Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Woman's Case for "Time Outs"

It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon and Geoff wanted nothing more than to enjoy a delicious burger from the Fuddruckers that had opened up nearby our house. There we were, dipping our crispy french fries into delicious nacho-style cheese when I saw a mom with her kids about 3 booths down struggling with her three young children. Initially, my heart went out to her. Her kids all looked under the age of 4 and although I'm pretty sure she was younger than me, she somehow looked older. Her eyes were tired and she reminded me Her little girl, who looked about one and a half was singing and jabbering as kids her age do and I was actually looking on, reminiscing on what a fun age that was with the girls. My visit down memory lane took a sharp left when I heard this woman begin to reprimand her daughter. Even if I were to ignore the use of profanity that was used to tell her daughter to "shut-up", what I saw next made it impossible for me to finish that burger sitting in front of me, no matter how delicious it was. The woman grabbed her little girl by the arm and slapped her straight on the mouth, once again telling her to shut the get the point. For those of you who know me well, despite my strong exterior, situations like this don't just make me uncomfortable, they usually make me cry. I just didn't understand... why was it necessary to hit her... in public... when all the little girl was doing was singing?
Now I would never judge a person because you never know their story. I'm sure she had a very long day with her three young children and I certainly didn't see anyone around to help her. In fact, the sheer fact that she left her house with three small children should guarantee that this woman should have someone sculpting a statue of her out of granite to be raised in a town square somewhere. But that image stayed with me as we drove off. "I should have said something." I told Geoff. "She MUST know that there's other ways to get your toddler to be quiet than slapping her on the mouth while shouting, RIGHT?"

I think when you first become a parent, the most difficult part of parenting is basic survival skills. How many times should I feed my child? At what age can I finally give them honey? I know she just sneezed once, but perhaps it's worth a trip to the emergency room. You know, those types of things. But as they grow, these basic things become easier and then you REALLY begin the hard stuff. Discipline. There are a lot of tough decisions to be made as a parent. Should I feed them all organic? At what age do I want to start them in preschool? Is it okay to listen to MC Hammer in the car with them? But no decision is more difficult and controversial than that of discipline.

Thankfully, although Geoff and I disagree on a few things as parents, we were on the same page about choosing not to spank our children. Although I myself was spanked as a child, this was one of the things that I decided I was going to do differently when I was a parent. No, I wasn't traumatized by my parent's using this form of punishment and I think in some ways it kept me on the right path. But even my parents have been verbal about their regret of having had spanked us when we were children. I think when you are making this tough decision of whether or not to spank your child, you have to think about the purpose of discipline. It's meant to be a teaching tool for your child and not a release for you as a parent. The moment your discipline plan has become selfish, you've failed. Yes, spanking your child will probably make them regret what they did, but did they learn anything? Well, in most cases, they DO learn something, in my opinion. They learn that hitting is ok. Something I've had to learn quickly is that kids don't learn from what you SAY to them, they learn from what you DO. My daughters make the same faces I do and use the same phrases I do. Not because I TOLD them to, but because that's what they've seen me do. They pretend to cook and pretend to put on make-up not because I sat down and showed them but because they see me do it daily. (Ok, the cooking thing they get from their "Lita", but it's the same concept. They are watching me even when I don't notice. This realization that kids absorb your behavior and regurgitate it right back to you can be scary because it shows you all of your flaws. But this experience makes you want to become a better that they will grow to be a better person too. So if I choose to hit my child (no matter how lightly) to tell them that what they are doing is wrong, then whose to stop them from doing the same during a playdate to another child because they took the toy they were playing with away from them? We see our child hit their friend and we reprimand their behavior. But in their minds, they might be thinking that what THEY did is the same thing that mommy does. Why am I getting in trouble? That must be SO confusing to them.

In my opinion, choosing another method of discipline such as time out (which Chloe got to experience today in the middle of the electronics aisle at Target) teaches your child something very important. GRACE. Now I know that sounds conceited being that my name is Grace, but stick with me here. Grace can be described as not getting what you deserve. It's a basic principle in my religious faith and one that can be pretty hard to practice as humans. Our human reaction when we are mad is to yell or hit. It's innate in us. So when your child can see that you are as mad as can be and you gently grab them, sit them down at your designated spot (I learned that from Nanny 911) and then walk away, you are teaching them an important lesson in Grace. What you're saying is "You're behavior was so naughty that it would probably warrant a spanking, but I choose not to do that because I love you." It reminds me of the time I got caught cheating on a test in middle school and the teacher didn't call my parents. That teacher showed me Grace and I appreciated it. I never cheated again. Not only that, but what I love most about something like a Time Out is that you are giving YOURSELF the opportunity to calm down and ask yourself a VERY important question. WHY AM I MAD? Am I mad because they did something that could be dangerous to them or because I haven't had my coffee yet? Time out for your child is just as valuable for you as it is for them.

