G and T - 2-and-a-half M - 9-and-a-half months
When you have twins, you get a lot of attention. Everyone coos at tiny babies, but the comments and cuddles soon peter out, don't they? Not when you have twins. I love that people still smile at them in the street and stop to say hello. Usually, they'll wink and add: 'Double trouble, eh? You've got your hands full!' And they're right. I do. With my singleton.
M is into everything. Well, not everything. Just everything I don't want her to be. She's a lightning-fast crawler, pulls up on anything she can gets her hands on and spends her days cruising round the furniture trying to join in the twins' games. She made a grab for the laundry basket by my bed the other day. Unfortunately, it's a pop-up one that crumpled beneath her. She missed the corner of the bedside table by millimetres. But while I leapt up in a panic, she simply wiggled round and reached up for the table instead. She's fearless. And I'm exhausted.
When summer finally made an appearance this week, we all piled outside, delighted to be set free. But no sooner had a popped M down on the picnic mat than she was gone, heading full pelt towards the nearest stone she could get in her mouth. Gone are the days of her sitting happily playing in the shade while I hang up the washing. I've spent two days on constant watch, snatching her up seconds before she heads down the stone steps or tumbles into the flowerbeds. The twins are great at diving dramatically to retrieve stones and bits of soil from her chubby paws, but they're not the most reliable babysitters. Far too easily distracted by a manic game of Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosies. In the end, I decided to pick my battles. Just hope Daddy isn't too upset by the rather naked-looking plant I sacrificed in a bid to distract her...
When the twins were this age, life was a bit simpler. We lived in a flat then, and I simply caged them. We got ourselves two metal playpens and joined them together to essentially turn the living room in a toy-filled jail. Of course, the girls weren't trapped in there all the time (tempting though...) but it at least meant there was a safe but fun place for them to be when I needed access to both hands simultaneously. Things are very different when you have toddlers around. Babies don't care if you go out much. G and T get cabin fever. When they were little, I was in charge of what was on the floor. Now, there are crayons, stickers and all manner of little toys just waiting to be popped into a curious baby mouth.
I always wanted to have my children close in age, but it does have its drawbacks. The twins always start with good intentions of keeping forbidden items out of reach, but they're toddlers. They have fish-like memories for anything other than promises about after-dinner sweeties and trips to the playpark. I'm certainly not going to deprive them of toys, so little M is having to grow up fast. It's looking very likely that she'll be walking before the twins did at 11 months, and I'm hoping that when she can join in their games properly, she'll be less of a handful for her exhausted mum. Or she'll just be able to get into even more mischief. I'm not getting a rest any time soon, am I?