Sort of overnight, my 10-month-old son, Ty, learned to crawl. He’s been working on it for some time, mostly in vain and to great frustration, taunted by his slimmer, swifter twin sister, Taylor.
On Tuesday he just sort of got it, moving around pretty well within the upstairs level of the house. At first, it was glorious – suddenly, he wasn’t begging for help or complaining about being immobile. I was able to get some things done around the house. You know, real manly stuff like doing the dishes and entering diaper points on the Pampers web site. (Free plug. Comp gift?)
Then the reality set in: We now have two saboteurs to track instead of just one. The twins are sort of like raccoons – and I mean that in the nicest possible way – in that they get into anything and everything. To wit, Taylor seems determined to find out what electricity tastes like, hellbent on gnawing through a power cord. No sooner did I pry her off my laptop outlet and pull the cord tighter to get it off the floor than Ty (a dead ringer for Butters from South Park, by the way) scooted in and tried to swing from it like a tiny Tarzan.
Later, he pulled the DVD player off its shelf – twice. Taylor got stuck halfway over the lowest rung on our kitchen chairs – twice. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have rescued her so quickly; she wasn’t in any danger – it was more of a turtle-on-its-shell situation.
Trying to chase them in separate directions while also tending to 1-2 other children felt just short of impossible – and this was only Day 1 of dual mobility.
Of course, they don’t always crawl in opposite directions. Often, they both tug at my attention and/or leg hairs, trying desperately to climb into my arms. (It’s especially bad if I give in to exhaustion and lay on the floor momentarily; they swarm, man.) Carrying both at the same time isn’t as hard as picking them up. Taylor is still light enough that I can lift her by the collar of her shirt – front or back because I’m talented like that. It’s just that my wife frowns upon that sort of thing. So sometimes one has to cry while the other is being calmed, and then they switch. It’s not ideal for them or for me, of naturally anxious personality. I see why baby cries are used in torture settings; it makes focusing on another task and/or staying semi-sane a major challenge.
Turns out they like to fight, too – or something like fighting. Whatever object one possesses the other instantly craves, wedging his or her way between the rightful owner and object by any means necessary. Some of the contact is incidental, like the time they wound up locked up and rolling around the bathtub. Most of it seems competitive rather than mean spirited. But they’re bound to discover hitting and biting, and then we’re going to be the unwilling owners and operators of a diapered fight club. There will be no winners.
It’s all good fun, of course, and this stage isn’t bound to last long – none of the others have. But there’s surely a different dynamic with twins, aspects of their relationship that we never considered. The hardest part is dealing with the fact that I just don’t have enough arms to keep both of them happy at all times; ditto for my wife, although she’s like a parent and a half. We became accustomed to being able to provide that level of attention having just one child for more than six years.
For now, the main objective will be to keep from getting overrun.