My first two children were born 12 months apart. You know what they call that?
Oh we have the luck o’ the Irish in our blood.
Walking around wearing a baby, while holding a baby, is a tough gig. You have TWO kids in diapers, TWO kids nursing or taking bottles, TWO kids doing night feedings, TWO cribs, TWO carseats, TWO daycare tuition fees. It’s like regular twins, except one of them is MOBILE and actively trying to eat the other baby.
There were nights when I would finish nursing one, and as I am putting him back into bed, our oldest was like “Top o’ the Mornin!” — at 2am.
And ladies, if ya wanna catch some gawks, have Irish twins. Because the things grown people will say TO YOUR FACE still blow my mind to this day.
“Did you plan this?” — not ya business
“Don’t you know how this happens?” — we have a theory
“You have your hands full.” — lacking accompanying offer to help approximately 95% of the time
“Glad it’s you and not me” — well gee, thanks
“I don’t know how you do it” — the same way EVERY mom does it
“I could barely handle one baby at a time, much less two” — mmkay
“Y’all need a hobby” — we have one *winkwink*
Le sigh (or whatever the Irish equivalent is)
I am on the other side of Irish twins, as they are now 6 and 5, so I thought I would pass along my top 10 Irish twin tips to any other Mamas with two under two.
1. This one is just for you, Mamas. Adult diapers. When you are bleeding after having a baby, the last thing you want to do is sit any longer than necessary on the toilet trying to piece together a puzzle of pads like you are playing Tetris. Slap on an adult diaper and be FINISHED with that. They really do provide great coverage and are virtually leak-proof. Bonus points if you keep them in the freezer. Extra extra bonus points if you remember they are in the freezer before you sit down on the toilet. Also, if your postpartum periods look like a scene from Psycho, treat yo self and slap on your trusty pal again. Your sheets will thank you.
2. Keep the kids’ PJs in the bathroom. Or wherever you bathe them. Stick them in a basket on the counter or floor or shove them in a drawer. Seriously, it keeps trips back and forth to a minimum. #hellaconvenient
3. Bathe them TOGETHER! And have the oldest gnaw on a toothbrush while she is in there. #twobirdswithonestone
4. Speaking of bathrooms: that’s also where I have all the diaper changing stuff. Now we have a big bathroom counter and ample drawers, so we have the changing pad on top of the counter, a drawer of pull-ups for our 3 year old, and a drawer of diapers for the 1 year old. I also keep a box of wipes out on the counter, extra wipes and diaper baggies go under the sink, and extra diapers go in their rooms. This way, you can change their diaper next to a sink where you can wash your hands immediately after.
5. Also, BOOO diaper genie. It reeks. I bag our diapers in the plethora of plastic grocery bags we have and throw them away outside. That phrase may be deceptive. I literally throw them outside our back door so my hubby can grab them on his way out to the big trash cans with the kitchen trash at night. I do not walk each diaper to the outside trash can. Although I probably should. I could log at least one mile a week.
6. Best recipe for diaper cream ever, from our Shreveport pediatrician Sharye Atchison: equal parts Lotrimin (or generic alternative), 1% Hydrocortisone cream, and Aquaphor (or generic alternative). Game changer.
7. DO NOT BUY A DIAPER BAG!! We use a backpack. Like a regular school backpack. And splurge for one that looks halfway decent AND has many many pockets. Here’s our system: Biggest zippered area: diaper pad in laptop sleeve, diapers / pull-ups for each, wipes, and diaper baggies; Next zippered area: bottles / food / feeding implements / bibs. Now remember, we don’t premix our bottles, so there isn’t a need to keep them cold. BUT if you have some precious breast milk, this pouch is usually large enough to fit some bottles in a little lunchbox cooler. Since we don’t need any of this stuff anymore, our second pouch has a change of clothes for each kid. There is a small half-moon shaped pouch on the front of our bag and that’s where we keep extra pacifiers. The pouch that usually holds stuff like calculators, pens, pencils, we use for my wallet, tissues, and hand sanitizer. Then the very front zippered pouch fits my cellphone and keys.
8. We keep extra blankets in the back of our van. They are great for cleaning up carsick vomit, and thin enough to put under a kid who has wet themselves.
9. We keep a basket by our garage door that contains one pair of play shoes for each kid. In the summertime, it’s sandals. They put their shoes there (theoretically) when they walk in the door, so there isn’t any hunt to find shoes.
10. I usually fix one snack for everyone. Sameness means there is less bickering. Also, it promotes sharing: “I don’t want my apple.” “I’ll eat your apple if you take my peanuts.”
And here’s a lagniappe for you, for when “the twins” are a bit older:
We are looking to move to each kid having ONE set of dishes: cup, plate, spoon, fork. And they would be responsible for clearing food off and putting it into the sink to be washed for their next meal. If you didn’t put it into the sink, guess who doesn’t have a plate and won’t get to eat at the same time as everyone else. We haven’t done this yet, but are about to go Marie Kondo on our plasticware, because NONE of it gives me joy.