I love planning these little get togethers, and going a little overboard for our little ones that still know very little about the world. Although, it was fun planning and joking that… if Pinterest didn’t exist we would all just be staring at each other and wondering: what the theme was, where the mason jars and chevron patterned napkins were hiding and why I didn’t build a life size wooden ark out of old pallets (throat clear) – our theme was Noah’s Ark Two by Two… and no, I did not build an Ark.
>>I would say less than 24 hours after 8:30am and 8:32am on 6/29/15 – something changed…
Summer had already begun but our official welcome to the sunny days ahead was that of two year olds that took over our world, with open arms and sticky fingers. I remember one night after they turned (two), my husband and I had just collapsed on our bed after a challenging bedtime routine. I imagined my sweet girls slowly morphing from fluffy pink princess gowns and smiles, into chains and leather flashing me their gang signs and gold teeth… yelling, “what? you can’t handle this?! well, get ready cuz we’re TWO!” Little did I know this envision was kinda-sorta a premonition. After that sweet day of celebration filled with good company, yummy food and a song or two, I feel as though it’s safe to say that the switch has been flipped. You know, the “I’m a toddler” on/off switch. It’s technically on auto-pilot and after reading the instructions, a special set of skills (along with major growth and development) is required before it can be turned “off”. I hear this can take years… err, maybe that’s just what it feels like. Well, due to small clues and warning signs… I had a feeling this phase was approaching – kind of like a flickering light during a storm. As if to say, “find shelter, it’s about to get loud, scary and dark! …and their is nothing you can do about it.”
With two little ones (especially twins), I’ve been given more advice than I ever signed up for. Recent advice has revolved around this infamous stage ~ the “terrible twos”. I’m told it actually begins at age three. Which, by the way, is not something a mom of twins wants to hear. Ok, let’s be real… nobody wants to hear that, especially while already lacking sleep and trying to “shhhhhush” a screamer or two in the middle of the grocery store. I’ve been told that it’s going to be “so hard with twins” (while getting a quick pat on the back followed by a semi-serious thumbs-up and a dash to get away as if I had a terrible virus). I’ve also heard that it’s really a “trying time”, a true “test of parenthood”… a struggle, a challenge and the list of partially negative descriptions goes on.
WELP, we’re “on”. We’re live, the doors have been kicked open (and kicked and kicked, and pushed and kicked) and there is no turning back. You know back to those warm cuddly baby days – when they just cooed and stared deeply into your eyes until they fell asleep. Or those days when I could tell you exactly when I was going to get a break because naps were predictable. Oh wait, even those days when I could eat a meal without two sets of hands playing with my food – because when you’re two, you’re way too good for highchairs (at least that’s what our girls have decided).
Here’s the catch – they are growing and developing like any other human and it’s not suppose to be easy. But it sure puts a cramp in my ‘chill’ style. Yes, as a mom I feel fairly ‘chill’ on occasion. I have days that I think, I finally got this and everything is “kinda-sorta” under control. I’m not trying to make any moms feel bad, because I know not everyone feels this way. I will tell you that this feeling or moment has been short lived lately, but it still gives me a nice little boost. Now, (more often) I am exhausted and trying to keep up with the pace at which my little ones are changing. I’m not sure how to exactly explain this but if you add some bad hair and bags under the beady/perky eyes of the “one eye shut/tongue sticking out emoji” >>> that’s me to a “T”! My two 2-year olds have successfully figured out how to make me look like the crazy emoji.
>> 😜 << like that, just like that!
The SUMMER OF 15 has been quite the intro to this new stage of life. 1. Language development and communication have blown my mind and 2. the emotional side of (probably) raising girls has slapped us in the face and definitely 3. strength and confidence have decided to be BFFs, but they rarely agree with each other.
:1.Language: It’s fascinating to watch my own children learn how to communicate, try to understand and listen to them repeat every word they hear. Oh, I’ll back up <<<< EVERY word they hear. We don’t (really) have potty mouths, but I’ll just let you imagine (anything anyone says, wherever we may be… they say and then they repeat it 10 times – – – or 30 times). I can understand most of what they say, but when I don’t… it’s A. just a cute, fun little guessing game or B. a sad and angry little face that says “you’re MY mom, you should know what I’m saying”… I’ll admit, they’re doing a great job with clarity and pronunciation but when we don’t understand what they’re trying to tell us, it’s as if we’re the alien on their planet and if we can’t translate within the next milisecond we’ll be sent back to a horrific planet (probably filled with DINKS basking in the sun – – oh, I remember those days).
