“Don’t hit your sister”, “Don’t push your brother”, “Share or I’ll take it”! Have terms like this become part of your daily jargon? If so welcome to the referee stage!!! Those who already have two kids around the same age know the battle can become intense making you feel as though you are in the midst of a NBA finals game (by the way congrats to the last season’s NBA winners Golden State Warriors, they so deserved to win).
So what to do about this? So far I have learned that separation is key to calm and peace of mind, thus being instrumental in me developing the “Double Rule” which is the number of times I speak to my little darlings before action takes place . This first warning consists of me telling the tots to stop, if the action persists (which is normally does), I tell them to stop with a firm warning that next time they won’t be allowed to play. The final time I have to speak means they can no longer play with the object causing the conflict or one another until they calm down. Seems so simple, but of course every case requires different treatment. If the circumstance arrives that one of my tiny tots become hurt, my “Double Rule” quickly becomes the “don’t-you-ever-do-that-again-rule”. Of course your temperament, tolerance and patience dictate how to you handle toddler disputes but regardless of how you decide, having a firm hand over your little ones is instrumental in how they respond to you now and even as they become older.
Find what works for your little ones, whether it be quiet time or another form of toddler appropriate punishment. No matter the case, always come prepared with your whistle in hand because you have a great amount of shot calling in your future.
About a year and a half your little ones will use the most famous word in the toddler dictionary… “No”! This heavy duty two letter word works wonders to express their dismay or often times is followed by the second infamous word of a toddler’s vocab: “mine”. These two power packed words have to ability to drive you MAD if you let them.
So what to do about your growing toddlers propensity for these words? Toddlers are sponges and whether you have paid close attention to yourself, your toddlers are predisposed to the word “no” from none other than mommy herself. Just try to recall all the times you said “no, don’t touch that”, “no, get down from there”, “no, don’t put that in your mouth” you’ll notice “no” is a significant word in your vocabulary. Try to limit your usage of the word and instead change the language you use such as “don’t touch because you could hurt yourself”, or “we only put food in our mouths”. Though still young, they understand more than I feel adults give them credit for. Try explaining why they can’t touch something such as “you can’t touch that because it will burn your hand”and they may surprise you and cease the behavior.
Remember the days when you could split everything between your wonderful little bundles? Well that comes to a hault once they get into the “mine” stage. This little word has begun plenty of battles between my little angels. It’s amazing to me how the same little people who have shared almost everything since the very beginning have become so territorial. I attribute this to their growing independence. So what to do? Though I’m still learning myself, I have found taking away the source of the “mine” battle works. This of course shifts the attention from the object of debate to you of course but it’s nothing mommy can’t handle :-). I’m all for talking to my tiny tots so once I remove the object I say my mother’s favorite line to my brother and I when we were younger, “if you can’t share it, you can’t have it at all”. After a few moments the tears cease and they are more open to sharing rather than not having the toy at all.
Now keep in mind there are always limitations to everything and every toddler requires different tactics to encourage their expanding vocabulary. “No” and “Mine” are just the beginning of their language use and comprehension. Soon their vocabulary will become copious and your tiny tots will become tiny motor mouths. Remember to write down all the memorable moments and most of all enjoy the journey.
Yes! We made it through the holidays. With two tiny tots running around and getting into any and everything, making it through the holidays in one piece is like running and winning a marathon. From cooking to cleaning, shopping to gift wrapping, decorating and baking, the holidays quickly become time consuming and potentially stressful. Now add to the equation two little ones who require round-the-clock parental supervision and you can barely keep your head from spinning.
By eighteen months I have pretty good handle on the dynamic duo so all I did was apply old lessons to novel situations. Here are a few things that helped me conquer the holiday season;
1. Keep them Busy
I learned from earlier experiences that the best way to do anything while keeping your little ones safe is to keep them occupied in the same room you’re in. When in the kitchen, I would play music and take some breaks to dance and play, all while allowing them to bang on my pots and pans with utensils.
2. FEED THEM!!!!
Food makes everyone happy especially little ones! Snacks keep toddlers happy for an extended time period allotting you time to complete the task at hand. As long as my tiny tots had food and drink, they were very content children.
