Plearning

The other day we took the boys to the Tacoma Children’s Museum (my review here). I’ll admit that I went in with a bit of trepidation; I cringed at the thought of looking at museum exhibits with 1-year-old twins. If I had done some research (read: asked my wife one question), I would have known that the museum is basically a huge play place designed to stimulate sensory development and imagination.

I would have killed to go to a place like this when I was little; though I’m pessimistic as to what the policy would be regarding allowing a homicidal toddler to come in.

The boys had great fun, and as we watched them play and learn (I have dubbed it “plearning”), we actually learned a little more about where they’re at developmentally. All in all, a very good experience, and I highly recommend it if you have kids in the single-digit age range. If you want to take older kids, people will probably look at you weird. If you go and don’t have any children, please never read this blog again and drive your windowless van out of Washington.

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“Are you kidding? I look like Thanos’ janitor.”

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“Guys, GUYS?! They have rocks here, just like everywhere I go in the world! Sweet!”

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“Malkovich Malkovich?”

Serious caption: They had these things that were literally metal rods protruding from rocks. Eye-removing and stone-age assault capabilities aside, the boys loved working on getting various objects with holes drilled in them onto said rods. It was really fascinating to watch how developed their hand/eye coordination has become, especially considering how neglectful we are when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Serious caption: They had these things that were literally metal rods protruding from rocks. Eye-removing and stone-age assault capabilities aside, the boys loved working on getting various objects with holes drilled in them onto said rods. It was really fascinating to watch how developed their hand/eye coordination has become, especially considering how neglectful we are when it comes to that kind of stuff.

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“Guys, GUYS?! They have a sink here!”

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Today’s lesson: Fire is snuggly.

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“You know what my kids don’t know enough about? Opening doors. I wish they had something that could show my toddler how to access areas where he shouldn’t be.”

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I believe they call this “The Battle of the Somme Experience”.

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Pictured: A happy dad with his sons. Also: some sort of light-up table thing that I’m pretty sure caused some permanent eye damage.

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Priorities

Wait for it…

I’m going to try to paint a word picture that does justice to the outing the boys and I took to the nearby beach park the other day.

We arrived at Dash Point Park with little to no fanfare and I unloaded the boys from the van without incident.

Now, as you might or might not know (depending on if you read this blog, which I guess you do or you wouldn’t be seeing this), M likes to wear stuff on his head*, to the extent that he puts things on by himself and wears them around the house. *refer to figure 1.1

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1

“The way I wear my hat? No, they can’t take that away from me.”

When we got to the beach, M decided that due to the bright sun, he’d probably better wear some head protection. Actually, I’m not sure if he thought that at all, but he still grabbed one of the beach pails I’d brought and plopped it down right on top of his head.

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“Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard you call…” Ladies and gentleman, Jimmy Bucket.

OK, sure, whatever. He’s worn buckets in the past, this was no different other than the fact that we were in public and that there was a little shovel on the handle of the pail. Hey, whatever floats his boat, I figured. He’s happy wearing a pail and spade on his head, I’m happy for him.

He wore the bucket through the parking lot, down the beach, and up to the water. He wore it as he picked up pebbles and handed them to me. He wore it while C ventured out into the water just a bit.

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He wore it when the first wave hit.

In this part of the Puget Sound, the waves aren’t usually much to speak of, at least not on a clear, sunny day with no wind. I’m guessing that the big-here-small-everywhere-else waves that began crashing into the shore were from the wake from a freighter or something. Wherever they came from, a series of waves started “crashing” into the shore, scaring the absolute living crap out of the boys.

By the time the second wave hit (none of them even reached far enough up the beach to touch us) I was running up the beach, a crying, panicky boy under each arm.

Once we were at the top of the beach and out of “harm’s way,” I played with the boys at the little playground there as they calmed down, then put them in swings facing the water and pushed them for quite a while so that they could see the water calm down and smooth out.

I took the boys out of the swings and did have to coax them a bit…

“No.”

They climbed over and played with some driftwood logs, and I finally got them down to the water again.

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They were calm for the most part, especially M, surprisingly. C stayed pretty tense and seemed actually mad at the water.

“Curse you, mighty Poseidon!”

“Umm…he said it, mighty Poseidon.”

