Twintroduction

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“So…I think you should quit your job and stay home with the kids.”

I slapped myself in the face repeatedly, forcing my dozing eyes open so as not to veer off the freeway, t-bone a concrete slab, and send my weary head through shards of broken windshield, thus widowing my poor wife and newborn fraternal twins, never to be able to tell my great grandchildren tales riddled with outrageous claims about how many New York Times bestsellers I wrote back in the day.  When you’re a new parent, you suddenly grow an incredible appreciation for as many moments of sleep you can get, as well as beverages containing enough caffeine to wake the dead.  Unfortunately, the Coke I’d drank during my last period class had gotten me through the lesson, but had conveniently tapered off just as I’d gotten on the road.

At the time, we were getting about three hours of sleep on a good night.  It’s difficult enough to get rest when you have one newborn, as I’ve been told, anyway.  I wouldn’t know because these are our first two, and I don’t have the experience of only one baby with which to compare it.  I will say that it’s a rare, triumphant event during the first few weeks when both twins are asleep at the same time.  They do not come with a synchronization feature, and tech support has stated that there are no current upgrades in the works.

This means that any time one wakes up, you are on red alert because any noise whatsoever from the first could wake the other.  However, you are also faced with the possible decision of intentionally waking the other in an effort to create your own synchronization system.  All the books suggest it, but was the chapter you fell asleep reading relevant in this exact situation?  Maybe you and your spouse should just stand there, staring at each other, waiting for the other to make an executive decision.  Maybe you can pretend you’re sleepwalking, so she’ll have to make the call.  But wait, is she actually sleepwalking?  The silent deliberation is then broken by the sound of your poor, as-of-late neglected canine, who insists on letting the thug with the thumping bass in his hot rod know that she can hear him and does not like it.  She’s more of an indie rock fan.

And so twin number two is up, startle reflex triggered, causing what looks like a breakneck rendition of Swan Lake and culminating in an inventive new blood-curdling shriek, finding octaves you did not realize were in a newborn’s register.  We need to get her a voice coach.  I should write that down.

Then, amidst the chaos, one of the little people in question rests a tiny hand on your arm or shoots you a rare bashful smile, and you are reminded that this is all totally and completely worth it.

These were our nights.

A few more whacks to the face and I was good to go, with the added bonus of rosy cheeks.  I had returned to my job as a middle school English teacher two weeks ago and this, paired with sleepless nights, made the drive home one of the day’s most daunting tasks.  At the same time, it gave me a phenomenal excuse to roll every window down and crank obnoxious punk rock up to 11 as if I were still in high school, which is always great fun.  I especially appreciate this as a new reason to justify the purchase of such sonic greatness to my wife, who finds snotty old-school hardcore to be a particularly challenging listen.

My attempt to cross the threshold of the Central Twintelligence Agency (my home) was thwarted.  After a few attempts at opening the door (and a few WTFs), I realized the culprit: the open door of our front-loading dryer.  This is a feature of our house that I will surely employ in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  “Babe, I can’t get in again!”

“Okay, hold on!  I need to put them both down!”

After wading through the pink-and-light-blue rubble and changing out of the clothes that had God-knows-what all over them from tween sneezes and coughs, I gave my hands a good scrub, and kissed my bleary-eyed wife, who was on the couch with my son and daughter in each arm.  My children perked up and kicked with wide-eyed excitement at the sound of Daddy’s voice, and my dog, who was gated in the kitchen/dog lounge, performed the “welcome home” ritual I’ve come to expect, the old I’m-so-excited-you’re-home-that-if-you-don’t-get-me-outside-in-five-seconds-I-will-urinate-on-the-floor gag.

I finally plopped down on the couch with my son in my lap, and smiled at my wife, happy to be home again.  “So, how was today?”

“Pretty good.  So…I think you should quit your job and stay home with the kids starting in the fall.”

I laughed.  “Yeah, okay.  What do you want to do for dinner?  I’m starving.”

“No, I’m serious.  You should stay home with the kids.  I thought about it and I think it’s a great idea.  Plus, you could start taking classes again and finish your Ph.D. sooner.”

I was dumbstruck.  And, of course, the only logical response was, “How about Taco Bell?”

Suffice it to say that after some processing time (and two Beefy Crunch Burritos), I realized my wife—as always—had an excellent point, and after further discussion, we decided that when the school year ended this May, I would start my brand new position: trophy husband.

Luckily, I was the only applicant.

And thus began preparations for a new chapter in my life, a date which will live in twinfamy.

.

This blog will chronicle my adventures as a new, stay-at-home father of twins.  Since there are comparatively fewer stay-at-home dads and even fewer who have twins, I’m hoping that other dads in my situation will especially benefit from reading this.  At the same time, it isn’t exclusively for them.

I’m a brand new parent, and I’ll never claim to be an expert, but I do plan on sharing what I’ve found to work well with my kids, as well as what hasn’t.  Because my wife and I are experiencing boy and girl newborns simultaneously, we have the unique opportunity to offer—for lack of a better term—two different “case studies” to other new parents.  Also, out of necessity, we’re constantly searching for new ways and products that make caring for two babies at the same time more efficient, and in that way, I feel all new parents—and especially new parents of multiples—will find it helpful.

