As the toddler twosome approach 3 their behaviour has been escalating into many meltdowns and power struggles as they begin to exercise their newly developed skills and Independence.
On one hand it is wonderful as a parent to see them blossoming and growing into little girls…on the other….i am exhausted and left wondering what happened to life as i once knew it!
After a particularly draining day last week i found myself reflecting on how life has changed seemingly within the blink of an eye…..
I remember when…
I used to be able to go to the toilet without cries of “my turn first to watch mummy weeing..” followed by a tantrum as the other twin disagrees with who has said first turn.
I used to take my keys off the hook , open the car door and drive away….now i have to wait while each girl enters the side of the car opposite to their car seat so they can climb across and into their seat themselves. There is usually a power struggle when they meet in the middle and then cries of ‘i do it myself’ when i try to strap the darlings in. A half hour after i picked up my keys we drive away. This procedure must occur at all times we enter the car.
I used to have dressing the girls down to fine art….now i must have the right colour shoe, the right pattern sock, the correct shirt and a dress that is always suited to a different season. After an hour of this in the morning with one i can move onto the next one to go through the whole joyful experience again.
I used to pass their special milk cups over and snuggle with them for a story…now i must place cups in the correct position on the bench each night….(one warm and one cold thanks very much) and then let them come and get them. If anyone other than them tries to pass the cups as a helpful gesture there will be a meltdown or 2.
I used to tuck them in and walk away for sleeptime. Now there seems to be a step added to the routine each night by one twin and it must be followed accordingly…or there will be no sleep time apparently.
I used to love curling up in bed at night to read a good book….now i get to scrape the toast crumbs out of the bed, move the toys who are ‘sleeping’ there and read The Bear Hunt…. every…..bloomin….night!
I used love the smiles on their faces as i sang their favourite songs….now i get told when i can sing and where…..and it’s not usually very convenient funnily enough.
I used to have nappy changing twins down to a fine art….and then we moved to toileting and suddenly i spend half my day in the bathroom singing a song so the ‘wees will come out’.
I used to be able to eat something off my plate without a hand coming from nowhere and swiping it….only to later find it squashed into the carpet.
I used to vacuum once a week…..now i need to sweep or vacuum everyday.
I used to see the bottom of the laundry basket at least a few times a week. Now i wonder if there is a bottom and what colour it might be.
I used to dread opening the door to find a salesman on the step…now i welcome it as some adult conversation in what is usually a very long and solitary day full of toddler conversations.
I used to visit the chemist and doctor fairly infrequently….now i think i am keeping both in business. And my dream of the doctor charging for only 1 child instead of 2 when we are in the office for the same amount of time as a normal visit is in fact just that…a dream.
I used to wake in the middle of the night, walk to the toilet and then go back to sleep….now i worry about every floorboard squeaking and a little voice crying out for attention because ‘maybe the sun is up now?’ and finally returning to bed an hour later. There’s a lot to be said for a strong bladder ( a misnomer when you’ve had a twin pregnancy by the way) and hanging on for as long as you can!
I used to pass a toy to someone and they were happy….now i have to check that the special ones or duplicates have either and R or T on it and the correct toddler has the correct item….or there will be a war of mass proportions.
I used to make dinner, everyone ate it and then i cleaned up. Now i often make 3 different versions of the one dinner to try and get everyone to eat. I spend many fruitless moments trying to model eating dinner (which isn’t helping my diet efforts)…and then i get to clean it all up again minus a few measly bites off the plate. 2 hours well spent obviously.
I used to work fulltime at a stressful job and not be as tired as i am now that i am at home with the twins and ‘not working’.
I used to have gloriously long soaks in our huge claw foot bath with lots of bubbles….now the girls get the bubbles and i haven’t had a bath since i was pregnant.
But then i also remember the nights i used to stare out our bathroom window at the stars and pray that this IVF cycle would be the one to work.
I can no longer imagine a time when i did not see those smiling faces and feel those warm hugs and sloppy kisses each morning. I cannot imagine not being a mum to 3 beautiful girls.
I remember the old days well and sometimes it is easy to slide into resentment as i think many parents do at some stage….and that’s OK…it’s a tough job this parenting gig and i think we need to give ourselves permission to sometimes feel a little resentment and sadness for a life now gone.
But then we pick ourselves up again and tune back into the reality of life parenting a toddler….which is more often than not a rewarding and loving experience.
But just between you and me…i wouldn’t mind having that bubble bath again someday…….
How’s life at your place with a toddler? Would love to know if i am not the only one who remembers a life before toddlers!