Time flies and our twinbling girls are about 15 months old now! It’s been a really fun summer with the girls and they have been busy little toddlers.
On the physical side of things, the girls continue to grow. Our youngest Audrey remains a few pounds heavier than her older sister but they look roughly the same size and we are constantly fielding the, “Are they twins?” question in public!
Both girls are walking, with Lilly starting around 14 months and Audrey just now catching up around 15 months. It’s interesting, with the girls born five weeks apart, the one-month milestone delay for our youngest felt like so much longer than it probably would have otherwise. Once Lilly started walking, we expected Audrey to follow shortly thereafter because we often forget about the five week age difference now. But even if Audrey had walked at the same age as Lilly (14 months), we wouldn’t have seen it for another five weeks. And because she actually ended up walking one month later (15 months), we were becoming increasingly concerned about the delay. This past week we took the girls in for a well-check at the pediatrician and I was gently encouraged (once again!) to resist the urge to compare the girls’ development. Easier said than done.
On the fine motor front, coordination skills are also improving. The girls are making some progress at feeding themselves with spoons, and they enjoy making markings with sidewalk chalk and crayons.
They enjoy playing with duplo legos, shape sorters, and ring stackers, and it’s been fun to watch them figure out how these toys work. While I’m on the topic of toys and play, I am regularly amazed by the girls’ differences, and they are quite pronounced in this area. Lilly loves stuffed animals and nearly always carries one around; she also loves doing “laundry” with a batch of clean rags and will drape them around her head and shoulders. Audrey, on the other hand, loves to stack blocks and duplos and is always turning toys over and investigating all of the parts. She is also very sweet and will frequently give Lilly a stuffed animal or other comfort in an effort to calm her sister down or make her happy.
The girls are talking but I’m honestly not sure how many words they have because so many of them are still hard to hear and distinguish. Do they count if only Mr. Starfish and I and our nanny can understand them?! Interestingly, I recently read somewhere that twins’ speech can be a little delayed because of their tendency to communicate between themselves with unique sounds. While I’m not sure if this will be true for my girls, it has made me listen to their babbling between each other more carefully because I think it’s pretty adorable that they have such a close and unique bond.
Our nanny has been wonderful in teaching the girls baby sign language, and they use the signs for “more”, “milk”, “please”, and “thank you” regularly. I give our nanny major credit for insisting that the girls use the signs for “please” and “thank you” when they request something. She tells me that they nearly always sign “thank you” to the bus driver as they depart the bus on their many adventures around the city. In doing so, they put their momma to shame as I sometimes neglect to do this myself!
Rounding out the list on the physical front, the girls have continued with their weekly swim class. Just this last week, they progressed up to the next level and they love the water and the swim activities. Another one of their favorite treats right now is washing their hands. I think it’s because they like to splash the water around the sink, but whatever the reason, I’ll take it if it means cleaner toddler hands!
On the emotional and cognitive development side of things, we started the girls in a twice-weekly park district class called the “Tot Spot” that is an open play class with other children the same age. While the girls are quite normalized to socializing with each other since they are around each other constantly, we are hoping this will help them to further develop social skills with other toddlers since they do not attend daycare or preschool.
As I’ve written a bit in a previous post, we have also had our fair share of toddler tantrums over the past three months. This is the area that probably makes me feel most uncomfortable and out of my element these days. I haven’t quite figured out my parenting discipline style just yet, and I feel flustered and confused when these tiny tantrums erupt. Sometimes I feel that the girls need some space, so I shrink quietly into the background, but this makes me feel a little absent from their needs. Sometimes I feel that the girls could use a bit of a harsher tone and/or explanation about their behavior, but this also doesn’t feel quite right all of the time either. Obviously, I’m still feeling my way here. And with the heart of tantrum toddler season coming my way in the coming months and years, I’ll have plenty of practice!
On the food front, the girls are as different as their play styles. Lilly prefers the classic toddler diet; she likes mac ‘n cheese, goldfish crackers and cheerios, string cheese, and yogurt. Most of all, she absolutely adores fruit. She has the sweet tooth between the two girls, and we have to be careful to save fruits for the end of the meal because otherwise it is all she will eat. Audrey, on the other hand, has a more evolved palate. She eats whatever we eat. Mr. Starfish is a spice-lover, and Audrey gobbles up his spicy turkey tacos and spaghetti meat sauce with glee. She also loves veggies, and at the end of a meal we will often find Audrey’s tray devoid of all her entrée and veggies but with some fruits laying around, while we find Lilly’s tray the complete opposite.
Their eating styles are also different, with little Lilly picking apart her meals and sorting foods and often eating so neatly that she is able to get up from her chair with no clean-up. Audrey, on the other hand, loves to play with her food and will use her fingers to “paint” with her mashed potatoes and likes to smash up foods between her fingers and shove entire fistfuls into her mouth!
Sleep at this age is no different for the girls than it was at the 12-month mark. They still take a short 45-60 minute nap in the morning and a 2-hour nap in the early afternoon. They sleep 12 hours straight through the night, with bedtime at 6:30 and wake-up at 6:30. Our pediatrician seemed surprised that the girls were still napping in the morning, so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this will likely disappear in the next few months. But I’m grateful for it now, and the girls seem well-rested and happy.
The girls really were so much fun this summer, and the 12-15 month stretch was a blast. Mr. Starfish and I are became more comfortable and confident as parents, and the girls evolved each day and showed us more and more of their unique personalities. I am excited to keep on heading down this wild and fun road, and maybe I’ll pick up on some of those special Lilly/Audrey twin language words as we go!