We made it!
The girls turned one on May 23rd. Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but glance at the clock and remember…
7:00 – “This is when we were calling the hospital to see if there was a room for us!”
9:00 – “This is when they broke my water!”
11:00 – “This is when we ate brunch”
13:00 – “This is when I was singing through contractions”
16: 58 – “Oona!”
17:09 – “Beatrix!”
It’s hard to believe how far babies come in the first year. Those tiny, helpless, beautiful creatures grow into their skin and blossom into these amazing human beings you see sat right in front of you (and then don’t see because they have crawled off quicker than you can blink).
When I lounged, a beached whale in the corner of the couch, I couldn’t help being anxious about having twins. Handling two newborns at once was overwhelming, much less thinking about two teething babies, two mobile babies, two everything. The truth is that the first year, though incredibly hard at times, was actually not as overwhelming as I had made it out to be in my head. Granted, this is more a result of how disastrous my expectations were, rather than how easy it is to have twins, but still.
Tromping up and down a few flights of stairs to the parking garage with a baby in each carseat tucked under my arms was something I wasn’t sure I would be able to do, but I did, and now, suddenly, that phase is over, and the girls are too big for their infant carseats, and I’ve moved on to one in a carrier, and the other on my hip, and suddenly I have a free hand, and it is (extraordinarily) easier.
People have recently been asking more often if things are easier–every time I mention the girls just turned a year old. The honest answer is: not really. We got off to an exceptional start, with babies who slept and ate well, and Andreas having three months of paternity leave, and my sister coming to visit for a month. Some things are easier, but my days are busier, the work is harder, and I’m alone in doing it. I’m also often asked if they are “easy”, and this question is also hard to answer honestly. If I think about it, they are generally “easy” babies. They are good at entertaining themselves (and each other). They eat SO well–anything and everything, and they sleep well for the most part. But having twins is inherently not easy, so I feel like I am giving the wrong impression simply smiling and nodding. So what do I say? “They’re great!” (True) “They are so fun at this age!” (True) “This is beyond exhausting and super overwhelming!” (Also True)
But back to that “They are so fun at this age!” That one is definitely true (when they are not teething molars). The level of silliness in our home has increased drastically lately. Oona has developed a supremely entertaining false-laugh-between-her-teeth, and Beatrix has learned to growl, and the contrast between her gravelly growl and her sweet cherub face is impossible not to chuckle at.
Both Beatrix and Oona are finally crawling “properly” which is, in my opinion, one of the most adorable things that babies do. They have also both learned to climb onto the couch, and are tall enough to reach tables, so we have very few places left to put things that we would like to keep out of their chubby little hands.
Like I mentioned before, the girls eat pretty much everything we put in front of them. Favorite foods are probably waffles, enchiladas, lasagna, tomatoes (Beatrix), and corn (Oona). We keep forgetting to give them utensils to practice with, but they definitely enjoy when they do get to try a fork or spoon. Their birthday cake was, obviously, a big hit.
Sleeping-wise, they are still on two naps, but I am trying to see if we can’t transition to one. Personally, I prefer the two-nap schedule, but both girls were waking up between 5-5:45 for *months* and then recently started to have trouble going to sleep as well. I’m slowly pushing the morning nap later and later, and squeezing in a small afternoon nap to tide them over while we are in transition, and it seems to be going well so far.
I’m still nursing about 4 times a day (morning, night, and before each nap). I’ve been moving nursing a little earlier for a while, so they don’t directly associate it with falling asleep, so that it will be easier to wean when the time comes, but I don’t mind nursing for naps for a few more months, and then morning and night until they don’t feel like it anymore. Theo dropped his daytime feedings around a year old, and the rest by 18 months (I think), so I’m not pushing anything.
I feel like Theo deserves a mention here for being the BEST big brother there ever was. Seriously. He has never once, in the whole year, spoken a bad word about his sisters. His patience is never-ending, and (thankfully) he sleeps through any and all screaming, so that’s a plus. He has done so much better with this transition than anyone else in the family, and I could not be more proud.
So we have passed the one-year milestone. I’m allowing myself a pat on the back, two high fives, and a victory lap.