Friday, May 28, 2010

Twin Trouble????? I think yes....

Does every parent of twins have such difficulty telling them apart when they are babies? I know this isn't something a father of six month old babies should be admitting publicly, but it takes 30 seconds of detailed studying before I am able to correctly name a baby, and that is only if they are side by side. If I don't have the boys side by side, I might as well just flip a coin because I literally have no idea. Even with them side by side, I would only ever say that I am about 70% sure I am correct. Mrs. B acts much more confident when naming which Twin-kie is which, but you can also see a fraction of doubt in her eyes if you question her.

Maybe I am just too close to the situation, because within 15 seconds of meeting the boys for the first time, a friend was able to say which one was which and point out the differences, predictably all of Mrs. B's friends think they can obviously tell the differences, and yet they also still have about as much success as I do when it comes to naming the babies.

Does all of this mean that the Twin-kies are identical....the answer to that remains as clear as the actual identities of each of the babies. Apparently today's pediatricians don't care if twins are identical or fraternal. The only thing we know is that there has not been any indication, as of yet that they are fraternal (such as different blood types, different colored eyes, etc),but there has also been nothing to definitively identify them as identical.

Mrs. B and I worry about the hilarity that is going to ensue within our little group of guys. Lets take a cinematic look back at what kinds of trouble identical twins get themselves into: I would like to start with the Disney classic, "The Parent Trap" (not the Lindsey Lohan version.....Lord knows we don't want that kind of trouble) starring Haley Mills. Couple of cute girls find out they are identical twins play mean tricks on their step parent to get their real parents together.

Example two (a more contemporary example): The Scavo twins on Desperate Housewives....
....these two boys are constantly switching identities to allow the other twin to get away with some kind of mischief, since even their parents have a difficult time telling them apart...does that sound familiar?

Example three: Quite possibly my favorite example, but as a parent the scariest example. The Weasley Twins from Harry Potter;
Fred and George spend nearly every moment of their existence thinking up pranks and ways of causing all kinds of mischief. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Fred and George have always been my favorite characters in the book. Mainly because even though they get into trouble all of the time, deep down they are have a heart for others and a passion for life.

With my tendency for getting into trouble and having a love of a good prank, it is entirely possible our boys have a genetic disposition that will lead them down a path similar to that of the Weasley twins. The two things that all of these characters have in common is their tendency to cause trouble, but also, and more importantly, they all have big hearts. I will work hard as a parent to ensure that my boys develop the big caring heart, and I am pretty sure the trouble making will take care of itself.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Driving Kids Crazy

If you have seen an episode of Oprah within the past six months you will know one of her big kicks this season is the "No Phone Zone" challenge. She has challenged her audience, as well as guests, on her show to not talk or text on the phone while driving. She started this "No Phone Zone" challenge after she dedicated an entire show to the dangers of driving while using your phone. As a parent of three kids under the age of three, the safety of my children is paramount and I try my best to not talk on the phone or text while driving, even when I'm stopped at a light.

Interesting though that Oprah's show on car safety forgot to mention another highly distracting problem that happens in my car nearly every day. KIDS.

Those little buggers are darn distracting. If you are a parent you know what I am talking about. If your kid isn't screaming about wanting something that you don't have the power to give them, say teleporting a grandparent into the back seat with them, then you are trying to get some food item into a close proximity of said child so they can grab it and give their mouth something to do. During the "No Phone Zone" show, Oprah showed video of people driving while texting or talking on the phone. It was shocking how much time people were cruising along in their vehicle at 70 mph without ever looking up at the road. I am scared to look at a similar video set up that replaces the cell phones with kids, as I am sure I spend more time than I think trying to keep the boys happy.

Maybe learning how to drive and keep the munchkins in the back happy is a skill that comes with age. I remember those long family vacation drives where I fought tooth and nail with my sister about how much of the seat in the back was mine. Remember the imaginary line, and if you crossed that line, you were going to get punched in the shoulder. It would take about 30 seconds before somebody would cross that line, and the punching would begin.

I am sure, with three boys, we are going to experience something very similar in the not too distant future. I will be forced to get a couple of pointers from my dad on the art of driving and disciplining the children at the same time. He had an amazing ability to keep the car on the road and administer swift justice, doing it all without losing a second off of our itinerary. I have yet to acquire this skill, and am forced to resort to turning around, which takes my eyes off the road to toss cookies at the kid in the way back, just to keep him happy.

These cookies also serve as a way of bribing The Boy into providing status reports on the Twin-kies, such as: Are they sleeping? Do they have pacifiers in their mouths? Is the sun in the one of the Twin-kies eyes? Always one to go above and beyond, The Boy will also report that "babies are screaming," since he's not sure if I can hear the crying coming from less than a foot behind me.

I guess for the moment, tossing food items at my kids, in the same way a zookeeper tosses bananas at monkeys to get them to do tricks, is what I have resorted to for the safety of my family while driving my car. Just another role I play each day while being a dad, a zookeeper who's training monkeys while commuting to work. I wonder if the zoos have the same problem with the ants that my car seems to have developed.