Now that our twin boys are nearly 1.5 years old, I keep foolishly thinking that nothing can possibly top the hardships we have already endured on our journey parenting twins. What could be harder than dealing with two babies and a 6-year-old with food poisoning in the middle of the night (see relevant flashback here)? I should never have asked that.
At the end of the official Chinese New Year Holiday, Savvy (my lovely wife) left for a week-long business conference at a beach resort in Santa Monica, California. That alone did not cause panic. However, I heard warning bells in my head when the doctor diagnosed me with acute bronchitis the day before she left. Armed with an assortment of medications from the pharmacy, I wondered how I would survive the nights alone with the kids. Since two of the medications caused drowsiness, I didn’t even know if I would wake up in the event of a problem. Then, just to make things interesting, Ryder got sick the day Mama left.
And so it came to pass that on the second night of Savvy’s absence, a feverish Ryder woke up screaming and awakened his twin brother. Faced with two crying babies, I myself considered crying. Somehow I managed to shake the fog from my head and get them both into the playpen propped up on pillows with two bottles of warm milk, hoping in vain that at least one of them would fall back to sleep. No luck.
I scooped them both up in my arms and took them to bed with me, trying to sooth them. If I picked up one, the other started screaming for Baba. At my wits end, I debated which child should be placed back in his crib to cry it out when I noticed Bryson had given up on me and finally fallen asleep, despite Ryder’s occasional fever-induced outbursts.
I made a soft spot on the floor for the crying Ryder and quickly spirited Bryson to the nursery where the crying would not disturb him. I then faced an exasperated baby who could not understand why I had let him go. His exhausted little face seemed to say, “How dare you!” Two hours after he woke up, Ryder finally fell back asleep and the home was quiet.
As I collapsed into bed, I prayed to God that I never experienced that again. Then I realized the odds were against me as I still had several more nights alone with the kids. No matter, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
Photo courtesy of RLhyde (Flickr)