For grocery shopping, I typically wear one baby on my back and one on my front. We get lots of looks. As fellow shoppers approach me from the front, it tends to go, "Oh look! She's wearing her baby! How quaint..." as if my ears are non-functional what with the baby hanging off my front and all. And then they, or I, turn to the side. "Oh LOOK NOW! TWO BABIES! Hah! She has babies hanging off all over the place!" Like I'm Octomom and there are children peeking out from behind my kneecaps and underneath my armpits.
My babies are superbly well-behaved (at least at this juncture in life...but let's talk again in a year, shall we?) in public. Even when odd strangers approach and (Oh yes they do) touch their cheeks and hands and get all face-to-face with them while I stand stiffly and smile my most "get the F*** away from my babies before I cause you bodily harm" smile.
This past weekend, while at the grocery store, I met a woman who at first just seemed elderly and quite cute, in her square-toed heels and orange hair. And then. She offered to take my babies home. "I think I'll keep them..." I stammered, and went on my way, glad to be done with her. But. She was one of those parallel shoppers. On the same rhythm. You know the deal. In the same aisles. Reaching for the same ground turkey. All. Through. The. Store. The fact that I was on the same pace as a woman in her late eighties didn't enthuse me, either. And at every encounter, my ability to believe in the innocence of her offers wavered. By aisle ten, I was getting an amazingly creepy promise that "I'll find a way to sneak them home with me, I will!"
And I'm amazed by the fellow shoppers who meander toward us, circling in awe and saying, "God that must be heavy on your back!" What? Carrying thirty pounds of twin? Yes, in fact, it is. And so I'd like to make this trip as quick as possible. And standing around while you circle us isn't helping.
Monday was an erranding day. The peculiar task of cashing a Bank of America check from Fairpoint (who sucks, and wouldn't have owed us a check if they didn't screw up all their billing in the first place) in a town I rarely shop in and don't know what is where. And then the task of shopping at Trader Joe's, my new love and the reason for us being in a town where my non-existent navigational skills become even more scarce.
Not knowing my way around, I wasn't sure how I'd cash my check. Because the odds of running into my bank, with my luck, in a strange town, are not good. So when I saw a Bank of America, NOT my bank, but the bank the check was cut from, I was psyched. In fact, I was thinking that I'm superbly lucky in life and that the Universe absolutely loves me. I pulled in and up to the drive through. And saw a sign that said "Drive through services are for Bank of America customers only. Other customers, please come inside." WTF. I have six month old twins in the back seat. I was already sandwiched in line. I pulled up to the tubey thing, inserted my check and ID, and sent it away through the vacuum-ish pipe. I crossed my fingers and waited, hoping that my $107.48 would magically appear back to me in a neat little envelope and absolutely zero flack from the teller.
"Ma'am. Ma'am? Do you have an account here?"
"I don't. But I do have six month old twins in the car, and really don't want to get them out just to cash a check." Twin babies always help make the case.
"Ma'am, if you don't have an account, we can't serve you through the drive through. We need your thumb print to cash your check."
Apparently twin babies have little sway at Bank of America.
By the way, Bank of America (just in case you're reading): you're not the Bank of Zurich. This isn't the Da Vinci Code. I'm not Tom Hanks. My thumb print? Really? All I want is my $107.48 back from the idiot thieves at Fairpoint.
"Ok. Well, I really can't come in, sooo..."
"We can send somebody out to your car to stand with your babies while you run in." A second, eager looking teller waved to me from the window.
Leave my sweet babies waiting in the car on a 90 degree day while a total stranger stands watch so that I can run inside and have my thumb scanned? Tempting.
"Umm. I'm not leaving my babies." Bank of America suddenly felt creepy. I made a Da Vinci Code-ish getaway and didn't look back.
About half a mile down the road, I found my bank. They cashed my check, returning the $107.48 to its rightful owner. They did not request to scan my thumb or stand watch over my children.
Trader Joe's was a smashing success. Especially if you consider repeatedly zerberting at your six month old twins to make them laugh! not cry! throughout the entire store to be a success. And if people judge me for excessive zerberting in public as though I'm having a bizarre oral seizure, I don't care. We stocked up on baked pea chips (quite delicious), barbecue sauce, and some newly released and excessively fantastic gummy candies. The babies were confused for girl babies only once, prompting me to assure the embarrassed and confused shopper that my children are quite comfortable in their masculinity and that apologies would not be necessary.
I'm getting used to this life. And I like it.