The beginning of two wasn't too bad. I didn't want to say it outloud in fear of jinxing it, but I was starting to wonder what everyone was talking about with the "terrible two's." Sure I saw glimpses of what people were talking about, but overall, two has been pretty smooth sailing. Having two, two year olds is a whole world easier than having two infants. They can feed themselves for one. The can entertain themselves a lot of the time. They can tell me what is wrong most of the time. Then there are those moments (uh... days?) that things aren't so smooth sailing, but when I step back and look, two has been a good year.
I can't believe we are almost to three. In just a short 3 months I'll have three year olds. I found myself in the past few days answering the question of "how old are they?" with "almost three" instead of "two and a half." This subtle change has me reflecting on the year. Why do people ALWAYS ask how old a kid is? I guess it's a good conversation starter. I get, "Are they twins?" (yes... duh.) "How old are they?" I used to have mini panic attacks when I couldn't remember how many months they were off the top of my head. Seriously, I was too busy trying to remember who pooped and when and how long I had until the next time to nurse, that sometimes something like how many months they were would slip my mind. But I never wanted to be caught off guard or someone would think I was a horrible mother... who doesn't know how old their kids are??
Well now that we have (almost) survived the "terrible two's" and are sliding into the "terrific three's" I'm sensing that there is some sort of joke. Both girls have recently gained a sense of independence with daily life. "NO, I DO IT!" is a constant mantra around here. And with that has come the "Testing of Boundaries." Running away from me is just one example of them seeing how far they can go with the boundary pushing. Fighting time-outs has been another. I did always think it was pretty strange when I told my girls to go to time-out and they did their duty with hardly a complaint. I still don't get the kicking and screaming, but Maddie will run away from time out over and over. I've implemented the "if you get out of time out, you get one more minute added to the clock." She's wracked up 10 minutes this way before. After that one 10 minute time out though, the most she's gotten is 3 minutes added before she remembers I'm serious.
Izzie is less likely to try to push a boundary unless she sees that Maddie is wearing me down first. Then she jumps in on the bandwagon. That's why it is so important to nip it in the bud as soon as I see the "testing" begin. One kid, you can usually deal with, but when you got two doing the same thing at the same time, you're out of luck! Izzie tends to drive me crazy more by insisting she do something by herself. And really, I don't want to discourage her from trying to dress herself, get in her seat by herself, put on her shoes by herself, go potty by herself, etc. It's just that sometimes my patience runs a bit thin and it can be so much easier to do it MYSELF! I do love that she's getting better at all of that every day. Tonight she wanted to put her nightgown pants on by herself. She started to put them on backwards and it took everything I had not to correct her. Seriously, what does it matter? If she's comfortable, then by all means, I'm letting her sleep in her nightgown backwards because she was proud she did it herself. (Even if it did take about 10 minutes.)
I love my girls. I love their hugs and kisses and smiles. I love their laughter and singing and dancing. Their latest stage has been the, "Watch me!" stage where they want me to watch everything they do. I'm so proud when they jump just a bit higher on the trampoline or color a new picture or identify letters on a page. They really are growing and often I catch myself looking as through a glass and seeing the scene from the outside. It makes me smile and it makes me proud. John and I (and all of our extended family!) helped the girls become who they are and will continue to who they will be. It's a beautiful process.