September 6, 2006

Babies change so much when they learn to crawl, there ought to be a different name for that particular stage. They are so much more masters of their environment and can move towards what they want, they are very experimental with toys and non-toy objects. They are no longer babies and not yet toddlers – so we have, the “boddler” (or when they are naughty “baddlers”).

Also – boddle is what they do. They kind of boddle around on the floor and boddle around the room getting into things they shouldn’t!


2 crawlers

August 31, 2006

I’m pleased to announce, that on the day before their 9 month birthday – both boys are crawling! It’s a huge celebration, partly because for the past 2 weeks one baby has been roaming all around the room and the other was just sitting there. But thankfully he’s moved into action now.

That’s going to be our problem, the temptation to compare. I read an interesting book called “We are twins, but who am I” by Betty Jean Case. In it, she warned against the dangers of comparison. I totally agree with her. But when you have two babies and one is doing something the other can’t, it can bring up anxiety and the urge to encourage the slower one. When in reality of course, two weeks or even two months here or there doesn’t matter at all.

Two crawling babies is an extra degree of difficulty. As I write this Destructo-baby just inserted a video tape into the machine and pressed play! There have also been a few knocks on the head recently, as the more ability they have the more damage they can do. They can indicate their desires by moving towards what they want – which is usually either me or my relevant body parts, or anything remotely breakable, dangerous or inappropriate. Much less interesting, but tolerable, are the 200 toys that mum and dad have scattered invitingly around the room for their perusal.

And what can you do when one is crawling up your leg while you try to breastfeed the other?? That’s why play pens were invented. Is Destructo-baby going to spend the next few months of his life in a cage, just because he’s too mobile and curious? Are we going to resort to harnesses when they are walking??

I am going to refer to the boys under pseudonyms, which may change over time. At the moment we have Muppet Boy (MB) (It’s the fuzzy hair, big eyes and wide smile) and Destructo-baby (DB) for obvious reasons. I have yet to create a good pseudonym for me or my husband…

the car office

August 15, 2006

Well, it’s not perfect that’s for sure but it’s do-able. Everyone’s heard of the home office, but now with the advent of wireless broadband, and out of necessity due to Twin Babies and their sleeping issues… comes the Car Office.

I am parked outside my own house in a large station wagon, inside which are 2 sleeping babies, a dog and a laptop and me. It is the middle of winter and it is HOT in this car. For some reason babies have decided it’s not OK to sleep in their cots during the day and they would really much rather be in the car. And so would I, if it means not pacing around the corridors for half an hour holding one baby while the other screams. And the dog, of course, is not going to be left in the house thank you very much, otherwise I might just find a very nasty surprise waiting for me when I get back!

The view’s certainly great from here.

always a part of me

August 4, 2006

I found an interesting article on Brain Ethics . Looking at my son sleeping this morning I was overcome by a sense of his being a part of me, us being linked. Well, it’s true in more ways than you think.

A baby’s cells really do stay inside the mother’s brain. Amazing. Apparently during pregnancy, the fetus stem cells cross the blood brain barrier, and travel inside the mother’s brain. They divide and become various kinds of brain cells. They have a particular role if there is some kind of injury to the mother’s brain cells.

So there they are, my little boys cells. Sitting inside my brain. I have literally become a different person with a different brain, since they were conceived.

Does this change your personality? One can only speculate.

attempting to crawl

August 4, 2006

You have to crawl before you can walk (according to the experts it’s really important…). Here are some of the stages to go through before crawling is attained:

– learn to lie on tummy (not as easy as it sounds, can take several months)
– learn to roll over from tummy to back, then back to tummy
– learn to roll all over the floor to get to things
– learn to push self backwards on hands – crawling backwards can be a bit disconcerting when the toy you are trying to reach keeps getting further away
– learn to stick bottom in the air
– learn to rotate self around to face different directions
– learn to balance on hands and knees and rock back and forth
– learn to push self forwards with feet and knees, lurch and land on head

11.30 Finish cooking huge vat of mashed vegetables for this week’s baby food. Realise that own food is not nearly as nutritious or nice. Eat a Tim Tam.

11.35 Change boys into cool gymbaroo-suitable outfits involving separate pants, jumpers and socks instead of their usual daytime pyjama suits. Realise have cutest babies in world. Look outside in relief that it’s stopped raining.

