These days I find myself remembering my pre-baby life in the manner of somebody vaguely recollecting the plot of a book I once read. When I think about my life, say, three years ago, when I was working in London, it scarcely seems possible that I’m the same person.
My dynamic duo started walking yesterday – wobbly steps while pushing a dolls’ pram. Hattie managed to cross the room first, and was picking up speed and smiling at herself by the end of the day. Joe was far more cautious, but he had the look in his eye of a boy who knew that he couldn’t afford to let his sister gain too much of an advantage in this area.
Ever since they started crawling it’s seemed like I can’t take my eyes off them for more than a second. And learning to stand up has seen our living room swiftly stripped of almost all objects other than large pieces of furniture. Before they reached this stage I swore that I wouldn’t be one of what I thought of as excessive child-proofing people, but the reality of trying to stop two very active babies from burying themselves under an avalanche of books, or shutting their fingers in a kitchen drawer, soon made me realise that it was a case of either bowing to the inevitable or never having a moment’s rest again. And even despite my best efforts, Joe’s graduation to the world of being a standing-up baby has been marked by frequent bangs and crashes. Although both babies quickly learned the knack of sitting down again, he often seems to come into rapid and unforgiving contact with an object on the way!
I think we’ve reached the stage where the benefits of having twins outweigh the challenges. Hattie and Joe crawl around the room together all day, and despite frequent spates over the same impossibly desirable toys (and often ignoring the fact that said toy has an identical twin available just inches away), they seem to have a brilliant time playing together. A couple of days ago they amused themselves for ages when Hattie hid in the folds of the curtain for an extended game of peek a boo. And yesterday’s walking efforts from each baby involved their sibling wanting to join in on the pram-pushing efforts. And even when they’re playing independently they seem to choose to stick together a lot of the time:
One of my favourite manifestations of their twin relationship is the way in which they seem to share each other’s delight: if one baby is on my knee, playing ‘row the boat’ or hearing the gripping tale of how Miss Mollie had a dolly who was sick (sick, sick), the smiles and laughter aren’t just from that baby – their co-conspirator is always right next to us, laughing as well. I’d expected possessiveness from them at this stage, but to date they seem to take genuine pleasure in each other’s happiness. It’s lovely to witness.
Put simply, I’m in awe of these wondrous little people. Life is very good indeed.