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Twin Tornadoes: Toddler-hood Just Got Real

Originally posted on Huffington Post

Sometimes I feel like having twin toddlers is a piece of cake and I'm totally nailing it, and then I'm like wow - that was a really nice 45 seconds.

The transition from infancy to toddler-hood was a slow one, gradual and sluggish. Bit by bit, I traded my sleep deprived nights for more restful ones, and I swapped my quiet days for more lively ones. And when I say lively I mean toddlers asserting their independence (tantrums), toddlers finding their voices and learning to use them (noise), toddlers testing their limits (and mine), and toddlers exploring their surroundings (me chasing them in all directions).

Toddler-hood is remarkable because your babies grow into little human beings right before your eyes. They are transforming into thinking and learning creatures- and I am in constant awe of these changes. They start to develop a sense of self (as well as a sense of their twin), recognize patterns and routines, grow preferences (mac and cheese and Curious George) and dislikes (diaper changes and being confined to the car seat or stroller), and cultivate a sense of humor and playfulness. Oh, and they dance. Baby dancing is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

For all of these reasons, toddler-hood is fun and rewarding - and for all of these reasons, toddler-hood is hard.

I've run into a lot of twin moms when out and about with my girls. We can spot each other easily. Some offer advice, some ask questions, and some just give you that nod of understanding and appreciation that only twin moms can recognize. They look at me knowingly as I ask questions, "How was it when they started to crawl? When they started to walk? What lies ahead?"

"Oh, it was so easy!" said no mom ever.

What they actually say is something like this: Each stage is different and presents its own challenges. Vague, but okay, I understand the reality of that statement - but are they lying to me about how hard it really is in an effort to keep me from worrying? Is anybody actually going to tell me to my face that these years will be the hardest?

When I see other moms (with twins trailing behind mine in age) they look to me for assurance and guidance. I tell them it's hard work, but it's worth it - and they can totally do it.

Being a parent of twins really is hard work, so I think we have to be cheerleaders for each other - even if that means not letting the newbies in on the challenges and tantrums ahead. But if I can be totally honest with you for one moment, I will say this: toddler-hood is hard.

Living with twin tornadoes has suddenly made me feel like I'm treading water.

I know I'm in for some amazing things ahead, but for now, toddler-hood just got real.

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