Was it already a year since our twin boys were born? It doesn’t feel like I’ve slept through a year’s worth of nights. Maybe that’s why time with babies goes so fast, you need to count the hours you slept, not the hours you were “awake” in a delirious stupor. As I’ve mentioned before, if you take that feeling of sleepless nights that having a single baby brings and multiply it exponentially for each additional infant, you will have some idea of what raising multiples is like. I weep for those with triplets. No really, I do. It’s awkward at parties.
Despite sleep deprivation, there are great upsides to having twins and there has been no end to the cuteness in our home lately. Watching a baby discover it can be a human beat box by smacking his tummy is fun, but watching two babies revel in it and mimic each other’s sounds is hilarious. Okay, I am their father, so I have to laugh.
In the past 12 months, the boys have learned to sit, crawl, stand, and walk like a pair of drunken sailors. There have been countless collisions between the two of them, so much that they hardly cry about it any more. We have noted that they have a much higher pain threshold than their older sister ever did. I’m not sure how much of that can be attributed to being boys (does it really make a difference?) and how much of it is the increased volume of bumps and bruises due to two flailing bodies in the same play pen. Yesterday, Ryder decided to put his finger in Bryson’s mouth. Eventually, Bryson got bored with this experiment and applied some teeth. Despite looking very peeved about this, Ryder never cried about it. Their mother and our squadron of ayis all fret about them falling, but it is unavoidable (especially when I am watching them). Let’s face it, if you don’t fall down in life, you’re not learning. Well, that’s what my sky diving instructor says.
Of course, having a baby in Beijing causes people to look and smile. Having a multi-ethnic baby elicits this reaction even more. Having twin boys is like winning the lottery and wearing a sign that says, Free Cash! People stop, stare, take photos, request to be photographed with the babies, offer up dowries with their baby daughters, and constantly remind me that I have two babies. Boys no less. Double happiness writ large! One proud security guard at our compound tells anyone within shouting distance that I have twin boys every time he sees me while giving me a wink and a thumbs up. He seems to hold more pride for my family than anyone else on the planet. I know this because he is still trying to literally shout it out to the world. All this attention and fuss has made me ponder the idea of having another child. As I tenderly suggested this to my wife, she lovingly replied, “Over my dead body.” I took that as a subtle no to the idea.
Photo by Christopher Lay