Recently I became Lolly, a grandmother of twin boys, Lawson and Beau. It was a big decision whether to be Gramma or Lolly, but somehow Lolly and Pops just made us sound like fun, young-at-heart grandparents. So Lolly I am, and glad to be so. I strive to be that fun-factor, that older and hopefully wiser person who they trust and look forward to being with throughout their lives.
Though Pops usually joins me, on Wednesday afternoons I have the pleasure of taking care of the twins alone. It’s our special time, my Lolly time to experience how one person manages to meet the needs of two babies. “Keep them on schedule mom! That’s the key!” My daughter has me well- trained:
4:00 bottles: Perch them side-by-side in the Twinsie pillow, left-hand feeds Beau, while the right feeds Lawson. Let one patiently wait if the other requires burping.
4:30: Go for a walk in the twin stroller if pleasant outside or play inside: (place the big rug on the floor with an assortment of objects: brightly colored noise-making, sing song-y toys, fabric books with crinkly pages and basically anything which has smooth edges as the twins put everything in their mouths)
6:00 Feed solid foods. Microwave fresh pureed vegetables to correct warmness, strap boys in their Bumbo chairs, tie on their bibs and alternate baby-size spoonfuls to their open mouths, mother bird to baby bird style.
6:30 baths: Have hooded towels and jammies out, then place one twin in the Johnny Jump-up Doorway Jumper, while carefully positioning the bare bottomed-other in the sink tub. Bennie, the Golden Doodle, will stake his spot where he can keep an eye on both boys. Strategically lay the baby washcloth over private parts to thwart any spraying (it only has to happen once to learn) then prepare for pure joy! In this magic time, all fussiness comes to a halt: drool-stained dirty clothes have been shed, diapers are off, and each naked twin experiences the warm comfort of this watery routine plus coveted individual attention. I do a lot of talking to my boys, and their eye contact tells me they are listening intently. I sing silly songs, make funny faces and tickle them just where they like it. They grin, experiment with making sounds of all sorts, and wave their arms and legs. Lawson has discovered his toes and like a nimble gymnast manages to grab his foot and stuff as much as can fit in his mouth. Shaped like a squatty baseball catcher, Lawson is a natural at doing the “happy baby” yoga pose as he grabs both of his feet and rocks side to side in rhythm with the Baby Einstein background music. A switch of babies and there is Beau with his adorable smirk as if he knows something you don’t. Shaped long and lean, more like a baseball pitcher, he is about to grow out of this sink routine; the big boy bathtub is his in the next week or so. Neither boy is in any hurry to get out of the tub. Time is suspended as each one soaks away the cares of the day while soaking in personal time with their Jolly Lolly. The magical power of their nightly 6:30 bath transforms fussy, teething, almost crawling, darling boys to delightful cooing cherubs, their folds of plump, soft skin providing places for sudsy puddles to nestle.
7:00: Footed jammies on along with the essential extra absorbent nighttime diaper. Hair brushed, cream on Lawson’s face to soothe his red chafed cheeks. Then another round of bottles in the Twinsie. This is a tender time with the softening effects of their bath lulling their bodies to wind down the rhythm of the day. Desired burps occur along with heavy eyelids giving way to the Land of Nod soon to be theirs.
I always cherish the last moments of my Lolly time which culminate with the reading of a story. Sitting Indian style on the couch, I perch Lawson on one leg and Beau on the other. My arms hug them close. Whoever invented board books was brilliant. While nibble-able, they remain indestructible. The basket of books holds lots of choices, but I have my two go-to favorites: The classic Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown prompts the bidding goodnight to everything in sight. “Good night Bennie, good night toys, good night Twinsie, good night Johnny Jump up…” and The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurray because it both rhymes and teaches an important lesson about helping others.
Ever so carefully I lift each twin into his crib and zip him up in his sleep sack. This cozy fleece-lined sleeveless sleeping bag is designed with plenty of wiggle room. Offering their soothing Wubbynub pacifiers, I plant a delicate kiss on each forehead, whisper prayers, turn on the white noise sound machine of gentle ocean waters and tiptoe out of the room.
There is nothing sweeter than this Wednesday bonding of two happy babies with one grateful grandmother named Lolly.
Mary Wheeler is the proud grandmother (Lolly) of twin boys. She and her husband (Pops) moved to Nashville to be fully involved in sharing the joy and responsibility of these precious boys. Mary teaches Middle School English and enjoys the beauty of Nashville while creating new roots in this exciting new chapter of life.