Saturday, 27 November 2010

Life with twin toddlers

With Ez and Fonz both confident walkers now, I've realised that my days with twin babies are behind me, and my time as a mum of twin toddlers is beginning...

This way and that way
Obviously the biggest thing with them both walking is their increased mobility. I got them out of the pushchair in a cafe, and immediately they ran in opposite directions. We went to the playground with my friend and her twins (only a couple of months older), and all four of them ran in opposite directions! Think it will take me some time to get used to the added stress - it's so hard to keep track of where they both are all the time and I'm wondering if I may need to invest in some reins.

At home they're running around the living room, and we've taken the stairgate between the living room and kitchen down as they hate being penned in. There are three stairs, but they've learnt to negotiate them. I keep telling myself that if they fall, it's not a big drop.

One of the best of the recent developments is dancing! Both Ez and Fonz have always enjoyed music, but now they've started bopping along to it. Ez especially will grab my hands so we can dance together – she thinks it's hilarious and I'm just hoping she's not mocking my dancing skills.

Understood, over and out
The last couple of weeks have seen huge leaps in the twins' levels of understanding. If I ask Ez to bring me her shoes, she'll happily trot off and deliver them to me. Just before they go to bed, when I say it's time for milk, both Ez and Fonz will go and lie down on their sleeping bags, ready to be zipped in.

They know their routine, and they're getting to know various cues. If I put Fonz's coat on him, Ez will bring me her jacket and wait by the pushchair. They don't have many words ('dada', 'mama', 'cat' and 'maamaa' (banana) but the chat is constant, especially from Fonz.

Excuse me, this isn't what I ordered
Food is generally enjoyed, but new foods (unless given at nursery) are viewed with great suspicion. If what's put in front of Fonz at the dinner table isn't to his immediate liking, he'll swipe the whole plate off the table. 

Ez is more considered, and she'll meticulously pick each offending bit of food off her plate, and leave it in a neat pile on the table next to her. Their sense of independence at the dinner table is clear and they want to use the spoon themselves – Fonz is still happy for me to load it for him, but Ez won't have help at all.

I guess it's all the energy they're expending running around, but their appetites seem insatiable! Morning milk bottles, breakfast, mid morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, bedtime bottle. I honestly don't know where they put it all. 

Character building
Greater understanding means more interaction, and I'm loving spending time with the two of them. Their own, distinctive characters are clear to see – Fonz a cheeky, happy-go-lucky little monster most of the time, and Ez is sociable, engaging and full of good humour. They are getting to know their own likes and dislikes, and are enraged if things don't go their own way.

The slightest little thing can send Fonz into a fury. If I've passed him the wrong toy in mistake, or taken something he shouldn't have away from him, he'll throw himself to the floor and writhe around screaming, and if he's ignored the screaming will develop into ever-more-desperate sobs.

Ez is working out ways to wrap me and her daddy around her little finger –  her approach is much cleverer as we don't realise we've given in and given her what she wants until it's too late. Mini manipulator in training I think.

Watching them chase each other round the living room, in fits of giggles, is wonderful. You can't help but grin from ear-to-ear at the sound of two chuckling people. Ez and Fonz get on best when they don't have to have physical contact. The love being on opposite sides of a glass door, for example, or in their cots (pushed end to end).

The problems come when there aren't any physical barriers between them – then one can very quickly overstep the other's boundary mark, and there's pushing, shoving, biting (mostly from Ez) and shrieking. They are definitely beginning to enjoy each other's company, but they are a long way off learning to play with each other.

Jealousy is playing a bigger part in our day-to-day life, with Fonz particularly upset if I pick Ez up and not him.

Cut to me stood with two babies pulling at my legs and holding up their arms, whinging to be carried. My new life as mum of twin toddlers.

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