January 21, 2016

*Insert Random Curse Word Here*

We Have Twin Toddlers. And It's Insane.

We are in the midst of toddlerhood times two here in the B household and I am definitely feeling the affects of this major life shift. I always said I was dreading the days when they learned how to walk and now if you spend just five minutes here you will know why. We are but peasants to two tiny tyrants who, sweet and adorable as they are, have discovered they have real live wants and needs and feelings and words and the need to explore and express these things at all times at about 100 miles per hour.

It's insane. Sometimes I just sit back and look around at the books and blocks strewn about, the scooters half upside down and the climber that's been shoved across the room while I listen to them alternate between fighting, chattering and running. All I can think is - I used to handle a whole mess of kids ranging in age from 6 weeks to 12 years at one time and YOU GUYS got me beat? How? I know it's because they're mine but I'll be damned if the twin thing doesn't have something to do with it.  Even when I had two or three two year olds at one time I don't ever recall it being this bad. They're practically on top of each other half the time and for no reason (that I can see) other than that they're twinsters.

Although it's sometimes so cute.
They've started this lovely little game of fighting over absolutely everything. It's an even better version of siblings arguing because I don't have the benefit of an older kid who actually understands consequences and might back down (although I guess they often make the whole thing worse). I hate every single object that doesn't have multiple parts of the same color or that we don't have two of. I think things daily like: "Do you really HAVE to be on the slide the second your sister climbed up there when you haven't even LOOKED at it in two days?!" or "Seriously. There are 37 books on that shelf and you both have to have the owl one right now!?" It's like a perpetual play date except when they fight I can't just second one home.

Don't do it! Noooo!

Obviously I know why my life has been turned upside down. I get it all, the blah-di-blah developmental psycho-emotional stuff but that knowledge does not make this any easier. I still want to rip my hair out sometimes, like when I'm chasing one down the hall trying to get her shoes on while the other one is sitting by the door, ready to go 2 seconds ago, taking off her hat, mittens and shoes that I just got on. Thank god they can't unzip their coats yet. Oh, and the grabbing. We can't even go to the supermarket anymore because it's like I have an octopus in my cart and I'm terrified of that one loose jar of spaghetti sauce crashing to the floor. I still loooove my buggy bench but I'm hoping to try one of those car carts out next time I get the whim to grocery shop with them instead of taking my time all alone at 7pm on a Tuesday night while Daddy does bedtime.

Still, that knowledge that they are in the throes of coming alive and literally can't help themselves and where it all comes from is helping me do everything I can to facilitate and nurture ALL of us. While my patience sometimes wears thin I've got a pretty good handle on getting some chill time when I need it. Thankfully, they rock at playing alone right now - which isn't exactly true since neither one has been without the other for more than a few hours in 18 months. So, I guess they play well with others already? Either way I get a good chunk of time in the day that I don't have to be on top of them. It's far from "me" time since I'm usually cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, washing diapers or dishes but at least I can get some of that done.

But then, inevitably and ever the bane of my existence, the guilt sets in. As I watch them play or break up another battle or feel one run up to me with a big hug, I catch myself, no matter what I'm doing, and remember: I have twin toddlers. And I worry about all the things.

No one does a worry face better than me, except Viv.
That I'm not talking to them or interacting with them enough. Never mind that I talk too much as it is and they already have each other. Although neither one is really talking yet, so they just repeat each other (all the time. in stereo: "cat, cat, cat, cat, ball, ball, ball, ma, ma, ma, ma.".)  Or that I'm not being playful enough in one day or that I'm on my phone too much.  Like I don't spend every waking moment thinking about, planning for and cleaning up after all of us on top of the countless time we play. And Daddy is amazing at playing - he gets them going so fast and laughing so hard!

Thanks to this guilt, I used to drop everything and go and try to get an activity started or talk to them or do something to make us all feel more connected and although they used to light up and crawl on me for a snuggle, now they will shoot me a cheese face and go back to their business. I've finally learned how to peek in but not interrupt, I just watch and touch base when they're ready.  It's great and they clearly enjoy their time alone/together. You'd think that would be enough for me to lose the self-loathing crap but I'm starting to learn that just comes with the new mom gig.

Because now I stress that they aren't attached to me enough because they don't care that I'm not there all the time. No worries though, we recently hit the awesomely amazing separation anxiety phase and I want to jump off a bridge sometimes. My minutes to myself have all but vanished and everyone we know is now a perfect stranger requiring 20 minutes of screaming upon arrival.

Like I said, it's all insane.


There's lots of Let It Go singing (by me, they can't sing yet) and I am seriously so grateful for my depth of knowledge in the fine arts of playroom organization, kid's songs and mid-run diaper changes. There are days when I don't know how anyone who has ever worked with a toddler before would willingly choose to have a baby knowing it becomes one.  Are we all crazy?

No, because as hard as it is, it is so much fun! Toddlers are silly. And capable of SO much compared to their babyselves. And toddler twins rock even more because they have each other. I read a listicle once that said that was one of the best parts of twins was that built in playmate and although sometimes I am ready to lose it with the fighting I have to say it's a huge perk.They are weighing options and making choices rather than acting on straight up raw emotionally fueled impulses all the time. Because half the time that ish gets shut down by their mirror image and they realize, oh hey, I'm not totally the center of the universe - at least, I have to share it with someone else.

It's cool because they don't have a choice - nobody is going anywhere, remember? So they're figuring out what works and what makes their lives harder and I get to watch it all unfold. They don't give a crap what makes my life harder yet though and I don't foresee that changing. Ever. But damn if they don't make me laugh so hard every day.





How long do you think we lasted before there were beans and pasta everywhere? A shocking 13 minutes!

I don't know when I'll feel comfortable taking them somewhere where they could run away by myself and it's too damn cold to go outside but luckily we've got a fresh stock of books, art and exploration supplies and an upgraded playroom (complete with a huge empty box that I cant bare to throw out because they are obsessed.)  Now if I could just get them to put things away when they're done playing with them ... ha!





I hope you all out in the real world are doing awesome. My Bff who is 8+ months pregnant broke her hand tonight so please send her happy and wonderful vibes! Don't forget about me as I trail off into the vast new world of twin toddlerdom. If you wish to reach out, please send me messages and chocolate and wine.

Actually, just send wine.

Xo,
Maigen

1 comment :

Susan Connally said...

Another wonderful read!! Sorry about Liz!! Love you!XOXO