Tuesday, autumn 2010.
Once I wrote I wasn’t sure about being ready to change the long distance race that is raising twins for the marathon that is raising three children. But when I did that, it was already too late and I was pregnant with Renzo. After him, I popped out another two kids and I didn’t care – or worried – about being maybe a bit too late to do so. Leighton had lost Sam because of me, I wanted to make him happy and I just… love kids myself. But now that I have so many children at home and the years are starting to show their weight, I’m starting to have second thoughts.
One might say I wasn’t right by naming Maximiliano and Tomas as I did. I should have made it the other way around, since it’s Tomas, which in aramaic means “the twin”, who commands his brother, Maximiliano – “the greatest” in latin. Tomas is the one who wakes up first and he makes sure everyone knows it, crying angrily for food. By the way he cries, it seems like if he haven’t been fed for weeks! Maximiliano follows Tomas with a 15 or 20 minutes delay: just after awaking, he usually keeps quiet playing with his own thumbs and only after realizing that Tomas is crying his strength out, he joins… but it seems most like a compassion action. Maximiliano cries less passionately, even when he’s really hungry. The fact is… it’s not yet 5 am and I’m up dealing with my twin boys. I start by Tomas and when he’s finished I go over to give the bottled formula to Maximiliano. By the time Maximiliano is finished, Tomas is demanding attention again: he needs either a diaper changer or wants another bottle.
Renzo is usually patiently waiting for his turn and when I’m done with the youngsters, I play a bit with him. He already can walk all by himself, but his vocabulary is still too shy and both of us could be happier if he were potty trained.
Many days the girls leaves for school basically by themselves. They understand that I’m too overwhelmed with the younger ones, but I’m sure they are not so keen on eating cereal or the pancakes Leighton prepares every morning. Antonia usually comments that she would prefer a real meal instead of “something that tastes like fridge” or “is just the same every day crap”. I know a comment like that hurts Leighton… I can’t do the breakfast because I’m dealing with the babies and Leighton, even though trying hard, seem not to understand that he’s the one that is crazy about pancakes… Antonia would risk a Lobster Termidor even in the morning and Clara would like a peanut butter and jelly now and then.
Leighton’s still an active man. He is still working as the team captain, for God’s sake! But it’s not like when he was in his twenties any longer. He needs more hours of sleep. So, just about when I’m preparing lunch, he finishes his exercise routine – it’s the price he must pay to keep himself on the game – and locks himself back in the bedroom. It’s OK. Thanks to this extra hour or two, he can covers for me with Maximiliano, Tomas and Renzo in the evening. By 7pm, I’m already so tired that I must at least take a nap…
We’ve tried hiring a nanny to help. But it’s not easy to find one who can handle two babies, a toddler and now and then keep an eye on two other children. Shelby Flint, a teenager who lives downtown, was the best one we got after all our attempts. She really can handle the boys… but her mother doesn’t want her babysitting too often. I guess the woman fears her teenager doing bad on school or not having time to develop skills because she’s working raising someone else kids. I can understand Shelby’s mother. Even us, mothers, underestimate how important babysitting skills are later in our lives.
Because Shelby is hard to reach, we must content ourselves with Armando Rushing. This teenager is the worst babysitter I’ve ever met. All he wants to do is eat my ice cream and chat with Antonia, while both of them happily watch the TV. I really need to hire someone worth the costs soon because…
I’m going stir crazy!
It’s been so long since I left the house that I feel my batteries are empty. I barely have time to watch for my plants and some of my tomato plants are showing the results. Weeds, untended leafs and the shadow of death plants are all over my backyard…