Saturday, 30 June 2012

When your Rug Rats turn into Meerkats

Before my very eyes my babies are turning into toddlers.    I can sense my world is shifting on its axis.  They are 16 months and I know that most babies would have made this momentous leap to toddlerhood already but my twins have luckily spoiled me with their plump limbs-happy gurgling-rug rat-selves.  That is until now. 

So, what’s the change?  Their crawling has more commando stealth to it.  They can stand, walk along furniture, and are now popping up like Meerkats wherever I am sitting with their muchkin faces full of mischief.  They are starting to fill their clothes better and look like little people.  Their once vacantly happy faces are registering a new look...the “hatching a plan face”.  There’s a subtle power shift and I don’t think it’s in my favour.  I’m feeling outnumbered and a little scared. 

They’re not walking unaided yet or other typical toddler activities; like tantrums, constant questions, displaying the climbing enthusiasm of Edmund Hillary with the skills of a drunk.  But there is definitely something in the air.  It’s difficult to describe, If it were a cologne I’d call it Slow Dawning pour mums.

So what preparations have I made?  I’ve lowered their cots, raised everything in the house buy a meter and read “Toddler Taming” by Dr Christopher  Green.  It’s made me feel slightly more prepared,  but I can’t help but feel like a cowboy poised for a Rodeo with greasy thighs and a weak wrists.  (Slight sidestep - I had a go one of those mechanical bulls once.  Not only did I stay on for the least amount of time (a mere 3 seconds), but I broke my finger in the process.  Epic fail and I hope not an omen.)

Toddlerhood is the phase I hear other parents warn about (except those weary eyed, shell-shocked  sages who’s birds have flown the nest – in which case it’s the teenager years).  You hear of the sky high energy levels, decreased amounts of naps, and increased trips to A&E.  With two to look out for I’m definitely apprehensive.  But it must be the funniest time too?  I can’t wait to hear what they’re going to talk about, or become interested in – provided it’s not the Zing Zillas, in which case I may have to put them up for adoption.  I hope I can see the funny side when they inform Grandma that I called her a batty old woman, or when they store their collection of muddy stones in the DVD player.

What I’m not looking forward to is when they run in opposite directions.  Or both have a tantrum in public.  These things keep me up at night.  I guess the main thing is to remain calm, understand  they have zero common sense and see the funny side (although occasionally hidden from them behind my hair and shaking shoulders).  But as with everything so far, I start with high standards and ideas and after they run rings round me I eventually settle for a middle ground.  Pick your battles as a friend says to me.  Selective hearing and sight is necessary is number one in my parenting arsenal...that and cupboard that locks...for me to hide.  Wish me luck.

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