Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why I hate Kate Gosselin.

I hate that Kate Gosselin. Not because she's fake famous for having lots of kids and no discernible talent. Hell, if I had that many kids I'd contact every network known to this and adjoining countries. Anything for a little help padding the college funds. No, I hate her because back when she couldn't afford salon dye jobs or designer-label kicks, she was facing down eight small children without the help of a full-time nanny.

Five years ago, on a lovely spring day almost exactly like this, I discovered I was carrying twins. "Carrying," like they were teacup Yorkie-Doddles in a Channel hand bag. No, they were tiny humans that I wasn't so much carrying as they were squatting in my body cavity in a space previously reserved for lunch and urine storage. The twins were not good neighbors.

Today I can tell you, with a straight face and no crossed fingers, that twins are fantastic. They play together (instead of constantly begging for my attention), they share clothes, they are conversation starters in grocery stores, and from a tax-deduction standpoint they are aces.

But five years ago, on a lovely spring day almost exactly like this, I was sitting on the floor sobbing while listening to Kate Gosselin tell the world how she was raising a million higher-order multiples without any professional help (TV network gophers excepted). That overachieving bitch.

If I haven't told you the story of how we found out about the twins, how I believe the fertilized egg I was carrying split as a result of hubris and a God with a wicked sense of humor and justice, here's the story.

In February, on the morning of Bee's second birthday, I found out I was pregnant. Having had a history of baby-related weirdness, I went in for an early ultrasound to see just how far along this pregnancy really was. Not far, as it turned out. They sent me away and asked me to come back a few weeks later for a second ultrasound, at which time they would be able to accurately guess the baby's gestational age by seeing whether or not it was ready for kindergarten.

Out in the lobby, waiting to meet with the doc to discuss the pros and cons of eating cold cuts while pregnant, I met a lovely young woman, who was pregnant for the very first time. At about 20-weeks along she had just discovered, yippee!, that she was having twins. "That's baby a and that's baby b," she pointed out on the blurry ultrasound picture, grinning and glowing and gushing as if she'd never be unhappy again.

When I called my mother after my appointment, I distinctly remember telling her about the young mother I'd met. "She has no idea what she's in for, the fool!"

A few weeks later I was lying on my back, belly covered in blue goo, blinking stupidly at the tech who said, "What did we see last time? Just one baby . . .?"

Well played, God.

And so I drove home in shock, wondering if we'd be better off with a foreign au pair that my husband might run off with or a stout, older domestic nanny that I'd have a hard time bossing around. When I found myself in front of the TV, still trembling with surprise and fear, watching Kate Gosselin describe a routine for her clones that didn't involve any nanny, I flipped from scared to sad.

I stayed that way for six weeks. Six weeks passed and I vacillated between being convinced I'd never make it without a live-in, or at least a night nurse for the first few months because TWINS *alarm bells*. Six weeks of mild spring weather went by unnoticed because I was experiencing postpartum depression of a sort, except I wasn't waiting for the kids to erupt, with preemie and colic attack skills at hand, to put me into a deep, dark funk.

Through it all I kept thinking, "To hell with you Kate Gosselin! So what if I do need help with these babies? You think that makes you a better mother? Are trying to tell me I'm less of a woman, you smug, child-exploiting, made-up TV star?"

Six weeks of that. Six weeks as the angriest member of the Kate Gosselin UnFan Club. Six weeks of hating everyone and thinking the worst kinds of thoughts about what waited for me on the other side of the delivery room. Until, one day, I remembered that spring was in the air, and that it was passing quickly into summer. I was reminded that we can't stop time. Things would come to pass, some great, some terrible, but pass they would.

"Okay, God, I have no idea why you thought I would be a good choice for this project, but you did. And I haven't taken the time to say 'thank you' for this gift. It is a gift?"

It got better then. Maybe because I got God involved. Maybe because I had finally accepted the reality of it and the possibility that there would be joys as well as trials. Maybe because one can only hate Kate Gosselin for so long before she decides to turn off the TV and get some mid-morning ice cream (eating for three, you know!).

Either way, I've forgiven Kate (she has her own problems). I never hired a nanny, or a nurse, or a personal assistant. I did accept lots of food and gifts and friendship. And here we are, grateful for our twin gifts, who are currently destroying my basement in a quarter of the time it takes one child to do so.


I ne-e-e-d your love. Baby, I really need your love. I'm nominated once again for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms list. Currently I'm at 25. Now, I love a little tension and excitement to make the contest interesting, but I promise it would be just as interesting if I were, say, at number 18. That's where you come in. Please click this link or the pink button above and cast a vote for me! Just find the Ninja Mom Blog entry on the list and click on the thumbs-up icon to vote for my blog. You can vote once every day (please do!) and you can vote for multiple bloggers (please do!).

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