I just want to say to any parents of twins, triplets, or, Lord help you, quads or quints or whatever else there is, my hat is off to you. And to your pharmacist, who probably really has to hustle to keep up with your Prozac refills. I worked in the church nursery on Sunday, and let me just tell you, there is nothing like hauling around fat, screaming babies to make an hour seem interminable. And for a real ego boost, nothing beats doing everything in your power to calm a hysterical child only to have them stiffen and writhe away from you in outrage as though you were, say, poking them with a cattle prod rather than desperately trying to get a bottle into their wailing, drooling mouth.
There were two nursery workers to seven babies, one of which was mine, so I felt she really didn't count. My kid's cool; she just does her thing, plays with the toys, flops around. But then, she had her mommy in plain view. Those other babies, boy, as soon as that door closes and Mama disappears from sight, the waterworks are on. Cue also the sad, pitiful, heartbroken weeping that makes you so happy not to be a kid anymore, forced to endure epic tragedies every hour or so. I mean, I really feel terrible for them. I imagine that they truly think they have been abandoned and will forevermore be cared for by the strange lady enthusiastically trying to engage them with some crappy, broken plastic toy that's been slimed by three other babies. I would cry too, you know?
For a while, all was going well. The three little girls were all sitting in a circle playing together (read: all silently absorbed in their own toys, and casting occasional, vaguely envious glances at the other babies' toys.) One boy was in the exersaucer, the other sleeping, the other suckling contentedly from his bottle. Boy number four was dangling in the jumperoo. Peace reigned.
And then we heard it, a small, discontented noise from inside the napping room. We glanced at each other in alarm, for anyone who's ever been around more than one baby at a time knows what crying begets: more crying. It's more contagious than the freaking stomach flu, and once it leaked out of the nap room, it was all over for us.
Those kids cried their poor little heads off, one after another, your classic domino effect. Even my child's contented little face began to crumple as she watched me holding one baby after another while she sat alone on the floor, and then she was yelling too. I felt like we were in a silly cartoon or something, two women surrounded by crying babies, hopping from one to another like chickens with our heads cut off. I usually think I do well under pressure, but apparently not so much, because when the mom of the most inconsolable baby finally arrived, she informed me that I had mixed his water with baby cereal instead of formula. She passed along this information very nicely, of course, but I still felt like a total idiot. I have a child who is actually older than hers; you'd think I'd know the difference between cereal and formula!
Oh well. Se la vie. But I was never so happy to grab my kid and leave, let me tell you. Seeing what happens when you put seven babies in one room is enough to make you swear off infertility treatments forever! So to all you brave parents who made that choice and now have your very own nursery school/insane assylum, I wish you all the best, and also many helpful relatives. And to anyone struggling with your own houseful of properly spaced kids, I just wanted to tell you, it could be worse. You could have had to potty train them all at the same time.