I am beginning to think that being the mother of multiple children launches you into an alternate reality. A reality well-known to parents of twins and other multiples and probably familiar to mothers of small children-- even if none of the children were born on the same day. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a freaky place indeed.
In our reality, you can't leave your house without some woman coming up to you and saying, "Twins?! Oh dear, God bless you." Usually this happens several times during one outing. You will also find youself bombarded by stupid questions from random strangers. These questions include "Are your twins maternal or paternal?" and "How many months apart are they?" I guess in our reality twins barely a month old and almost exactly the same size can cause immense confusion to the uninitiated.
A mother's vision of herself becomes distorted in this reality. In the one-child state, a woman can discover what she does well and work on what she doesn't. In the multiple child-state, the mother is trying to keep everyone alive on very little sleep with a body ravaged from growing baby after baby. Periods of wakefulness often dissolve into dreamy visions of your belly flab falling off the way your child's umbilical stump did. You float in and out of days while your wild things are crying, pooping, climbing up the refrigerator to find snacks, and sucking you dry (literally and figuratively). All the while you know that some force will send you to bed without your dinner.
In this reality, a mother can not rely on household conveniences. A dishwasher gives out without so much as a grunt while the garbage disposal threatens a mutiny should you even attempt to wash one grain of rice down the drain. You fear using your washing machine should the same fate befall it so laundry piles up around you like relatives who come to visit but never leave. See, I told you this reality was a scary place.
There are some good things about this place though. Big sisters find ways to bring even the most reluctant Turtle out of her shell. The other day, I overheard Vivi saying, "Eliya, do you know how much your big sister loves you?" And to Jude, "Do you know that your big sister goes pee and poop on the potty?" Yes, even in this reality, poop is still the number one topic of conversation.