Today Ted and Hazel left for their trip to see my mother-in-law. Normally, these days anyway, we try to get all our packing done a few days in advance, just to make the run-up to the trip simpler and less hectic. There’s so much going on right now, though, that we didn’t manage it this time. Ted did do a load of the clothes the day before that he and Hazel were going to want, but it got started late enough that packing had to happen on the day of. Luckily, they didn’t really need that much, and one carry-on plus Hazel’s roll-on bumblebee suitcase was plenty of capacity.
We got up a bit early, feeling that we had a reasonable amount of time for getting ready, breakfast, and getting them out the door. It’s funny, though, mornings often feel as though there is some sort of invisible time-sucking vortex whirling around the house. We get up, surface, play with the babies, start making breakfast, and then, Boom!, it’s time for Ted to be leaving for work, or I have a student arriving in 15 minutes, or we’ve got to get Hazel out the door to school. This morning we didn’t make the departure time Ted had mentioned the night before, but when I looked up alternatives, we found a bus leaving in 6 minutes. So, there was a mad scramble to get them going, (“Can I have a goodbye hug, Hazel?” “No!, we have to go!”) but they made it. And they took the bus to the train, to the airport, a process Hazel really loved. This trip will offer lots of chances for wonderful Daddy-Hazel time, one benefit of it.
After they were gone I did some cleaning up, and then, in contravention of Emily’s Baby Manifesto, Section IV Paragraph 3, I Took A Shower. This is an action of which she is in complete and vocal disagreement. Whenever I do that when it’s just me and the babies, she expresses her disapproval, starting in the moment that I turn on the water. She proceeds to cling to the edge of the bathtub, and cry and scream herself red in the face, gazing at me with such an accusation of betrayal you’d think I’d left her alone for at least a month or two. So my showers in those circumstances are short.
Once my nanny arrived I zipped off to my PT appointment, only to discover that I’d got the time wrong, and missed it. grrr. However, they nicely worked me in tomorrow morning, so my inner quads will have a chance to get zapped into submission after all.
Then I did some rearranging in our bedroom, attempting to remedy the situation in which one or both of the babies fall off their mattress in the middle of the night and wake up crying. I took Hazel’s crib mattress off her toddler bed and put it in between the babies’ mattress and our bed, and took another smaller pads and put them in between the toddler bed and the end of their mattress. If this arrangement works, I’m going to go buy one more crib mattress tomorrow (it’s pretty likely that we’ll have two toddler beds set up in a year or so, and we’ll need the second mattress then) to replace the cobbled-together smaller pads. I’m hoping that with a much smaller drop and onto an actual bed surface rather than onto hard bamboo floor, the babies will learn not to wake up when they roll off the mattress, and with therefore not wake us up either. We’ll see how it goes.
Today I had a two hour gap between my last two students, so I brought my cello. I enjoyed playing some duets with my students, and then I had some time to practice. I have started working on the Elgar Cello Concerto, something I spent time with last when I was in high school. I’m really enjoying coming back to it with more skills. The second movement is marked 160 beats per minute. It’s quite fast, and I can’t do it anywhere close to that tempo yet. But I’m going to get it. I never got all the way up there when I was a kid, and doing it now will be very satisfying.
After lessons I came home, just in time for the bedtime routine. Our nanny who worked for us last summer and saved our new-parents-of-twins butts is spending a good chunk of the weekend helping me out, given that Ted and Hazel are gone during the sleep training of the babies. So, I nursed them, and then she and I sang and read the nighttime books to them. We do, “Row, row, your boat”, the ABC song, and “Frere Jacques”, the first and last as rounds. And then we read “Haiku Baby“, “Green Start: The Five Senses”, and “Goodnight Moon”, a book of which I never tire. Then we carry the babies into the sleeping room, tell them it’s time to go to sleep, and lay them down on their bed. Tonight, astoundingly, there was one whimper from Joanna, and then she fell asleep within a minute of being laid down. !! It took many repetitions of soothing, picking up, putting down, and singing, but Emily also fell asleep, in about 25 minutes. Right now the nanny is upstairs with them while I hang out downstairs writing this blog. I’ll go upstairs in a bit to relieve her. She has to get up super early in the morning to help take her sister to school, so she’ll sleep in the spare bedroom/playroom upstairs and I’ll call her if I have to, but otherwise will let her be and handle whatever night wakings that occur myself.
I have been scared of these five days on my own, but it’s also nice to have some time to be with the twins, just the three of us. I want to enjoy the time as much as I can, appreciating the incredible sweetness of my wonderful, adventurous, playful babies. I am so lucky to have them.