I don't mean to bash anyone who has chosen to spank their child.I am a firm believer in respecting other people's choices. (Unless you think Pepsi is better than Coke, in which case this friendship is over). But I would ask that you ask yourself why. Are you spanking because that's how your parents raised you? Because I'd like to remind you that back then, infant car seats where not the norm in people's cars and it might've been considered okay for a woman to smoke while pregnant. If it's because you get a quick result, then I'd like to remind you that fad diets have the same effect. Yes, you lost the weight, but sooner or later you gain it all back (plus 5 extra lbs.... just for fun.)

The last thing I'll say is this. It's our responsibility as parents to research things thoroughly before you make decisions. I don't know about you, but I researched every item I posted on my registry EXTENSIVELY to make sure it was going to be the best and safest thing for my child. Why should discipline be any different?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Day Jitters

There are so many things running through your mind on the morning of your first day at a new job. All of these emotions are taking up valuable real-estate within your psyche and can even cause you to question showing up at all! The nervousness. The doubts. The fear of the unknown. The wardrobe choices. Should I buy lunch or bust out the "She-Ra metal lunchbox with matching thermos? It's all so much to take in at once. I was definitely feeling the first day jitters that morning. This was the most important day of my career.

I woke up at 6:30, which was at least 2 hours before I was due to start. I needed to be on my "A" game if I was going to be sharp- and trust me. I needed to be sharp. As I prepared myself physically and emotionally, I envisioned all of those motivational emails that I had seen throughout my lifetime. One in particular came to mind- the Lion and the Gazelle in Africa. Do you know which one I'm talking about? It's something about how the gazelle and the lion both wake up early and...umm... because...uhhh....I think one of them thinks they're the king of the jungle and the other one gets mad? Maybe? No. Ok wait. The gazelle is afraid that he'll be eaten by hungry, hungry hippos? Nope, that's definitely a board game. The lion meets a tortoise and a hare who are trying to cross the forest to get to their sick grandmothers’ house? That's not it either. Anyway, in the end, both animals have to run to stay on top. That's how I was feeling this particular morning.

I had my game face on, my running shoes double knotted and my hair up so as to not create any unnecessary distractions. As I frantically put together enough Sippy cups to last me until December, my two new bosses walked into the kitchen to which I quickly and respectfully responded with "Grace Johnson reporting for duty as a stay-at-home mom, sir!!!" Olivia and Chloe just looked at each other, giggled and made their way to their high chairs from which they both exclaimed, "Mommy, leche please." Just 3 days ago I had completed my job as a teacher and now here I was, starting my new job as a stay at home mom. Granted, I am a mom 365 days a year, but being that I work full time during the school year, I don't get to spend as much time with the girls as I would like from August to June. So when summer starts to come around I get both excited and anxious because I once again get to stake my claim to the fulltime "mommy" title and a lot has changed with these two in the past year!

First of all, we are now officially and unapologetically in the Terrible Twos. And since I have two of them, I like to refer to this time as the Terrible Two-twos, which makes me think of pretty ballerinas prancing about instead of thinking about how my sweet angel Chloe likes to wave her hand at me in a Mariah Carey tribute yelling "No! No! No! STOOOOOOOP!!!!" when I try to change her out of her Minnie Mouse pajamas in the morning. I'm sorry; I didn't get the memo about not getting out of pajamas until AFTER our afternoon naps, girls. My bad.

I can't tell you which is easier- staying home or going to work. All I can tell you is that constantly shifting from one to the other is not an afternoon alone in Target (or as I like to call it- PARADISE). Every time I become a stay at home mom, either because of Spring Break, Winter Break or summer, my daughters greet me lovingly but with a bit of resistance. Transitions are not our strong suits, it appears. All I can do to battle that resistance is show them my never-ending repertoire of patience.