11.45 Feed mush to boys in high chairs. Realise have forgotten own lunch. Eat another Tim Tam. Plan exit while feeding boys.

12.00 Realise have only half hour and am on tight schedule. Take plates to kitchen and ignore dog who hasn’t been fed. Put away perishable items. Go to bathroom, get self dressed. Feed dog. Ignore baby crying. Pack nappies, wipes, wallet, phone, coats, hats, keys.

12.05 Put one baby into front carrier. Look outside to see howling gale and pouring rain. Try to put coats and hats onto babies. Pick up socks off floor which have been pulled off by grinning baby. Realise can’t put coat onto baby while other baby is in carrier. Pick up handbag and second baby. Yell loudly at dog who is trying to get out the door.

12.10 Carry two babies down precarious staircase in pouring rain. Get to bottom of stairs and put one baby in car seat while other baby is in front carrier. Apologise to baby in front carrier for upside down position he is in. Dodge traffic and stand at other side of car, putting baby inside.

12.15 Sit in car feeling huge sense of achievement. Look in rear vision mirror at grinning babies. Realise have best babies in world.

12.20 Look in rear vision to see hats are completely covering babies faces. Realise this is probably not good for things like breathing. Stop car and take off hats.

12.29 Arrive at community centre. Rain is still pouring. Note lack of undercover parking and long uncovered ramp to take pram into centre. Decide to risk it and run into centre with one baby under arm, leaving other baby in car. Notice seedy looking man on verandah smoking – shudder. Appeal to kindness of gymbaroo staff to hold baby inside. Rush back for second baby who is still asleep.

12.35 Realise class starts at 12.35 not 12.30 and we are exactly on time.

We are born so completely dependent, vulnerable and helpless. But literally, babies can’t do anything for themselves and so they are fully dependent. Their solution to any given problem is the same – lie there and cry. Well somehow we have to progress from this state to independence. We have to learn every skill from scratch.

Independence is not an innate quality, it is learned. Maybe some of us over-learn independence, particularly in the modern world. We become completely self-sufficient in our apartment, with our security and our appliances. We never have to interact with another person, unless we choose to.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to make our babies independent.

twin dilemmas

July 17, 2006

What does a mother of identical twins do, if.. One twin outperforms the other in some way? One twin is slower, quicker, more intelligent, has more friends, fatter, thinner… than the other?

Encourage the one who’s ahead and you risk creating misery for the other, but fail to encourage the one who’s ahead and they may learn there’s no point trying as their efforts go unnoticed. Give more attention to the lagging one because he’s feeling bad, but again the other doesn’t get his reward.

How does a mother try to do both things at once? I guess the answer is simple really, just do both things. You love them whether they are succeeding or failing, and in the end it doesn’t matter which one it is, the important thing is they are loved.

Well it works. Leave a baby to cry on their own for a while one night and all of a sudden the following night they are sleeping beautifully. It goes against all maternal instincts. And it has taught me that sometimes a parent has to learn not to give a child what they want, but try to give them what is best for them. If we give our children what they want all the time, we will create little monsters. To sit there for a whole hour while your baby cries is excruciating and harrowing. This is where logic needs to override emotion – logically we know the baby is not in pain or hungry. Logically we know he is just having a hard time getting to sleep and doesn’t yet know how to get to sleep on his own. He expects mum or dad to come in with the pacifier or the rocking because that’s what he’s always had. So we take the sleeping aids away and they scream. Eventually they somehow learn the trick to get their bodies to sleep. It’s like learning to crawl, walk or ride a bicycle. One day you are trying hard to get the act together and the next all of a sudden it comes together. Maybe it’s like that with sleep. My babies are little champions – and they are happy. We had one horrid night and it’s saved us many nights of waking and discomfort for them.

night life

July 4, 2006

More nocturnal happenings in this household last night. First, the electricity goes off (no heaters in either bedroom, no power to fridge) then Ellie Funt poos in the living room. Very nice. Thank God my husband is the type of man who will get out of bed at night to deal with stuff. Nate continuing to carry on like a pork chop at 3 and 5am. Whose to say a family person doesn’t have a night life.