The Babies are Toddlers

babyshoes1

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?

boots

Her Earlobes are Ticklish: A Portrait of E

Since I recently wrote the portrait of M, here’s E’s poem to match. They are changing so quickly these twins that even a week makes a difference.

A Portrait of E

Number one, that amazing, toothy grin. You can’t see it and not smile.

When we’re listening to the news and a clip of music comes on, she starts rocking back and forth, dancing to the beat.

She absolutely loves if you pick her up and dance with her. She also appreciates watching you dance alone.

If she’s playing with an interesting toy and M comes too near she says, “Nah! Nah!” and bats her away.

When she’s frustrated, she stiffens her entire body, clenching her fists at her side, and says something like “Arrrrghhh! Waaah!”

When she’s done with her milk, she offers you the sippy cup, then laughs hysterically when you grab a handle while she keeps her hold on hers.

Sometimes when she’s sitting in her highchair, she leans forward to be kissed on the forehead. Usually multiple times in a row.

She points at books and says, “Bu!” She waves and says “hi.” She’ll give you a high five.

If you’re holding her, she points at everything and anything and asks, “Da? Ada?” What’s that?

At the playground, she grips the baby swing with both hands, her little legs straight out, the breeze in her baby hair and a huge smile.

Sometimes when you try to take her out of the swing, she screams like small tyrant and refuses to bend to be buckled into the stroller.

When she meets new people or finds herself in a new situation, she becomes dead serious and stares.

If strange, curious babies in said new situation try to take her toy, she yanks it back.

When you hold her hands to help her walk, she moves slowly and focuses on balance, taking one deliberate step at a time.

She is eminently ticklish, on her neck, her belly, her armpits and the bottom of her feet. Even her earlobes are ticklish.

She loves listening to guitar.

If she gets her hands on the guitar, she touches the strings softly and makes beautiful sounds. She also bangs it percussively like a drum.

She is content sitting in the bath for as long as we let her, playing with the duckies, the fish, babbling to herself.

She can point to her nose and your nose.

She refuses to wear a hat.

When you come into the room, sometimes she squeals, crawls quickly over and raises her arms to be picked up.

Ebeanbag

First Baby Steps

First Baby Steps

M is taking little steps. Not by herself, but now when you hold her up by both hands and coax her she takes jerky little steps forward. She is working on walking. Above is a sketch of her and D.

Discombobulated

discombobulated

Moving is so disorienting. I feel a bit like I’ve been thrown off the merry-go-round. There are no longer any mindless tasks; everything takes mental energy. You want to mail a letter–where’s the mailbox? You want to make a salad–where did you put the olive oil? You want to take a walk–which way? But more than that, now that you don’t know any of these things, who are you?

I used to be a Brooklynite. Or maybe I was a California transplant living in Brooklyn so long it had become home. Now I’m in Pittsburgh. This is of course not the first change in my life. We’re constantly changing…surroundings, circumstances, attitudes.

I used to live in California’s Central Valley; then I moved to New York. I used to be a conscientious student of the humanities; then I graduated. I used to be the youngest in a tight-knit family of five; then my parents separated. I used to be single and dating; then I got married. And suddenly I’m a frazzled non-working twin mom living in Pittsburgh.

My stuff is around, but it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. The more I think about it the more I realize how fragile our conception of self really is. Our brains must have to work pretty hard to maintain anything as constant.

Luckily, even though those past iterations of myself now seem utterly foreign, some things remain constant. I love and have always loved the arts. The people I love are still around me. I have probably always been a home body, which is maybe why moving is so disorienting. But I will get all this stuff we hauled in boxes into its right spot. I’ll create a new mental map, like roots.

And really, it’s good for me. People aren’t trees. We’re meant to move.