For mom’s starting out on a multiples journey, I want to tell you – it really does get easier. Not just easier, but more and more wonderful with each passing day. And boy do they pass quickly.
Our boys are fully mobile (truly have been since just after their first birthday) which is both great, and trying. When people say your twins will run in opposite directions at the worst possible moments, they aren’t lying. I am looking into the very controversial (but hopefully lifesaving) option of baby harnesses. Sadly, the options available for these in SA are slim, but luckily, Jon is flying out to the UK and I plan on sending a mass of Amazon goodies for him to bring back.
They are also very aware of each other now, more than simply someone to steal a toy from. They play and laugh together. One of their favourite games is tag. They will run around the couch to catch each other and laugh like crazy when they do. They have also taken to throwing things into each others’ cots at night and giggling hysterically about it – I can listen to those giggles on the monitor for hours.
I have said before that the pace at which they learn constantly astounds me, and that is still true.
Dylan loves to do somersaults and unpack the cupboard. He loves the feel of all different types of materials, and will fiddle with his shirts, pants and blankets just to feel the differences. He loves people and will happily sit and hold hands with someone for ages. He is still easily frustrated, but is getting a little better at letting things go when something is taken away from him.
Alex loves the light switch and will turn things on and off for ages. Any button is a new adventure and he loves the cause and effect of each new thing to press. He is also learning to dance to tunes and clap with the music. He would rather climb over me than lie peacefully on my lap, but is always the first to rush for hugs when I get home.
They both absolutely love the bath, but not the dressing afterwards. Dylan loves to stick his entire face in the water and sip at it – soapy bubbles and all.
While they have words, they don’t really use them anymore. For a while we had some going (duck, up and the like – Alex once said ellow for yellow), but right now they are not using them. They do, however, have long conversations with each other – which I believe they understand.
Having done a little research on twin language acquisition, I have learned that what they are saying is actually a very juvenile form of the language we use, which they both understand, but we don’t. So the best advice I have heard so far, is to reinforce true language (otherwise they reinforce their own version with each other) to each baby individually. So the plan is for Jon and I to take one baby each and read to them individually in the evenings. Hopefully – that will help them develop more language. Although admittedly, I love that they speak to each other, it is super cute.
While they aren’t speaking, they are experimenting with sounds. Dylan has been working on mmmmm and to our delight, he managed to get some spit bubbles while doing it. Who knew that spit bubbles were a real thing!
For us, the first year of twin parenting has primarily been at home – where we know the plugholes are covered, where we know they have no access to open water, or small objects they can choke on.
But over the last few months, we have been trying to get them out more often, show them a little more of the world and give them something other than the multicoloured mats in our lounge to look at.
This past weekend, we tried out a place in Rosebank called Serendipity. It is a place, especially geared for people with small children. A cover charge for the kids covers child minders that look after your little ones while you have a coffee or cake.
What a find! There are a million things for children to play with, slides, sandpits, dress up rooms, jungle gyms – you name it. Our boys came home with dirty feet, faces and hands – and I can’t tell you how happy that made me.
The pricing for the food is amazing and the food itself is great. It is worth every cent and more.
On one of the Facebook groups I follow for twin parents, there was a thread discussing the things that multiple parents feel are easier with twins than with singletons, and here are some of my thoughts on that.
1. You get all the hard stuff over with in one go. While your body takes a beating in a multiple pregnancy, it only happens once – no need (unless you really want more babas) to do it again. Sleepless nights, teething, and other general first year stuff gets over with once.
2. As they get older, they get less reliant on your constant attention, they have each other as a distraction. I am sure the older they get, the easier this gets.
3. Parental attention is understood as shared – from very early on, my boys knew that attention was to be distributed. But they also understand that they get it equally. I am also pretty sure that if you have another baby, there is less likely to be jealousy when the new tot arrives – but moms with multiples and more will have to let me know if this is true.
4. The concept of sharing is introduced from the start. They share clothes, toys, time, everything. While they are still learning about not stealing stuff from each other, that stealing is now being disguised as a game, and now sometimes ends up in giggles and not necessarily in tears.