There is a process of etiquette among parents of multiples (POM). First, if you see a brand new POM out in public or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, offer a warm smile and words of encouragement. Second, never ever tell an expectant POM the truth about how hard the first three months are. Scratch that, the first six months. Third, remind each other that it will get easier, especially when they can “play together” (I haven’t yet figured out if this third point is one big fat lie or actually the truth).
When I had newborns, I was incredibly appreciative of the POMs who followed these unspoken rules. So, now that Monk A & B are almost eight months old, I am happy to return the favour. Except when this happened:
A few months ago, Dan and I were having lunch at Hero Burger – Monk A & B in tow. In walks a mom pushing twins only a few months younger than ours. I think, it’s finally my turn! My turn to be the kind, wise POM who can reassure this poor soul that one day she will indeed sleep again. And watch Mad Men. And write a personal blog. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I can show it to her!
I turn to her, smile, and say kindly and knowlingly, “how’s it going?”
To my surprise she replies, “Amazing!”
WHAT? Amazing? Amazing? This is not how the encounter is supposed to go.
“Wow, that’s great,” I say. “How are they sleeping?” Ha. Now I’ve got her.
“Perfectly! Twin A sleeps from 7pm to 7am and Twin B sleeps from 8pm to 8am!”
Dan chokes on his milkshake. But I’m not done yet. I’ll get her.
“But do they wake each other up?” I say.
“Nope! Never! They’re so good” She pats one on the head, lovingly.
Dan pipes up, “can they teach ours to do that?” I kick him from under the table.
“Well, that’s just great for you!” I say.
When I turn back around Dan is staring at me. I think he’s trying not to cry because, at this point, Monk A & B were still waking up at least twice a night to eat. I kept justifying it by saying they were having a growth spurt (parents like to rationalize all the annoying things babies do by calling it a growth spurt. Or teething).
I glance back at this woman’s twins who are sleeping peacefully in their stroller. Then I peer down at two chubby faces staring up at me. Surely if this woman’s delicate little four-month-olds can go a full night without eating then my porky six-month-olds can too.
That night Monk A & B learned to go a full night without eating. And I learned that Hero Burger mom was right, when your babies sleep through the night, it is pretty amazing.
P.S. No need to hate me. Monk A & B are still not fantastic sleepers. Sometimes they still eat at night and they still wake each other up, despite the fact that one currently sleeps in a playpen at the foot of our bed.