Today, we all went to the doctor. And by all, I actually do mean all: Mommy, Daddy, two two-year-olds, and The Baby. It was the twins’ two-year well-child visit, and I’m not going to bore you with details. You can picture the shit show yourself. I probably say this a lot, but they’re two. And there are two of them. There was a lot of hysterical screaming, hairy eyeballing, and frantic monkey-clinging. But there were also a couple of awesome moments, like when the nurses gave the girls pinwheels which they spat on a lot (the twins, not the nurses, because toddlers don’t really get how to blow on stuff) while sitting, flanking my husband, on the exam table as they waited for the doctor. The Baby slept in her car seat almost the whole time. That’s how she rolls.
After the doctor’s visit, we decided the girls deserved a treat as restitution for the tortures of stethoscopes and strangers. So what is the pinnacle of awesome for my toddlers? The bookstore, of course. The bookstore in our little town is pretty awesome. It’s small and independently owned, and it has tons of children’s stuff and a good selection of books.
The girls go a little bit nuts in this store. They kind of just run from display to display at first, shaking all over with glee. Then they start recognizing books and toys we have at home and that’s like oh-my-god amazing to them. One of the twins (who from now on I’m going to refer to as The Enforcer, a nickname we came up with for her because of her love of order and tendencies toward world domination) picked up a copy of Goodnight Moon and announced with all the forceful certainty of a town crier, “NIGHT NIGHT MOON! HAVE THAT ONE! YES!” Then she would see something she liked and say, “Have it? Yes! Okay! Do that!” It’s hard to argue with someone who answers her own questions like this. She doesn’t leave a lot of room for contradiction. It’s pretty much the perfect strategy for taking over the world.
The other one, (who from now on I’m going to refer to as Captain Chaos, a nickname we gave her because of her tendencies toward random acts of love and unpredictability) was running around hugging everything she liked. Even things like a big plastic toy lawn mower and a wooden train set. I’m pretty sure she kissed one of those cardboard book display thingies that was advertising a young adult vampire-romance-blecchh novel.
Meanwhile, The Baby is going on hour three in her car seat (I know they’re not supposed to spend too much time in car seats. She normally doesn’t; this was just today because we really didn’t have a choice) but still kicking and drooling happily. I’m asking a salesperson about a book that I want to get for the girls and the owner of the store, bless him, is admiring the adorableness of The Baby and doesn’t seem to mind at all that we’ve brought howler monkeys into his nice little shop. So Daddy is left to deal with Captain Chaos and The Enforcer.
And Chaos has just fallen in love.
With an enormous, tie-dyed giraffe-y thing.
I mean, it’s a stuffed giraffe, but it’s really wacky-looking. So it’s kind of hard to tell exactly what it is at first because you’re blinded by its psychedelic colors. She loves it with her whole heart. Daddy tries to convince her to put it down, offers a smaller, cuter, (cheaper!) stuffed dragon instead, but she is mashing her boogery, tear-stained face into the giraffe and squeezing the life out of it.
Now I’m just going to skip to the part where we left the store the proud owners of Hippie the High-on-Acid Giraffe. We also got a stuffed frog for The Enforcer, as well as the book I wanted for them. So it only cost us about fifty bucks to get out of the store somewhat peacefully. As we left, Captain Chaos’ screams of “Mo’ bookstore! Mo’ bookstore!” mercifully drowned out any judgmental comments the bookstore staff may have been making about us. They seemed pretty nice though. Maybe they were just saying how cute the twins were. Sometimes I like to think that the twin-y cuteness makes people less bothered by the tantrum-y toddlerness.
When we pulled into our driveway, I turned to my husband and said, “Can we just sit here for a minute? I don’t think I can do…um…anything right now.” He said, “Yeah,” quietly, with his eyes closed. So I slurped at my ginormous coffee for a few minutes while the girls communed with their new fuzzy friends. And then, at naptime, I asked The Enforcer if her new frog had a name. And she said, instantly, “Yes. Daddy. Frog name Daddy.” And then of course Captain Chaos piped up with “Giraffe name Mommy!” And they giggled together and pretended to nurse and change the diapers of the frog and the giraffe.
So now that the giraffe is named after me, I’m really starting to warm up to his charms. Or her charms, I guess. Mommy the Giraffe now looks sweet and lovable, and not at all like she’s high on anything.