|Brandon, covered in crawlers|
Adventures in Babies Crawling
Tell me what you think:
You hear a lot of things when you tell people you're having twins. You're guaranteed to be asked not-so-veiled questions to determine if you used fertility to land your twosome. Yes, we're all aware that "Do twins run in either of your families?" is really a way to find out of it was nature or something aided by science. You will also be told by complete strangers that you are finished having kids since you got two at once. Thank you for putting a limit on the number of children I have random person that I've never met or didn't ask. I wasn't aware this was China. Add to that the countless "double trouble" and "you must have your hands full" comments that you hear daily, and it becomes a little much.
There will also always be the helpers of the world that of course know someone with twins, and they invariably tell you the same thing, "The first 6 months is the hardest, but after that it gets much easier." This may actually be a nugget of wisdom people throw out there in general, but we definitely heard it a lot before we had the girls. And I'm going to have to call BS on it.
Maybe we were just lucky because Ana and Grace have been pretty darn good babies. They smile and laugh. They're good around people and don't fight (that much) when being put to bed. Ana teethed with no issues to the point that we didn't realize the it was happening until the teeth had already broken through. Grace is pretty good at self soothing. They started sleeping through the night very early on. They aren't fussy eaters. And although it was hard to deal with emotionally, their time in the NICU was a blessing because it put them on a set feeding/sleeping schedule that they've stuck to.
I know I look at this with some very rosy glasses because I love my girls so much and focus on the good stuff. But I'm willing to admit that it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops. I wasn't always the one that got up in the middle of the night. I did early on when I wasn't working, but my wife took over that job when I went back to work. So I didn't have all the late nights and sleep deprivation. I also realize that Grace was not nearly as easy-going as Ana during the teething process. We had our scares with Ana and reflux (thank God it wasn't seizures). But overall the first 6 months was pretty easy.
Let me tell you what isn't easy: two babies that are mobile. Ana has been crawling for a few weeks now, and Grace has really picked it up over the last week. It would be one thing if they both crawled in the same direction and went for the same things. That would be a cake walk (or cake crawl if you will). The problem is that Ana will go in one direction and Grace will head off the other way. I'm glad that they're independent little women, but it ain't easy by any means. This becomes increasingly difficult when you are home alone with both of them.
Now we have to babyproof everything. We have to put gates up at the bottom and top of the stairs. We have to find a way to protect them from the brick fireplace. We have to watch where we put our shoes and flip flops on the floor (because I'm just not all that enthused with them putting flip flops in their mouths). We vacuum and sweep more often. We have to be at the ready on the balls of our feet at all times like a major league shortstop.
As if crawling wasn't enough, Ana has been pulling herself up and standing. She does it everywhere. The couch? Sure. Chairs? Of course. Her crib? Naturally. Doors, cabinets, mirrors and anything else you can imagine are no match for my mini-Sir Edmund Hilary. It is equal parts adorable, frustrating and scary. I love that she is developing and learning things basically on her own. But I also fear her hurting herself falling. I worry that I won't be quick enough to catch her. Or that she'll climb out of her crib and break her neck. I know she'll learn. In fact she's already gotten a handle on getting back down. I can still worry.
I think mostly that becoming a parent gets a lot more real when they can move around on their own. I love that they are becoming more and more like little people and not just blobs. They are learning new stuff all the time, and their sense of discovery and exploration already amazes me. Cuteness expands exponentially when a kid starts crawling. This is also when chasing them and protecting them becomes job number one, and that is damn tiring work. So for anyone out there who has heard that first six months is the hardest, don't believe it. All lies. It gets so much harder. At least it's more fun.