The ‘reading’ category

The New Yorker Nightmare

December 14th, 2017

Joslyn accidental selfie

I had a nightmare that every time I opened my mailbox, there were two new New Yorkers. It wouldn’t stop; they just kept piling up.

In reality I am about five New Yorkers behind and also have a pile of books on my bedside table I’m keen to finish. Something about Montessori, something about applying hypnosis to professional work, an Emily Dickinson biography I’ve been reading for nine months, Men Explain Things to Me. I’m stalled out because the truth is that I only like to read novels. 

And I rarely read, if I’m being honest. Most evenings, after the harrowing bedtime routine and the cleaning up of the entire house, I zone out on social media or watch something on our iPad to unwind. This is a time of day when I’m pretty much useless. I should be asleep. Technically, for me to get even the baseline amount of proper sleep, I’d have to be asleep around nine, which isn’t really a feat I can pull off. So that last hour of the night is a sleep substitute, a time when I am too tired to actually do anything, but not tired enough to sleep.

My life is full.

This is a euphemism for busy, which became a dirty word a few years ago when everyone sent that one article around for months (yawn). I own my own freelance writing business and work full-time for demanding technology companies on the West Coast. They don’t really care that I have twins and am exhausted all the time, and I don’t tell them. As long as I can still string a sentence together about cloud content management and machine learning technology, we’re good.

When I’m not working, I’m being a mom of twins, and that’s beyond a full-time job of its own. I really try to relish it, because, you know, it goes so fast, as everyone is sure to tell me at every possible opportunity. They also tell you to make sure you spend every possible minute with them. They’re only young once.

They also tell you to make sure you’re making time for yourself. It’s confusing.

Christmas tree and twins

Anyway, as my twin daughters are nearing three, they are getting more and more fun to spend time with, so that’s pretty great. They sing all the time — mash-ups of the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Row Row Row Your Boat. I’ve been trying to teach them the Christmas classics — Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland. We’re big on off-key singing around here (myself most of all).

We start school in less than a month (thus the Montessori book) and I am trying to savor these last days of innocence. My kids know nothing about the New Yorker or hypnotherapy or feminist culture. They don’t even know what a Barbie doll is or the names of any Disney movies or characters (except “Mickey,” which I swear they were born knowing somehow). But thanks to my propaganda campaign, they have an answer now for “What do you want Santa to bring you?”

 “A cookie,” Eliza told me. “And some jelly.”

“A green base,” Phoebe told Santa the other day. The Lego needs are real. The rest of the world can wait.







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