When we get right down to it, though, this blog is really for anyone and everyone.  As a soon-to-be-former middle school English teacher who has needed to hold uninterested young minds’ attention for a living, I believe learning is amplified and enhanced by things that are awesome.  For that reason (and, admittedly, my own enjoyment) I’m going to make this as entertaining as I can.  I’m going to tell stories instead of making lame, boring lists that sound like a robot crapped them out.  So this is also going to be a sort of sitcom-y memoir, which could be enjoyed by anyone with amazing taste and who knows sheer genius when they see it.  (That’s you!)

I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I do know it will be incredible because I’ll have the privilege of spending most of my time with my little boy and girl, who make life absolutely beautiful (along, of course, with my wife—love you, babe!).

I hope you stay tuned, and enjoy.

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28 comments

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks so much, Rachel–especially for being the first comment EVER on this site. I truly appreciate the support. And as for future installments, I can’t wait to write them. I mean, literally. I have attempted to wait and have failed miserably. Guess we both win then. :)

      Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks, Phil! That means a lot coming from you–I am digging Dad Vs. Spawn. I’m looking forward to both living and immortalizing them, at least until the apocalypse, during which I’m assuming the Internet will be devoured by electronic vampires.

      Like

  1. w1s3r

    So excited to hear about your experiences! The best of luck–I have twins in my family, so I’m always excited to hear what other families of twins have to go through.

    Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks! A lot of people hear we have twins and think “Oh my gosh, you must be losing your mind!” and that may be true, but at the same time, it’s SO much fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Except maybe adding winning the lottery.

      Like

  2. Fire Crystals

    Loved your blog…I have a one-year old…and not too long ago, I had to spend sleepless nights too..though it was a singleton. I can’t even begin to imagine how you are managing with twins.

    Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks so much! We hear that comment a lot–that people can’t imagine what it’s like. Well, we can’t actually imagine what it’s like to have only one kid. This is all we know.

      I assume if we did have just a singleton we’d have more…what’s that thing called again? Oh, yeah…free time. That thing.

      Like

  3. Carol Bennett Mason

    Stumbled in to your little part of techno-world. Are tired grandmothers allowed? Say, yes; say yes! I have had some really good laughs over the past few minutes (which I think I deserve) and want to be able to come back for refresher laughs as needed.
    Really, I enjoyed the heck out of your blog, can I please come back?

    Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      Absolutely. You, tired grandmother, are welcome any time. Twinfamy is written for audiences of all colors, creeds, age and species, and has been translated to all major foreign languages, including Klingon, Elvish, and Pig Latin.

      I am thrilled you enjoyed your stay here and I welcome you to return at your leisure–if you’re not too tired, of course.

      Like

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  5. Sara Handley

    I have twin daughters that are 14. They were 2 months early and I can totally relate to what u are going thru :) I found it worked best when they woke at the same time…I would wake the other if need be. I would put them each on one side if me and feed em that way…I wish u and ur wife the best of luck in ur new adventure…it’s a fun one :)

    Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      Thanks! Yeah, we’re really fortunate to be through that stage now. The kids are (mostly) sleeping through the night. Although I’m not a huge fan of them waking up at 5:30 every morning, it’s way better than waking up every three hours.

      Like

  6. hecallsmescroogy

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog! My twins are identical girls and are now 4. I barely remember those early days. Madness. Of course, every stage has its own levels of chaos. It’s like a video game.

    Like

  7. Mama Mia

    haha, love it! My twins are the same age as yours (and I have a son 2.5 years older and a baby on the way… yes, it’s complete insanity) and I was a teacher (though not of English as my run-on sentences usually show). I think your writing is hilarious and you brought me back to the zombie-days of early twin life! Having one is much easier… not sure how much easier it’ll be having one WHILE having 3 older kids but it CAN’T be worse than those early days of double wake-ups and, well, double everything!

    Like

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  9. kidprepjay

    Well, I am two years and a bit late to your post Superdad, but I really enjoyed reading this. The way you told it was absolutely amaxing, the humorous aspect made it well worth the read. I guess your time a a middle-school Egnlish teacher REALLY paid off, so I’m sure that by now you’re an even better SAHD.

    Your new fan, Jay.

    Like

  10. maejuanajcs

    How are the twins sleeping now they are 3? Do they share a room? My twins are nearly 5 months and still sleep in the co-sleeper next to our double bed. I basically swap them over and we bedshare, so I end up sandwiched between two babies and my poor partner nearly rolls off the bed every night. It works well though because we both get sleep. It was indeed hard in the beginning when they didn’t latch well and I had difficulties breastfeeding, lying down was not an option. I always fed them at the same time from day one ( probably making it harder on myself) however they were pretty much synchronised in feeds and sleeps and I would say they still are! The advantages of being a second time mom I guess!

    Like

    • John Pseudonymous

      The Twins actually turned 4 in January, and they sleep fantastically. At about 3 months, we moved them out of our bedroom and into their own rooms (they each have their own room–they don’t share). If you’re able to give each twin their own room, it’s way better in my opinion because as you’re trying to train them to sleep, it’s easier to keep one asleep while the other is awake and upset. It was also nice to get the kids out of our room so we could kind of reclaim our own space and hang out in our own room without having to worry about waking them up.

      Liked by 1 person

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