I was reading a blog post by a friend of mine from high school. She has a 2 ½-year old daughter, and she’s expecting twin girls later this year. She talked about her older daughter never having gotten accustomed to being in her stroller; she said she’s maybe used it all of 10 times. She noted that her twins won’t enjoy that luxury.
Having only my twin girls, I sometimes forget the idea of having “only one baby”.
Our girls have ridden in their stroller from Day 1. Even today, at 27 months old, walking independently (holding Mommy or Daddy’s hand) is a huge treat.
Our girls eat in their high chairs. I don’t recall a single time they’ve sat in my lap to eat (at home or in a restaurant).
I lay our girls down for naps and at nighttime when they’re awake. They’ve never been rocked to sleep, excepting literally a handful of occasions when someone was sick. (And I treasure the memory of those rare occasions, too!)
If one of our girls is crying because she’s sick or tired or hurt, of course she gets cuddles…but if she’s crying just to fuss, this mama rarely gives in. I can’t afford to perpetuate her behavior, for surely her sister would catch on quickly, and then I’d have not just one – but TWO – crying babes on my hands.
While a little part of me misses coddling my girls more, I feel like I’m giving them the gift of independence in teaching them the art of self-soothing, and of living within the context of set boundaries.
I can also cite ways in which my girls are probably more dependent on me than if I had “only one baby”. I think most of these situations have to do with decisions I’ve made to manage our household “efficiently”.
Our girls didn’t start feeding themselves with their hands (outside of Cheerios) until they were about 14 months old. I didn’t let them. I just didn’t feel like I could handle the colossal mess that two little babies could certainly make in a matter of seconds.
Our girls still haven’t mastered our staircase. In fairness, they get limited practice. Unless my hubby is home, I usually run them upstairs myself (as quickly as possible) for a diaper change…so as not to leave the other child unattended for any longer than necessary.
Our girls have craft time, but it’s in a very controlled environment. I hope I’m not squelching their creativity too much, but I have to contain the mess to some degree…I can’t afford to interrupt our day for two impromptu baths.
And of course there’s the idea of the girls’ dependence on each other, too. That actually doesn’t play on my mind quite as much. The one-on-one time we’ve had with the girls the past few months has gone really smoothly. Further, our girls are so different in some of their play patterns, I feel like that they get individualized stimulation by necessity.
I don’t know what the answer is…I can only hope that as I continue to do the best I can for my girls, that everything evens out in the end…but it certainly is an interesting question to ponder.
And/or feel free to tell me I need to just “chill out”! 🙂
Mandy, mom to 27-month old fraternal twin girls