Tuesday, October 06, 2009

On Raising Twins, Part 27

Raising twins is fucking hard.

The other day I remarked to someone--a well-meaning individual who obviously doesn't know me or my family AT ALL--that my children have started attending a nursery school.

"How nice!" he remarked cheerfully. "Now you'll finally be able to relax a little bit!"

I looked at his wide, open eyes and friendly grin, swallowed my bitter bile, and suppressed the true tale like Valtrex does herpes.

"Yeah!" I chirped. "Great!"

What I didn't tell him was that the nursery school is located in a different neighborhood, a dimension of sight, yes plenty, and sound, even more, but no convenient mass transit from my neighborhood. The subway station has not one but two steep staircases, and isn't all that close to the school or my home anyway. I also didn't tell him that, while my children possess the physical heft of four-year-olds, they are developmentally right on target for their age of two and a half, meaning tantrums, and physical acting-out, and lots of it, and it's all very heavy. One needs a stroller to control such children on a journey like that. Except one needs two strollers, because I. HAVE. TWINS.

Notice I didn't say "one needs a double stroller." I shouldn't even have said "one." There is simply no way for a single person to take two such children on a bus by herself. None. It is physically impossible. With two, it's not physically impossible. Just physically unbearable. So, twice a week, the blessed babysitter and I gamely embark on the Quest of Insanity.

Why would I do this, you ask? Because the school is incredible, and because I live in New York City. Have you ever heard the stories about getting your children into a good preschool in New York City? Go ahead, Google it. I'll wait. Got it? Okay. Now, imagine trying to get TWO SPACES IN THE SAME CLASS. If I had to walk them there on my head, I would do it.

But I don't have to do it on my head. I am lucky; I have the bus. The bus, which is just high enough off the ground that it's nearly impossible for a tantruming two-year-old boy, even one the size of a Great Dane, to step up to it smoothly. The bus, which gives us just enough time to pay our fares before lurching off, but not enough time to get our children (hopefully) to a seat while balancing strollers on our forearms. Oh, and on the way back, the walk is uphill.

Come to think, of it, it's all uphill.