Brink of toddlerdom

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Categories Parenting

On this eve of toddlerdom I miss my babies. My boy/girl twins are creepers. They bobble around holding onto chairs and tables and me and daddy etc.

They are great fun, stamping their fat legs. But I know. I know these days are soon over. The fat legs that I kiss and nibble every night after their bath will soon be skinny. Those little bhudda bellies will be flat. They will say the inevitable words “I can do it myself”

We tried so hard to have a family. Years of tears, is how my husband fondly remembers it. I am too old and we are too poor to have any more kids. Would I? If we won the lottery and I could reverse time and be 30 years old … without a doubt.

I am really scared of the toddler years. Not because of the tantrums. I work in corperate New York – I see tantrums every day! I am scared of not being able to protect them all the time. They are two and I am one. Already, when they scoot in opposite directions I have a momentary panic – who first? What happens when they are hurling themselves at speed away from the protective adult.

I watch in awe other multiple mums handling the moments of terror with grace. “no” is generally the first real world that twins understand. Drink, is the most often thought of twin mums!

So, mums of toddlers  – hear my cry.  What words of wisdom can impart?


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6 thoughts on “Brink of toddlerdom”

  1. By age I’m not sure my twins are toddlers yet but they are walking and on the verge of running, so I consider them toddlers. My philosophy is two fold, part one is teach discipline and part two is get the child in the most danger first. I’m trying very hard to teach them to follow my directions as early as I can. When I tell them to sit in the bathtub or not to stand on the chair, I mean it and follow through because I want them to learn that when I say something I mean it. We go on little test runs at the park where I let them run free (in the open grassy area where there is almost nothing they can get hurt on) and that lets them learn they can be on their own but if I ask them to walk in a certain direction they will. While I’m doing this I feel like the “twin hearder”. The second part is self explanatory, grab the child in the most danger first, you can always come back to grab the other.

    When you see other moms “handling the situation with grace”, know that they are just reacting. I don’t think there is a handling of a situation. Remember you can’t see the panicked heart-rate or adrenaline rush.

  2. Funny, I thought the toddler years were much harder than the first year. Yes, I got more sleep. But emotionally, it was more draining as they started to think for themselves, have tantrums, and generally keep me busier and crazier!

    But it is also so much fun to see them exploring and learning so quickly. If I had it to do over again, I honestly think I’d get a couple of so-called “leashes” so I could go out in public with them more easily, without having to keep them confined to their stroller.

    I would also advise you to set firm limits *now* when it comes to whining, tantrums, etc. I found “Love and Logic” to be a very helpful book for this. “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” was also useful, although some of the advice I found to be a little loco / impractical. (And so many parenting books are really designed for parents of singletons, not twins.)

    Oh, and the language acquisition thing is a blast. Be sure to record some of it to listen to later. It’s fun to go back and hear how they used to talk, and see how quickly their language skills evolve.

  3. This is just my opinion, of course, but for me, the toddler stage has topped the baby stage HANDS DOWN. Yes, there are battles and moodiness and tantrums. But there are so many good things to go along with the trying times.

    Along with “I can do it myself”, you will hear “I love you, mommy”…which is just the best feeling in the world. I love feeling like I have more meaningful interaction with my girls, and I wouldn’t trade it for a million baby snuggles. (Well, okay, maybe during a temper tantrum I would, but it’s temporary!) : )

  4. I am a baby person, and anyone who has ever met me knows it. I adore babies. I don’t mind the diapers, and the crying, and the clinging, and the spit up.

    That said, toddlerdom is far easier. The kids play together. They are more self-sufficient. They can tell you what is wrong.

    For most kids, simply being consistent is enough to teach them the rules, and you can trust them to follow them. Much as I loved and miss having babies, it gets physically easier, even as you need to tackle a trickier set of social and disciplinary challenges.

    With my girls, it was “My do it” long before “I can do it myself” made an appearance. :)

  5. We made parts of the house child-friendly and safe when our twins start moving. The living room had gates on the entrances, but inside it was a safe and contained place to play. I also kept a playpen in the living room, so if I had to leave to answer the door, find a diaper, etc, I could leave them safely for a couple of minutes. When we went out, they were always in the stroller if I was alone. That was the safest option. I taught them to hold a “spot” when getting out of the car, and they stay with one hand on that spot while I get everyone out and ready. Surprisingly, this summer (age 2.5) it seems like most of those issues are over. I take all three kids to the park. We go for walks, and they can be counted on to hold hands walking from the car to the library or grocery store.

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