Monday, November 13, 2006

Congratulations Spaz!

My cousin Jeannie (known as “Spaz” in the blog comments)
gave birth to twins this morning, a girl and a boy. I have been thinking about her all day. I remember bringing both of my babies home from the hospital and
the weeks that followed. I was sleep-deprived,
overwhelmed, and suffering from hormone induced manic depression (this is a
term I made up, NOT a real disease but I think it is a fairly accurate
description of the emotional state of a new Mother). I have a mini panic attack when I think about bringing two babies
home at once. How will Jeannie
cope? Will she ever sleep? How will her daughter (three and a half)
deal with the two new additions in her life? How will she manage breastfeeding TWO babies? How will she balance the emotional toll of childbirth with the
demands of two babies? The answer, I
know, is a simple one. Jeannie will do
just fine. She will because she has
to. She has a wonderful husband and
amazingly supportive parents who have taken up residence in frigid New England
for the winter to help the family adjust.

I was walking on the treadmill wondering what the best gift
for a new Mother of twins would be and, as if on cue, Oprah introduced a very
interesting guest. Her name was
Pricilla Dunstan and she claimed have the ability to accurately interpret baby
language. Priscilla Dunstan is a Mom from
Australia who has a photographic memory for sound. She has intensely studied the sounds that babies make and created
a fairly simple, supposedly accurate method for translating baby sounds into
actual words. She will release a DVD
entitled, Dunstan Baby Language, on November 28th.

I watched the show filled with skepticism. How could this woman possibly know what
babies are trying to say? Is it
possible that all babies, regardless of where they are born, speak the same
universal language? The very notion
seems completely absurd. I watched
eight Mothers of very young babies tell their stories, through tears, of
frustration dealing with their babies’ constant crying. I watched Ms. Dunstan listen to each baby
and, based upon the sound the particular baby made, tell the mother what the
baby needed. It seemed, unbelievably,
to work.

I am still a skeptic but I am seriously considering giving
the DVDs to Jeannie as her baby gift. If
these DVDs can offer even a small amount of insight into her babies’ needs,
then they will be money well spent. One
thing that I think Ms. Dunstan failed to recognize, however, is how any new
Mother is going to find a block of free time long enough to accommodate the
watching of two DVDs. She really should
consider releasing CDs that use hypnosis to teach women how to understand the
language of babies. That way women can
do what they do best: multitask. They
can catch up on their sleep and learn to better understand their


  1. congrats to her! I can give my mom or grandmothers number and she can call them when she needs advice. Good luck to her and twins are the best! ;)

  2. The first thing that comes to mind is; "Thank you, Sweet Jesus, for only giving us one at a time!!!" We wish your cousin the very very best, and, you are right, like all new parents, she'll do fine. The DVD's might make a good gift, I think most of the ideas and advise on child rearing should be in eithor DVD or CD form, so they could be tied together with fishing line, and hung in the sun to catch reflections and entertain the kids while they are laying there plotting ways to outsmart their parents.

  3. I should definitely give her your number, Melinda. I know two sets of twins (well in your case I only know one of you) and both of them would say that their twin is their best friend. That is a pretty amazing relationship and one that cannot be duplicated. I think having twins and being a twin are both amazing, unusual experiences. I'm a little jealous of Jeannie but my underlying anxiety about the prospect of having two babies definitely outweighs my envy :)

  4. Papa Dale-
    Great idea about the DVD usage. I never thought of that. It would also make a great mobile! I feel the same way. Thank God I only got one at a time!

  5. Congrats to her!!! So happy to hear mom and babies are healthy :)!!
    This is somewhat related to the topic. I feel I must say this and hope that all mommys do this (if they don't already)- tell your childless friends about all the positives that children bring into your life. I feel I haven't been a good friend recently, I have been soo negative thus, honestly thinking I have made an impact on their (my friend and her husband) deciding to have children. She has other friends that have kids too, she says they tell her about how sleep deprived they are, how this and that. I really didn't hear any positives. I think me being a feminist I should have done better. Motherhood is wonderful- really it is, it is soo easy to get stuck in the constant whining of a 3 year old and trying to get a vegetable in him or the "loosing my identity" etc.... I just feel I have let her down, having children isn't the worse thing in the world and I know she can do it, but I think b/twn me and her other friends she is thinking she doesn't want it, why would she????
    Anyway, just a plea- let's be positive to our childless friends, it isn't all that bad. We worry that we might not be able to do something, then bam we are a pro-

  6. Katb-
    I try to always follow up my endless bitching about my children with, "but I wouldn't have it any other way." Is that good enough? :)