Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toddlers

What is a toddler, anyway?  Is it, by definition, just a child who toddles? Is it a child over the age of 18 months and younger than, say, 48 months?  Is it, say a child who throws tantrums? Shouldn't those be a part of the definition of a "toddler"?

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. :)

video
 
In case you can't see it above:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AtfAbGqrrM

4 comments:

  1. LOL, what a great grin by Caleb about 45 seconds in!! So fun to see them interacting and helping. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw, cuties! Personally I've always defined "toddler" more as a general attitude than anything else. My girls walked late but man, they were toddlers LONG before they were walking. Ha! I think having twins in general can get complicated, trying to meet two little people's needs at the same time, but you definitely have an added layer. And yah, you WILL figure it out, I have no doubt. :)

    Also, this? "after making friends with the couple who was selling it because they're new neighbors and I heard that they like booze..." - HAHAHA. Dude, EXACTLY.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is hard. For us the real "different"-ness between B&M came around 2 years old. They were always unique in their ways, but that was really when her language and behavior continued to grow up and his really didn't. Therapy has made all the difference for him, but there were times where it was so hard to make sure that both were getting what they needed without shortchanging the other. As we approach 4 years old (where did the time go???!!!), I think we finally have the hang of it. You'll get there...

    (Just for fun, "toddler", I've always considered it from around 1 to 3, when they become "preschoolers" and then at 5, when they are full blown (sob) "kids", but I think that's because it's how I've seen activities designated.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't imagine being in your shoes dealing with two toddlers the same age (I've always thought of toddler from 1 - 3, nevermind whether or not they walk)... but with such different needs. You are doing an amazing job with them and should never feel bad about one not getting everything they 'should' be getting. Everyone grows up in different situations and this is theirs. They will learn and grow so much from being in this situation and having each other. Caleb will learn from watching Gracie and wanted to do what she does and Gracie will become a more patient and helpful person throughout her life. They are both such beautiful little people. Thank you for sharing the video and letting us see inside their lives. I think it looks like they are both doing wonderfully and most importantly.. they are both happy :)

    ReplyDelete