When you have twins that are your Alpha and Omega, every stage of child rearing is not only a first, but also a last. There is no need to keep anything for the next kid, because there is no next kid. It’s an all-or-nothing approach to parenting. While there are some developmental stages I might miss for a nanosecond or two, I’m mostly thankful to move on to new problems.
Given that it’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, here are 5 milestones of childhood development for which I’m thankful:
Milestone One: Putting food into their own mouths
I remember when our little blobs were new to solid foods and were unable to feed themselves. We were stuck in that shovel-the-food-into-their-mouths stage. For five months, we fed them hamburger soup for lunch and dinner. Who needs variety when you can’t talk? Hamburger soup was the all-in-one wonder food that went from pot to blender to ice cube tray in seconds. At mealtime, my husband and I would each choose a kid, arm ourselves with a rubber spoon and a cloth the size of a sarong, and race to see whose subject would finish first. The competition made it marginally bearable.
Milestone Two: Walking upright
I was not a lover of our double-long limo stroller. It was as easy to maneuver as a shopping cart loaded with cases of soda for a carbonation convention. Hurray for bipeds, though; when our twins walked upright, we pawned the tandem-wheeled behemoth onto two other unfortunate parents.
Milestone Three: Navigating the remote control
I’m sure many parents cursed this milestone, but I loved it. Before I banned morning television, our twins would crawl into our bed, turn on the TV, and switch the channel to cartoons, all while my husband and I attempted to sleep in ’til 6:20. When my twins learned to use the remote, we got twenty more minutes of sleep. And that means it’s a milestone worthy of celebration.
Milestone Four: Wiping their own butts
Vivian reached this milestone slightly ahead of her brother. She was so happy she could do this that she even wiped William’s butt a few times. When he decided he wanted privacy, Vivian would sit outside the bathroom door and read aloud to him. I imagine some part of her brain was remembering their time together in the womb.
Milestone Five: Putting on their seat belts and closing van doors
I’m pretty sure this milestone isn’t in most parenting keepsake albums, but it’d have prime real estate in my scrapbook if I wasn’t an anti-crafter. Errands are easy now that I only have to buckle myself into the car. Prior to reaching this milestone, my kids rarely left the house in winter. Imagine dragging two toddlers around on errands, going to the bank to see how badly my credit cards were hemorrhaging, then dragging those same two toddlers (hopefully) back to the van. We’d fight -20 C temperatures and stomp through deep snow to one side of the van, where I’d slide open the door, chide one of my kids for sticking their tongue to the frosty window, help them in, and reach over a snowsuit to buckle the seat belt, all while my glasses fogged up due to the cold. Then I’d have to do it again on the other side to the other kid. Now that they fasten their own seat belts, however, I experience a mild state of euphoria whenever I hear the sound of buckles clicking.
So, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, eh? I’m grateful you’re still reading.
What milestones are you thankful for?