3. Make them Feel Useful
At eighteen months, toddlers love modeling what they see and thrive on praise when completing the task correctly. Give them a tiny twin size task to take on and make sure to applaud them for their work during and after completion. For instance, while cooking I would ask them to cook me a meal on their kitchen set or if folding laundry, I would give them two blankets to fold (or cover their faces and chase each other with :-)).
4. Make Good Use of Naps
Lets face it, some things still aren’t capable of being completing while your tiny tornado’s are awake. Once they lay down use the time wisely to finish (or start) the task at hand .
While these 4 things assisted me throughout the holiday season, they can also make your daily chores more manageable or family events throughout the year. I hope all you twin supermoms had a MARVELOUS holiday season and I wish you all the very best of God’s blessings for the upcoming year.
You can finally see your bundles of joy evolving into tiny people, in which we toddlers. When you thought they couldn’t get into anything else, your walking baby dolls are now reaching for things on top of the table, opening cabinets, pulling out drawers and taking out whatever interesting things they find. As they are discovering the world around them, you will truly find entertainment watching them.
Hopefully you took baby proofing serious when they began crawling because it will definitely benefit you now. Though we placed safety locks on drawers and cabinets, baby proofed all power plugs, and placed everything that could be harmful out of reach, they still managed to make a mess. They took absolute advantage of their mobility running from room to room pulling out any and EVERYTHING! As long as it may have taken me to clean up, in a matter of 5 minutes my hard work could be reversed. Initially it drove me CRAZY when my angels would take everything out, but I learned how to tame the tiny tornadoes, only allowing them to take a few things out at a time.
As you can see from the photo, they love my pots and I took full advantage of their interest while I was cooking. Allowing them to play with my pots allotted me more time to cook while enjoying the musical stylings of my little wonders. Of course putting back my pots several times a day can become monotonous, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. If you are a neat freak ( as I once was before children), you must learn how to become somewhat flexible, allowing your toddlers freedom within reason. Toddlers, in my opinion, experience the world by making a mess. Taking things apart, turning things over, putting things in their mouth and even breaking things just to learn more about their surroundings. Luckily toddlers are little sponges, so just as you teach them to operate a toy is the same way you can teach them how to clean up. After watching me clean so much, my daughter takes out the diaper wipes and wipes down all inanimate objects within her reach. It’s actually quite adorable to watch her clean. She’s even gotten her brother interested in cleaning.
Learning to deal with your tiny tornadoes can be difficult in the beginning, but once you learn to operate within chaos, your world will become easier and even amusing (and you thought it couldn’t get any better). As always, enjoy your little marvels. Time flies so enjoy every waking moment.
Having twin babies is so much fun and is quite entertaining, especially when you are captivated by their activity. They can be found constantly laughing and giggling, often finding excitement in the others enjoyment. Many times you will find them in deep conversation that only they understand, but based on their hand gestures you can pretty much gauge how the conversation is going, whether they are joking or arguing (yes babies argue). Most times you’ll realize that your babies are mocking you, replicating the things they’ve seen you or other household family members do. My mother once said “always watch what you do and say because babies are like little sponges that absorb EVERYTHING”!!! So right she was because whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, they are a mirror image of your actions and words (or vocal tone in the case of babies).
At a time when verbal communication is futile, babies hand ques can translate their needs and desires. Around 12 months, my daughter began waving us along and pointing to what she wanted. When we found what she wanted, we would say the name of the object and wouldn’t give it to her until she tried to repeat us. Now at 14 months she say’s clearly “cup”, “juice”, and “cracker”. Her vocabulary is constantly growing especially as she becomes more fascinated with speaking. My son is slightly more stubborn when it comes to talking, though he speaks clear when he attempts to repeat words he is selective when doing so.
Though talk and hand gestures are a large part of their growing communication, understanding what’s being said to them is a huge achievement. The first command my twins understood was “give mommy a kiss”. It was so rewarding to not just give but receive sweet kisses from your babies. Little by little I could see their minds evolving and understanding my words even more. They quickly understood “it’s time to eat”. When I said these magical words, they would quickly stop what they were doing and head straight for the kitchen. At 13 months I would tell them to go find their cups so they could have some juice and off they would go until they found their cups.
Everyday they surprise me with what new thing they learned. They are constantly bringing a smile to my face and I love every moment. As always, cherish each moment because very quickly the present will become the past.