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The Joys… and Fun, of Twins

Our twins just turned 2! Yay!  I’m so excited that we’ve made it this far, and at the same time, oh, the fun we’ve had!  Most of the true difficulty has been with, and because of, my own health, but thankfully my husband and older girls are a huge help.  The big problem with that though, is all my older kids were perfectly trained and listen well, the twins have seriously taken advantage.  But, I’m getting my health in order and now it’s going to be a whole new ballgame for them! 🙂  But, I have a lot of my own slack to pick up since they’ve already started the “twin games” on me and they are learning very well to play me back and forth.  It’s most obvious when Daddy is around and they will both listen to him when he tells them the same thing I just told them and they ignored.

Speaking

They’re only now starting to talk – in English, rather than twin-speak.  But, that’s been interesting.  Some things I’m starting to notice in comparison to the singletons – they play games with talking.  Not fun, cute, “oh, you learned a new word” games, but they are smart-arses about it.  For instance – the boy – working on the word “apple” – he said “appy” and I get infront of him sounding it out perfectly for him, a glance to his twin sister – tells me “NO, Mom, appy” and laughs.  So, for about two months we go on and on with the word “appy” – with constant reminders from everyone – “apple”.  His sister decides she’s going to say it right, for cuteness purposes, while he is bent on saying it wrong because she thought it was funny.  So, we go round and round.  (He has finally decided to say it right about a month ago – I’m assuming the humor wore off.)

But, now it’s the word “milk” and this time, the girl – “nik” – we were sounding it out and working on our pronunciation one day and she just decided to say “nik” with a roaring “haha ha” to follow because of her twin brother laughing along and encouraging her.  So, it’s “appy” all over again!  And they both run around “nik”, “nik”, “I want some nik, ha ha ha”  back and forth.

I guess the positive thing about it is that they actually are learning to talk, and they are perfectly brilliant, but it’s something that has definately been more difficult with the twins – not that it has to be, but they are playing a game with each other – on me – which I guess is rather frustrating.

Talking was something they started early – around 7-8 months, like all their older siblings, but I don’t think I encouraged them enough when they did start because I naturally assumed they’d talk really well, at the same pace as their older, singleton siblings.  Not encouraging it enough is what I’m paying for now – I realize that you need to do twice the encouragement as you would with one – not because there are two, but because they are twins!

What I’m seeing is with a singleton – you are the apple of their eye, you are who they depend on for everything and that makes them a little more interested in listening to you, they’re so perfect, *sigh..  🙂  With twins – they have added encouragement and entertainment with a womb-mate whom they can really show off their sense of humor with.  🙂  They don’t “need” you the same way and they’ll only listen to you if it’s beneficial to both of them!  (I’m over-exaggerating a bit, while I sigh, smile and roll my eyes, but you get the idea)

Potty Training

We have been doing infant potty training with the twins since they were about 6 weeks, and the reason we started so late was because I didn’t think I was capable of doing it with two, and it has been very hard.  But… it is possible!!! 🙂  Truthfully, the main difficulty with it has been my health – I was doing so good with them until I got smacked down with the adenomyosis – which I realized happened the minute the twins stopped nursing – both at 7 months.  When that started getting worse and worse, we still managed to keep up with the pottying – but it was more like “part-time pottying” – where you take them potty regularly when they wake up, right before and after eating, right before a nap, right after a nap, etc. – at more specific times rather than with the infant leading it, (which I prefer – and worked wonderfully with our #4 girl).  So, it certainly wasn’t how I wanted to do it, but we were still doing it pretty well and one thing for sure – boy, did we save on diapers!

Another thing that also made it really difficult – especially before they could sit up themselves, was that they always have to poop at the same time – for the past 2 years they have pooped at the same time 9.5 out of 10 times, every day, all the time.  For peeing, it’s about 8 out of 10 times.  So, that was a bit tough holding them both at the same time, but as soon as they could sit up it was a lot easier in the same way that made it difficult.  If one starts or makes a move – you immediately know to grab the other!  🙂

For about the past 6 months they’ve started taking themselves potty, which has been really fun sometimes too, especially when one takes the other.  It’s not been as perfect or easy as it was with one, but it’s still been wonderful.  I couldn’t imagine starting to potty train them both now – I’m sure it would have been a disaster that would have taken a whole ‘nother year to do!  It’s something they have been very good about because we have made it something they have done all the time since they were infants, so they encourage each other to do it rather than against it – like talking, (which is my fault).  🙂   If you happen to have twins, I recommend you start at least at 18 months to get ahead of the twin games!

Eating

Another interesting time!  In comparing to the older kids again, we really never had too much trouble – we have always made sure they at least tried everything before deciding whether they liked it or not, and of course, this is an influence they don’t have from public school or tv that – “brussel sprouts and liver are yucky”, so they all eat a wide varied diet, happily and without complaint.  The twins on the other hand… 🙂  If one doesn’t like something they give it to the other who happily eats it, and then I realize that twin #2 is eating dessert when she didn’t finish her dinner because she snuck it to twin #2 who happily gobbled it up.  This is something I have found that I really have to keep on top of!  The older they get, the harder it’s gotten.  When they were in high chairs I could separate them so they couldn’t reach one another, but now, not as easy.   Sometimes it’s really amusing to see them talking to each other quietly, making faces and gestures while they hand off their food to each other.   In a way I don’t mind too much because for the most part what one likes the other does and they both still manage to eat a really varied diet.

