Sometimes I think being a parent to twins and an older child is akin to doing an extended stint in an Iranian hard labor camp. The incessant demands, the never-ending cleanup, the desperation and deprivation all make me wonder what sort of cruel universal joke landed me in this predicament.
In many ways, that punishingly difficult first year is starting to fade. Vivi has more or less accepted that her little sisters are here to stay and she delights in how much they obviously love her. (She is less enthused with them touching her stuff, however.) The Turtles are no longer colicky blobs of ceaseless crying but instead are two disparate bundles of personality. They are speeding around and beginning to talk and when asked how much Mommy loves them they'll throw their arms wide and yell, "Big! Big!"
But, it is still not easy. I realize with twins that it never gets easy. It just becomes less hard. Or, at least, some things do. While the babes are on a schedule now and can be counted on to sleep several hours at a stretch, we still find ourselves up a few times a night with them-- a different child at a different time. It feels like our sleep deprivation will just never end.
Then there's the joy and hassle of their constant movement. The other day, while I was cooking in the kitchen with Ellie Bean at my feet, Jude starting crying in the living room. I checked on her and found that she had climbed into the toy bin and couldn't get out. When I returned to the kitchen, I found Ellie sitting ON TOP of my knife on the cutting board on our island eating raw butternut squash. (She had climbed a chair, crawled across the table, and then up on the island which holds our cook top. Thank heavens it wasn't on or she didn't stab herself or fall or...or...or....) I freaked and put her down. She toddled away and five minutes later both she and Jude returned to me soaking wet. Vivi had forgotten to put the toilet seat down and they had used their toys to scoop all the water out of the toilet and onto themselves and the floor.
And most every day is like that. I get angry sometimes that Vivi doesn't intervene when she sees them doing things like bathing themselves in the toilet but then I have to remind myself that she is four and her job isn't to be a little version of me. Sadly, the reminder usually comes after I've yelled at her but before I've apologized.
So when evening rolls around and the girls are all in bed, I sit on the couch. That's it. Sometimes I read while I'm sitting. Sometimes I sew. Most times I just think about all the energy it is going to take to do it all again tomorrow.