Our fraternal twin girls have just reached 13 months old and I'm calling bullshit on all those people who told me "They will get easier in time" WRONG - They are so much harder!!! I don't want to scare all you fresh parents of multiples out there who think that your squishy, newborn babies are the hardest little critters your life has ever encountered - they probably are, unsettled babies, constant nappy changes, endless feeds, sleepless nights, loads of washing, difficulties involved with getting out of the house, difficulties that come with other kids and just the simple stress that comes with caring for newborns, multiplied. In my view, they are just warming you up for when they morph in to tiny humans who think they are invincible.
Don't get me wrong, with all the challenges that come with toddler multiples, also come the rewards - smiles, double fits of giggles, big cuddles and sloppy kisses, cute attempts at animal noises, the occasional heart melting twin moment and just their simple pure god dammed gorgeousness!
Here are my reasons why I think multiples as toddlers are bloody tough going.
1. They go in different directions - with super tiny human speed.
2. They climb - dangerously. My motto is to save the one at greater risk.
3. They definitely don't share - anything!
4. They make an indescribable amount of mess, clearing shelves and emptying drawers at every opportunity, not to mention the food! (saved only by our double 'Mumma's Little helpers food catchers'.)
5. They whinge/scream/yell/cry at a completely new level.
6. They fight - Yes at 13 months old they fight. I'm talking school yard cat fights, scratching, pushing, biting and pulling hair.
7. They no longer contently sit in a pram whilst you whip around to run some errands or grab a few groceries.
8. They arch their backs and scream blue murder as you try to them put them in their car seat. Usually in a full car park whilst someone is waiting for you to leave.
9. They constantly compete for your attention.
10. They take every opportunity to bolt at lightening speed through an open door to reap their havoc through drawers and cabinets. By the time you have carried one out of the room, at a distance you think is far away enough to give you enough time to rush in, retrieve second baby and shut the door to the horror mess they have just created. WRONG, they usually time it perfectly so when you do get to the point of needing to shut the door the first baby to be put out has wedged themselves in between it. The only way to stop it is to gently guide (push) them away with one foot, juggling the other baby whilst attempting to close the door. After several attempts the mission is finally successful. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it is with triplets or more!
One positive they have over newborns is they (more often than not) sleep through the night! So whilst it is exhausting and I feel like I'm chasing my tail every waking hour at least I am doing it on an uninterrupted nights sleep. A HUGE difference to the 3-5 hours I got when they were newborns.
I know with all ages there are the highs and lows, but I think after already going through this phase with our first daughter, Maddison, we have a long hard few months ahead of us. I find myself at a constant crossroad, I hate the thought our baby girls growing too quickly but at the same time I am looking forward to the day when a few of the above mentioned struggles ease up.