Herding Toddler Twins (Also, Fun In Leaves)

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Trips to the playground with the twins have gotten slightly more nerve-wracking lately (running in opposite directions, two wobbly, fearless toddlers, precipitous play-structure drop-offs), so I thought taking them to run around in an open field in Highland Park might be a relaxing change of pace.

It was a blustery fall day, and as we entered Highland Park leaves were raining from the trees and the sky was overcast. Still, I pushed the double stroller off the path and onto the grass under some tall oaks, got E out and placed her on the ground. Acorns immediately started raining down on us–eighty feet up in the high branches, a group of squirrels had chosen this spot to enjoy a messy nut feast. I grabbed both babies and moved us over to a different tree.

Soon M and E were both up and running all over the place, throwing handfuls of leaves in the air, bending down to look at sticks. At first, they came back every minute or so to excitedly hand me an acorn. Then they just took off down the path, not looking back. I followed a short way behind, but very soon got nervous about the distance between us and the double stroller. The stroller is my only way to transport both twins and must stay close at all times.

I picked up E, who protested loudly, and tried to coax M to walk back toward the stroller. That worked for about a minute until M yanked her hands away. I set E down, ran to get the stroller and ran it back, at which point they both took off in opposite directions, both running toward the road.

I finally just ran and grabbed M, then E, carrying both kicking, incensed toddlers all the way back to the stroller, where I bribed them with some snacks. Maybe we need to buy some of those toddler backpacks with the leashes, and who cares what people think.

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The Babies are Toddlers

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My watercolor of the twins’ now-retired baby shoes.

It’s funny how when you stop doing something, like running, or blogging, it gets harder and harder to jump back in. I had legitimate reasons for the blog break at first, mostly good things (we bought our first house (!), moved, I got some freelance work and launched my own design business website). But then I got out of the habit of writing, and I had too many ideas to just write one post. Also my desk moved from the middle of the living room to an office upstairs, which is mostly good but also means it’s hard to write a blog post with a minute here and there. And the twins aren’t content to hang around the house anymore, either, or to watch me type on the computer for that matter…

Anyway, I’ve missed my friends in the blogosphere. I miss keeping in touch this way with people I know in real life, too.

And I miss having a way to record what’s happening with the babies–who are not babies anymore, they’re toddlers. They’re tiny people not just walking but running, diving off the couch, pulling plugs from electrical outlets, offering each other toys, giving kisses, hugs, demanding to be picked up, taken outside, given particular plates or toys or spoons, wanting to play with my phone, drink from my water glass, and say words like ball, water, and milk.

There was a big milestone this past month: first haircut. We did it with them in their highchairs at the kitchen table, D held their heads while I did one cut for the bangs and one around the back. Came out sort of like a pixie cut. With the rush and stress of scissors near heads I didn’t do the most even job, but still I think it worked out. You can see their faces now.

What finally pushed me back to this blog, though, is that they got their first pair of real shoes. I finally had to accept that the little brown leather baby booties, their first shoes, were too tight and don’t work well for running around a wet playground. Now they have some proper boots, which is still kind of a shock.

Also, I’ve finally reached a parental milestone of my own: I’ve hired some help. Starting tomorrow, a nanny will come one morning a week. I’ll let you know if that’s life-changing.

Anyway, if you’re still reading this–hi!–how has your fall been?

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