August 28, 2011


The Becoming SuperMommy Family
I've been having a hard time lately writing about my girls.

You see, I don't exactly know who they are anymore.  And as a result, I don't really know who I am anymore.

When I started writing about them, it was pretty simple.  They were babies, doing baby things.  Growing like weeds, eating, puking, pooping, learning.  It was pretty straight forward.  Now things are different.  Now I find myself with this little litter of small people, who are NOT just following a standard developmental course.  Because once you hit a certain point, all bets are off.

As was fairly inevitable, they're become little girls.

And as with all little girls in the history of humankind, they are unpredictable.  More than a little crazy.  And I have no idea what's going on in their curly little heads.

They talk.  Not always in English (or even their occasional snippet of Spanish), but they do it constantly.  And more and more, I can interpret what they're saying.  And they're not just repeating the names of objects, the things in their surroundings, they're expressing ideas.

On Friday afternoon, DD decided to put on a performance for me and M.  This is becoming something of a regular occurrence.  She stood at the end of the bed, watching herself in the mirror, announced that, "Debbah go BOOM!" to make sure we were all watching very carefully ("Mama watch!  Watch Debba Dada!"), and then launched herself backwards onto the bed between us to the raucous laughter of both children.  Over.  And over.

She's given her sister a new nickname that I find myself using.
Making sure we all watched her shot-put her flowers

She's named all of her stuffed animals and dolls.  With her own name.

She's getting remarkably OCD about having things stuck to her fingers or in places they don't normally belong.

And then there's SI.  She's hit her stride with the word, "no."  She loves to be contrary.  She'll walk into the room with her arms loaded with shoes.

"SI, are those mommy and daddy's shoes?"
SI nods.
"Can you put those shoes away?"
SI throws the shoes on the floor at my feet and walks away.

She doesn't say "no" like DD did, full of feeling and with great import.  She says it totally casually, with this quirky inflection that lets you know she really couldn't care less, she just likes being in charge of the conversation for a few seconds.

Then she stares into your eyes like she's staring into your soul, asks for a cracker, and just sits peacefully on the floor to eat it.

I'm getting familiar with phrases like, "speech delay."  I'm comfortable knowing that twins frequently have speech delays, and that it's an environmental issue that I really can't control without giving up a lot of my parenting ideals.  I just don't have it in me to be the parent that has my kids in my sight, interacting with me, every minute that they're awake.

I have other crap to do.

So instead, I have moments with SI where I try to get her to say words like "banana."

SI smelling the flowers
"Can you say banana?"
"Ba. na. na."
"Ba. na. na."

This change, moving from living with my husband and our two babies to living with three other people, one of whom is my husband, is really complicated.

I'm beginning to feel insubstantial.

I'm beginning to feel like I'm half fantasy, that every hour I spend with these children I turn more into a mythical mommy creature, and get closer and closer to abandoning the creature I used to be.

One of my favorite quotes has always been, "You must be careful what you pretend to be.  Because in the end, you are what you pretend to be." (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.).  The implication is that who you are is defined by how you are perceived.

And now?  The perception is changing, and I don't understand it.  They each see me as something different, but I can't quite put my finger on what.  And even if it is never spoken aloud exactly, just the act of their believing it changes me.

I'm beginning to have an understanding that isn't even close to conscious knowledge of what each sound they make means.  Of when SI says she hasn't pooped and she's lying, or when she's telling the truth.  Of when DD isn't going to eat her breakfast before she even sits in her chair.
Mommying on the go

I'm beginning to understand it because they believe I understand it.  M believes I've turned into this other "Mommy" person.  I'm metamorphosing into an omniscient mythological entity.  And like all mythological ideas, I'm not entirely there.  I'm not provable.  I'm not... quite real.

I am real, of course.  I'm laying in bed, writing from my sleeping husband's laptop, listening to the sound of canned rain from the girls' room and M's snoring.  Cogito, ergo sum.

But I'm not this thing that I'm imagined to be.  This thing that I tried so hard to be, that I'm still trying to be.

I'm less of what I was.

I'm half imagined.  It is no state in which a person should live.

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