My version of "normal"

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Categories Infants, Other people, Singletons

I don’t know what it’s like to have one baby. I’ve never done it. In many ways, I count myself lucky. Because a lot of moms (new or otherwise) looked at me with shock and fear when I said I was having twins. Clearly, they felt that no mere mortal could possibly take care of two babies at the same time. But I didn’t know any different, so I could only get so freaked out. And you know what? It has been fine.

But only knowing what it’s like to have two has warped my perception of all other people. For one thing, a phrase heard frequently in my house goes something like “those people with just one baby, what do they do with all that free time?” I know, it’s obnoxious, but I can’t lie. We think that way. We definitely also have romanticized notions about how much easier this thing or that thing would be if we only had one. I’m sure that I’d think life was plenty tricky if I had a singleton, but because I don’t, I can imagine how delightfully simple it would be. As Rebecca said so well this weekend, I totally get one-baby envy.

I also found myself, from about halfway through my pregnancy, kind of assuming plural whenever I talked about baby-related things. I forgot that most people only had one, that I was the weirdo.  It’s a mindset that’s hard to shake. Oh, you mean you only bought one crib? Where’s your other carseat? You didn’t trade in your Honda Civic for a Toyota Sienna? No? Huh.

When I first mentioned this to my husband (M), he thought I was crazy. Maybe that I was being excessively self-centered or something, locked in my own little world. Oh, how times have changed. My stepbrother’s first child (my first niece!) is due in June, and I was putting together a care package of some of our favorite newborn essentials. I bought three good waffle-knit blankets for swaddling. M looked at me like I was nuts. “Why would you get three?” he asked. “That doesn’t make any sense. Then you only have one extra… Oh wait. Nevermind. They’re only having one. Huh.”

See? It happens to all of us. For as often as people look at you like you’re a freak of nature, or (I’m not kidding) laugh as they walk past you, it’s sometimes easy to forget that not everyone has two babies at once.  For as many times as I’ve wished I could just pop in and out of the store for a “quick” errand, I look at people in the grocery store with the baby in the basket, and wonder who’s taking care of the other one.  So, if I meet you someday and take a minute to mentally adjust that there isn’t another one at home with dad, please forgive me.  I have a slightly warped sense of reality.

Dueling Exersaucers

So, you’re telling me that most new moms don’t have two exersaucers taking up half of their living room? No? Huh.

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10 thoughts on “My version of "normal"”

  1. Once again I find myself saying “I know EXACTLY what you mean.” I remember those looks of “OMG” when I told people I was having twins and I too always think in plural and speak in plural about pregnancies, etc. Is there any other way? 😉

  2. The number one comment I get goes something like…oh my gosh, you must be so busy. I can’t imagine having two babies. I was busy enough with just one.

    I always wonder what having just one is like. I always answer that they are my first two, so I guess I just don’t know any different.

    But then I wonder…does it feel like some sort of vacation just having one baby?

  3. I mentioned to a few coworkers (who have babies about the same age as mine) the other day that I buy formula, diapers and wipes in bulk, and I totally got the crazy “WHAAAAT?” look from them like I’m a freak for stockpiling. I know they are envisioning me as this crazy lady with a cellar full of diapers I’ll never use. Little do they know how quickly we can use a case of size 3 diapers in our house!

  4. Huh? Not everyone has had to buy carseats in sets of 4? :) Oh, and I have to admit, I do not see the point in buying diapers in those small packages… you’re just going to have to go back to the store in an hour!

  5. People seem to be hyper-aware when you have twins. My friends with one baby often start refering to her/him as “they” within minutes of talking to me. One person in particular is prone to this, followed by the inevitable “Wait, I only have one baby…” Its great, I dont feel alone talking in theys.

  6. one more thing, in the hospital after the babies were born, my husband and I were each holding one of our sons. He just looks at me and said (as it occurred to him) “Wait, what do people with one baby do? SHARE????”
    Fast forward to three screaming nights later “Who gets two? Really how did we get TWO?”.
    ha. that first week is really the most incredible range of emotions ever.

  7. Angela – you sound like my husband and I! We divvied up the babies, one each. He got to name one, I got to name the other. The funny thing is that they came out with our respective personalities (Jason named Clarity, she’s just like him; I named Moxie, she’s just like me!)

  8. That’s so funny. I have two friends that say “they” when they are talking about their single child then laugh and say, oh yeah you have twins I have one. I have found myself on two occasions now for friend’s kid’s birthdays buying 6 shirts and 2 pairs of pants so in my mind so that they each get a pair of pants a 3 shirts..but wait there is only one of them so then I combat that by wrapping two gifts one from Bryce and one from Logan. But I still get made fun of from my husband. I can’t imagine how it would be with one and I well never have that. We twin mommies and daddies are handpicked because we can handle it (or its some twisted joke lol). You rock all of you!

  9. As a mother of 2 year old twins and 6 month old son I have become all too aware of the differences in having 1 baby at a time versus 2. I’m so very glad I had the girls first (my son was a complete and total shock of a pregnancy) but my husband and I (once the shock wore off) said- hey… only one kid? No problem!!
    When I went shopping for him I had to keep in mind I was shopping for only one baby..no need for the same outfit in another color!! And wow- I don’t have to buy diapers in bulk for him…
    And don’t get me started on the comments I get when I mention I have 2 year twins and a newborn….

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