This morning Dave had to leave for work early (for him). Our general plan for the young-twin-infants stage is that he will take the boy(s) to school in the morning and stay later at work if necessary to make up the time. While the end of the day is certainly tough, I have to give mornings their due for being the absolute hardest time of day for our family at this spot on the timeline. And at the end of the day, I feel okay about a couple of Curious George episodes since they've been exercising their little brains and bodies nonstop since seven a.m.
Anyway, this morning had to leave earlier than usual, so he did some twin-feeding and even got Bridget dressed but then he had to go. Various small events happened--the boys had to put on their socks but kept getting caught up with Legos in their room; Bridget was DONE with being buckled "Unbuckah-me-nooooowwww!" but I was feeding the twins in their bouncy seats. All was resolved, though, and we were still on time. Then I noticed that since we hadn't taken the babies in the car since Anders left the hospital (December 21), their shoulder straps needed to be moved up an entire slot! Hooray for the end of newborn stage (sorry, newborn-lovers)! Boo for the soul-sucking project of navigating adult fingers into those little slots TWICE (TWINS)!
Then everyone marched downstairs for boots, coats, hats, mittens while Hadley screamed because...well, it's anybody's guess. Once all three big kids got out of the rain and into the van, I realized that it had been remarkably easy to climb in and adjust Finn's straps and snap Bridget in--what had I been complaining about these seven weeks? Then I realized that one of the captain's chairs was flipped up still (since December 21, probably) and the carseat base had to be reinstalled. Hence the extra room to maneuver.
Upstairs: Hadley still screaming, spitting out pacifier in order to scream. Anders starting to get unsettled in his own seat.
Downstairs: I'm sweatily jamming the base into the seat and trying not to swear out loud.
Finally, all five are loaded in (Hadley still at volume setting 8 out of 10) and we're gonna make it! 8:45 it is! My friend (promoted today to Patroness Saint of Mothers of Five) Cristina popped over to ask what she could do for me in the parking lot, and I promptly unloaded my two oldest children on her and said thank you as I jiggled the pacifier in Hadley's mouth to no avail.
As soon as we got home, I fed the twins a bit more as they stayed in their carseats, then ran upstairs to open the door for the carpet guy who was coming to measure our stairs, and finally threw Hadley in the Ergo and Anders in his Rock 'n' Play. (Meanwhile Bridget kept singing "Baby cryyyyy. Baby cryyyyy," just in case I didn't have a grasp of the situation.)
And the only mantra that works in moments like these is "LAST TIME," whispered to myself again and again. No more babies. When these two are on a schedule, ALL my kids FOREVER will have schedules. When these two sleep through the night, ALL my kids (mostly) FOREVER will be sleeping through the night. When these two are done with bottles, NO MORE BOTTLES!!! (There aren't enough exclamation points for that last one.)
Last time. No matter how cute they are when they're quiet.