The banning of pyjamas.
Who needs pyjamas?
One morning, as I was roaring at one, “Why are you peeing in the bushes? Can you not go in the toilet?” To which he replied, “I have to go, someone is in the toilet, and you said we have to leave now.” I thought, Things have to change; these school mornings are killing me.
As I finally arrived at the school that morning, one twins-expectant mom stopped me and very excitedly asked, with an ear-to-ear smile, “How is it, having twins?” My own twins were just infants at the time. My friend, another twin mom (we twin moms have a mutual admiration/commiseration club) who was standing behind her, looked at me with that look of, “Don’t you dare say anything negative. Let her have her dream that twins will be amazing for a little while longer,” while simultaneously making a cutting gesture across her neck. So, I searched for something positive to say. At the same time, I did not want to paint unfair expectations of grandeur, and I did want to be somewhat honest. So, I thought and I thought… for what seemed to be an eternity, and I came out with, “It’s doable.” Upon which the woman’s ear-to-ear smile disappeared… Bless.
As I was walking away, she handed me this book on raising twins and asked me to read it. Did I look that dishevelled and unable? Read a book? Are you kidding me? I hardly have time to pee. But, seeing as I had just smashed her twin dreams to smithereens, I felt I owed it to her.
As well, if I was to be honest with myself, my parenting abilities had started to go downhill after I had my 5th and 6th dependents within 11 minutes of each other. Having recovered for all of 15 minutes after birthing twins naturally, with the second one entering the world ass first, I sat up and finally closed my legs (there is absolutely no dignity whatsoever in childbirth). As they placed one brand new dependent on each side of me, I stared down at them. But, instead of thinking, “Awww, how gorgeous,” or “Awww, I am so blessed,” I not only thought, but exclaimed out loud to a whole host of doctors and nurses, “Holy, sweet Jesus, what do I do now?”
So I began to read this book. It talked about how to save time with twins, like feeding them at the same time, changing their nappies at the same time, etc., etc. All practical information, but the most useful bit was about getting them changed into their clothes for the next day before putting them to bed. I can only describe it as a lightbulb moment. I had very few of those, as the brain was not firing on all cylinders most days. I thought, OMG, that could work for all the kids. Who needs pyjamas?
It was always a chore to get the kids ready for bed, and then ready for school the next morning during the school week. Inevitably, each morning I was heard shouting, “Are you dressed yet? Have you gotten out of your pyjamas? Have you brushed your teeth? Where are your shoes?” etc., etc. Not to mention, lunches packed, coats on, bikes brought around the front of the house, bike locks found, carriage attached to bike (yes, I cycled with a Burley). In addition, if it was winter, there were gloves, hats, etc., etc., etc.
That evening, as I was getting the kids ready for bed, I said, “Okay, kids, now get in your school sports uniform and get into bed.” They all stared at me blankly and said, “What?” I said, “That’s right, you heard me. No more having to get into and out of your pyjamas. You will wake up and be ready for school. Now, snap snap.” They hesitated for a minute and then proclaimed, “Nice one.” As five out of the six are boys, there were cheers all around. Boys could care less about ever changing their underwear, never mind their clothes.
It made mornings way more manageable, and I screamed a lot less. Another bonus is that they were easier to spot in the school playground at pick-up times – because they were the most wrinkled kids there. Finding your child in a hurry, amongst a hundred other kids running around screaming, all wearing the same clothes, becomes paramount – because you are probably double parked, or you have left other children in the car screaming. So far, the no-pyjamas regime was a win-win.
But, as with all things, there can be a flip side. I remember one of my dependents shouting after a sleepover, “OMG, they wear pyjamas to bed in their house every night!” in a tone that sounded of both shock and horror. To which I then thought to myself, D’oh! Now they think it’s abnormal to wear pyjamas, and more importantly, how many kids have they told, who have now told their mothers, who have then told other mothers, that they don’t wear pyjamas?
I was soon to find out. One day at the coffee shop, I was chatting with a woman whom I had never met before, as I was desperate for adult conversation. As we were both ranting about our children and how difficult the school runs were, I began to tell her about the no-pyjama thing. As I was sure I would never see her again, I felt that this was safe. But, before I was able to finish explaining, she shouted, “OMG! You’re the mom who does that! I have heard about you!” Holy God, what have I done to those children?