Twin life

16 months old

Where is the time going? I swear that I only wrote the 15 month update a couple of days ago!

Here are our lovely 16 month old big baby kids:

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It was so difficult to get a photo of them this month! After two failed attempts to get them to sit with their monkey on the sofa, I had to resort to the high chairs. This photo does show off their long legs quite well, so that’s good.

Hattie and Joe are on excellent form. We’ve had a busy month, with Pat and Richard departing (boo!), and Julie, our lovely French au pair, arriving (yay!) We also took a trip down country to visit my family over Easter, and spent a couple of days in Wellington as well.

The degree to which Hattie and Joe are becoming cool little kids was shown when we drove out of Auckland on Good Friday (our original plan of driving through the night on Holy Thursday being scuppered by the terrible weather that day), and promptly hit a huge traffic jam. We’d intended to drive through their afternoon nap, which would have taken about 90 minutes, and then continued for another 90 minutes before we reached Taupo, home of wonderful Kate and Stephen. After some time to relax there, and dinner all round, we’d then intended to drive the rest of the way to my parents’ house after the kids’ bedtime, in the hopes that they’d sleep for most of that part of the journey too. Instead, it took over six hours to reach Taupo, during which time we had to stop at a cafe and feed the kids their dinner. They were such little treasures – they hardly grumbled during the long and dull drive, slept during the drive from their dinner location to Kate and Stephen’s house, woke up and had a lovely time playing with their boys, and then went back to sleep as soon as we returned them to the car.

On the whole, life is just ticking by as normal. Hattie is starting to talk much more, and her current vocabulary is: “Joe” (so adorable); “Hattie” (but said in Julie’s accent a lot of the time – “At-tie”); “Tui” (and she was so delighted when she’d started saying that one night in the bath, and I figured out what it was); and “cook”. We don’t really know what’s going on with “cook”. We suspect that she might mean “book”, but she can say her b sounds very well, so who knows? It may be that “cook” is her new catch-all word. She hasn’t said “no” much recently, but she certainly knows how to use body language to express her disapproval…

Meanwhile, Joe continues to say “yup”, or, more often “dup”, and not much else, other than a bit of “Mum… MUM!” in the car. He is a very enthusiastic head nodder and shaker though, and rarely leaves you in any doubt as to his wants and needs.

I did talk about language development with our Plunket nurse at the 15 month check-up, because it’s an area where twins often lag behind (largely because they get much less one-on-one conversation time than singleton toddlers). Anita, our nurse, wasn’t overly concerned, but she suggested that I get in touch again at the 18 month mark if I don’t feel like they’ve mastered a few more clear words. I’ve since seen this very helpful list of language ‘red flags’ for different ages, which was really interesting. Going by this, we’re pretty much on track (phew!).

Another area where Hattie and Joe have made good progress this month is in feeding themselves. They now have their own little forks and spoons, and are becoming good at spearing their food and getting it up to their mouths with the minimum of fuss. We’ve changed their meals around a bit and tend to give them their big, hot meal at lunch time, as we were finding that they were often a bit too tired to be bothered about eating much at dinner time. It’s working very well – if they are tired as we get near to bedtime, they can just have a sandwich and some yoghurt and fruit for dinner, since I know that they’ve eaten well earlier in the day.

I can’t tell you how much I love this toddler stage. It’s just brilliant to have two little people running around, cracking themselves and us up all day, and discovering new things. They’re such funny, merry little kids, and when tantrums strike (oh yes, they certainly do), the storms tend to pass fairly quickly. We are so lucky to have these amazing children! Here are some recent photos for your viewing pleasure.

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