After another few weeks’ hiatus and reading all of your blog updates – I have a “free night” that offers me an hour to blog, if I choose to do so. So I am. There are certainly 1,000 other things I could be doing – such as putting the rest of the twins’ 12 month photos that I printed into the album, or picking out clothes for work tomorrow, or taking a shower, or *gasp* going to bed early. Oh well – maybe tomorrow night!
When I was a stay-at-home-mom, I was in no way “relaxed”. I had plenty to do, and even more to worry about. Over the course of time that I stayed home with the babies, from their birth in July until the following August when I went back to work, I’d say 85% of my brain space was dedicated to the topic of baby sleep. I’m sure my old blog posts reflect this – sleep patterns, schedules, getting twins on the same routine, counting wake times, duration of naps, location of naps, transitioning from 4-3, 3-2…..etc. It was all I could think about and research. At times, with two screaming, overtired babies in my arms, I was overwhelmed and stressed. Many times. Which is why being a stay-at-home parent is no walk in the park, ever. However. I was able to ONLY think about the babies and their sleep schedules for months on end. Eventually I also added in the topics of transitioning to solid foods, switching to cloth diapers, and getting the babies out and about in the world to my list of daily, constant thoughts. I wanted to kick that year at home’s butt, doing everything I could possibly do to take control over the lives my babies lived on a daily basis, because I knew that once I went back to work, I would never have that opportunity again.
And that is exactly what’s happened. The difference between being a parent all day at home vs. being a parent all day at work, is that for me, everything I used to think about while being home with the babies still exists (though with much less worry, thank goodness), but I’ve only added to it, times a million. In between trying to figure out my lesson plans and testing we are doing and collecting data, analyzing data, talking about data….etc., I’m thinking about B’s terrible teething diaper rash recently and his new overnight pooping schedule that isn’t helping the matter, and how I hope the babies like their lunch today, and I’m wondering what new words/concepts the babies are learning with our nanny, J. Then it’s back to my students, to my colleagues, to my lessons, and back again to the babies. It’s this constant flow of thoughts that I try to control, sort out, and deal with 24/7. Does this thought need my attention right now? Is there something I should be doing instead? I don’t know. Work is INSANE – crazier than when I left it a year and a half ago. And most of the time, I am managing, but sometimes – it’s just nuts. Being home with the babies was not harder than this. At least I got to focus all of myself on the babies.
With all of that aside, as I was told, being at work does make me appreciate my time with the babies that much more. It is nice to come home to two children that have learned something new that wasn’t taught by me – something that I can now choose to encourage and support, but how cool, something they already know! For example – J taught the babies “stars” and “airplanes”. And now, every single time she hears or sees one, C is pointing up at the sky in wonder, signing for “plane” and crying when the plane goes out of her vision. And in a store yesterday, B pointed to the stars on the wall and said plainly, “Star!” (more like “sar” but close enough).
Having toddlers is totally awesome. Someone in our building who isn’t normally there today mentioned that he has 5 month old twins and I found myself thinking – “good luck with that”. I do not envy him whatsoever. 5 month old twins are fun and cute and all, but 15 month old twins (today!) are so much better. We now parent them. We teach them things. B tonight was introduced to a bug by my husband, and he giggled and crept over to it and poked it and said “buh” after my husband repeatedly told him what it was. Every day, it’s something new. Their language continues to take off (especially C), as she now has mastered her “s” sound and says “pwease” at the appropriate times and can say the sounds of like 8 animals or something like that. Their physical skills grow as well (especially B), as tonight he learned how to “stomp” and loved every second of it. They show affection, they show anger, they let us know what they need and want. They are little people. It’s very cool.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows obviously. I guess when you have young children, you’re always in the process of some sort of transition. (When does that end, exactly?) Right now, we’re about to start a few transitions – from “before bed milk” to “before bed water”, from “nighttime bottle” to “nighttime sippy”, from finger foods to fork and spoon foods, from 2 naps to 1 nap (still not there yet, but it’s coming…), from 3 to 2 pacifiers (done!), from 2-1 or 1-0 pacifiers…not so much. B doesn’t use them but C does, only for sleeping, but still it sometimes creeps into her day more than I’d like.
You know, it’s this constant learning process for us. We found a magical straw cup that has a weighted bottom and now C drinks from a straw cup, just like that. B loves to practice with his fork and is almost there, stabbing away at his foods while C is nowhere near ready. C is ready to dress herself – she tries to put her own socks on and can do the velcro on her shoes by herself. I’m not even sure B realizes he is wearing socks and shoes. C is feisty and independent, waving her arms back and forth, pursing her lips and saying, “noooo” when I ask for a kiss or if she wants to ________. B is snuggly and affectionate, though with extremely strong opinions, and in between throwing fits or running after toys gives a million kisses and hugs.
By far, my favorite part about having babies this age right now is that we try every weekend to expose them to some new experience that they’ve never had before. With the holidays coming, there’s so much to show them that we think they will love. A few weekends ago, we went to a science museum on a rainy Saturday and let them walk around and see the animals. This past weekend, we brought them to a pumpkin patch and took a walk in the woods. That is the best part.
Here’s some recent pics, first of B and C and then them both. 🙂