, this diaper is a disaster. But it turned out we had not yet seen disaster. With every passing day the children show that they can do worse and we have to dig a little deeper in the thesaurus. This past week has seen three catastrophes, a debacle, two cataclysms, and one affront to God. If there's anything worse than that last one then I withdraw my earlier statement about more children. There aren't enough swings in the world.

The au pair gets here Thursday. Throwing her a welcome dinner on Sunday. Trying to find something South African to cook that doesn't require a fire pit or the slaughter of an entire lamb. It will probably end up like the scene from Better Off Dead where they cook for the French student. French Toast, French Fries, French dressing, and to drink - Peru! We don't really cook often, or well, or without the microwave, so there's at least a 50% chance that Sunday's effort will result in her packing her bags on Monday. I hope not, but if she goes I'm now convinced that all childcare can be done by swings.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How Did You Sleep?

How did you sleep?
Me? I slept like a baby.
Really? That must have been awful.
Oh it was. I woke up screaming every couple hours for no apparent reason.
Sometimes I actually screamed in my sleep.
That must have been unpleasant for anyone sharing your room.
I'm sure. Did I mention that I defecated in my pants several times throughout the night?
No, you didn't. How embarrassing for you.
Oh that's nothing. One of the times I woke up screaming a nice man tried to help me out of my soiled garments and I actually ended up urinating all over him.
Oh yes. I was so embarrassed I screamed for almost an hour. The only way I could get back to sleep was by drinking large quantities of milk which I would then vomit just as I was nodding off.
What a strange way to fall asleep.
Isn't it? Frankly, I don't any of it was that restful. That might be why I've been crying at my desk all day and trying to stick my fingers in unprotected electrical sockets.
I was going ask.
What about you? How did you sleep?
Me? I slept like a log.
You lucky bastard.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

College Funds

Apparently our diapers cost about 18 cents a piece. These should not be confused with diapers you've heard of like Pampers or Huggies which cost about 30 cents a piece and contain both clouds and angel wings. Our diapers are made of asbestos and gravel and come from countries where our six week olds would probably already have jobs. But still, 18 cents.

Despite the low cost I'm billing the children for them. Not all of them. Only the ones that they soil within two minutes of being changed. Which is most of them. If they do it a third time within six minutes they get billed double for the next one. Ripley owes me 72 cents for today. I keep a ledger. I'm hoping they can crap their way to paying for college.

Honey and Gigi were here to help this weekend. The girls seemed to realize that we had reinforcements so they spent the weekend sleeping and having their grandmothers fawn over them so that they'd save up the energy to go completely bat shit when it was back to just Amy and I. The last two days indicate that they were able to store considerable amounts.

While they were here we got out for a real, no kidding, take your time as long as you're back in time to pump, dinner date. When we were leaving we took pictures like we going to a prom. You know your life has changed when evidence that you left the house without a diaper bag seems like something you might want to frame.

To avoid killing one another we do try to get out as much as possible. We seem to be able to remember at least one thing that we've forgotten at the store on a daily basis. If gas weren't 4 dollars we'd probably remember things we needed from nearby states. Since one person getting to escape means one person gets left behind we end up doing most things as a mob. When we're out we've noticed that people have two very distinct reactions to seeing the packed double stroller. Most fall in the, 'Twins! How cute!' category. The rest actually have twins. They shake their heads, get a very empathetic expression, and greet you like AA members. 'My name is Mary. I also have twins. They're six. You'll survive.' And then they hear our children cry and they go call their sponsors.

Not that having one baby is really any easier. Amy left me with the evil twin for a few hours today and I just hid under the sink until she got back.

On the upside, I did make 72 cents.

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