It’s Tuesday night at 8 p.m. I am lying on the floor watching the twins play.
Carrie, who has methodically crawled and climbed on every piece of furniture I’ve allowed her to crawl to and climb on, is cruising along our coffee table trying to, very nonchalantly, get her hands on the large black remote control.
I am watching her side-step along the table toward the remote, while simultaneously watching Ellie writhe on the floor. Miss Ellie has to be very motivated to want to crawl and, coincidentally, very few things motivate her. She has crossed about eight feet of floor space in our family room through a series of rolls, pivots and shuffles. Along her path, she’s stopped to study fuzz on the floor, blinking lights on the receiver and to plant her face on the carpet while sticking her rear as high up into the air as possible, creating a human pup tent.
And at this very moment, watching Ellie give her face rug burn, I am comforted by the fact that I have twins.
When you have one baby, you compare your child to other children. With one, I imagine you wonder if you’re doing something wrong and, invariably, congratulate yourself for something you had nothing to do with. The joy of twins is that I know I’ve raised both girls almost exactly the same. They have faced the same challenges, they have had the same opportunities and they share the same genetics (pro or con, who knows). And yet, with so many things similar, they are nothing alike.
Ellie ate first, Carrie crawled first. Ellie rolled over first, Carrie rolls over most. Ellie is more calm and patient, Carrie is more… um… dynamic?
I’m sure there will be plenty of other times where one child does something before the other. But for those of you out there currently wondering why your baby isn’t crawling/walking/rolling/scooting/cruising as far or as fast or as frequently as another baby, hopefully I can offer you some comfort there are some things (many things, even) that as a parent that are far outside of your control.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Parenthood is of Steve Martin watching his son run headfirst into the walls with a bucket on his head.
Yeah, I expect my kids will probably do ridiculous things like that. I suspect there will be times that I will be somewhat embarrassed even. And of course, I am sure I will document those embarrassing moments on my blog because, well, I want my kids to know that what they do has consequences.
So yeah, Carrie is right now screaming at the remote control that magically (thanks to mommy) moved to the other side of the coffee table. She is slamming her little fists of rage against the coffee table, incredulous that her calculations of distance and time to said remote were so off.
And Ellie, well, she’s been rubbing her face into the carpet for about five minutes now. I think it’s time for bed.