Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Which One's The Girl?"

A week after the twins were born, Christina was admitted to the hospital for some testing.  For the first time, I was solely responsible for my sons' well-being.  Crap.

As I wheeled them around the hospital complex in their Double Snap N Go, I was continually hailed by well-wishers with their congratulations and compliments.  When we reached the maternity ward, where Christina had been the previous Friday, many of the nurses recognized us.  I was a bit dumbfounded by the number who asked me, "Which one's the girl?"  "They're both boys," I replied, hopefully not too testily.  I couldn't figure out why they were asking me that, until later Christina explained that they were getting our kids mixed up with the other set of twins born the same day.

The following night we were stumbling around in a sleep-deprived daze trying to keep them both fed and diapered.  At one point the twins woke us up, and Christina, in a fog, said to me, "Which one's the girl?"  I didn't remember the phrase from the previous night, so I said, helpfully, "What?"  She repeated her question, and I said, "What?"  This went back and forth a few times...possibly as many as fifty -- we were very tired.  Finally I said, "We have two boys."

She replied, "No, I mean which one's the girl...the nurse...telling us to feed first?"  She was in the middle of a dream that we were still in the NICU.  Fortunately, I had just exited that dream myself, so although I could relate, I was not in a position to continue the dream.

Around the same time, we borrowed onesies from friends who had twin girls earlier this year.  We avoided taking the boys out when they were wearing any of them, so as to avoid the inevitable psychological scarring.  Still, it did cross our mind that dressing one of them in borrowed clothing would help people answer their own, "Which one's the girl" question.