What's that Chloe? You've learned how to jump on my feet in such a way that you land on the exact same toe in the exact same spot repeatedly- causing me great pain while I'm cooking? That's great, pumpkin! And you, Olivia? You like to scold me when I try to get you to eat by throwing your entire plate of food at me? Awesome, sweetheart! Can't wait for us ALL to spend the next hour picking black beans out of every corner of this house on our hands and knees! Seriously, I don't think one can ever be prepared to have to shell out the amount of patience necessary to be the kind of parent who doesn't just yell at their kids all day long. I should have the Dalai Lama calling me to ask for pointers on how to keep his cool.

Now trust me, I have my moments of insanity. For instance, just two weeks ago my daughter Livie was getting her two back molars. There are few times more painful for ALL of us than when one of the girls is teething. There is drooling and Tylenol and sleepless nights, and that's just ME- you should've seen poor little Livie! On this particular morning, Olivia was behaving especially "puny" and Chloe was apparently feeling a bit of jealousy (or as we call it- sympathy pains) and wanted to behave like a newborn too. I couldn't take it anymore. All the crying and whining. I felt my heart start to race. Did someone just turn on the heater? I began to feel myself getting to the point where there was going to be some good old fashion yelling up in this joint!!! So I did the only logical thing I could do. I got up, walked into the girls' playroom, I closed the door behind me and I pushed down the lock.

You did WHAAAAATTT??? Yup, that's right. I locked myself in the girls’ playroom. I didn't really know what to do after I was in there other than try to organize some of their toys but I wasn't going to back down from my irrational decision. Truth is I needed a break and some time away from them so that I didn't begin to yell like Kate Gosselin on ANY episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. It's true that yelling might make me feel good for a second or two, but all that would do is elevate the amount of crying which was already at a "10" when I prefer it at a "2" and then I'd feel like a lousy parent for yelling at them when they (and by "they" I mean Olivia because technically there was NOTHING wrong with Chloe and that time) don't feel well. After about a minute, the in-stereo crying stopped and I heard the little pitter patter of feet coming towards the door. But no words. Just heavy cry-breathing and sniffles. I sat on the opposite side of that locked door just waiting. The ball was in your court, girls. Make your move!!!!!! I could hear them sort of whisper to each other in their weird twinphonics and then finally, a light knock. I guess Chloe lost the game of rock, paper, scissor because it was her little voice that I heard next."Mommyyyyyy. Where ARE youuuuuuuuuuu?" I had heard those words spoken that way many times before when playing hide and go seek and there was something about the innocent way that Chloe said those words that made me erupt into a cloud of laughter so genuine that all I could do was open the door and say, "Yes girls. You found mommy."

So there I was, trapped in an impromptu game of hide-and-go-seek. I was proud of myself because I stuck to my guns. I didn't yell. Life's too short for yelling and frankly, yelling at my boss would definitely lead to my immediate termination. I love this job and I'm willing to work hard to make it work. I've come a long way since my first day and I think I've passed my first review period. I have my own parking spot near the front, I have an unlimited supply of crayons and I even have two sweet girls who let me sit with them during lunch. Now if I could only negotiate a bit on the salary....