BUT, at the end of summer I was proud to hear my little ones count to ten, recite their “ABCs”, politely ask for things using the highly desirable “please” and “thank you” and actually have a conversation (“kinda-sorta”).
Tantrums and crocodile tears will appear with no warning… over lack of song singing, too much singing, being too clean or too dirty, broken crackers, lack of sharing, the natural and competitive nature of twins who enjoy copying each other but also want to be the one that did it first. This whole “copying each other” is pretty cute… While CUTE, it’s also deceiving. I have a couple dramatic princesses. Many times I have thought about counting the frequency of “whiny moments” and then I realize these moments are sometimes too hard to separate. I’m sure this is probably the thought running through their heads, on repeat… “It is so hard to be a child, a child living in a safe home with fun toys, healthy food and happy parents who love me.” But really – what is with the whining? It is the current soundtrack of my life and I’m not sure if this is wise for me to admit, but I’m starting to dance to it – – because it’s the only way I can remain sane (along with a glass of wine). I think… if I’m dancing to their cries+screams (after trying every way I know to solve the problem) then they’ll eventually calm down and dance with me! Better than getting angry, because… I’ve also been told that this stage will really “challenge your emotions as a parent”. I’m not saying I’ve never been angry or exposed my frustration to my little life learners but I try to remind myself that this is going to be a very very distant memory someday (sadly) and when I can look on the bright side and tune out the craziness, life is so much better!!!
:3.Strength + Confidence:
Strength >>”Oh, hey there! I’m really super strong (I think).”
Confidence >>”Hey! I’m incredibly confident, we should be BFFs.”
Ok, so I wasn’t there when this decision was made and handshakes were exchanged between these two valuable traits… traits that I’m proud my two year olds uphold, but need a little lesson on managing them as a unit.
At times my children (like most) believe they are invincible and indestructible, climbing anything, diving into and off of everything… I love watching my girls explore and really use their imagination but we have yet to learn about fear and danger. However, I do have one fairly cautious gal (Hannah) and one who takes the lead (in many cases) and attempts “the impossible!”. As stated above… one thing about having two is that they do “copy each other”. So, cautious Hannah will watch and observe the accomplished or failed feat of her brave sis, Lainy, and then make a decision based on the results. Sounds like a simple and smart move. Then, she just goes for it in her own invincible way… because why would she miss out on that opportunity?! Luckily, cool bandaids and kissing ‘owies’ have been a pretty good cure so far.
However, I’d like to have a word with our pals, Strength + Confidence and say… “first of all, thank you for befriending my children but can you please play well together, be patient with each other and don’t over do it?!” All I want is a little more balance in this area. HA! Toddler life doesn’t have much (if any) room for balance.
>>As we welcome fall, I reflect back onto this new stage we’ve entered and I’m in awe at how our babies have turned into walking talking (sometimes sassy) people, right before our eyes and ears, and in such a short time!
We lost a little more sleep in these past few months, we’ve been challenged with the (expected) language barrier, we’re working on maintaining our sanity through unpredictable emotions, we’ve started potty training (kinda-sorta) and watched our two monkeys tackle strength and confidence while learning how to climb in and out of their cribs and release themselves into the world with little warning. We learned that car rides longer than an hour can quickly increase our heart rate and make earmuffs very desirable, even in the summer (our 6+ hour road trip this summer was a joy 😜).
Numbers, words and new sentences fall out of their mouths like cracker crumbs along with very high pitched screams. Their little minds are constantly ON. I anticipate a fall and winter filled with even more energy, excitement and probably a little more whining (and wine), but I want to thank Summer for welcoming us into this crazy world of #toddlerlife…
~~~>(sending good vibes to all who will be cooped up with toddlers this winter). To all parents ready to enter this stage or already in this stage… hang in their, hold on tight and know that their is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Eventhough it’s hard to see at times, this is a fascinating period of growth and development.
Embrace it as much as you can… especially before the chains and gang signs come out!
>>the best part about his stage (as crazy as it can be), we are making so many great memories!!<<