The ‘twin mom-ness’ category

Quarantimes Week 17: Major Bourgie Probs

July 6th, 2020

Out of the blue, Phoebe announced that she’s ready to go back to school. “I’m sick of fighting with Eliza,” she said. “And at school they let me use a knife without spotting me.” 

I was thrilled to hear this, as I worry about their increasing level of feral solitude. But now, we have to wait another two months for school to begin, with fingers crossed.

There isn’t a lot to do this summer. I had the intrepid idea that if we got the girls inner tubes, I could take them to swimming holes by myself and they’d have something to do that would keep them both occupied and contained. Otherwise they pull off crazy hijinx and give me aneurysms. 

I texted Jon at work, because he works in town and can run errands easily: “Can you pick up two inner tubes at Sam’s on the way home?”

This is what I picture: 

 I grew up in the country. I’m also not exactly sporty. The only inner tubes I’ve ever experienced are simple black rubber jobs that keep you afloat. That’s all they do.

Jon brings home two colorful boxes and sets about “assembling” the first inner tube. And I do mean assemble. It has parts.

After spending an hour taking turns blowing it up with a hand pump, inflating the built-in pillow, and stringing the rope through the belt loops, I notice it also has drink holders for god’s sake. It’s neon red and white and screams SOLSTICE on the side in block letters.

“What is this?” I ask Jon.

“It’s an inner tube,” he tells me.

Neither of us can handle trying to blow the second one up, so I resolve to be open minded and give this one a try first. The next day, I attempt to shove it into the back of my Outback. It doesn’t fit. I take everything out, deflate the pillow, and try again. Nope.

I complain to Jon. When he gets back from making it work, he reports, “It was no big deal, I just had to take one of the headrests out.” 

“Besides,” he tells me, “You’re supposed to tie it to the roof.”

TIE IT TO THE ROOF?!!? What do I look like? I am a harried mom trying to have an easy go of it with my twins during a pandemic, not some cute girl in board shorts heading to a weekend of drinking on the river. 

The day after that, I have my first chance to bring the girls to the river to try out their new “inner tube.” I yank it out of the car. I carry it through a busy parking lot and down a woodsy trail over rocks, cursing. I can’t see my kids and don’t trust that they aren’t running into Route 30. Finally, we make it to the water. They both jump into the inner tube, and it promptly lodges itself against the shallow rocky bottom.

“Here,” I say, “I’ll push you out into the deeper water.”

The second it hits the deeper water, the current takes it. Eliza jumps out. The large-adult-male-size floatie flips over on Phoebe, and she gets her head caught under the net (did I mention the NET?). She panics. I have to jump in the water with my prize Eileen Fisher jumper on (on sale for half price on my birthday weekend!) and wade in up to my chest to pull the enormous thing off her.

She’s sobbing and terrified. I hold her for about 20 minutes until she’s brave enough to get back in the water again.

That night, I suggest to Jon that we get some different inner tubes. Phoebe agrees: “One without that stupid, stupid, stupid net!” I give up; Amazon it is. I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding Amazon for all but utterly imperative purchases. This arguably fits into that category? 

A few days later, we are on the river with these perfect, landfill-bound numbers:

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 11.05.27 AM
Sometimes you just have to give in to reality.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading:

Fighting Over Masks in Public Is the New American Pastime in the New York Times. I, like most people, it seems, have strong feelings about masks. I have started to actively defriend anyone on Facebook or Instagram who says publicly that they won’t wear one, or who suggests that the right mix of essential oils could nip this all in the bud. It’s a meaningless gesture, but it feels good. (So if you are in that camp, defriend me — I will understand and be grateful!) 

Deep, deep level of feeling this New York Times article from last week: In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. Ironically, it took me all day to read it, three words at a time, as I hung out with my kids instead of working.

Ann Friedman Knows the Secret to a Good Care Package — I love sending care packages through the good ol’ mail. 

What I’m watching:

Hamilton, like everyone else. So brilliant.

What I’m listening to:

Armchair Expert: Ibram X. Kendi — Kendi is getting a lot of attention right now, for good reason. I am currently reading his book How to Be an Antiracist. But I love this conversation with Dax Shephard. Shephard has a way of making any conversation accessible and entertaining. 

What I’m eating:

What I’m working on: 

When this whole thing began I lost a few of my best clients, who simply couldn’t keep paying for freelancers and, in a few cases, experienced major layoffs. I have been very fortunate to be able to rebuild with a few new clients I’m really excited about. This means that I’m in a huge learning curve with new client technology. The ol’ brain cells are in overdrive.


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