Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yesterday I arranged for someplace for Kate to go after school, arranged to pick up Joan early from school, woke Marin from a nap, arranged for David to pick up Kate from our friends' house (thanks, Beautiful Neighbor!), and planned a place to meet him and Kate in Bigger Town.

Meanwhile, I drove myself, Marin, and Joan over to Bigger Town for a doctor's appointment. We arrived 1 minute before our scheduled time, sweating as it was an unseasonably warm (and very welcome!) day. I jostled my bag, Marin on my hip (she was sleepy and refused to walk), and Joan's tightly clutched hand up to the check-in desk.

"Hi! We have an appointment. Well, two appointments..."

"Which doctor?"

"Dr. Awesome. For both girls."


*clicking around on her computer*


"Well, I don't see you listed anywhere. What time was your appointment?"

It turns out I had the wrong Monday! So, we get to do the whole process over again next week! Hurray!

Scheduling FAIL FAIL FAIL.

Joan was a bit scandalized that I took her from school to a doctor's appointment that never existed. I was tired, thinking of doing it all over again, in one week. Joan, in her endless brilliance, saw my weary body language and suggested brightly "Mom! How about some cake batter ice cream?"

Who can say no to an offer like that?

Later, after David picked up Kate, he was kind enough to drive over to Bigger Town. Monday nights are my work nights, so either he came and picked up the 2 girls I had with me, or I drove them home (30 minutes), drove back to work (30 minutes), and then drove home AGAIN (30 minutes). Plus the 30 minutes to drive to the (FAIL FAIL) non-existing doctor's appointment.

He was partly motivated to meet me in Bigger Town because he was overdue for his biannual shopping trip to Old Navy for some khaki work pants.

(And now I've just admitted to the internets that my husband shops for clothes twice a year. And the thing is, he always looks neat and put together. I, on the other hand, shop... more than twice a year and look like a disaster all the time. Please explain.)

Which leads me to my bigger, more profound FAIL of the day. Joan, Marin, and I have a perfectly lovely afternoon. Cold Stone, thrift store, just hanging out, everyone in harmony. Then we met up with THE OTHER TWIN (Kate) and David at Old Navy.

Wait, let me back up and set the scene for you.

At the thrift store, both girls found tap shoes for 50 cents. And then, wanted to wear them. Into Old Navy. Really, it's a tap dancer's dream store- all the concrete flooring stretching out before them! Plus, one of the girls had a quarter in her pocket and purchased a rubber bouncy ball.

So there I was, ushering two children wearing tap shoes (it sounded like 12 children wearing tap shoes) and a bouncy ball through the aisles of Old Navy. David heard us coming from the moment we left the thrift store across town.

Back to the FAIL: as soon as the two older girls, the twins, were reunited, the entire dynamic of the evening shifted. It was all shouting and bickering and competing for attention. Fighting over who got to hold my left hand. But I ALWAYS have to hold her right hand! You NEVER let me hold the left hand!

All the while tap, tap, tap, bounce, bounce, bounce. The ball going over and under racks of clothing, three little girls chasing after it, yelling for David or me, panicking when they got "lost" (not understanding that you could never be lost with tap shoes on in Old Navy), Kate grousing because she doesn't HAVE ANY tap shoes (she does, at home), Joan whining because SHE wants a turn with the ball.

I think you get the idea.

(Suffice to say, the Old Navy folks were not sad to see us go.)

What I realized (besides the obvious lesson about the tap shoes) was that I don't like Joan and Kate when they are together. Well, and perhaps more importantly, they don't like EACH OTHER.


Of all the things I want for my children, finding friendship in each other is pretty high on the list.

And they do, yes they really do (she reminds herself), have lots and lots of moments together that are peaceful, or fun, or even just quiet.

But lately, it's quite hard to NOT feel like David and I have dropped the ball (ha!) in some big way with those two. To NOT feel like they compete with each other so relentlessly around us because of something we did or didn't do. It seems like it must be a shortcoming on our part, and neither of us has a twin to draw life experience from to indicate anything different.


For the eleventy kajillionth time, I feel highly unqualified for this job.


Giselle said...

That scheduling made my head hurt just to read...I can't imagine keeping track of it in real life.

And, I think you dropped your hubby's real name in the middle of that story. I was really confused when I didn't know who Kate showed up with at Old Navy, and you just never mention who it is. ;)

Marie Green said...

Fixed! Thanks Giselle!

d e v a n said...

Oh, that sucks about the dr's appt. I had to laugh at the bouncebouncetaptap. hehe
We've all been there... tap shoes or no.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel better, I don't feel any more qualified than you. I think I got this job only b/c no one else wanted it. :)

Swistle said...

Oh, I love this post. This is just PARENTING LIFE, isn't it? Captured in amber.

I have two kids who don't get along, either. It's my first two, so I'm glad we didn't stop at two or I would have assumed we screwed up (I had one brother and we got along GREAT). But the other combinations (oldest with any of the others, second-oldest with any of the others) are GOOD. So I think it's just those two don't have very compatible personalities.