Esther and William will be two and a half this month.
2.5 years old!! How on earth did that happen?
They have changed so much in recent times. Their language is amazing and they imitate people in real life and from the television. Their capacity for creative and imaginative play is growing every day and they love acting out things that they have seen, read or heard.
Esther and William have three favourite stories at the moment. Room on the Broom which we read and watch every day without fail. One Snowy Night from Nick Butterworth’s Percy and the Park Keeper Series which again we read and watch every day and The Snowman and The Snow Dog which we occasionally watch in quiet time.
A few times now I have walked into the lounge to find two toddler heads under the sofa cushions saying, “What is that under the sofa? Is it a monster? No, it’s a mole!” I often find them together in the playroom digging up imaginary snow with their imaginary spades and making imaginary snowmen. And first thing in the morning William can be heard declaring to the world, from his cot, “I am a dog, as keen as can be …”
They really are very cute and remarkably clever. They are wonderful to be around for much of the time. But they are also very very challenging.
The toddler years can be challenging when you have your toddlers one at a time but toddler twins I am sure come from a planet of their very own.
Toddler twins can fight and argue about anything. Whatever one has the other one wants or recently in William’s case needs. I NEED that car, I NEED my crown.
They have also learned the word can’t which is fast becoming a high frequency word in our house, often when being told to do something by their sibling.
William sit properly.
I can’t, I can’t sit properly.
William no. William can’t.
William can’t. I can’t!
I am amazed every day by the things they choose to care about.
They are learning all the time about emotion and feeling. Thomas the Tank Engine really helps with this as the facial expressions on the engines are quite clear. Esther and William will often say, Thomas is sad. Thomas not is not very happy. Henry is worried.
They do not yet know much about frustration and anger though this is what they are dealing with. This is what they feel toward each other in short, sharp bursts.
They try so hard to play together but they often want the same thing or Esther will want William to do something and he will not want to do it.
For example, we have a car that they can sit in and drive. Esther will be in the car and will want William to come and join her. William will not want too and the exchange will go something like this …
William do some driving
William not do some driving
William do driving
William not do driving
William say yeah
William say no
Willy yeaah yeah yeaaahhh
William no noooo noooooo
And then there will be a rough and tumble, a pushing or a pulling or sometimes even a biting and then there will be tears.
Sometimes Esther and William play together beautifully. They enter and explore each other’s worlds but often the play will end in tears and the tears are often the result of an act of physical harm.
They can be so very cruel to one another. And sometimes I just do not know what to do to make things better.
Mostly this does happen when we are home alone. They tend not to tantrum or fight when other adults are around I think because they have more attention. Often one to one.
Today for the first time they had a proper fight and then William threw a tantrum in public. I am writing about it because I am proud of how I and they handled it.
We were at our local church toddler group. Esther and William love it there. They love playing with the small world toys, the train track and the house. It is a full size play house with a play kitchen inside. Mostly they just love opening and shutting doors. I was sitting in the baby area with Matilda keeping a watchful eye on my toddler twins playing house peacefully together. Not long after they had begun they had a fight over something. I could not see clearly what but what I did see was William push Esther to the floor by her throat and hold her there! I calmly went over and removed William from Esther and from the kitchen telling him that he had been naughty. I remained very calm and put him next to the train track telling him to play there. I told him he was not to go back into the house. Esther I cuddled and made sure that she was not too badly hurt. I told her to carry on playing in the kitchen. William tried to get back in to play with Esther again but feeling they needed some space and he needed the equivalent of some time out I told him no. At this he got very cross and as I tried to cuddle him he headbutted my cheek bone. He was then very sorry and I just held him in my arms while he cried and I softly explained to him that he cannot hit people or headbutt them or push them when things do not go his way and that because he had hurt Esther he was no longer allowed to play in the kitchen. And do you know what? He finished our cuddle and then calmly played with something else. I was immensely proud and my heart was bursting with love for my silly, frustrated and confused little boy.
I was also proud of myself for how I handled the situation. And my heart did a little leap that maybe just maybe I am not such a bad mummy after all.
One of things I need is to build up my confidence and faith in myself and moments like these can only help.
They also help Esther and William begin to better understand each other and be together and become the best friends I just know that they are going to be.
The friends they are already fast on their way to becoming.
And I hope that they will be friends with me too.
If I handle more situations like these correctly.
Today was a good day.
I think that I did good today. Do you?