I’ve been trying to get this post done since last week…last Thursday when the twins actually turned three…to be exact.
But, well, you see, there are these twins (plus four other small humans) always hanging around that seem to prefer that I feed them and read stories to them and wipe their bottoms over editing pictures and writing about them.
Totally backwards priorities, clearly.
Anyhoo, as I’ve thought about what I wanted to actually say about the twins’ newly minted status as threenagers, the entire mental dialogue has felt a bit surreal. Like: What? I have 3-year-old twins? I have 3. year. old…TWINS??!
I always wondered what life with twins was like whenever I observed mamas pushing their multiples through the grocery store, and, even now, if I spot twins out and about, I think, “WOW. That’s a special challenge. Wonder how she does it?” And then, I’m all: “Oh. Yeah. Duh.”
Mostly, it’s just my new(ish) normal. But then it strikes me again that I have twins, and I just shake my head in wonder.
So, what is having 3-year-old identical twin girls like?
Well, it’s fun. And I mean that with zero sarcasm.
And it’s hard. And I REALLY mean that with zero sarcasm.
Up until the past 8 months or so, twins didn’t really feel that “bad.” In fact, if you read last year’s “The Twins are TWO” post, I made it sound pretty darn rosy. And it was/is. I mean, sure, when they were babies, the sheer constantness of the feedings and changings and burpings and shushings on repeat was…a lot. It just wasn’t as overwhelming for me as I always assumed it would be.
Only recently do I feel like my twins have fully lived up to their (in my mind) “twin cred.”
Well, imagine, for a moment, one three-year-old–with all of the usual WANT it!!!/DON’T want it!!! meltdowns and picky food preferences and kamikaze attempts at independence followed instantly by death-grip clinginess…
And then add in another one with all the same ingredients for crazy but with just enough of a different personality twist to drive her twin (not mention her mama) a little insane…
And you’ve got the idea.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my girls to distraction (ha!), and there are entire days that having twins feels like a super-fun privilege. But those days are sometimes a precursor to 3 full weeks of arched back screaming fits every. single. time we get in the car to go anywhere. Fits that often take place in stereo.
And then, there are the occasional cat fights. HO.LY cow. I think some of their death matches could draw a hefty audience on Pay Per View. The screeching and the hair pulling and even the rare biting episode.
I realize that I’m making them sound downright feral, and believe-you-me, these displays of, um, spirit do not go undisciplined. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that they both have sweet natures. They’re not what I would call “wild” (although the potential is there, I think). And that’s not just a partial mama talking. They’re cheerful little girls. Ask anyone who’s met them.
But they are typical little 3-year-old sinners (lots of ME! MINE! NO!), and the mere fact that there are two of them the exact same age, constantly jockeying for the same territory, the same lap, the same toys (never mind that there’s probably an identical toy at hand), the same CUP (for the love…while 20 others mope in dejection in the drawer) creates an environment ripe for conflict.
Case in point: at the grocery store last night, while the boys were at soccer, I had all three girls stuffed in the bottom of the basket, with Theo’s car seat clicked into the top portion. And all of them were getting along beautifully…until suddenly they weren’t–complete with hair-raising banshee shrieks and writhing and flying elbows. At just that moment, a man walked by, and, without missing a beat, offered me the case of beer he’d just bought.
Now, I’m a teetotaler, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the phrase: “driven to drink,” was invented by a mother of 3-year-old twinados.
Of course, I think if I only had Nola, I might be feeling a bit at my limit for 3-year-old hormonal issues. Girlfriend is the sweetest thing you ever did see until she gets a bee in her bonnet, in which case, clear the room! Her capacity for tantrums is impressive, to say the least.
Tantrums? ME? Never.
Evy is a bit of a different story. She’s capable of a good ol’ throw-down herself, but her rebellions are a tad more subtle, usually.
I feel like this is a quintessentially Evy expression. Slightly mischievous. A little bit thoughtful. And a wee bit ornery.
Evy is quite happy to go along with Nola’s bossy britches ways, until she’s not.
Of course, I feel compelled to balance all of this threenager talk out with the fact that, no sooner have the twins finished rolling around in a snarling ball of fury than they are playing primly side-by-side, chirping: “Here you doll, No-wah.” “Dank you, Eh-vy!”
They just love each other to death. Almost literally sometimes.
And you’d better be ready with a another one for her twin if you ever hand out a treat because, inevitably, a little hand will shoot out for round two with an expectant, “And Eh-vy’s?” And off she’ll trot to deliver her sister’s loot.
And heaven help anyone who tries to separate them for long.
So, basically 3-year-old twins are delightful.
But more than anything, 3-year-old twins are sanctifying.
