I was updating my “For the Girls,” spreadsheet of pregnancy, birth and milestone moments for each of the girls*, when the fact that I have twin preemies really hit me. My toddler, but this age, had already accomplished so much more than the twins have. And I know that every kid is different but it still shocked me a bit. She was sitting, eating and had multiple teeth by 6 months. The twins? Nada.
Of course, the oldest had my full attention. She had more practice doing those baby things that built up her core strength. She was there every time I ate a meal, watching. She was also full term. Going by their corrected age (4 months, 3 weeks) rather than by their real age (6 months, 2 weeks) helps a bit but it’s so much harder to give each of them the same chances with demon toddler running around.
Last night I rearranged my living room as best I could considering the tight quarters. Now there is a large open rug, big enough to open up a portable baby cage. Now I can safely work with the twins inside the porta-cage without worrying about the 17-month old climbing on them, stealing their boppy/toys or trying to feed them/wipe their face. She is really cute when she tries to help but then someone usually starts screaming.
I also started solids. We tried baby-led weaning with the oldest and it worked great. Her favorites when she started were cucumber slices and chicken wings. After she got used to playing and trying foods herself we added spoon feeding. The oldest and smallest twin has much better coordination. She can see a toy, reach for it and bring it to her mouth. She has had some success with teething biscuits. The other is nowhere close. So we started with spoon feeding rather than letting them pick food up. After just three meals the older twin grabs the spoon from me and puts it in her mouth. The younger twin is still getting used to the spoon and will take it some times and the rest will just push it with her tongue. It’s a work in progress, but they both seemed to enjoy the applesauce and the puréed bananas.
I also started introducing them to a sippy cup with water. We did this with the oldest and it made transitioning off the bottle so much easier. With her we had started a lot sooner but I was hesitating with the twins because they will sometimes only have a couple ounces of formula. I didn’t want them to be having too much water. But when my husband came home and related his barber’s tale about his fifteen month old who can’t shake a bottle and refuses a sippy cup. I don’t want that to be us. We kicked the bottle and pacifier with the oldest at 13 and 14 months respectively. The second involved not giving the twins pacifiers which we regret just a bit now. But the dentist already noted that her front teeth had moved. Ergo, no wubba.
It’s strange but it was the youngest twin that was actually able to suck on the second try and draw water. The oldest just pushed it around with her tongue. You would think they would be more similar given that they share DNA. It is all so weird.
At least I’m here with them all week so I can make a daily ritual of it. Of course, the twins are eating in Bumbo seats on the table because we have neither the space or funds to waste on two more high chairs. I would kill for one of those triplet feeding/activity tables that are sold to day ares. But I’m not willing to spend $300 on it.
*My mother was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was 15 and succumbed to the disease at age 41, just about two years after the initial diagnosis. Being a kid, I never thought to ask her about pregnancy or having a baby, or how to raise one. I don’t know what my first word was or when I learned to walk. My father certainly doesn’t remember. And I don’t want my girls to be left wondering about all these moments if something ever happened to me.