Friday, October 9, 2009

The book store

I have noticed that identical twins often have identical temperaments.
Or at least they are usuually pretty darned close.
And that can be a good thing.
Take my friend Misty who has identical triplets. I first met her about four years ago at the YMCA. Her girls were three years old. They lined up to go potty when asked and then they lined up to dress in their swim suits.
They walked, not ran, out the door and headed for the pool.
I have never seen those girls misbehave.
It's just not in their triplet nature.
Matthew and Jonathan are a whole different story.
They are highly active, highly curious and stubborn.
I have become so accustomed to planning outings in fence-in areas, running errands at night when my husband is home, and instinctively dreaming up new distractions before the current ones wear off, that I forget just how powerful this combined temperamental force is, and just how often I bow to it.
Until it hits me head-on.
Like yesterday.
Over the past few days, I have been trying to plan an afternoon play date with a mom of 3-year-old boy. My first suggestion was a fenced-in playground. I never considered anyplace else. The children's gym that I often rely on closes at 2 p.m.
Fortunately, the other mom liked the idea.
But then it rained.
I was baffled.
These guys refuse to ride in strollers or their wagon. When forced into either one, they take their anger out on each other, kicking and hitting like little mad men.
They will hold my hand for short durations, but when it's over, it's over. I've gotten very good at carrying them in a double football hold.
In frustration, I once resorted to those harnesses, the cute little puppy ones that look like backpacks. Matthew and Jonathan sat on the concrete as soon as they realized that their freedom was limited and refused to budge.
Anybody need a couple of barely used harnesses?
So, on rainy days in the late afternoon when we've already been to the YMCA and the children's gym is closed, we go nowhere. That's home time. Dangerous time. It's the kind of time when toy dolphins swim in toilet water, glass coffee tables become human launching pads and the entire main floor becomes a highly dangerous race track.
But I really wanted to meet up with this mom, a fellow writer, so I decided that for once, I would just have to be brave.
She had suggested Joseph-Beth Booksellers, a large book store about 25 minutes from home. She assured me that the bookstore had a separate children's area with a train table and a play kitchen, two of the twins' favorite things.
So we went.
And, to my amazement, we survived.
With their newness, the kitchen and the trains were the main attraction. By the time they'd lost interest, her son was ready to leave to. We walked out of Joseph-Beth holding hands, carrying the price of admission: two stuffed snakes.
It will be quite a while before we can return. After my new friend left, Jonathan found the door and tried to leave. Meanwhile, Matthew had gone back to the snakes and was pulling them off the display one by one.
They were getting to comfortable.
The newness had worn off.
Still, it was nice.
It was different.
It gave me hope.
Maybe someday I'll even be able to browse the books.

3 comments:

Lis said...

Ahhh little boys don't you love them! partners in crime. It must be fun. I love to read your blog, you depict my life with identical twins so well! lol.

cat said...

Oh gosh, my boys are also just so active. I think the difference is boys vs girls. My daughter was never such a handful. Never!

twinsmom said...

Thank you Lis! It is fun, despite the stress. They keep me young anyway!
Cat, In general, I think that's true. People with all boys used to tell me how challenging boys could be, but my oldest son is so mellow and such a rule-follower. I was spoiled. I am learning that he is the exception! With my daughter, it's all so much more emotional and so much less physical.