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Binky Fairy

I’ll always remember that night. It was 11:30 at night and the cries and screams that where emanating from my daughters’ room where so loud and gruesome that I was certain the Department of Children and Families was going to be coming to our door the next morning. Geoff and I sat there in the dark on the floor, closing our eyes and hoping it would all just end. We were both near tears from exhaustion. Without him having to say a word I said, “ I know. We should have taken them away before their first birthday. We’re horrible parents. “ It was the girls’ first night after the “Binky Fairy” made her appearance at our house leaving behind some wooden blocks and a Dr. Seuss book and taking with her my daughters’ beloved binkies and apparently the hope of ever having a peaceful nights’ sleep EVER AGAIN. That night we wound up taking the girls on a midnight car trip hoping they would dose off and somehow forget about their rubber companions for that night. It worked…. eventually. It took about a week for our daughters to mourn the loss of their beloved “tetes”. Every now and then, someone (usually Chloe) will still ask for it, only I pretend that they are asking me for something else. “Mami, TETEEEEE!!!” Chloe will yell. I’ll respond with “What’s that, Chloe, you want your vitamin?” She’s so excited that her Flinestones chewable is on its way that she forgets to give me a hard time for the obvious defiance to her very specific demand. This experience makes a very important point for soon-to-be or new parents. No matter how “holier than thou” you may be as you read your parenting books and as you listen to your parenting podcasts while your child in utero- it’s a whole different ball game once the little guy or gal is out in the real world. My husband and I originally didn’t want to use pacifiers at all, but upon researching that it was good for the prevention of SIDS, we quickly went out and bought them in every shade and color so that they at least matched their adorable outfits. It was meant to be a temporary solution to my fears of them having been born premature, and slowly became a simple matter of survival. I’m certainly not a fan of the archaic notion that children are to be “seen and not heard”, but every now and then those binkies would give me something I had been dreaming of since the birth of my children- SILENCE. JUST A MINUTE OF SILENCE. So when it became embarrassing to take the girls out after their 2nd birthday with the binkies in tow, we knew that it was time to face the piper and say goodbye to what had become to us members of our family. We brought them with us everywhere we went- from the grocery store to family vacations. They were there in times of laughter (like the first time the girls saw a monkey at the zoo) and times of sorrow (like every time we went to the doctor for vaccinations). We looked for them in desperation when they would go missing and rejoiced and thanked the Lord Almighty then they would reappear behind the crib or inside of a pair of shoes we hadn’t worn in a while. But sometimes you just know that it’s time to let go and you realize that these items that cost you roughly $5.00 will cost you thousands in orthodontic devices and appointments no matter how “teeth friendly” they promise to be on the package. But most importantly, the strong female that roars inside of me didn’t want my daughters to feel that their fears and anxieties would be taken away by anything other than toughing it out and praying through it. After all, isn’t it people with dependency issues that wind up on t.v. with Dr. Drew? (And I mean both Teen Mom and Celebrity Rehab, by the way.) I know I may be thinking too far ahead and definitely too dramatically, but these are the things that ran through my mind that horrible night as I sat in that dark room in the fetal position. I’m proud to say that the girls are now 31 days “binky sober”. I have to admit that I’m prouder of myself than of them sometimes because every parent out there knows that it’s very easy to give in to your kids every whim if you’re not careful. But a good parent (or at least one that’s under construction) will suck it up, look their child in the eyes and firmly say to them, “Sorry darling, that mean Binky Fairy stole your binkies!”

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Three Decades and Counting

This past Wednesday was my 30th birthday. A major milestone like this instinctively makes you stop and reflect. What have I learned and accomplished in the past 3 decades? What can I look forward to in the future? All in all, in restrospect, I feel that I've done pretty well. I am happily married with 2 amazing little girls and a job that I actually enjoy. Some people might call that "the good life" and those people would be right. But the road to this life was not a perfect one. I've made mistakes in these past 30 years and that is the purpose of this blog. My intention here is simple: learn from my mistakes. And if you giggle once or twice at my lack of judgment then so be it. Here are some important lessons I've learned in my life so far:
1.Always squeeze the first bit of ketchup over a sink. No matter how hard you shake the bottle- if you skip this integral step- you will always wind up getting that clear, slimy ketchup juice on your hotdog or burger- and that’s gross.
2.If you think you’re in labor, then you probably are. Don’t wait for your husband to confirm your suspicions- especially if he’s asleep.
3.If you are very awkward and unpopular in middle school, don’t worry. You can redo your past. It will only cost you a college degree and a decent salary, but it can be done.
4.If you find yourself engulfed in a nation of red ants at the park, then DO panic. Unlike most wild animals, ants will NOT go away if you just stay still or play dead.
5.I know you really want your big brother to play with you, but if he offers to play “Cowboy” with you, you need to run away. If you agree, then HE will become the Cowboy and YOU will become his horse. On a brighter note, the scar under your chin will heal nicely and be almost invisible by the time you’re 30!
6.Don’t ever cut your own bangs. Especially if you are under the age of 5.
7.Don’t be absent from school unless it’s absolutely necessary. I was absent when they taught us Roman Numerals and I have paid a hefty price. I never know what Superbowl we’re in and that’s not cool.
8.Sleep whenever you can before you have kids.Once you have kids, you will spend the first few years of their lives wishing you could've taken those hours you stayed up in college and have “banked” them for your present life. No matter how much you pray, God can’t reimburse you sleep time. Trust me, I’ve tried.
9.Diet soda can never taste like regular soda. Seriously, it’s scientifically impossible. Just drink water and move on with your life.
10.No matter how easy Martha Stewart makes a craft look on T.V., there’s no way you can pull that off if you have been artistically challengd all of your life. Remember, those are trained professionals and you just can’t compete with that. Just buy it on ETSY and say it’s homemade. Nobody said it had to be YOUR home…

