I have recurring daydream. It’s not reminiscent of fifty shades of whatever or spending the day at the spa alone. It’s not having a chef and personal trainer. It’s not being given the vacation of a lifetime or a shopping spree for a whole new wardrobe. In my dream I’m gifted a service dog. Yep, you read that right. I want a twin wrangling, sanity saving, furry friend. I long for a gorgeous, well trained German Shepard named Gretchen. I know I could hire a mother’s helper, but wouldn’t it would be so much simpler to just yell “Go, Gretchen!”? Gretchen and I would be a team. We would work together to conquer this mess of toddlerness named Laurel and Rhodes.
There is nothing I hate more than the in and out routine associated with car seats. It’s even more painful when there are two car seats to unfasten and refasten. And let’s not even talk about how frustrating it is when the errand I’m running is quicker than it takes me to get both toddlers out of their car seats and buckled into their stroller (which is made so much harder because they insist on flopping around like catfish out of water). If I had Gretchen she could stand guard over the twins while I ran my quick errand, or better yet, SHE could run my errand for me. Gretchen could fetch my preschooler from his class and bring him to the car, she could mail the package, she could buy diapers. Ok, maybe not buy diapers, but you get the drift.
Rhodes and Laurel are notorious for wandering away. They don’t do this in the traditional toddler fashion where you see your child getting a little too far away and you can call to them. My duo has mastered what I call the Ninja Stealth Wander. I’ll give you an example that happened today. I was checking out at the dentist office and the twins were literally standing on my feet. Like right on my feet. Hurting my toes. I passed my debit card across the counter, looked down, and they were gone. Poof! It hadn’t been more than 45 seconds since I’d seen them. Right as I start to get alarmed a technician turns the corner with the twins. She’d found them trying to get a drink from the water fountain. Gretchen would have never allowed that to happen. She would instinctively grab any toddler that wanders further than arm’s length away from me. She would also know to grab any twin walking into a mud puddle, or accepting a blue snow cone.
How many times have you gotten situated to change a diaper or start the nap time routine only to find you’re missing one crucial item? You know if you get up it means both toddlers will also get up and then you’ll have to play Catch the Twin all over again. My ever helpful Gretchen would be able to bring me the blankey or the wipes in these situations. This skill would also prove useful in the evenings when I’m just too exhausted to get the corkscrew or chocolate.
I freely admit that I rely on technology to entertain the masses when I get overwhelmed or have a task I really need to get done. While this isn’t ideal, there are so many quality apps and videos available I
never hardly feel any guilt over it. Keeping the devices working and charged is a challenge for me. With five kids in the family chargers get lost and screens get shattered on a semi regular basis. It’s a frustrating and expensive problem. In my daydreams Gretchen has the ability sniff out lost chargers and swoop in to catch devices before they hit the floor.
Having a toddler is hard. Having twin toddlers (or more) is exponentially more difficult. Feeling overwhelmed and inadequate seem to come with the territory. While I may not have a Gretchen to relieve some of the stress, indulging in the occasional off the wall daydream and keeping my sense of humor help keep things in perspective. This time is short. Try to roll with it and be kind to yourself. We are all doing the very best we can.