Playing/Sharing

This is always a fun game too, some days are good, and some are not so good.  Like all kids, this really does seem to vary by the day, but sometimes the hour or minute.  For the most part they play really well together – but usually only if they are totally left alone – which you cannot do with two year olds!  One minute they’ll both be building with legos – the next emptying the refrigerator the second your back is turned – because you just glanced over and sighed, telling yourself how blessed you are that they are playing so well together, and that’s all the slack they needed to tear into something together.

Or, you’ll look over and think how well they’re playing together, because they have been for an hour – and suddenly they’re smacking each other in the head with the legos and toy hammer!  And in a lot of ways, this has been similar to the older kids, but not quite to such extremes.

And, it’s very, very difficult to intervine with twins when they’re fighting – it’s easier when they both get in trouble because they both know they’re both in trouble.  But fighting – there’s too much of who offended who, but you can’t take sides at all, because they take sides – usually against you, even when you’re trying to help!   So, mainly, what I try to do if they’re fighting – either leave them alone to work it out, or if it gets really bad – they’re both in trouble – it’s the only way you can win.

One funny thing they’ve started doing to each other recently is they’ll tease each other with a toy.  And I say funny, because it turns out as a game when the other realizes it’s all in good fun, as long as they do.  One will go up to the other and take the toy right out of their hand and take off running – at first it’s not funny, it’s “aahh, boo-hoo!”, while the other is running and giggling back and forth taunting.  Most of the time it turns into a game of chase and it’s really good fun.  Sometimes though, I have to tell them to give the toy back, and a lot of times it’s when the other is done crying.

I don’t think all twins are the same, and of course, boys are different than girls, and so is a set with one of each. I have two older girls who are 16 months apart – they were my practice for twins, but they were not at all like twins.  I’m glad we have one of each with our twins, because, though I have always known, the differences between boys and girls are much more obvious – and I’m not talking about body parts!  One of the first things I noticed was that my boy smelled different – completely.  Our daughter smelled just like I remembered all her sisters – sweet and just like baby’s breath. Our boy smelled like a combination of my brother and my husband – as weird as that may sound.  🙂  He “smelled” like a boy – which is something I probably would have never noticed if he were born as a single because that’s the short first few months that seems to pass by quicker than anything in the world.

Also, all children have different personalities – whether twins or not.  Our twin girl is the ferociously cute kind – you know, the one who knows she’s adorable and uses that to play tricks or manipulate everyone and anyone.  In addition she also has, what my sister and I refer to as the “smart-ass” gene, which we get from my dad’s mother.  The most wonderful, kindest woman in the world – worked hard all her life, old-fashioned farm girl – but with the greatest sense of humor you’d ever find.  So, she’s a doll – a really, really exciting and fun doll.  🙂

The boy, well, he’s the only boy, but I wish I had 10 of them.  I certainly don’t have the chance to spoil him with being the only boy and a twin, so that’s good.  He’s always looking out for his little sister – makes sure she gets every kind of snack or goodie he gets, quite the gentleman, very mature for his age, compassionate and just all around a really good kid.  He gets into a lot of things and is usually the one that gets them both in trouble when they do – but as long as I keep him occupied with “doing” things – he’s pretty well behaved.

They are both individually wonderful, with their little quirks and perks, …and together – always exciting!   I’m looking forward to when we get into more schooling with them – I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot of fun.  🙂

When I first knew I was having twins I was so excited – feeling so blessed.  It was the most perfect birth I could have asked for – everything was easy and quick, made it to 39 weeks and they were around 8 and 9lbs each. Then we brought them home and I didn’t think I was going to make it through the first 8 weeks – when I did NOT sleep more than about 8 hours a week!!  I thought I was going to die from exhaustion trying to nurse them – which made nursing even harder.  Then it got easier and they slept through the night, and I thought I might even survive and all was getting easier and easier.  They decided they were done nursing at 7 months, and I was a little shocked at how soon, but at the same time a bit relieved.  I could have probably pushed it a little and kept them going, but all my other kids were done between 7-9 months, so it was normal to me.

Then my health went downhill – fast, and then shortly after the twins started waking up in the middle of the night again, and they did that continually until I had my hysterectomy, which was really, really hard and again, I thought I was going to just die from exhaustion and this time from pain as well.  But, of course, thinking about it now, they were probably just picking up on what was wrong with me, and that makes me feel important to them – even though most of the time, I feel second on the list of important people in their life, I know it isn’t necessarily true.

Twins are hard, exhausting, exciting, wonderful, exasperating, so much fun and truly a double blessing.

 

 

Twins Survival Guide

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