Just Who's Watching Who?

They say when you have kids your house becomes a zoo. I always assumed that was a figure of speech meaning kids introduce a lot of chaos to your life. Turns out I was wrong.

Having kids has turned my house into a zoo literally. We've got our very own fence up to keep two rampaging 9 month olds from eating the clorox and washing it down with the contents of the dog's water bowl. They're generally allowed free reign in the den, but the fence goes up across the door.

It's been a problem for the dog. He and The Mrs. spent a lot of years together and he follows her around like a puppy (Sorry, couldn't resist the lame joke.) when she's home. So he ends up sitting on the opposite side of the baby fence looking in a lot. And of course the babies are fascinated with him so whenever they see him on the other side they congregate right at the fence so they can watch him. So their's lots of staring and drooling on both sides of the fence.

It almost feels like the anti-zoo. We're the ones confined in the small area, and he's the one on the other side observing every day family life. Okay, so I've spent too much time thinking about this, but it's always good for a laugh to see the three of them eyeing each other through the fence.

Today's post is for the Parent Blogger Network. This week they're promoting the new learning product iKnow Animals Letters & Sounds by asking parents to talk about how their life is like a zoo.


Parental War Story #2

Every parent has their war stories about sick kids, missed sleep, pulling weird things out of the toilet, unusual objects stuffed into the DVD player. You get the idea.

A colleague, and my oldest friend both had singleton boys a few months before the wonder twins were born. They've been telling their war stories to me for the past few months. Both suffered through several ear infections and various other ailments. Up until last week I just nodded and said 'Glad we haven't had that happen yet.' Not any more though.

Last week we had our own trial by fire. Saturday night as Luke was going to bed The Mrs. commented that he was sounding a little hoarse. That was the first sign of any ill health from either baby. Four hours later Luke was a wailing croupy mess, hacking like a 3 pack a day smoker and refusing to sleep for more than half an hour at a time. I won't tell the whole sordid story, but suffice to say Leia didn't escape unscathed herself. Several days later Luke was on the mend and we thought we'd dodged the bullet with Leia. And then she got hoarse. She didn't end up getting the croup like her brother, but she did end up with an infection in both ears and an antibiotic that has to be take twice a day for 10 days. Anyone ever try to give an unwilling infant medication? Not recommended.

Here's the highlights of the week:

- Two doctor's office visits.
- Four after hours calls to the doctor's office. (My favorite was at 4 AM.)
- Three sleepless nights. (The Mrs. handled this a lot more than I did. Props and monetary donations go to her.)
- Approximately 523 doses of medicine administered to unwilling babies with sharp teeth and flailing arms.
- Eleventy billion hours of pacing while holding a twenty pound baby. (My left bicep is HUGE.)
- Two new dehumidifiers at a combined cost of $100 at Target.
- One episode in which Leia produced a Linda Blair style projectile vomit.
- Two different grandmothers dropping in to help at different times.
- One late night visit to the 24 hour pharmacy.
- One sick wife.
- Five sick days used by me.

On the plus side, I didn't have to use any scarce gas to drive to work, and the late night pharmacy visit was an ideal time to get gas without waiting in line.

* In case you were wondering, Parental War Story #1 was just living with twin newborns for that first month.

It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Gets Poked In The Eye

Let me enlighten you all about the conversation at the moment this picture was taken.

Leia: I'm going to poke you in the eye with this stick now Luke.
Luke: I know Leia.
Leia: It's for your own good baby brother. It will encourage you to get better at using your hands so you can keep me from doing things like this to you in the future.
Luke: You're only a minute older than me, quit calling me baby bro....
Leia: (poke)

Notice how Luke is holding a limp dandelion stem? I've got to teach that boy not to bring a knife to a gunfight.

In fairness to Leia, she didn't actually poke him with the flower she's holding in that picture. But the picture and dialogue just encapsulate the relationship between the two of them so very well. These days she's much more mobile than him, and she has more hand control. So she can swipe his stuff and make her get away. He's closing the gap, so the playing field becomes more level every day. The Mrs. told me about a little war between the two of them while she was rocking them both. Luke had a pacifier in his mouth and Leia decided she wanted it. So she swiped it out of his mouth. And he swiped it back. Apparently this went on for several minutes before The Mrs. managed to free an arm to grab another pacifier off the table. Unfortunately, this one was attached to one of those tethers that you clip onto the baby's clothing so it was new and exotic. And another war began...

Watching the two of them together never fails to entertain me, at least until someone starts to cry. (Thus we see the origin of the time honored phrase this post uses as a title.) Leia always gravitates toward her brother. Back before they could crawl we'd sit them up in front of each other and watch as her arms started waving as she tried to reach him. If she did reach him she would always poke him in the eye or scratch his cheek. He was pretty stoic about it, just putting up with it as he gave us an anguished look of 'Why?!?'.

Now that they can move...... the tradition continues. I'll look over at them to see him laying on his stomach playing with some toy while she's laying with her head on his back watching the ceiling fan go by above them. She also has this weird happen of trying to put her lips on him. Our best theory is that she's trying to copy the raspberries and kisses their mother and I give them.