It was a pretty mundane outing except for one thing: As I was trotting up the beach away from the water, the boys sobbing hysterically and holding on to me, I had to set M down to get a better grip on him. In so doing, I knocked the bucket off of his head, and it bounced about six inches away from us. Without missing a beat, M – who I hadn’t grabbed up again – stopped, turned around, took a few steps back towards the water, grabbed his bucket, slammed it down on his head, turned around and came back to me, arms out, still crying. I was obviously busy and the boys were upset and everything, so I didn’t get footage of M’s risk-life-and-limb devotion to his hat, but I’m including what I think is a pretty accurate recreation:

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The Twins are Here!

Oh man…

The last few days have gone by in more of a flurry than I could ever have predicted. Sure, people give out with the
“you’ll be so busy, you have no idea, oh my God, say goodbye to getting anything done, get your sleep now, yadda yadda yadda.” I took the advice/warnings/annoying claptrap with about a thousand grains of salt, seeing as how I knew better. There was a blend of arrogance (“I’ll show them how it’s done!”), and adorable naivete (“I should plan on a diaper change taking two minutes. You know what? Three to be safe.”).

My original plan was to write blog posts in phases: hospital time, getting home, life with twins, family visiting, etc. Then I had two babies on my hands, and just like that, it’s eight days later and I’m just now free enough and caught up on sleep enough (read: not deliriously exhausted) to get some writing in. Started a post about life as a new and adorably naive dad, and as soon as I become a dad, I don’t have time to write about it. Ironic, n’este-ce pas?

This being the case, I’m going to get things caught up with bullet points, which are pretty much the coolest points to use in lists.

  • we decide to induce labor
  • our OB breaks her foot and will no longer be dealing with us up to and including delivery
  • we go to St. Joseph’s hospital in Tacoma, WA to begin induction
  • induction drugs are administered
  • two days (spent entirely in the hospital) of induction medicine fail to start labor
  • we decide to go with a c-section, because get the eff out
  • c-section is had
  • the man who has never so much as held a baby is presented with his first (although second-born) son
  • the love is instantaneous and unconditional, but I stand by my opinion that newborn babies are disgusting

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She’d go on to miss the excruciating backaches.

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 Luckily, we were already wearing our surgical trappings. 

In case you missed it, we never found out the genders of our twins. I opted out of cutting the cords and being the one to announce the genders, partly because I wanted to be closer to Kat and available to her, but mostly because gross.

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“When I was a kid you could buy this slime in a can for use with the Ghostbusters action figures. No idea what just brought that to mind. Oh, and our babies are beautiful.”

IMG_5583See? Gross.

This is when we finally learned that we had two boys. Baby A (now “M”)came first and clocked in an ounce shy of six pounds. M was also a little shy in the oxygen department when he came out, so he got a face full of the good stuff while is brother was being born.

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“This is the worst hookah party ever.”

Baby B (now “C”) arrived at seven pounds four ounces, although three ounces of that were just his trademark scowl.

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Brow furrows are the love handles of the face.

Being handed a baby – my baby – to hold for the first time was life-changing. To say I was overcome with emotion is like saying someone got squished when an aircraft carrier got dropped on them. There’s just a whole new emotion beyond joy that I felt when the first baby I ever held was mine. (I got my hands on C first, as M was getting his oxygen on.)

I also got to hold the babies up for Kat to give them a kiss. I mean, I didn’t kiss them, because gross, but she seemed to enjoy it.

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You get the idea.

After some early sleepless nights (literally, in Kat’s case, largely in mine) due to “cluster feeding,” we managed to get home with our little bundles of joy. Drooling, screaming, meconium-pooping bundles of joy.

As of this post, the sleep situation has improved slightly, and with luck I’ll be able to keep up on this, the associated Twitter handle, and my Tumblr.

For now, though, I’ll leave you with pictures, because why else would you be here?

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His final name barely beat out Plotsy von Watchyourback…

2014-04-12 16.27.53...and Cutie McAngelface is just too common.

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These are some very different individuals. True, we did IVF, so this was to be expected, but as good v. evil as their faces are, I still can’t help but feel like this is part of some extra-terrestrial plot.

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“You WILL bow down before me, Jor-El!”

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“Hey girl.”

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“…the same thing we do every night, Pinky…”

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On a serious note, we really owe a debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses, technicians, cooks, janitors, valets (seriously), and other staff members of the St. Joseph Medical Center (part of the Franciscan Healthcare System) who made our procedures and stay largely comfortable. Special thanks to Dr. Robert Holland, the surgeon who performed our c-section. I found this lobby sign a few days later, and you know if they’re going to make a theater sign for the guy, he must be pretty good. Not framed poster good, but good.

Until next time…