Twin life

13 months old

Any fear that time would slow down after we hit the first birthday milestone has been assuaged by the speed with which the past month has passed. Here are Hattie and Joe and their monkey:

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It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on these days: the two of them are learning and developing so quickly! Here’s a (very) brief rundown…

Harriet

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Now that she’s been walking for over a month there is no stopping young Hattiekins! She doesn’t actually do much but walk around… all day… round and round the living room… carrying a couple of toys. She’s amazingly steady on her feet, which I attribute to her habit of practising standing up unsupported for several weeks before she got moving. She can mooch along, stop and stand for a while, change direction, and bend down to pick up things. Until a couple of weeks ago if she fell over she needed to crawl to something and haul herself up again, but now she’s able to stand up unsupported as well.

Being able to go wherever she likes had had a huge impact on Hattie – she’s started looking like a little kid (albeit a short, tiny one without many teeth or a full head of hair), rather than a baby. I guess her whole perspective has changed, which must be mindboggling.

On the hair and teeth front she’s cutting her fifth tooth at the moment, and she’s finally giving up the bald look in favour of a gamine crop. I think that her hair’s going to be the same colour as mine when I was a kid – light brown , with a bit of a reddy/golden tinge to it.

Bad teething days not withstanding, Hattie continues to be an absolute joy. She’s such a merry little character. However, she’s also a very determined little soul, and I predict some titanic battles along the lines of “no, I want to do it MYSELF!!!” in a few months. She’s also quite good at playing the crowd. She’s a right little ruffian and frequently launches herself at Joe and tackles him to the ground (thankfully, he’s reasonably tolerant), but heaven help us all if he takes toys off her (which he does constantly): she shrieks her outrage, and cries big crocodile tears – all the while turning to see if I’m watching, in the hopes that I’ll intervene. Sometimes I do, but generally speaking I’m of the opinion that they need to learn how to sort out these issues unaided.

It’s lovely to have such a sanguine little girl. When I take her to play groups and other events with lots of people she just cruises off, checking things out, with little concern about where I am – she’s definitely not clingy. However, she has the sweetest habit of coming over to me several times a day and launching herself into my arms for a micro cuddle. It’s so endearing.

Joseph

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Joe obviously knew that I was about to write an update about him: a couple of days ago he started walking independently (as opposed to just taking a couple of shaky steps between pieces of furniture). I think that watching Hattie has spurred him on, but he needed a bit of extra time in order to build up his confidence. He’s a strong little boy and he’s already pretty steady, so I expect that he’ll be very comfortable with walking really quickly. For now, he’s moving slowly, but he’s managing to cross the floor very well. The impact that this will have on his relationship with his sister should be fantastic – they adore each other already, and now they’ll be able to properly chase each other around.

Joe’s growing into such a handsome boy. He’s got masses of blond hair, with curls coming through at the back, and his skin is just glorious – he’s so tanned that he looks like he’s been hanging out at the beach every day. He’s got six shiny white teeth, and I can vouch personally for their sharpness: for the past couple of weeks he’s finished each of his twice-daily breast feeds by clamping firmly on my nipple. I’ve tried the standard ‘yelp in pain (really not difficult), unlatch baby immediately’ response, and Joe has responded like a promising young psycho: gales of laughter. However, I’m cautiously hoping that he’s finally over this biting malarkey, as I haven’t been chomped during either feed today.

Until this walking thing got underway Joe was a big fan of sitting around and playing with his toys, but this might all change now that he’s on the move. He is a huge fan of music, though, and I’m hoping that he’ll now be able to start dancing! He knows how to work every musical toy in the house, and beams with delight and gets his groove on whenever he hears a tune. He’d become a bit of a fussy eater at meal times, trying to dodge the spoon or smoosh mouthfuls down his chin, so I’ve started playing the two of them Sesame St celebrity videos on my iPad while I feed them. Joe bounces along to his favourite tracks and even claps his hands along with the music.

Like his sister, Joe’s starting to hint at some of the toddler mayhem that I can expect from him in the coming months. He’s got a proper temper, and absolutely roars if I thwart him. He can also maintain a good low-level grizzle for an impressively long time. However, he’s very quick to laugh, even when he’s been in a right grumpy mood: it helps that he’s hugely ticklish.

Where Hattie spends time at play groups touring around, Joe tends to stay put and get to grips with all of the toys. One of the many brilliant things about him is the way that he’s almost always completely relaxed about me temporarily leaving him in order to retrieve his sister. And while he’s not yet in the habit of seeking me out for a cuddle, when I scoop him up in the arms (a hundred times a day – he’s delectable) he puts his arms around me and snuggles in like a koala cub.

One last thing: Hattie and Joe have always got on fairly well, but their relationship has gone up several levels in cuteness recently. Aside from the endless games of peek-a-boo, they still catch each other’s eyes and crack up on a regular basis, and our new thing is to encourage them to give each other a kiss good night, which they’ve taken to with some enthusiasm. And I nearly dies from an overload of maternal adoration last week, when we were at Inflatable World and Hattie put her arms around Joe and gave him a cuddle (the first time I’ve seen them be spontaneously demonstrative). Finally, here are some additional photos from their monkey shoot today:

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And yes, they’re STILL wearing those same pyjamas (size 3-6 months)..! If you check the Hattie and Joe page you’ll see that they have been wearing these pyjamas since they were six months old! They’re starting to wear out some pairs at the toes – that’s how much value we’re getting for our money.

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