Because there were two, there were gasps and tears and disbelief. There were spreadsheets developed before you even got home from the initial ultrasound appointment and fears and relentless morning sickness and books to read and endless worries and what-ifs. There were extra ultrasounds and extra fears, extra heartburn and floor plans for extra bedrooms, extra back pain and extra cribs, extra strollers and extra car seats.
Because there were two, you will always be outnumbered. There are 20 fingers and 20 toes, too much laundry, and never enough hours. There were missing socks and missing pacifiers, dirty bottles and dirty diapers, constant worries and constant deliveries of formula and diapers and baby lotion and burp cloths. There was a very confused big brother and an even more confused family bulldog—both of whom wandered from one baby swing to the other and wondered when these two would start to be fun.
There continue to be endless questions of “Are you sure they aren’t identical?” from complete strangers who will stop in the middle of the street to tell you how much they look like their daddy.
There are so many moments when you wonder how you will ever get through it.
Twice the teething and twice the potty training, double the first steps and double the topples, twice the preschool reports and twice the bullies, double the allergies and double the immunizations, twice the bicycle spills and twice the broken hearts.
Will you ever sleep again, or feel awake and alert without massive amounts of caffeine? How will you ever have enough eyes or energy or patience? You don’t have enough hands to feed them both or comfort them both or wash them both, or even hold them both. And yet, here they are.
And because there are two, there are twice the smiles and twice the wonder. Twice the eyes that follow their big brother’s every move and twice the laughs that rumble up from somewhere down deep by their toes. There are twice the chubby cheeks and twice the jiggly thighs, four glacier blue eyes and four deep, deep dimples.
They reach out for each other and comfort each other when one is hurt or sad.
They endlessly climb on top of stacked boxes and scoot their high chairs across the floor in a silly mealtime race, putting food they don’t like on each other’s tray and stealing Goldfish crackers when the other isn’t looking.
Next month, they will turn two, and the toddler stage will awaken the unique personalities that have been waiting to develop. One often seems more deliberate and studied, the other more devil-may-care, quick to offer a charming smile in response to parental concern. They giggle and run and adore their big brother as he patiently teaches them to stack his LEGOs and pretend shop at his grocery store. They are so loved.
No matter what, they will each always have a friend and a partner and a cohort in crime—just as it’s been from the very first ultrasound, with the gasps and the tears and the disbelief.