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Kevin's Twins-Father-to-Be Journal

December 29, 2000
~ Greetings From a Faux Expert

Michael, Susan, Sean, KateThe best thing about fatherhood is the mistaken notion you're getting your act together. It must be similar to the hormones that nature triggers in pregnant women.

For the past eight months, I've kept it together by convincing myself that I'm starting to get the hang of this multiples thing. "Surely, it will get easier", is one of my favorite mantras.

I know these journals are suppose to be inspirational but I feel like the Saturday Night Live Parody of GW Bush "Man, this is hard."

After eight months, we still can't get the boys to sleep through the night, not even close. The problem is they wake each other up. I can't tell you how many nights we've put down one teething baby only to have his brother wake up the very next minute. We've tried a few different things, like splitting them up, but not with much success.

When I come home from work, the smart woman of the world I married looks like a deer caught in the headlights. For the next half hour or so, she begins a cathartic diatribe about what the boys did today. Meanwhile Sean and Michael usually start crying when I come home (I like to think it's because they can't handle their emotions yet). I will pick up one and try to soothe the other. Like I said before, "This is hard."

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Now I know why they have support groups for mothers of multiples. I've even come across websites for fathers of multiples. Mostly they say the same thing, that the first year is challenging. Like Duhhh!

OK, I'm done ranting. I wouldn't trade this gig for the world. You have to get by on intermittent reinforcement. Case in point. Last night, Sean was teething. He could not get comfortable. We changed his diaper, tried the bottle, gave him Orajel and finally Baby Tylenol. We tried putting him back in his crib, but we couldn't take his fretful cry. I took him downstairs and he squirmed in my arms for the next 45 minutes or so. He would look up at me with a pleading look, like "Can't you make me feel better?" So I walked him and slowly but surely the various medicines must have started working. Finally, he looked up at me, smiled, yawned and then snuggled into my chest fast asleep. I took him upstairs, laid him in his crib and admired how handsome he looked.

The upshot, one hour of fussy baby and about two minutes of bliss. Works for me!

When the twins were born, Susan and I promised each other that anything we said for the next year would be considered under duress and not accountable. We are 2/3 of the way through that first year. They keep telling us it will get easier. I'm beginning to think they meant 2018 when the boys go off to college.

That's our story anyway. We're taking it one day at a time. And I remain blissfully convinced I'm going to get the hang of this fathering gig any day now. To other dads out there, I recommend a similar strategy. It's like expecting your team to win it all next year. Deep down you know it's won't happen, but hell it keeps you coming back for more.

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