I have two toddlers. One who doesn't toddle and one who does. One who throws tantrums and one who throws pasta. Both 18 months. Both having very unique needs.
My toddling toddler needs activities and freedom to keep her from boredom and satisfy her epic and unending curiosity. My pasta throwing toddler needs support, structure, guidance, and a lot of hands on direction to keep him progressing and focused on moving forward.
Those are two very different places to be with two 18 month olds.
We bought a book at a yard sale for $.25, after making friends with the couple who was selling it because they're new neighbors and I heard that they like booze, called "The EVERYTHING Toddler Activities Book". I flipped through the pages and thought "Grace would love this, Grace needs that, Grace would be so funny doing that...But...".
"Nope, can't do that- he'd eat the cotton balls."
My non-toddling toddler has a bit of an oral fixation. We can't play with anything that isn't completely safe for chewing or ingestion. Which is all good with me, who wants paint on their carpet anyway?
We'll get there- figuring out this whole two separate levels of needs and activities. We'll find a way to maximize those two hours after work to include activities that are exciting and safe for both of them and each of them separately. We'll figure it out. Right? I have this intense anxiety about "fair but not equal". I thought about that quite a bit before they were born actually, never knowing just how important it would be. I spiral a bit when I think of how focused I am on Caleb and whether Grace is getting enough of me. And then I spiral a bit when I think about the play time I spend with Grace and whether the things I'm doing with Caleb are good enough. Is he missing out? Anxiety is the name of the game. And then, so is eating soap crayons for both of them. So, well, yeah- it's all a crap shoot.
What is pretty friggin adorable is Grace's newish desire to "help" Caleb. She will take him his sippy cup full of "medicine" (Miralax) to hold to his mouth. Takes a little practice to keep her from shoving it in his face, but she's a good helper.
And then Caleb helps Grace, too. She watches him and tries to mimic him- he's a champion chair rocker- he can get his high chair to scoot across the room by rocking back and forth. He thinks it's hysterical and so does Grace. She'll watch and try and then watch some more and try again. It's pretty cute that she can't figure out how to do it like him, she just sort of throws herself back into the back of the chair over and over, laughing and watching some more. Caleb will stop to look at her from time to time- I'm guessing he's thinking to himself "C'mon, it's not that hard, toddler!".
Oh, and he helps her finish her dinner on the regular.
Here's a little video that the nanny took while we were at work today. It's so nice to get a glimpse of their days like this. :)
In case you can't see it above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AtfAbGqrrM