After we found out we were having twins 2 plus years ago, we were in shock. After we talked with some twin parents, we went into even deeper shock. Basically they said that we could write off the next 18 months or so of our lives. We would be so sleep deprived and so busy that we would have trouble forming complete sentences. We thought, "lovely" (in the ironic "oh crap" sense).
So we knew, going into twin parenthood, that it would be difficult. And we quickly understood, based on the reactions of the people we told we were having twins, that we had a "get out of jail free" card. It was called, "the twin defense". Parents of a singletons generally see a parent with twins and think about how hard it is to parent just one child. They tend to feel sorry for twin parents automatically because of this. People who don't have children cannot even imagine what having two at the same time would feel like and they really feel sorry for twin parents. Again, this is generalization, there are always folks out there who are either in the "get a grip" category or the "having twins should be easy - you are just more efficient" category. But from the beginning, we knew we could invoke "the twin defense" should we need it. Little did we know how often we would need to invoke it!
Our older daughter (did I mention we have a total of 3 kids?) is a great sleeper. Once she falls asleep, she is OUT for the night. Our boys, however, are not like their sister. When they were newly born, they got each of us up several times every night. Have you ever tried to function after being woken up 4-5 times a night? Did you know that one technique for brainwashing is sleep deprevation? It is also a form of torture. Let's just say we were not at our best...literally for YEARS. We are still getting up an average of 2 times per night. I cannot tell you how much better that is from getting up 4-5 times per night. And I cannot tell you how much I long for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. The problem is, on the few nights when all our children have actually slept through the night, I wake up anyway and wonder if they are ok. Then I have to go check to see if they are breathing. It is crazy.
All of this to say, if you have ever felt slighted because we missed your birthday, your child's birthday, an important celebration or anything that you felt we shouldn't have missed, we are sorry. We didn't mean it. We love you and care about you, really. It is just, well, we are not right in our heads. Some day we hope to be but in the meantime, we contine to invoke "the twin defense". We hope some day we won't have to any more.