Now, I don't expect these to be etched into two stone tablets any time soon, but I still think what we've done here is quite valuable. I hope I've helped somebody here, because there's nothing worse than a ruined hotdog.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Geoducks & Flashlights

A few years ago, when I used to be able to watch tv that did not include cartoon characters, I came aross an Anthony's Bordaine's "No Reservations" episode where they highlighted the Geoduck (pronounced "gooey duck"). I sat there in awe learning about this mullusk that can live to be over 100 years old and apparently is a culnary delicacy. I was completely shocked to realize that I had gone through life sharing this planet with the Geoduck and not even realizing it. Watching the show, I was in awe of how it looked, how it was caught and the way it was prepared to eat. It had been a long time since I had allowed myself to be amazed at the sight of something new, and it was a feeling I was glad to submerge myself into.
As we get older, we somehow begin to think that we know everything there is to know and that we've seen everything there is to see. One of the greatests parts of being a parent is seeing the look in your child's eyes when they see or discover something new. For example, in a struggle to change Chloe's diaper one night, I handed her the closest object I could reach, which happened to be a flashlight. The look on her face as she turned it on and realized that a light shone from that object that would project itself on the ceiling and that SHE could control by moving her wrist was priceless.We quickly brought out a second flashligh for Livie and spent the next hour laying on our backs in their dark bedroom listening to them giggle while they played with those flashlights. It was a perfect moment, and I was reminded of how amazing it must be to be a baby and to see something new for the first time. That night, the girls had a "Geoduck" experience. They discovered something new and were excited to learn that something so amazing existed.
In our first few years of life, we are filled wit "Geoduck" experiences: the first time you set foot on the soft sand of a beach, the first time you go to Disney World and shake Mickey Mouse's hand, the first time you sink your teeth into a McDonald's french fry. These are all amazing experiences that blow our toddler minds but somehow lose their luster as the years go by. As we grow older, it becomes harder for us to be amazed and in some cases difficult for us to admit that what we've experienced was amazing. We're so wrapped up in showing how knowledgeable we are that we forget how amazing it can be to learn or simply ENJOY something new.
So this year I don't want to make a ton of New Year's Resolutions about losing weight, staying organized or learning a foreign language. I simply want to resolve to go through my daily life with the eyes of a toddler. To appreciate each experience as though it was the first time and to find enjoyment in even the simplest of things. I resolve to look for those "geoducks" that will blow my mind and remind me of just how little I know about this world. I promise to embrace those flashlight moments and never be too busy to lay on the floor in the dark and watch the light shine above me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Well, it finally happened. Our first drop of blood was shed- our introduction to the wonderful world of stitches. Some of you may be wondering-"What happened?!" while others ask, "what took you so long???" I'll spare you the details, mainly because it's actually a very dull story, but those of you who know my family will be shocked to know that it was Livie, not Chloe who received her first battle wound in life.

A moment like that which we had yesterday will teach you a lot of things, and being that I am a teacher, I'm constantly looking for the "lessons" in life. The first thing I learned was that I would be a horrible paramedic or first responder of any kind. When I noticed that my daughter was bleeding, my first reaction, of course, was to panic. That panic sent me into a freeze montage not unlike those we used to enjoy in "Saved By the Bell", when Zack Morris would further explain the complex plot sequence through a monalogue. The world stood still and there I was, completely unable to determine what I should do next. I tell you this so that you know that should you EVER have ANY emergency of ANY sort, you should NOT call me. Don't call me because apparently, I will be of absolutely no service to you and the stress of it all will most likely damage our relationship.

Luckily, Geoff was standing by and was able to add some perspective to what I was pretty sure was Armageddon. Seriously, I thought I heard the trumpets cry from heaven, but in hindsight, it must have been the sound of me screaming that "Livie's hurt!".

The next thing that I learned is that you shouldn't judge Ms. Olivia by her petite stature. That little girl is quite the trooper. In fact, she stopped crying LOOOONG before my hands stopped shaking and didn't even flinch when the doctor put the glue on her head. (I know its not actually glue- yet another reason why I should NOT be a paramedic). That little doodle is fierce, and I have to say I was proud to see her up and playing tea time just 3 minutes after the incident occurred. Seriously, I was still holding a washcloth to her wound, trying to get the bleeding to stop and she was upset that she couldn't reach her teacup! Now, the fact that I know that she is tough is NOT going to affect me hovering over her whenever possible to impede a future event of this caliber from happening. But it's good to know that when the going gets tough- she can take it. And all I can say to that is, "that's my girl!".

