3 AM conversations

You know you are really tired when at 3 AM you talk to a six moth old baby like they are a suspect in a police investigation. The “conversation” went something like this;

Baby, “waaah, waaah, waaah, waaah…” with arms and legs flapping uncontrollably.

Me, “Look kid, it is 3 AM. This is when we sleep. Now you work it out somehow, but your mother, your sister and I are all going back to sleep. Got it?”

At 6 AM the alarm clock beeped and there were two little babies, sleeping it off. I guess she figured out how to work it out.

Ahh the irony of it all…

My partner has a bit of a rough hand at things that do not immediately do as she wants. For example, if she wants to open a jar of mustard and it will not open she goes, all too quickly for my liking, to the biggest “hammer” in her arsenal to get at the mustard. These are, so far, theoretical examples of her willingness to kick things up a notch or two, let’s just say, quickly.

So we are driving along with the new stroller in the trunk of the car and I launch into this overly paternalistic lecture about being careful with the stroller, reading the instructions if we are unsure of how to do something and blah blah blah. She rolls her eyes, yawns at my lecture and looks out the window in boredom.

We get to Vanier Park and I pull the stroller out of the trunk. It is collapsed like an Ikea cabinet on its way to North America. Partner reads to me from instruction book to, “grab it at this point, do this and then this will and then it will open up.”

I grab, I pull, I do as she says the instructions say to do and then I try harder, and then harder and then, KAPOOEY, two straps shoot off each side, obviously ripped with their snaps broken.

Now it is how we respond to stressful situations that defines our character. In this case we both looked up, locked eyes in shocked horror and then blamed each other for the broken straps.

I saw it as her fault for not telling me to undo the two little straps that hold the stroller in the folded position and she blames me for using too much force when trying to open it. Either way, we couldn’t help but laugh at the situation in light of my long and tedious lecture about being careful with the stroller and not using too much force and so on. In the end we did laugh and hug one another and then went for a glorious walk along the beach.

Note to self, “shut up”.

The satisfaction of…

There are few things in life that are as satisfying as holding a fussing baby in your arms and seeing her transition from fussy to sleepy. It is simply beautiful in the peaceful nature of the transition. And then, once she is asleep to see a smile tease across her face as she sleeps, you have to wonder what are the dreams of a six month old baby all about? So many mysteries to discover. Beautiful.

Dirty diapers and research scientists

In the morning when the girls wake up, my first priority is to get them out of the diapers that they have wearing since midnight or three in the morning, depending on when they last woke up for food. The thing that never fails to amaze me is the extraordinary amount of liquid that a diaper can hold.  After pulling a diaper off a kid you can tell that the diaper is laden with moisture but somehow that soggy mess stays inside. You do not even get your hands damp, if you are careful, when handling the wet diaper from the outside.

You have to wonder who says to their high school guidance counsellor, “Geez Mr/Ms Counsellor, I think I want to be a research scientist who comes up with a revolutionary new super-absorbent diaper material. ” I’m just not seeing the glamour in that role, although I do sincerely thank them for their genius. Say what you will about disposable diapers, when it comes to a pee-filled diaper, we salute your efforts!

Mountain Buggy rain cover found

Thank you Craigslist for finding us a rain cover for our Mountain Buggy stroller! Now it can rain all fall and winter because we have a cover for the stroller. Forget about Crocodile Baby and their bitchy “customer service”, Craigslist rocks!

Family day in Kitsilano

Saturday was set up to be our family day. A day when my two princesses and my partner could spend together doing joyful family stuff. The initial plan was to travel to Kitsilano and walk along the promenade using the stroller we have recently acquired.

Of course seeing as it was forecast to be a bit of a rainy day, Friday night we called every retailer in the city who sells Mountain Buggy strollers to see who had a rain cover for the new buggy. The only one to reply in the affirmative was a little shop on the trendy 4th Ave, Crocodile Baby. They assured my partner that they had a rain cover for the side-by-side Mountain Buggy we have.

Pleased as punch, we loaded the twins in the car and then tried to put the stroller in the trunk of the car. A word to the wise, load the stroller first, especially of it is your first time trying to stuff your junk in the trunk. Initially it did not fit and so we had to further take it apart to fit in. Eventually I did manage to stuff it in the trunk, after much frustration and curses were uttered.

Drive across the city, wind our way up Fourth Ave to discover that there are no parking spots on the northside of the street, go around the block, a police incident of some sort is blocking Arbutus, down the lane, nose to nose with an F150 (I backed down the alley) move around, and then voila! there is a spot down the street from Crocodile Baby. Magical. All I have to do is go in, buy the cover and then head to the beach for a stroll with the new stroller.

Walk in, ask the young lady at the cash how I can get a rain cover for my double Mountain Buggy only to be told, “Oh, we don’t have any of those.”

