I don’t know how these kids are already 10 months old, but I feel like I start almost every post with a similar statement. Time flies when you’re having fun.
This past month has been characterized by two things: ever-increasing mobility and more teeth! The elder (by one minute) is walking all over the place – she went from taking just two or three steps at a time to almost running in the span of two weeks. The younger is just starting to take a few steps here and there so I’m guessing we’re going to have two walkers in the house within the next few weeks. Our not-yet-walker is leading in the teeth department, with the current score being 2-5. One of her upper central incisors finally cut through, though it hasn’t grown in much yet so her open-mouthed grin is flanked by two fangs (PS. I get that “real” fangs are the canine teeth but it’s still cute that it looks that way).
Last month I posted about how difficult it had become to feed them pureed food from a spoon. At an experienced friend’s suggestion, we tried just letting them suck the pureed food right from the pouch…and instantly mealtime became much less stressful and with much less yelling and screaming. We still have to mostly hold the pouch for them or else they’ll squeeze it and food will go everywhere, but they learned to suck it out on their own very quickly. Now I’m not a huge fan of the idea in general – sucking food from a pouch – because that’s not what older kids and adults do. From the beginning, Molly and I have subscribed to the thinking “Proceed as you wish to go,” not just in feeding but in most aspects of their lives, to make sure we only (or mostly) create sustainable habits. But mealtime has gotten so much more pleasant since we implemented this suggestion (thanks, friend!), and I recognize that they won’t be eating pureed food for much longer anyway. So why not go ahead and do it in a way that keeps my (and most likely their) blood pressure(s) in a normal range? And actually, now that we haven’t been using the spoon to feed them at every feeding, they’ve been more receptive to it in general when we do use it. The spoon is definitely received better if non-pureed food is on it (ie. cut up fruit) versus if pureed food is on it, but just yesterday one of the girls (the more anti-spoon one, at that) ate an entire yogurt we fed her using a spoon. We’ve also noticed that their bottle volume consumption has gone down remarkably, but mostly just in the last week or two. I’m slightly hesitant to decrease how much we are offering (currently 7 ounces, 4 times per day), even though they haven’t been finishing all that we offer, especially at breakfast and lunch, for quite some time. With starting to walk and everything, I feel like they should be wanting more, not less. But, what do I know? I think maybe we’ll give it another week at least, and if they still aren’t drinking nearly what we’re offering, then maybe we’ll cut down (just a little!) how much we offer. That stuff is expensive, yo!
Our one nap per day and established 12:30pm naptime has been great. I still can’t believe they went down to one nap at nine months old, but it has gone amazingly well! Lunch time (about an hour before naptime) can still be challenging sometimes because one of the girls mostly just wants her bottle and to go to sleep, but after mealtime is over, she’s up and ready to play as if she’s not tired at all. So, we just established 12:30pm as naptime, put them down then, they go right to sleep, and they’ll usually sleep until at least 2:45, if not 3:30-ish. It’s been very helpful in allowing me some time during the day to get a little bit of work done on my masters thesis. We also hired a part-time nanny so now I also have three additional days during the week to work on it. I’ve gotten more work done in these first two weeks of March than I did the entire month of February. I’m so close, I can just taste those (additional) degree letters at the end of my name.
One interesting new development is twin jealousy. I know it is normal developmentally for them to want whatever the other (or another) child has, but the green-eyed monster is particularly targeted towards me or Molly when we are giving attention to the other child. A quick Google search tells me this is normal, especially beginning at this age (and up to 2-3+ years?!), but it has been interesting to deal with. For now, it is mostly exhibited by only one of the girls, and I’ll call them Square and Circle because shapes don’t have an inherent order to them. For example, just by nature Square is often happy to play by herself, only occasionally coming over for a drive-by cuddle but that’s about all. Circle, on the other hand, is more social by nature and often seeks out attention or cuddling on a more frequent basis than Square. But during those more-infrequent times that Square is actually looking for attention, Circle immediately notices and moves as fast as her little body can carry her, to literally throw herself on top of the coveted lap. But because Square is already on said lap, she gets upset that Circle is now also on top of her, and Square grumps away, seemingly unsatisfied about essentially being invaded upon during her rare attention-seeking moment. Any attempt at sharing, taking turns, or flat out deflecting Circle results in two, not just one, complaining about the service. I feel so awful about it! And this is only the beginning!
I’m hoping that situations like this will improve as they gain the ability to specifically communicate with us in a way we better understand. We’ve been doing a few select ASL signs with them for about three months, and just this past month we’ve seen both girls undeniably sign “more.” While they each do it with some frequency, they don’t do it all the time (yet?). At first I thought they were each just trying to clap while holding Cheerios in their hands, but then they both did it while they were actually upset that we hadn’t given them more of whatever it was they were eating…so I’m pretty sure they weren’t happy and clapping then. We’ve since started a Baby Sign class and are learning many many more signs that we’re starting to implement in their daily lives. I don’t know if it is just their age, that they’re suddenly paying attention to verbal and visual cues more, or if I am noticing their receptivity more, but it’s like you can see the wheels turning in their head when they stop what they’re doing to focus and appear to be truly listening when you talk to them. It’s totally awesome. We’ve established that they know the words “kitty” and “doggie” and perhaps “mommy,” because you can ask where the respective target is, and they’ll both look right at it (no pointing yet). We’re still working on “daddy.” We do a lot of the “Where’s ____?” game, and it’s kind of difficult to make yourself the target object, unless of course you’re playing peek-a-boo, certainly a favorite game all around. Oh, and they both definitely know “No,” which gets used with some frequency around non-negotiable safety issues…you know, like eating carpet. Not even joking.
In other news, the recent time change didn’t really affect our routine at all. I suspect that is because we moved forward an hour, similar to when we traveled three timezones to the east. Traveling back westward was way more difficult on our schedule so I also suspect it will be more difficult when we move back one hour in the fall. For now, luckily they aren’t quite old enough to care that they are going to bed when it is still light outside. Of course, what that means is that sometimes so am I. Apparently I’m just too old to care.