Sleep, I’m beginning to learn, is highly overrated. There’s so much you miss while you’re snoozing away. At least, that’s what my twins would have me believe.
Jilly was the first one up and look, it’s only 3:24 a.m. She’s wide awake, this one.
I didn’t need any shut eye anyway.
And just like magic, Leo figured out his sister was having all the fun.
Notice that I’m not even in my pajamas. I mean, sometimes I wonder what the point of getting ready for bed is?
And here’s Liev, late for the party and smiling as usual. He thinks they’re really cute, even in the middle of the night!
If you recall, I’d just found out I was pregnant yet again. And since he was up, now was as good a time to tell him as any, in my mind.
He could see I was troubled anyway, so it didn’t make sense to not just tell him.
He took the news just as I suspected he would. He was thrilled to pieces.
I, on the other hand, still had my concerns. I was exhausted, angry, happy and worried all rolled into one. That’s okay if you don’t understand because neither do I.
Because of these conflicting feelings, I spent most of the pregnancy pretending I wasn’t pregnant.
Until I couldn’t pretend any longer. It wasn’t until my belly was huge, throwing my center of gravity way off that I knew I had to come to terms with this. To be honest, I just didn’t feel like taking all the pictures I normally do.
So, here I am, ready to have this kid. Liev is excited, of course.
The day before yesterday, I finally pulled out all the little newborn clothes, washed them and folded them, then neatly put them away in the dresser in the nursery. Even though it wasn’t that long ago that I’d had Leo and Jilly, it still amazed me when I was reminded of how tiny an infant really is.
Running my fingers over the soft fabric of one of the little folded onesies, I reassured myself that all would be well. I mean, once you’ve had twins, you could pretty much do anything. Couldn’t you?
Not even close, my mind told me. Those old doubts crept into my consciousness again and I could feel the grip of anxiety as it worked it’s way back into me, making my chest hurt with each breath.
Liev did seem to notice the disquiet in me as he helped clean the nursery and wash and rehang the curtains. That night, we introduced Leo and Jilly to their toddler beds in the other part of the nursery. Jilly was thrilled to have a “big girl bed.”
But Leo… Oh, Leo. He loved not having the bars on the crib to hinder him. I can’t tell you how many times I put that child back in bed and told him to stay there. He giggled like it was a game and persisted in getting up again.
Did I mention I’m totally exhausted?
I was tempted to let him run wild through the house so I could grab a few winks, but I knew in the long run, I’d be really sorry if I gave in now.
Tonight was the same as every night lately. The twins were still up even though it was late and I was picking toys up that had been haphazardly thrown in every direction during the day.
Liev kept talking about the new baby. New baby this, new baby that. I finally put my foot down. I just didn’t want to think about new baby anything at that moment. I had my hands full as it was.
But, he wouldn’t stop. He just kept bringing it up like he couldn’t even help it. I was glad he was so enthused. Really, I was. But there was only so much I could take.
“Let’s keep the ‘L’ thing going and call him Larry if he’s a boy,” Liev said.
“I hate the name Larry,” I responded. I didn’t really hate the name Larry, but… Good gravy, leave me alone about the new baby!
“Luke? Lance! Liam!”
“Hmph,” I grumbled. “Let’s get the kids to bed.”
Leo was really sleepy, rubbing his eyes and snuggling into me when I picked him up. But I knew it was all a ruse. A sad and terrible game he was playing with me, the unwilling participant. As soon as I put this stinker in bed, I knew very well, he’d be running up and down the hallways like a wild child and wide awake as could be!
“C’mere, Jilly,” Liev cooed as he held his arms out to her. “Come to daddy.”
“For goodness sake, just pick her up and put her to bed!” I impatiently instructed. Would this night ever end?
No. No, it wouldn’t.
Liev picked Jilly up just as the first pain gripped me, stealing my breath. I quickly lowered Leo to the floor.
“I’ll call Patty!” Liev gleefully announced as he ran out of the room.
We had previously arranged for Patty to watch Leo and Jilly when the time came that I would be away at the hospital. She arrived in no time and Liev took me to the car.
I was quiet the entire way there, lost in my own thoughts. That is until he brought me back to ugly reality when he asked, “Are you doing okay?”
Why, thank you for asking. But no! No, I’m not!
All right, all right. I sound completely awful. I can read this back to myself and I know I’m acting terribly. But the more I tried to stop myself from behaving this way, the harder it got; the worse I felt.
And you might even feel the same way as me if this happened to you….
… Meet Daylynn Keniesha…
…And Rachel Phyllis.
See my face? Do you see that?
I couldn’t even bring myself to take proper baby pictures. I’m a terrible wife and a lousy mother, that’s what I am.
I can honestly say I love these new girls. And it is obviously not their fault they were born into a family already bursting at the seams with children.
If I thought I was exhausted before… I just can’t even finish that sentence, Journal.
Keniesha, Mango and the girls were out of town due to an away game Mango had going on. But Keniesha sent me a nice card when she found out the news.
Over the next couple of days, I began to feel a little better. Liev, the superhero he is, kept the children in the playroom/nursery so I could have a moment’s peace. He had encouraged me to go out, even if it was for a walk. But I didn’t feel like it.
So, I sat down to write.
I decided not to bother with the laptop, but to write on paper for a change. Before I began, I thought back on what I’d recorded so far. Thoughts of the first time I’d met Liev curled the corners of my mouth into a soft smile. He’d been so cute and I’d been so painfully shy.
Keniesha had insisted we throw that disaster of a party that had ultimately turned out so funny. Liev had asked me out that night, sort of… and at the time I didn’t know what to say to him. That was the night I’d met and slapped Garret right across the face.
I thought of all of the strange situations I’d been involved in since starting this journal. The awkwardness I’d felt at each moment. How utterly bewildered and mystified I’d been (and often still was) regarding dating, men, marriage, moving, my relationship with my sister, becoming an aunt and then a mother…
I picked up my pen and wrote down the first thing that came to me..
“The Story of Memphis Noble.
Let’s Read the Instructions First.
Suddenly, it was as if something had taken possession of me. Before I knew it, I was writing furiously, my hand scrawling black ink across the page. With each word I wrote, I felt a sort of relief pass over me. I didn’t have any idea if anyone would ever want to read this or if it would ever stand the chance of being published. But right then, I didn’t care. I was writing this for me.
And it felt really, really good.
I ignored my phone the first time it rang. After all, I had finally discovered something that was therapeutic.
When it rang again, I picked up. What if it was Keniesha? I would hate to have missed a call from her.
“Hello, Memphis? This is Liev’s mother Phyllis.”
“Oh, uh, hello!” While Phyllis and I had spoken very briefly on the phone before, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that it wasn’t my sister calling.
“I’m sorry if I’m calling at a bad time, dear. I spoke to Liev earlier and expressed my desire to come visit and meet my grandchildren. But I wanted to run the idea by you because I don’t want to pose any inconvenience.”
“Oh — no — I mean, please do come and visit. When were you thinking?” I looked around frantically at the mess around me. There were toys strewn everywhere and the house had more than what you might call a ‘lived in’ look.
“Wonderful! My husband Val and I will be in town at the end of the week. We’d love to come by first thing on Friday when our flight gets in, if that’s all right.”
“Of course. I really look forward to meeting the both of you,” I answered with relief. The end of the week? Surely, I could have things pulled together by then.
After I hung up, little tendrils of anxiety began to wrap themselves around my heart again, squeezing slightly. The end of the week? Friday? That was the day after tomorrow!