I haven’t thought of my twins’ age in months since they turned two, but I wanted to touch upon the fact that they’re almost 3. Not quite – two more months to go, but almost. Considering this baby’s due date and the twins’ birthday is only 3 days apart, we have a fun July coming our way!
If I can make it. I’m really, really hoping. And so far, so good. 32 weeks in preemie baby standards is a really good, safe place to be. 34 weeks will be even better. I know the risks of preemies at certain week gestations, as do many moms of multiples. I will never forget going into labor the first of 3 times with the twins, at only 28 weeks. A doctor from the NICU came to my room to tell me what was going to happen if I delivered – what the risks to the twins were, what they were up against, and their odds. Odds of survival, odds of health issues. Luckily, I fought that labor off with some seriously strong drugs. And even luckier – this time around, I’m already at 32 weeks. Knocking on wood. If I drink over a gallon of water a day, go to the bathroom once an hour, and seriously limit my activities, my braxton hicks can be kept at bay.
At the same time I’m rounding the corner towards the end of this pregnancy, the twins are closing in on 3 years old. And they truly act every bit as 3 years olds do. In fact, looking at them, hearing them carry on in-depth conversations, looking at B’s size (he’s in 4T, comfortably) – they really don’t look like 2 year olds. At all.
B continues to be very passionate and self-driven. He’s still into transportation vehicles (trains are the current favorite), but he’s also taken interest in other very common preschool activities, including playing pretend (especially with play food), arts and crafts (dot markers are a hit, as well as drawing
rainbows “trainbows”), and some gross motor activities like swinging and throwing balls. After spending almost two years deeply into only one or two types of activities, it’s nice to see him spread his wings. He still likes orange (light orange, specifically) but he’s no longer obsessed with it. He also likes blue. And brown. He absolutely LOVES to be outside, and will forgo food, TV, and everything else to stay out and play. He’s turned into Daddy’s hiking buddy.
I still see him as a little engineer. He opens kitchen drawers and the dishwasher just to be able to slowly, slowly shut them, watching from the side as the wheels spin. He doesn’t ask, but tries to figure out how things work. He also really loves to learn and soaks up any new information we give him. Both kids do actually, which is lovely.
He still gets upset often, though I have to report – not as much as a few months ago. It’s definitely better. When he does get upset, I try not to drag it out. I acknowledge his feelings, offer the hug. Then, I give him a choice and if he won’t make one – I make one for him. Sure, he might cry for a minute. But it’s a minute, not an hour. Much easier to deal with! The older he gets, he’s slowly learning to adapt when things don’t go his way.
He’s becoming braver and more outgoing in public, at least a little bit, which is nice. He still has a fear of windshield wipers and – fans. His favorite thing when he was little. Very strange.
Two things we’ve implemented for both kids are:
1) a taking turns chart. Thanks to my nanny – sometimes when you’re in the constant throes of parenting, you can’t see which end is up. B would never let C go first, and C never wanted to go first. Our genius nanny began a “taking turns policy” which I created into a chart, visible and readable by the twins. Mondays are B’s day to go first, in whatever activity they’re doing. Tuesday is C’s day, and so on. A few weeks in, and C is happy to go first on her day. B knows when it’s C’s day and has given up his “rights” to going first without a hassle.
2)The other thing we’ve started doing, for those big, drawn-out meltdowns (of which there hasn’t been many), is not a time-out, because that’s not how I roll. Instead, I’ll say, “I can’t understand you when you’re screaming. Let’s go pick a spot to calm down in.” Sometimes they have gone to the couch, or the dog beds, and sprawled out while getting themselves under control. I’m not going to punish my kids for having feelings and expressing them the way 2 year olds do. But I’m also not going to have them scream in my face at the table. A few weeks ago, B picked my bedroom and after spending a while on the floor, asked to lay on my bed with me, where we snuggled, talked, and then returned to the table. Yes, please. That’s my kind of parenting. It doesn’t always go that seamlessly, but it’s a positive option we didn’t have before.
C gets more charming the older she gets. She knows it, too. A little more adventurous, a little more wild, but otherwise – she’s totally my daughter. She has plenty of interests that are self-driven, for sure. She loves arts and crafts – she blew me away when she sort of/kind of wrote her name, by herself.
She loves animals and babies – constantly petting the dog, kissing my belly, screeching at cats and bunnies. She has a wicked sweet tooth, lover of all fruits and treats. She also loves to go fast down slides and do flips. But above all else, she’s the happiest when the people around her are happy. She picks up on other people’s emotions fast, especially her brother’s. It’s why she’s always asking him if he’s happy. If he’s laughing, she’s laughing, even when she doesn’t know why. She wants to please people and goes out of her way to do so – putting back toys she may have wanted, or changing her mind to better the interests of her brother. It’s a quality that I’ve written about before. I’m super proud of that quality, as I know it’ll make her a good person in life, and doesn’t always come naturally to others. But yet, I don’t want her to be walked all over, either. She’ll have to learn those ropes as she grows up.
She’s kind of a girly girl, which – I’m really not, so I’m not sure where that comes from. The other day, when B went hiking with Daddy? She wanted to go shopping with me to pick out a new dress. I mean, really. Her hair is like, more than halfway down her back, and she’s perfectly content to sit for our nanny who does her hair after nap every day. Braids, pig-tails, you name it. She’s been working on “matching” her clothes (pink goes with pink, purple goes with purple…ugh..). She’s just a total sweet pea.
She’s very social at home, but is starting to go through a shy phase out in public, which is interesting. She’s also developed her first fear of ALL bugs, and I have NO idea why. We’ve taken precautions to avoid that since Day 1 – “saving” all bugs in the house (or at least pretending to save them after they’ve been smushed…), singing when we see a spider, talking about how bees make honey – but the tiniest gnat sends her screaming. Hoping it passes soon, as there’s lots of bugs out this time of year!
After my vent the other day about not feeling like a mom when I can’t do anything this pregnant – I’ve tried hard to enjoy the little moments with them. Reading books on the couch. Hugs and kisses. Talking about their day, about what they’re learning, about what’s going to happen when the baby comes. Overall, we’re in a good place.