I protest that my partner had phoned the previous evening and been assured that in fact they do have one, or more. I am then told in a shockingly cold voice that, “You could have phoned ten minutes ago and if we had one then we couldn’t promise to have one when you arrived in the store. That’s just the way it is.”

It was not so much the message that was conveyed but the incredibly snotty attitude that was projected. I replied, “I do not want to go back out there to the car and have to tell my partner you do not have what twelve hours ago, you told her you do have.”

The response? “Well do you want to leave your name and phone number and we can call you when they do come in?”

I was not a happy customer and my “NO” in reply was more than brief as I turned my back and walked out of the store vowing to never return to the store ever again.

So we head west on Fourth and see TJ’s Kids store across from the Naam Restaurant. I pop in there and another customer overhears me asking about Mountain Buggy strollers and she laughs and says that Mountain Buggy has undergone some kind of corporate turmoil and is now owned by Phil and Ted’s Strollers. She added that nobody in town has any Mountain Buggy stuff and to not waste my time driving around looking. Argh…not the news I had wanted but it did simplify our plans.

The funny thing was that the clouds were all rapidly moving east and the skies were clearing to a brilliant blue. The need for the rain cover was disappearing as the sun was shining down on us. We parked the car, re-assembled the stroller, loaded all of our gear onto it and BECAME ONE OF THEM!! We took our stroller the size of a Buick to Granville Island! Ack! The horror!

To our credit we did not even attempt to enter the market, we walked along the seawall, passed Go Fish, stayed strong and avoided the divine taste of fish and chips and headed around to the outside area alongside the temporary marina and the Arts Club Lounge. I deeked inside, got a large container of Red Snapper Soup and we sat outside, enjoying the sunshine and sharing a happy six month birthday lunch with our twin princesses.

The funniest part of the day was when two cute Japanese tourists stopped us to ask if they could take a photo of the twins in the stroller. I can just imagine how a photo of our little girls will be circulating around Japan for years to come. Interesting.

A birthday of sorts

To an individual who has not yet experienced a pregnancy or had the joy of children living with them from birth, a pregnancy is nine months long. Maybe some will say nine months and a week. However, once you have travelled the road of pregnancy, all that changes.

You see, pregnancy is not measured in months at all. As I have discovered, it is measured in weeks and sometimes (in our case anyway) in days. My sweet little bean pods were born on day one of week 33 of the pregnancy. Being twins that is not unusual, you try to get to week 34 or even better to week 36 but ours arrived on their own personal schedule, essentially seven weeks before their “due date”.

So their early arrival creates some confusion as to their age. When out in the public and someone asks how old your babies are in you say, well four months and they look a little aghast at the development of them, you have to add that they are actually two month, adjusted or corrected age. See spending four, five or six weeks in a hospital incubator or crib does not actually advance your development. In fact, in some ways, it slows your development. Just because they arrived at the party early does not mean they are as physically developed as a baby that would have gone full term.

At any rate, now that they are six months, actually born six months ago, they are almost caught up to their expected rate of development. So today we are celebrating their six month birthdays by going out to Denny’s where they can have a free Grand Slam breakfast…and if perchance they can not finish their meal, I will step in and assist them.

Happy birthday to my sweet little princesses.

A new stroller for the twins

Today we went out and bought a stroller for our twin girls. We already have a McLaren umbrella-style stroller that we have been using on and off during the summer months. However, that stroller is really only useful in a mall or on a smooth sidewalk. The small plastic wheels dig into the trail and make going for a walk a very frustrating exercise, similar in effect to plowing your way through your driveway.

So today we went out and splurged on a Mountain Buggy double stroller with the two front wheels. This is a stroller we can take up the Grouse Grind, but as my dear friend Patrick says, are you ever going to do that? Probably not, but it is nice to have that option! It is a perfect stroller for walking around trails and bombing along the city streets as I try to lose the weight that accumulated around my waist during our pregnancy.

Unfortunately it did not come with the storm cover so we will be making another trip to a baby store in an effort to source one out.

Even though we now have this fancy new stroller we will continue with our preferred practice of using the uber-convenient baby carriers that attach the baby directly to one’s chest or back. When travelling to places like Granville Island, the carriers are the only way to travel. We have to cringe when we see other parents trying to push their Buick-sized strollers through the mob of Granville Island shoppers.

More information on the new Mountain Buggy once we get outside with it, probably this weekend.

Smiles and love

You have been awake for far too long in the night holding a crying baby, you are tired and you have a long day of work ahead outside of the house, you haven’t had a morning coffee yet, you are grumpy. And then you look in the crib and see two beautiful babies looking up at you with smiles stretching from ear to ear and your heart sings and its all good!

Nursing brassiere

The term “nursing brassiere” took on an entirely different meaning this morning. Story and Annalie are beginning to teeth and so they like to gum at things. When I looked in at Story this morning somehow she had gotten her hands on a nursing brassiere and she was gumming away at it. In fact, you might say she was nursing the nursing bra.