Getting the twins outside.

I took the twins over to school yesterday. We walked; this is part of my ongoing attempt to assure myself that it’s no big deal to get them outside. Only IT IS. Maybe when it gets warmer, and all I have to do is slap a onesie on them and smear some sunscreen on it will be easier…but right now, it’s really hard.

Here’s a quick rundown of what it took to get us out the door for the last doctor’s appointment: they wake up. I feed them. This is fine, because I have the bottles all ready to go, very efficient. Only they don’t feel like eating as much as rolling the nipples around their mouth and talking around the bottle. They finally finish, I burp them, she spits up, as expected. This is why I brilliantly waited to change her outfit until after feeding but changed his before! So efficient. So I take her in to change her outfit. She spits up as I’m lifting her off the changing table to take her to the carseat. I change her again. She seems to be fine now, and I get her buckled into the carseat. Turn to him, he’s uncharacteristically spit up all over himself. Take him into get changed. Bring him back out. She’s covered in spit up. “How can you spit up eight ounces when you only took in six?” I ask her. This elicits a laugh from her. I’m glad someone is happy. I rush her in to change her, because, despite the fact that I initially budgeted plenty of time to get them ready, this vomitfest has eaten into our surplus of minutes. Can you guess what I discovered when I brought her back out to the living room? You are so smart. Yes, Jack had spit up again. At this point, I start looking around for the hidden camera, because clearly, someone is sneaking in and dumping vomit on my babies when I’m out of the room to see how far I can be pushed before snapping. Jack just had to live with the spit up because we were so short on time.

We live on the third floor. I haven’t quite figured out how to get them down in the most efficient, safe manner when I’m by myself. I’ve tried floor-by-floor, where I take one down a floor, leave him or her on the landing, then go get the other one; but I hate leaving one by themselves for even the minute it takes to do that. I know that paranoia will fade soon and I’ll be leaving them on top of the car as I pull away from the curb. But right now, I feel safest taking them down at the same time. That’s about 20 pounds (baby plus car seat plus blankets) in each arm that I’m hauling and I do not have Michelle Obama’s arm strength (although, man, wouldn’t that be an awesome side effect of having to haul these kids everywhere? Michelle Obama arms?) so it is pretty exhausting. And on this particular jaunt downstairs I TRIPPED. And STUMBLED. And almost had a heart attack. I couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if I fell down the stairs while I was holding them. So I have to figure out another way to get them downstairs. As they get older and heavier, it will just get harder and harder.

Once I get them to the car, it’s pretty smooth sailing. Except that Jack has started screaming unless the car is in motion, which makes red lights a particular hell.

I think that if I got into the habit of taking them out more often it would all seem more simple. And I think that they need to start seeing some new scenery — really, all they’ve seen in their short little lives is this apartment. But I’m so worried about getting their naptimes off kilter that I haven’t figured out the right time to go out. Plus, this is how they look when we leave the house:

When we go for walks, like we did yesterday, they never lose that terrified look — they’re little eyes stayed glued to my face and they look worried the whole time. So there’s not a whole lot of reward in taking them for walks yet.

My senior medical students were so excited to see the babies that they quickly squeezed me out of the way to huddle in close:

Neither of the babies cried, so I am assuming that they weren’t too traumatized by losing sight of me, but when we got home, I couldn’t get Jack down for a nap even though he was clearly exhausted. In fact, it turned out to be one of the most distressing naptimes I’ve experienced with them yet — he wouldn’t sleep, but wasn’t hungry, didn’t need changing, and was so tired that he could barely keep his eyes open — but he was hysterically crying. Nothing I did helped and leaving him alone only escalated the issue. He finally passed out after almost an hour of screaming; at that point, I was almost in tears because I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it or what was wrong. Did he get overtired? Was he traumatized by the earlier experience of not knowing where I was? Did upsetting the routine of the afternoon throw him off? You just never know with him, but it’s made me wary of taking them out again and I hate that, with warm weather finally here. I am hoping that they will soon learn to love walks and that getting outside will do us all good. It’s easy to feel trapped up here on the third floor, like Rapunzel, but without that great hair.

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