Okay, I know that I have been pregnant for six months, but in some ways the fact that I am having twins has just recently hit home. It's actually more like the financial aspect of having twins. According to the preachy pregnancy books, this is usually more of a concern that the daddies tend to have. But nooooo, I am the one going into mild cardiac arrest at the prospect of having two babies at once. Because Frank is going to be a stay-at-home dad, I will be the one bringing home the proverbial bacon. If you all remember, Frank is currently going through the tedious process of being medically discharged from the Army due to his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Frank will be financially compensated, so it's not like it will be my salary alone that will provide for our children. But because we don't yet know how much Uncle Sam will be paying up, I don't yet count that money into our future budget. Twins? TWINS!?! OH, MY GOD!!! WE ARE HAVING TWINS AND I'M FREAKING OUT ABOUT MONEY!!! Geez, Frank -- can't you be a textbook dad and take over that concern for me?
In all actuality, I'm tripping over nothing. Contrary to popular belief, teachers earn a good chunk of money, but in comparison to other professions, the salaries suck. The money I earn is more than enough to care for my family. I'll be a serious Wal-Mart and K-Mart shopper, looking for all of the "buy one get one free" deals. Bargain shopping is a skill I used to tease Mommy about, but little did I know that after years of ridiculing her shopping techniques, I was slowly becoming her protegee. First of all, Mommy is blind as a bat. So you can imagine my awe when she spots a 50% off deal from three aisles away with hawk-like precision. She's like a human cash register, mentally figuring out unit prices, percentage estimates, and keeping a running total of it all in her head. And this is a woman who can't keep the names of her three daughters straight. My sisters and I would crack up laughing every time the highlight of Mom's day was finding some major bargains. Mommy would look at us and simply say, "Laugh now, but wait until you guys have kids." I didn't realize at the time that this was sort of a motherly curse. I am horrified that I have now adopted the very same methods and excitement that used to be the butt of my daughterly jokes.
This motherly shopping of mine seemed to start when Frank and I began preparing for the nursery. When I was three months, we went to three different stores bargain shopping for the cribs, mattresses, car seats, bedding, furniture, and decorations. What we found is that we are now dedicated K-Mart shoppers, because we found all of the above at that particular store. What we also "discovered" is that we were parents of TWINS, and that we would be buying TWO of everything. I think both of us suffered mild heart attacks on that first venture into preparing for parenthood. We made a list of the prices and made plans to come back the following month to buy it all, knowing exactly how much we were going to spend. When we returned, we were amazed to find that the cribs had been marked down to eighty dollars, the mattresses to thirty, and the bedding was also marked down to thirty dollars. Overall, we spent a full hundred dollars less than we thought we were going to. We were so excited that you would have thought we won the lottery. We bounced to Mom's house gibbering about the wonderful bargains we lucked out on, and she stood back with this satisfied smirk on her face like some great prophecy had come to pass.
The official financial freak-out began after we found out the sexes of the babies. I was just itching to start buying clothes, and after we found out we were having a boy and a girl, the baby clothing section of K-Mart was my first stop. I wandered up and down the aisles in a mild stupor wondering where to begin. I was probably drooling, too, because I wanted to buy almost everything I saw. Then I looked a little closer and began to notice the prices. My heart skipped a couple of beats and I think I stopped breathing for a minute, because the walls started spinning and things got a little hazy. After spending two and a half hours in K-Mart, I came out with only three packs of Onesies for each, a cap and sock set for each, an outfit for each, three boxes of wipes, two jumbo packages of diapers, and one Sesame Street stuffed character. I kept a running total of the amount and I knew it was going to be a lot, but when the cashier politely said, "That will be 280 dollars and 60 cents," I almost passed out.
This money thing is going to be really interesting when the babies get here. I will have made the complete metamorphosis from an ignorant consumer to a coupon-clipping, money-saving, bargain-spotting, K-Mart shopper. If you're ever in K-mart and notice a short black woman with twin one-year-olds, watch your back when someone announces that there is a "blue-light" special in aisle five. I'm pretty sure by that time I'll be mowing people down with my cart, encouraging my kids to kick people who try to slow us down.
Love to all,
Kym, Kyra, and Jaiden