The twins are 18 months old in a few days time and as all parents know, little people change so quickly at this age. With our older child we have, what seems like hundreds of video clips which seemingly document his every move as a toddler, and also an incredible amount of photos too.
At around a similar age to the girls now (or a little older I guess) I also started to note down all the funny phrases he came out with like:
- “Mummy we need celebrate to fix it!” (we actually needed cellotape),
- “I don’t need my tissue Mummy, I ate the bogey alllll up.”
- “Mummy call the police I made the cats jump….”
and the list could go on and on. Yet I hold my hands up that like most mums of more than one, that the second (and third child in the twins’ case) are not going to have such thoroughly recorded childhoods. Nor do they receive the unadulterated attention that the first born enjoyed in his early life – this may be no bad thing though as I will explore in another post, however I still feel guilty about it. And I have to admit that sometimes this bothers me.
It bothers me that I hardly have any video clips of the girls. It bothers me that I have loads less photos of them than their big brother (whenever I try to capture a special moment I generally get the dreaded message that I don’t have enough storage on my phone to take that photo) . And it bothers me that I probably won’t have a notes page for each twin on my phone for all the lovely phrases they are going to come out with in the next two or so years (mostly because as soon as I get my phone out 3 small children launch themselves at me to try and grab it out of my hand).
But why does it bother me so much?
Firstly, I worry, probably irrationally, that somehow this inequality may upset the girls one day and imagine conversations along the lines of “Mum, I’m seeing a therapist because you have loads more photos of big bro than you do of me”. I also realise that I don’t have as many photos of the girls on their own as I would like. As someone who wants to encourage their individuality I could start to ruminate about this too if I allowed myself.
Secondly, I worry that as I get older the lovely memories of these crazy days of twin toddlerdom will fade and diminish.
So this post, a record of some of my recent ‘mindful moments’ with twin 1 and twin 2 (so-called by the hospital in the early days because of the 2 minute age difference) is my attempt to go some way to fix this. I read two very endearing posts recently that inspired me. The first from L at www.adventureswithj.co.uk about her little one hitting the 18 month milestone and the second from Karen at www.twotinyhands.co.uk in celebration of her little one turning one. They both epitomise a mindful approach to living by observing the small, ordinary but still very precious moments of the everyday and showing gratitude for these. Hopefully by blogging about just a few of the twins’ current likes/dislikes and foibles I will be able to remember these moments with greater clarity.
Twin 1 – I love that:
- you babble A LOT. It seems like you are telling us SUCH important things when you chat and I love that you sound so excited about the world at these times
- you say ‘cat’, ‘dinosaur’, ‘Peppa’ ‘Momma’ ‘Dada’ and do a brilliant ‘quack’ too!
- you are so very patient and often sit contentedly in your cot stroking the label of ‘Christmas bear’ while I tend to the demands of twin 2
- you have a shoe and hat fetish and love to empty the shoe cupboard and wander around the house wearing your big brother’s bicycle helmet
- are so very robust that you aren’t bothered when you tumble off the sofa or fall over in the park.
Twin 2 – I love that:
- you wave to passers-by in the street and shout ‘hello’ in a crystal clear voice. And that the other words you speak with clarity are ‘Mummy’, ‘Daddy’, ‘B…’, ‘M…’ (brother’s and sister’s names) ‘bye-bye’ and ‘nanite’. You are a real chatterbox and mimic and the language explosion recently has been amazing
- you are obsessed with the song ‘horsey, horsey don’t you stop’ and will sing it at every opportunity!
- you love a cuddle and will be assertive about getting one so that you can twiddle the person’s hair and have a thumb suck at the same time
- you run to the front door when Daddy or I come home from work and have a big smile on your face to greet us
- you jump out at us and say ‘boo’ and then giggle!
The two of you together are a force to be reckoned with because:
- you both respond with ‘no’ as an answer to EVERY question you are asked (or it feels like you do anyway!) even when you DO want the offering!
- you clearly adore your ‘big brother’ and save your biggest and best giggles for when he is entertaining you
- you are very difficult to contain in one room when the door is even briefly opened and as soon as one escapes the other will make a bid for freedom too
- you still squeeze into a swing together at the park and so still attract many admiring glances
- will be giving each other kisses and cuddle one minute and then be hitting and hair pulling the next (usually when you both want my phone, my keys or a particular book).
I will endeavour to continue to record some of our family’s mindful moments on the blog but will also show myself some self-compassion about the fact that, rather naturally, I have less photos of the girls compared to how many we have of their big bro. The most important point is that there is lots of love to be shared round the three children and this does not have to be measured through the amount of video clips and photos that there are.
I’m sure others of you have this disparity of photos and videos – does anyone else feel any guilt about this or is it just me?
Are you a younger sibling who has grown up with less photos around the house of you and did you have any thoughts or feelings about this as you were growing up?