Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Babies do the darnedest things

Much has been made of the girls’ smiling abilities. But what of their other talents? Surely, you say, they must do more than simply lie about moonily grinning. Dear reader, prepare to be dazzled , dumbfounded, and delighted as I tell of the infantile feats and fancies of Mlles Elsa and Clio.

Lint Collection. The twins are amazingly adept at this. Look between their fingers or toes or in the creases of their palms at any given time, and you’re sure to find little bits of fuzzy gunk. How does it get there? Where does it come from? I’m not quite sure. I suppose some of it comes from my own clothing, which they tend to clutch in their little mitts while nursing. And the toe fuzz must come from the inside of their sleepers. I love to pick and pluck at things, so I’m perfectly content to play the role of monkey mama , clearing the stuff from between their fingers with mine and flossing between their toes with baby wipes. But it is strange how often I find myself doing it. Those gals really like their lint. I guess ultimately it's a sad commentary on my housekeeping abilities and/or the rate at which our cat sheds.

Squealing / Squawking. The ladies’ noisemaking repertoire has expanded beyond grunts, snorts, elephantine trumpeting sounds, and crying to include some little gurgles, squeals, and phlegmy guttural interjections of what I can only assume is pleasure, as they tend to make them when they’re lying on their backs smiling and kicking after a good feeding. They don’t really coo, but they do make some short vowel-sound bursts. Clio has her own trademark squawk, which sounds something like “Bwah!” and can indicat e either excitement/contentment, or annoyance and impending despair. It’s like Chinese; a slight difference in intonation changes the meaning completely.

Looking at things.
This is one of the ladies’ favorite pastimes. Though we eagerly dangle brightly colored, developmentally appropriate toys of all kinds in front of their faces, what really seems to captivate them are furniture, walls, ceilings, windows, picture frames, piles of laundry, and other developmentally irrelevant objects. Eyebrows, hairlines and long hair are also popular.

Speed-Nursing. During their first few weeks, each baby would nurse for anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes. Clio would have hung out and nursed all day, alternately slurping and snoozing if I’d let her. Now, I’m pleased to report, the average nursing time clocks in closer to 15 minutes per baby. Clio is still a more leisurely – and sloppier – eater, and Elsa has been having some acid reflux issues, making for some fussy feedings and a lot of spit-up (baby Zantac seems to help somewhat) but overall , their nursing aptitude and efficiency has made impressive gains. I finally understand why people say nursing is more convenient than bottle feeding.

Production of simulated ricotta cheese. Otherwise known as spitting up. Both ladies excel, but Elsa, as previously mentioned, has the edge. Both babies are also good at initiating games of "hide-and-go-puke" wherein they spit up whilst being burped and we don't notice until later when we see (or feel) the wet, clotty stains all over the bed / couch / our clothes / etc. Fun for the whole family!

Swimming. OK, not exactly swimming, per se. But they’ve become quite agreeable about being bathed. Part of this we think is due to the fact that we’re submerging them more completely in the water, rather than using the hammock contraption that came with the little plastic tub, so they don’t get as cold. But I like to think that it’s also because they’re learning to appreciate the finer things in life, a nice warm bath being chief among them. Soon, we hope, they’ll feel the same way about sleep.

Next time (probably) the story of our quest for a part-time nanny/sitter as I prepare to return to work.


Blogger HH said...


can you pls email me? i'd like to ask you a couple of things about your feeding the babes. I'm going to be right there in a few weeks. My email is


3:39 AM  
Blogger Motel Manager said...

Awesome! I love the update. I am also pleased to hear about the uptick in nursing aptitude - that should free up some of your time for lint collection.

Speaking of one source of lint, how does the cat like the gals?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HIRE ME!!!!!!!!!
I'll come for an interview 4/2 and 4/3.
I excel @ picking lint from small crevices and trimming fingernails without making them bleed.
I'll bring a sleeping bag (and a gun) & wrestle for secluded spots along the Charles.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Your babies are incredible. What mad skills.

My girls weren't as good at lint collecting, but I used to always stress that they would have a long stray hair wrap around their toe or finger and cut-off their circulation. It never happened, but it didn't stop me from worrying.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're really putting your babies to work, what with all the lint production and collection and such... Indeed, they might need union representation. How would you feel about the Teamsters setting up a local under your roof?


8:44 AM  
Blogger Eva said...

Glad to see that things are going well for you 3. Feeding was similar for us -- in the beginning sometimes an hour, these days, a full meal is like 7 minutes and I'd worry they weren't really eating if they weren't so LOUD. And they love to stair at windows and lights still, or their new favorite, a soda bottle with black beans in it. Thanks for keeping us posted.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Gallaudet said...

My boyz have crushes on your girls already. They admire women who can get things done, like lint collection and couch-destruction-via-stealth-urp. And I admire a Mama who can breastfeed twins the way you do. Go, Calamity Family!

The right nanny is more precious than rubies (like that little Biblical reference there?). Let me know how the search goes!

10:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home