I can barely remember what Anna and Margaret were like as newborns. Those first few sleep-deprived months are a total blur to me. I wonder if God intentionally programmed us to have total memory loss of the early days of taking care of a baby, so that we forget just how tiring those days were. When our niece, Claire, was born in December, I held her just hours after her birth, all tiny and swaddled in a hospital blanket, and felt terrified and clueless, like I had never held something so little and helpless before. I can't believe I was responsible at one time for taking care of two tiny little newborns.
There is, however, one thing about Anna and Margaret's early infancy that I vividly recall, and that is the endless demands of nursing 2 newborns. It's hard not to forget how challenging it was to breastfeed 2 infants every 3 hours around the clock, especially when each of those nursing sessions took an hour. It took me weeks to figure out tandem nursing (photo of that here), and so when you add that up - 2 infants, 1 hour session each - that left me exactly 1 hour to regroup before the cycle restarted. I lived by the clock and our strict schedule of feed, nap, feed, nap, repeat. Though we had a parade of visitors and non-stop family help for the first 10 weeks of our girls' lives, I feel like I spent much more time on my bed in my room, remote control in hand, nursing a baby and flipping through useless daytime television. Speaking of which, Tyra Banks is completely bizarre, and watching America's Next Top Model is like watching a train wreck. Horrible, but you can't turn away.
When the girls were about 4 weeks old and I had reached what felt like a rock bottom of exhaustion, I recall (sort of) jokingly telling Joey that I wish the girls could just go into the kitchen and find themselves a snack to eat when they were hungry, instead of relying on me for their only nutrition. Well, good things come to those who wait, right? The other day, I was playing with Anna in the living room while Margaret was, presumably, doing her daily emptying of the Tupperware cabinet. I heard a soft crunching noise, peered around the corner of the cabinet, and noticed that she had gone into the snack cabinet, pulled out a bag of cheerios, somehow managed to pry the chip clip off of it, and was helping herself to a huge handful of cheerios.
They're helping themselves to snacks, drinking whole milk out of cups, and walking to where they need to go. And while I revel in their independence, my heart still says - stop, slow down. Don't grow up yet.