Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love When You Least Expect It

No, not a lost track from the Starland Vocal Band, Meatloaf or Waylon Jennings. Not a TiVOed episode of Oprah, The View, Montel or even Springer. It’s the real-life revelations that attentive mamas discover in their husbands while raising young children.

Sure, biology dictated that I’d likely be drenched in a maternal love tsunami upon the birth of our twins. Of course it was equally safe to assume the affection for my husband that predicated the babies’ birth would intensify to a degree indescribable. Yet nowhere in the parenting tomes---or even in our wedding vows---was there any foreshadowing of the unlikeliest pile-drivers of husband-love I’ve experienced since our twins’ birth.

Photos document our traditionally predictable Mama-melting moments. You know the ones. Proud twinfant Daddy cradling a freshly-birthed baby in each arm. Daddy and Daughter walking down the seashore hand in hand. Baby Boy napping sprawled spread eagle on an equally dozing Daddy’s chest. Not that I’d trade those sentimental snapshots for the moon (although if Kodak wants commercial rights, I might negotiate…), but my mind’s eye has my man ensconced in twin-centric experiences undoubtedly perceived by the periphery to be far less alluring…yet to me, highly arousing. Somehow, partnering in plural parenthood has alchemically transformed the seemingly revolting into the seriously romantic.

For instance, in those bleary sleep-deprived days when our domestic priorities consisted solely of cycling efforts to keep the babies fed and in fluid-free clothing, catching a glimpse of my unwashed beloved rinsing the breast pump funnels (warning: irresistible pun coming) was genuinely titillating. Naturally, sleep urge trumps sex urge at that stage, but still, the thought crossed my mind…

You’d think that while potty training two toddlers, the inundation of pee and poo would thoroughly remove the idea romance from the homefront. Not so. Perhaps my senses (olfactory primarily) were so dulled from over-exposure to human refuse poorly-placed that I lost all sense of social propriety. I, with my leaky kids’ blessing/encouragement, actually asked some fellow tots to our home to play during the toilet teaching process. Upon entering our 1929 (and character-rich) home, the elder child attending our impromptu playgroup announced to his mommy, “This house smells kind of funny.” While I assumed he was referring to the older wood construction, the ultra-thick plaster, the old radiator metal; clearly the aroma was more biological in nature. His mother, unnecessarily embarrassed by his admirable honesty replied, “Well you know Honey, when people have pets, you can sometimes smell their presence.” She was right. We do have a pet. Siamese fighting fish. In fishbowls. Not so “present” scent-wise. When I relayed the tale of toddler truth to my husband that evening, rather than voicing horrified mortification at the fecal faux pas our home had become, he laughed to the point of almost having an accident himself. Kinsey might disagree, but it felt an awful lot like foreplay to me.

Yes, Father’s Day is looming large on the horizon. The idea of a candlelight evening at the most romantic restaurant in town pales on the passion scale when compared to the memory of my bed-headed sweetheart savoring the cereal breakfast his daughter lovingly prepared and served in an upended Frisbee. I can only hope he found the image of me eating my Kashi from the preceding night’s wineglass half as attractive.

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Rebecca said...

Awww...this is so cute! How can you remember this stuff? My mind is shot!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Awesome, Cheryl!

My hubby has melted my heart a couple of times lately. He's struggled a bit at times, taking in everything about the girls' infancy. But as we were carrying them through the park downtown, after having ice cream, he said, "We'd better enjoy carrying these babies, as we won't be able to for long." I think those thoughts all the time, but it was so nice to hear from him. :)

And my hubby washed the breastpump parts so many times...he was the resident expert. It was actually part of the "deal"...I change the diapers, he does the bottles (and breastpump)...but still, that's special!

Kathryn at TwinParenthood said...

Awww... these guys are the real deal. Something about TwinParenthood makes them either step up to the plate or leave the game. Those of us with guys willing to play ball are more than doubly blessed. Kat.

MultipleMum said...

Too funny!

Can't say that changing twin bottoms gets me going, but am glad that you and your hubby can still find special moments together.


cat said...

Clearly I am thankful for my blog as I can not remember half of what you can recount here.