Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sixteenth Month

This post is coming up a few days late. It has been a hellacious week here. A harsh late summer sick has taken hold, along with constant teething and the latent effects of their recent MMR....well, my boys are beat down. As is their Mama. And their Papa. But I was proofing the following and it made me realize, the rough times always have an end...even if another comes along eventually.

I was thinking about dropping the monthly updates after you turned one. I thought I had chronicled enough time, that I would not need to remember as acutely. But I find that I now cherish these moments I sit and think about the last few weeks.
How much changes in four weeks, in your lives and in ours. These changes are not always perceptible until I take the time to reflect and recall. And so I will go on, as I need to and when I can. Because it continues to whirl by and I continue to hope these will help me remember.

These month was the true start of a lead-follow routine that continues to snowball, for lack of better description. You have always had some type of interest in each other, a curious glance or two, a pause during play to check out the brother and what he was doing. But early this month I watched as Mason began practicing toe walking, an activity that seems to provide you much delight, Mace. I watched as Owen stood to the side, silently observing. Then trying our a few heel lifts, in place, nothing too drastic, you know. Then finally a few days later, showing off his own toe walk. It goes on, the list of lead-follow. From movements, to voicing, to facial expressions. What one of you discovers, the other observes and assimilates.
so off limits
This includes chair climbing, table hopping and window sill streaking, all of which we try to discourage, which then encourages you to team up and go at with double the effort. But that doubled effort can be lovely too. When you are 'helping' pick fresh tomatoes or watering the yard or carrying flagstones here to there in an effort to reorganize the yard.

There have been a few instances of true affection and developing empathy, which soothed my soul a bit. It is not that I worried that you did not like each other, just that you might never acknowledge that you love each other. Lately kissing is all the rage and we kiss babies in books, toys and Mishka. And finally, one cool morning after waking and looking for birdies out you bedroom window, I asked you to kiss each other. And you did. Looked in each others eyes, kissed and giggled. And I think my heart cracked a little from the overwhelming flow of sweetness. No matter that a few minutes later you both were in full take down mode. In that moment, you were loving. And so very loved.

I love our new rituals and the evolution of our routine. You both still wake early, but drift in and out of sleep, or tolerate your cribs until 7. Then I go in and open the drapes and say a bright good morning (bright if I slept some, bleary if not, lately it has been bright). And we open the drapes, get out of cribs and jostle for room at the window to find any birds on the GPs patio. Owen, you always blurt...Dada, Dada...testing to see if it is one of those mornings when he pops into the room to play with us.
Dress Up
After a few minutes we get to rearranging the dresser, picking out shoes from the bottom drawer, clothes from the others, folding our blankies (in the vain hope this will pay off in the form of bed making) and out of the room to 1) search for dada 2) tune into sesame street 3)wreak havoc. In that order.

We were on a walk the other day, strolling to the park nearby. We were on a familiar route, all the streets are. It made me think of last year at this time. The somewhat desperate way I used to walk with you in stroller daily. Passing all the same houses, no matter which route we took. It was all so similar and I recall feeling trapped, longing for anywhere but here, to do anything but the routine that was slowly driving me a little more than nuts. I know now what a fragile place I was in then and I can think a bit more kindly on that Woman/Mama that I was a year ago. I was so different in some ways.
On the swing

Now, as we walked, I breathed and chattered with you about the sounds birds make, dogs make, cats make. We enjoyed the relative cool of the morning and had our fun at the park. We played until I looked at my phone a realized the morning had slipped away and we were due to go home to have a snack and a nap.
Kewpie Doll
So totally different that a year ago when some minutes seemed frozen in place. And I want to say, I do not know how many other twin mamas read here, and what point you are at in your Mama life and if you have/had some of the difficulty I had at the start. I just want to say to you, if you are there in the early months, it gets better. I desperately needed to hear that at the beginning, desperately wanted to believe it. And now I can pass it on.

Today, my favorite things are you. Your joy and discovery, your embraces and kisses, your direct challenges of my authority (okay, not something I love but an be a little funny. Because you do not win.)
I love the memory of you, Owen, on a particular morning that we slept in and the GPs were doing the morning wake up with you. After about 30 minutes I heard you bellow from the front room, heard your feet run down the hallway, then our slightly open door went flying open and you marched indignantly into our front with a 'Arggg", smiled when you saw us in bed and climbed right in. Ahhhh. that felt good. Or the way you, Mason, have developed this odd monkey like cling at times, wrapping your arms around our necks, it feels like they circle a hundred times and like you could not go on unless you did this. Another Ahhhhh.

It has been far from an easy month, what with constant teething, late summer colds, the newly acquired habit of screeching, the tug of war of my needs versus our needs, versus what we do because your needs come first. But it has been a wonderful month to put things into perspective.
I do it myself
As I listen to you chatter, watch you feed each other at the dinner table, or steal food from each others' plates...well, from this is amazing.

Your Mama loves you, boys. So very much.


Bea said...

This post made me want to cry! Robby and I are doing ok, we have been having a bit of a rough patch too, he is about to hit twenty months and started the toddler class at his Montessori school, and for the past two weeks I've had reports of him hitting, being aggressive, and defiant, and crying... Which makes me sad, plus trying to juggle working in the office 24 hours a week, and then "trying" to work from home, and feeling like I'm doing a crappy job at both, to paraphrase Michelle Obama (isn't she awesome?!!) We've had some late summer sickness/colds too, ugh.. Anyway, I'm stealing a bit of time right now, Robby is sleeping on my lap, I know he's a bit old for such things, but I don't mind...

You are such an awesome mom, everytime I read your posts, it encourages me to stop, and really relish the time we have NOW with our babies, already they've changed so much last year, it's hard to imagine Robby will be two in December!

Owen and Mason are just too cute, you guys are so lucky to have each other!

LauraC said...

Oh wow, I know exactly what you mean about needing to know it gets better. Labor Day is emotional for me now bc one year we moved with big hopes, the next year we had 3 month old twin boys. It was the first weekend where I could see some tiny ray of light in the distance that things would get better. Jon and I took a walk on the greenway, each with a baby in a Bjorn and were able to talk to each other like normal people again.

Now it's two years later and the fog is mostly gone. We still have our moments,and last night in particular was horrible with two screaming defiant toddlers throwing tantrums all night. But I have not felt that desperation for a very long time.

Thank you for the kind comment on my blog. Of course I would show up on your doorstep also :) I'll never be the kind of blogger who has a million readers and gets book deals. I'll always be the kind of blogger looking for real connections in this crazy world of mothering.

Threeundertwo said...

What a lovely tribute! I have twins and I remember appreciating it when other moms would say "it gets easier." So now I try to remember to tell other twin moms that as well.

The kissing is the cutest thing, isn't it?

kat coyle said...

I love your photos and you are so smart to write these monthly letters. I wish I had been so smart!