I mentioned last time there was a funny story about Nathan sliding into the world on November 5th. I need to rewind a bit to an evening when Matthew and I were in the middle of some type of serious entertainment that I totally can’t remember, when out of the blue, he asked how the baby would come out of his mommy’s belly. Ohhhhhh, noooooo! I had no idea how to respond to that. I didn’t know what he had been told, what words had been used, how much information they wanted him to have (does anyone else remember the Friends episode when Chandler unknowingly told the boy he was adopted?), and there I was, expected to answer. So, as one who has always been good at thinking on her feet, I said the obvious. “It’s kind of like going down a slide, only slower.” Yes, I did. In my defense, however, I was not prepared! Then, of course, I had to fess up to the parents, and I got the usual proud response from Leah. “Really, Mother?” Yes, when she throws down the mother card, she’s especially pleased with me. So, you can imagine the grief I got from my girls…..more than the usual grief even.
Now, let’s fast forward to November 5th, shall we? Labor story, epidural, long day, contractions, blah, blah. Dave and I were in the room, until push came to shove if you know what I mean. At that point, I went out in the hall to text my fellow grandma who couldn’t be there until later and a few others who were following us. Dave went to get Matthew at his preschool. I had just finished texting, “She's pushing!!!” when all of a sudden, I see the light above the door flashing red, and at least five nurses were running down the hall to the room. Fortunately, I didn’t have time to panic because just then I heard a baby crying! Our grandbaby, excuse me for pointing this out, had just slid into the world. Who’s looking like she knows a thing or two now?
It turns out, the light was flashing and the nurses were running because the nurse in the room had called, “Baby is coming without doctor!” It also explains why some nurses walked away when they heard the baby crying (I was mildly offended at first until I realized that meant everything was okay.) Then I did something I learned from my own mother after Lindsay was born. First, of course, I had to announce to every stranger walking by, that that was my grandbaby crying! It’s just a thing you do. You can’t help yourself. Then I stood outside the door, and every time the door opened, which was a lot, I asked, “Can I come in? Can I come in? Can I come in?” The trick is, as you say it, you keep walking in, and pretty soon, unless your child says for you to get out, they give up and let you in. I may have been a little pushy, but I got some darn good pictures of that cute little baby, and I got to hug my own baby, which was the best part of all. Anyway, my point of this very long story is, family repeat after me, Gaya was right.
I’ve often wondered how parents with twins, or more than twins, do it. I don’t know if it’s easier when they are the same age or harder. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both. I can tell you this, though, one is tough, and the degree of difficulty definitely goes up with the number of children. That doesn’t mean you love them less, because that’s just not possible. I learned from having my own kids, when another child comes into the world, your heart just expands accordingly. But the tired factor ……. yowser! Having two little ones was tiring enough when I was 30 and part of a great team. Being, well, older, is just exhausting. I now understand how my parents would feel after an overnight with our girls. They would beg for us to let them visit, but then would be ready to collapse when we came to pick them up. I get it now. And would I ever say no? Not in a million years.
After the first week of watching the kids while the babysitter was gone, I went home and slept away the weekend. It does usually take a good 48 hours to recover. Then Sunday night, I got a text from Leah asking what kind of bribe it would take for me to come back to help for a couple more days. She said she’d buy me all the Portillo’s I wanted. I responded that I was thinking more along the lines of a granddaughter. I was quickly informed I needed to “tell Lindsay to get on it.” Well, I tried. And of course, I went up and helped with the kids. If you’re lucky, that’s what you get to do. And, as I’ve pointed out before, then you get to go home. It really is a great gig!