Having twins can be the most amazing experience of your life. It can also cause you to wake up in the morning wishing you were someone else. Twinning offers an honest depiction of life with twins from a mom who tries to keep things somewhere in the middle.
My husband and I waited until our twins were 15 months old before we took our first “family vacation.” When they were infants, just being at home with Nick and Allie was so exhausting. I couldn’t imagine what being away with them would be like. We had looked into plenty of recommended “family friendly” sites but they all seemed like too much work. So when my family decided to rent a lake house that summer, we thought a week there in June with six other adults to help with the twins might actually be fun.
We were optimistic about the trip because we had the feeding, sleeping and nap routines down. The babies were bigger and we were more confident. Although the buying, preparing, planning and packing for the trip almost did me in, we packed ourselves in the car and headed north.
Since Nick and Allie’s car seats were still rear-facing, I squished in between them in the backseat of our car so I could keep a constant eye on them. They were both teething, so instead of instantly falling asleep once the car started moving, they kept on crying. I hadn’t realized how many teeth my son had coming through—I was surprised to see his gums dotted with little white spikes. I got to see a lot of those gums during the car trip because he spent the majority of the time screaming in my face.
I had made banana cookies for the kids and figured that would calm them down a little. My son gobbled his up, but my daughter ate one and then spit the second one out. Not sure why she would do this, I fed her another one, and soon discovered that she had car sickness. The torrents of vomit she hurled at me and the backseat were almost unbelievable, considering she’d only had a little cereal and one banana cookie that morning.
We made our first pit stop to clean ourselves up, and to find me a new t-shirt. Vaguely clean but stinking like puke, we all got back into the car. The screaming continued as did the vomiting. Despite being more than halfway there, I got to the point where I told my husband to just turn around. I was done, and our vacation hadn’t even started.
The rental house was far from baby-proofed—it was more of a death trap for toddlers. Nick and Allie crawled around croquet spikes, over splintered floorboards and into an open fireplace (not lit of course). They put everything in their mouths and I have no idea what half of it even was. The windows had sheer curtains and we had to tape garbage bags up in our room to get the babies to nap. Our room was near the living room so at night it was pretty loud, and the babies would wake up every half hour until we all went to sleep.
At the beach, Allie ate sand and Nick cried when sand touched him. Slathered in sunblock, the twins were sand magnets, to Nick’s dismay. I tried to take him into the lake, and that didn’t go over so well either—he clung to me like I was trying to dip him in boiling oil. My husband almost passed out blowing up two little floaty boats made for toddlers, but Nick wouldn’t touch his, and Allie yelled and kicked when we put her in it.
That vacation was a blur of worry, frustration and exhaustion, but you wouldn’t know it from the pictures. The kids are all smiles and couldn’t look more adorable. On a boat cruise we took around the lake, my daughter is climbing all over my brother and he’s laughing. There’s one of my husband, relaxing in a chair in the lake house and holding up a beer. In one of my favorite shots, my husband and I are holding our twins and smiling at the camera with the mountains and beautiful lake water glinting in the background. We look like a happy family having a gorgeous holiday.
We were recently looking at those pics as they appeared in a slideshow on my laptop.
“I don’t remember enjoying one minute of that vacation,” I said.
“Neither do I. It felt like it would never end,” my husband said.
But if it wasn’t actually me in the pictures, I’d look at them and say those people were having the time of their lives.