Lastly, I've learned that as much as I helicopter these girls, there is nothing I can do to keep them from getting hurt in life. I'm sure this wont be the only time someone in my household will be getting stitches, and the day will come when they are teenagers and I will have no choice but to let them make their own wrong choices. When that time comes, like this incident, I'll continue to be ill prepared to hear my daughters cry, knowing that there is nothing I can do about it. I will probably be more upset than them about what is happening and I will also, much like I do for the stitches, blame myself for their pain. But, such is the life of a mother. Your daughters pain becomes your pain and that pain becomes your sleepless night. But for now, the scare is over and I think I'm a better mother for it. I just hope I can finish bubble-wrapping the house before the new year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Salt and Pepper

When you hear the word "twins", what do you think of? Two identical human beings who walk the same, talk the same, think the same- or at the very least look the same, right? When I first found out I was having twins, I imagined the rest of my life to be like that Double-Mint gum commercial from the 1990's. You know, the one that showed two identical blonde girls, dressed the same and riding a bicycle built for two. Thats what I thought twins were supposed to be like. Isn's that what I learned in 5th grade human growth and development?
When Chloe and Olivia were first born, they certainly looked like twins. In fact, I know for a fact, that on more than one occassion, I fed Chloe twice and Livie not at all because I mixed them up. (Not my proudest moment, but one I'm willing to admit to.) Looking back on it, most babies kind of look the same when they are born. They're all bald (except for my nephew Noah who could do Pantene commercials from the hospital nursery),have those blue/gray eyes and spend most of their time sleeping and pooping. But as time has progressed, I find it harder and harder to convince people that my girls are twins. Heck, if I were to be honest with myself I would admit that its hard for me to convince MYSELF that they are twins. Other than the fact that they once shared my belly, there is nothing "twinny" about these girls.
Livie is what I call my "Zen" baby. She is calm and composed and has no problem playing tea time by herself if mom and dad are trying to get the house cleaned up. Chloe, on the other hand, practices her different screams throughout the day to see which one receives the most results and will not think twice about making your ears bleed if you cross her even once. So if you have the nerve to try to feed her or change her diaper or hug her when she is not in the mood, then prepare for a meltdown of epic proportions. Livie will then, of course, walk up to her sister mid-tantrum and stick a binkie in her mouth. She too seems to prefer the silence- like mommy does. But Chloe, despite her unnecessarily strong will is also full of energy and excitement. She jumps and dances and laughs with complete abandonment when you make a funny face. Livie makes you work for a laugh- she prefers the classics like a good knock-knock joke or a perfectly impromptu game of peek-a-boo. Their personalities are so different but when they come together, it makes total sense. Chloe adds fun and spontaneity to Olivia's day and Olivia calms Chloe and sits her down to "read" a book when she could see that mommy can take no more. They are a perfect pair, balancing each other out like a home-made recipe for perfectly moist cake.
As if their personality types weren't different enough, they also don't look very much alike- at all. Frankly, they barely look like sisters, much less twins. Livie has my face, with Geoff's long, lean body. She has my big brown eyes and my eyebrows (don't worry baby, there will be many more advancements in electrolysis by the time you're old enough to stress about it). She laughs like me and is sneaky like I used to be when I was little. But her "Zen Baby" personality is totally Geoff. Then there's Chloe- or "Geoff Jr." as she has been referred to more than once. With those beautiful blue eyes, she is the female version of her father. But, she has my body type and sadly, my personality. I don't like to think of it as a harsher character, but rather, more passionate... that's what I tell myself, anyway. They are the perfect hybrids of Geoff and I, equally representing us both so as to not make either one of us jealous. (Good looking out girls, cause mommy and daddy can be quite competitive.)
I once heard a comedian tell a joke about fraternal twins.It went something like this, " Fraternal twins are creepy. You see if you are baking, and you put chocolate batter into a cupcake mold, then you can expect to get a tray of chocolate cupcakes. Thats what identical twins are like. But with fraternal twins, you put in the chocolate batter and you come out with a chocolate cupcake and a vanilla cupcake and thats simply not natural". Although I laughed until I cried when I heard that joke, I can't help but disagree with this poor fool. Variety is the spice of life,my friends. And Chloe and Olivia are my salt and pepper-they make my life delicious!