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Kevin's Twins-Father-to-Be Journal

February 2, 2000, 28 weeks
~ And Down the Stretch They Come

It's Groundhog's day. He's seen his shadow and it's 13 weeks until the boys debut! I can handle that. I can handle that. How the hell am I going to handle that?

Susan is having a lot of trouble sleeping at night. When your wife can't sleep, that usually means you can't sleep. But I've adapted rather well. No matter how much rolling she does, how many covers she steals, how many pillows are taken from right underneath me, I shrug it off and go back to sleep. It's a trait Susan finds particularly annoying.

Kate, our 15 month old, has no idea what she's in for. Fortunately, she has a strong personality. My buddy Jim says that Kate has the same instinct for trouble I have but now it's combined with Susan's determination. She also has a good Irish temper, which flares up like a thunder storm and passes just as quickly. Being the older girl, and only girl, for that matter, I think she'll hold up very well. In anticipation of all the attention the boys are going to receive, Susan is taking measures to make Kate feel important. She's picking up gifts for Kate. Things for $2 to $5 on clearance. This way when people come bringing gifts and toys for the boys, Susan will break out a gift for Kate as well.

Right now, Kate spends weekdays with Aunt Beppy. Aunt Beppy, who also goes by the name Betsy, is a close family friend and the older sister of my best buddy Jim (Kate's Godfather). When the boys arrive, Betsy has said they will come to our house. Also, Susan is planning to take a year's leave of absence from her job. Boy, that was a major relief. I was trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get three babies in the car for the drive to Betsy's. Now there'll be two qualified caregivers at home. That is until dad comes home and all hell breaks loose.

The "Field Marshall-in-Pearls" (AKA, my mother-in-law, Diana) bought a new chest of drawers for the boys; I was glad to see they were different colors. It's the first thing they're received that hasn't been identical. I've read up a little bit on identical twins, for obvious reasons, and I don't want to do all that cutesy identical dressing stuff.

When we told people we were having twin boys, we received well intended advice on the names (Kevin & Keith for example). The way I look at it, the boys will sort that individual identify stuff on their own. I just don't want to compound things by slapping a joint identity on them. Susan and I have begun referring to them as "the boys". We'll keep that up until people take hold of the fact that we don't call them "the twins". They're Mike and Sean for crying out loud, not a joint production.

This brings up another twins point for me. The fact is twins start speaking later (an average of six months later, according to at least one book) and have IQ's about five points lower than singletons. Apparently, this is a result of resources being stretched thin. They just don't get the same cognitive stimuli that a singleton typically gets. I have taken this as a personal challenge! Fortunately, we're receiving a lot of family support from both sides. This will give the boys a lot of individual attention. I know it's going to be really hard. I mean we're going to be so busy changing diapers, feeding babies, (hoping we fed the right baby) that the whole idea of reading to them sounds secondary, but we'll find the time.

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