When Michael gets home from work we put the kids in the wagon and take a few laps around our neighborhood. They love the fresh air and it gives Michael and me a chance to swap stories from our day. I love sharing stories about the kids and right now they are in such a strange stage that I end up laughing through most of them.
Here are a few items that happened just yesterday:
1. Sloane had a dramatic conversation with her reflection. It ended with a giant wave and then she raised her shirt and flashed herself.
2. Jude loves straddling his sister. If he sees her on the floor, he stops whatever he is doing so he can sit on his sister. She doesn't mind it. I do.
3. They both love the computer keyboard. I left the room for one minute and came back to two toddlers on the computer chair, typing away on the keyboard. When I told them "No!" and "Get down!" they both stood up and BANGED on the keys. Definitely typing at least 90 words a minute.
4. Neither use many words, but they "talk" to each other all of the time. I took them outside to walk up and down our street and asked them to hold hands. They grabbed hands and proceeded to have a full blown conversation with one another. At one point Sloane stopped and pointed to something, babbled to Jude, and then he pointed at the same thing. I looked in the general direction and saw NOTHING. What are you two talking about? How am I already the third wheel?
It's not uncommon for me to finish my stories, look at Michael, and say, "They're so odd." And then it hit me. Toddler. tODDler. The name fits.
They are also so different from one another. So very different. This has been a huge struggle for me lately. I remember seeing this quote a few years ago and it really hit home with me personally.
Now it hits home on an entirely different level - with my babies. I am constantly comparing them to other children and (even worse) to each other. It's horrible but I do it every single day. It steals my joy. You know what else? It steals their joy. For 18 months I let them give me cues of what they wanted to do. I've always kept to a schedule, but I made sure play time was exactly that: PLAY time. We learned at their 18 month appointment that they're behind in speech, which is fairly normal for twins, but it flipped a switch inside of me. Since then, I have become a paranoid mother who notices what every other child is saying. Play time has essentially become school time and it's pretty clear that when I'm at my worst, so are they. When that happens, I have successfully managed to steal their joy.
Someone emailed Amber and me at Twin Talk the other day and asked if she could write a post about PPD. She mentioned we make it all look so easy. I laughed out loud because right before I read her email I'd had a meltdown about something child-related. Honestly, I did find their first year to be pretty easy. They were happy babies, great sleepers, and terrific eaters. tODDlerdom is a whole new world and I find myself struggling quite a bit. When you have babies, there's only so many decisions you can make. Most areas seem to be black/white. Toddlers? All grey. So much grey. Too much grey.
No tidy bow on this post. My dad says the most important thing you can do as a parent is love your kids. I know I'm doing that right. Everything else? Not a clue.