Eighth Birthday Eve: A Twin Update

In July 2010

Eight years ago

I became a mummy

To two tiny babies

It was not the beginning of parenting

I had hoped for

Dreamed of

It was not at all how I wanted it to be

But on 24th July 2010

Mine, and David’s, parenting journey began

With a bang

Eight years on

As Esther and William‘s birthday week begins

I wanted to take some time

To take stock

And tell you

Where we are all at

And especially where our first born, miracle babies are at

Even though I am completely in denial that my teeny tiny 2lb babies

Are turning 8!

How can that possibly be?

eve of eight

July 2018

We have been home educating now for a little over two years

I am planning a post very soon to explain why we homeschool

But right now I want to focus on how educating otherwise

Is working out for the twins

And talk about the little people they have become

twins eve of eight

William

At almost eight William has a reading age of over 14 years

He loves to read information

He cannot get enough information

And once he has read and digested something

He never, ever forgets it

William reads information books

And also spends a lot of time browsing

Tables, charts and databases

He loves statistics

William also loves numbers

His maths is probably better than mine

He is fast and accurate

And has a natural ability for reasoning and problem solving

2018-07-23 19.17.48-5

William also loves sport

He loves to read about sport

Watch sport

And play sport

At the moment William has swimming lessons and gymnastics

He also dances

A combination of Acro and Street

He has also been doing Jazz, Modern and Tap

But will be swapping those in September for Cubs

William is also joining a local football club in September

He is very excited

As for the last two months he has lived and breathed The World Cup

2018-07-23 19.17.53-6

William also loves music

He has been learning the Ukelele

And is about to combine these lessons with guitar

William loves his clubs and classes

Including chess and Spanish

But he also loves being at home

He loves building dens

He loves playing in the paddling pool

He loves riding his bike

He loves playing penalty shoot outs

He loves playing Top Trumps

William also enjoys messy play

Not as much as the girls

But he does join in

He loves imaginative play

And recently he, Esther and Bea

Have had some wonderful adventures together

2018-07-23 11.46.07

William is my braveheart

I have called him that from the moment he was born

He gets very emotionally invested in things

He worries when he gets things wrong

He can react quickly and crossly to things

But he is also very self aware

He knows his quirks

And I adore him for that

William has an amazing sense of humour

And loves word play

Jokes and riddles

Recently it has become more and more apparent

That William has high functioning autism

Aspergers

I think I have always known

But recently he is showing more and more signs

That although he is incredibly, remarkably bright

He is also going to need support going forward

William struggles to focus on anything

Aside from his own obsessions

He has some sensory issues

He struggles with social skills

He is very loud without really meaning to be

And the boy loves to know what is happening when

He struggles when people change arrival times

Or schedules

And I think this is something that I need to be more aware of

In the running of our day to day

I am about to start the process of getting a diagnosis for William

So that we know how best to help him going forward

Because he has the potential to be brilliant

But he is going to need help with focus and direction along the way

His latest obsession

Post World Cup

Is Times Tables Rock

And I cannot really complain about that

2018-07-22 17.15.49

William loves cheese and ketchup burger rolls

He loves apples

He struggles falling to sleep at night

And consequently is a late riser

He loves cuddly toys

And cuddles

I love my cuddles with my boy

I love my boy

My one boy

My William

My braveheart

2018-07-23 19.17.40-5

Esther

As she turns eight

Esther is a beautiful gentle adorable girl

At almost 130cm tall

She is tall and slender

And very fragile

Yet along with fragility

She also has strength and courage

She spends much of her week dancing

She does two hours of ballet a week

Tap, modern, jazz, acro and musical theatre

As well as her own classes

She also helps in Bea’s

Esther loves to dance

She also loves to sing

And play the piano

We have recently been given a piano

And now she is playing around with making up her own simple songs

It makes me very proud and emotional to see her play

Esther has recently started horse riding again

After over a year’s break

We have found a wonderful local riding school

And Esther is loving her new group lessons

She is hoping to start Pony Club in September

first rosette

Esther also has swimming lessons

And together with William learns Spanish

When not at one of her many classes

Esther loves drawing and painting

She loves imaginary play

She creates detailed small worlds

And loves to go off on adventures in the garden

Preferably with an adventure picnic all packed up

Esther loves stories

And is trying really hard to read chapter books on her own

Mostly she tells stories through her play

She has a wonderful imagination

Esther loves to do workbooks

She will sit for ages filling out pages of maths and English work

She also loves stickers and sticker books

She likes to fiddle with things

She likes fiddly things

Esther is creative and loves to make things out of nothing

I think like her Daddy she has good vision

And can see the best in everything

She can see the potential in things

Which I think is a wonderful gift

For Esther learning does not come easily

But she is much more willing to work than William

Even though she struggles

Esther loves helping Bea with her learning

She is a wonderful big sister

Both Bea and Edie adore her

sisters

I think Edie thinks that Esther is a grown up

She toddles up to her, raises her arms and says, ‘Up’

Esther is wonderful with all her siblings

She is the leader, the peacemaker, the negotiator

She is the snack sharer

She is the big sister

2018-07-23 08.44.35

Esther has some ongoing health issues

I worry how they will affect her as she gets older

I worry about her emotions

Esther is a thinker

She is incredibly observant

She hears more and understands more than she ever lets on

Esther has a very strong sense of what is fair

She is a calming influence and has a sensible head on her shoulders

At the same time she is daring and thrill seeking and has a great sense of fun

In September we have an appointment for Esther with a dyslexia specialist

Esther is showing many signs of having dyslexia and other learning related issues

I am hoping that the assessment will help us to support her as much as we can

And also give us the tools we need to teach Esther to help herself

Esther and William continue to be best friends

They have a growing collection of friends

From groups and classes

They also have a strong friendships with their cousins

They are happy and sociable children

And though I am often hard on them about behaviour

They are actually on the whole incredibly well behaved and polite

I adore them both with all my heart

They have lots of fun together

David says that having a twin is like being on a permanent sleepover with your best friend

And that is exactly what it is like

best friends

How magical that must be!

How magical they are.

My sunshine babies

My lifeline

My life

My love

My heart

My 27 weekers

My eight year olds!

5 thoughts on “Eighth Birthday Eve: A Twin Update

  1. Happy birthday to Esther and William, your incredible twins! What a journey you’ve all had. William sounds a lot like my 11 year old high-functioning autistic son. The main difference being that my son struggles with social communication with anyone outside the immediate family.
    I believe that recognising the signs of autism helps prepare you for what may lie ahead, although I’m sure you’ll understand very well that any changes to routine, or what our autistic sons expect to happen, can be a challenge and sometimes we aren’t able to prepare and have to handle situations as they occur.
    My son understands what autism is. We have read so many books together, watched excellent video clips and talk about his stims and the things he finds the most difficult. I think William sounds capable of understanding his condition and helping you to find the best ways forward for him.
    You’re an amazing mum, Jennie. Good luck as you look to get his official diagnosis.

    Esther always looks so maternal and nurturing with her little sisters. She looks incredibly thoughtful and her creative side is certainly very strong in her. I’d imagine she’s very sensitive and considers things deeply. My daughter is almost 16 but I see much of Esther’s personality in her when she was the same age. She also adored pony club.

    I hope you all had a wonderful celebration. xxx

  2. Thank you for the update on your first borns… especially William as I now know what he’s doing when he isn’t part of the girls’ ‘small world and imaginative play’ on Instagram.

  3. Aww bless them both. It sounds like they are getting on wonderfully and coping well with life’s challenges. How brilliant that they have each other and they’re best friends. I hope they had a lovely birthday.
    Nat.x

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