Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sick kid

February 18, 2009 by christine steinmann connor
I’m home with a sick kid today and it’s fantastic. It’s one of the twins. Having only one of them home makes me realize that I haven’t totally lost my mother instinct after all. It’s just been hidden by my crowd control function.
Matthew and I have had so much fun sitting on the couch together - eating exactly the same thing off of exactly the same plates - reading the books HE has chosen, as fast or as slowly as HE would like to read them, as often as HE would like to read them. We’ve played on the floor - arranging the cars the way HE would like to, without any worry that someone else is going to come in an destroy them. Noone to pull me away. Noone to distract me.
Now that he’s had a few hours of me to himself, he is content to play on his own while I sit and write. There’s no competition and there’s no pressure.
I feel sorry for the twins. I remember what it was like to have only one child, or two children with enough of an age gap between them that they weren’t competing directly for the same needs at exactly the same time. It was fun. I enjoy the two of them as well, but most of the time really just is damage control and trying to stay one step ahead - ah, who am I kidding, I’m on a treadmill that keeps going faster and faster and faster as I try my best to keep up.
I did enjoy their first steps. But only while keeping an eye out to make sure the other one wasn’t getting into trouble at the same time. I remember the first summer at the pool, when they were one year old, with Aidan crawling up the concrete steps and Matthew toddling on the lawn. I didn’t stay by either one. I ran back and forth. And I’m enjoying their first words, but it’s hard to really pay attention to them when both are talking at once. No wonder they feel like they’re in competition for my attention. They are.
The problem with twins is that you can’t enjoy the small moments the way you can with a single child. And they don’t get the same small moments that a single child experiences. All children deserve the undivided attention of their mother. I’m sorry I can’t give that gift to two of mine.
I hear that it gets better with time. I just want them to know that I do love them each, singly, and that I would gladly have divided myself in two for them if it were possible. I tried it; it didn’t work. I can’t be two halves any more than they can. The best I can give is the whole of my one self. To the whole of their two selves. And hang on.

No comments:

Post a Comment