(But that’s pretty much true of every kid, now isn’t it?)
More than anything, I’m just praying for the grace not to wish this stage of twindom away. I have to actively remind myself that this very well may be my only shot at mothering 3-year-old twins. And as much as a part of me goes: “YIP-EE!”…another part already feels nostalgic for four identical, chubby little hands, the way they both pad into our room (lately, at approximately 5:30 every morning…zzzzzz) with soft little voices chorusing: “I hongrey,” the way both of their solid little bodies feel wedged up against mine when we read on the couch in the mornings, and the way I can never, EVER kiss one without her sister demanding her fair share as well.
So far, so good.
Amen twin sister momma friend. I have 2 1/2 year old twin boys and I waffle between: I love this age! So fun! And . . . .sdifkerughbsfivhb?!?! REALLY?! Thank you for the encouraging words! Needed them tonight!
I had twin cousins and always thought as a kid that it would be neat to have multiples. After I had children of my own, I definitely thought if you were going to have multiples, they should be had first. ha ha I realize these things don’t always follow plans. Your daughters are adorable. I was blessed with 3 boys who are all grown now, but so desperately wanted a daughter. I still long for one. Boys do not connect with their mamas often enough for my heart to be satisfied, like a daughter would. No pedis together, or shopping trips…
so sweet. Happy birthday girls! I have so much respect for any Mama of multiples. That is a hard job! I definitely don’t know if I would have the patience for it!
By the way, those outfits are seriously the most adorable thing I have ever seen! where did you get them!?
I oh-so-love this post because it is basically all I feel that I can’t seem to get out in a semi-coherent way! My twin girls will be 2 in a few weeks- it has been a whirlwind and you post is really helping me- sometimes it can feel like a chore- but its not, its not a chore- it is a privilege and as you said, a whole lott’a work with a whole lott’a love! Thank you again!
They are beautiful.
Oh, they are growing up way too fast! I’m so glad you are enjoying threenagers…wait til they hit 4!
This was a great post. And amazing pictures of your girls! Wow! I have a very difficult time to get mine both in a cooperative mood at the same time. And for SURE not when they are dressed up cute. My twin boys just turned 4 and I totally concur with what you shared. Last year was really hard. This year, they are so much more capable of playing at things without help or guidance. They independently go to the craft cupboard and take out the things they want to do. They can (but don’t always) clean up their mess when they are done. They are growing in their ability to see past their immediate desire or need. They are starting to “set up” their toys to play farm, or construction or whatever; rather than just taking it all out to make a mess. I also am a home schooling Mom. My other guys are in Grades 9 and 10. So, different from your household, but with other demands as well. But I agree with the double the trauma comments. It seems like with twins, when life is good… IT’S REALLY GOOD. But when it is bad… IT’S REALLY BAD. And to add to the stress, my one son tends to cry a lot more, just more of a “cup half empty” personality. However, when he is actually hurt, my other son will begin to cry in sympathy, often out-wailing the injured one. Oy. Try that one on in the Emerg. 😛 Or don’t. Fun reading your episodes. Keep ’em coming.
I was so confused what you meant when you said teetotaler, so I looked it up and I am one too! 🙂 That was probably God sending you some great comic relief when the man offered you the beer! 🙂
I can’t even imagine God granting me natural twins….(or triplets. yikes!) What little miracles.
Haha! Amen to it all! My twins are 7 months older than yours, and these last 2 weeks we’ve hit a new stage. Maybe it’s because they are boys and you will escape? I don’t remember anything this bad with any of my singles! It’s the “gross stage”: tongue-sticking-out, spitting, errrrrr… celebrating “body noises”, rude sounds, you name it, all accompanied by LOUD laughter. I think it’s normal kid stuff, it just gets really bad when TWO of them are going through it at once (and egging each other on)! I’d like to do SOMETHING today other than rein in bad three-year-old behavior! : )
Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who still goes into shock (3 years later) when I re-realize that I …I!!!… have TWINS!?! : ) It’s a weird feeling!
happy birthday girls. great post
Sweet post. Love this.
I have 4 daughters (6, 3, and 7-month twins) and just the other night at dinner my 3-yr-old was throwing a fit about something. I looked at my husband, probably with sheer terror in my eyes, and said, “Sweetie, we are gonna have two of these at the same time in a few years!!!” Haha…I am frightened 🙂 You’re right about it not quite hitting you when they’re in the baby stage. I’m getting ready for the smack in the head. Thanks for the laugh and the honest look into the future for me!
oh love it love it! I have ONE three year old, and I feel like she’s the most demanding human ever. She’s like a little mini me 🙁
But oh do I love her! I’m sure our girls would get along just fine 🙂
This is my favorite post of yours, ever!