Nineteen months old today. Blimey — we are creeping ever more swiftly towards their second birthday. Before I know it, they’ll be starting school, university, getting engaged, planning a wedding… OHMYGOD MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!! Arrrrgh!! *life flashing before one’s eyes*
This month has been full of changes. When you don’t have children of your own, you can be a little dismissive (perhaps) of the little milestones that happen in a child’s life. Now I’m lucky enough to be a mother and have front row seats, I can see, literally day by day, how quickly these little siblings morph into fully fledged people.
Children grow and change at such different rates, it’s astonishing.
Before I had the babies I didn’t realise this and used to observe the ‘competitive mums’ trying to out-do their friends with children of a similar age.
I remember my best friend saying it was really demoralising when you’ve got someone dissing your offspring’s first achievements:
‘Oooh is so-and-so only just walking? My little angel has been running marathons for at least a month already’
‘Oh, has such-and-such only just started speaking? My little boy can recite the alphabet already. In Mandarin.’
And so on…
It’s only that I have two that are exactly the same age that I can say, from my experience, it seems pretty normal for children of the same age to develop at totally different rates.
I feel really sad for all of my friends who have persecuted themselves over the years, because their little ones weren’t doing exactly the same as
the competitive mother’s someone else’s child. I have two that are developing at completely different rates!
Everyone’s brains are wired differently, after all. Some people are more physical and are better at running, throwing a ball etc. Others are more arts-and-crafty; love painting, drawing and sticking (I was that child — and still am!).
Bertie and Cosmo currently fall into two very different camps. Bert — physical; has got an absolutely killer right arm when he throws a ball (or any object that comes to hand). Cosmo — emotionally intelligent; loves to communicate and try out his new vocabulary.
Cosmo is obsessed with the TV. Put it on and he will go into a trance-like state — regardless of whats on!! The news, Ben and Holly, Escape to The Country, Peppa Pig, adverts… it doesn’t matter what it is, he’ll stop what he’s doing and watch it.
Bertie, on the other hand, is just not interested.
He’ll sit for long enough to watch an episode of Peppa or the CBeebies bedtime story occasionally but, other than that, he’s happy for it to be background noise whilst he bustles about.
One common interest for my little pair, over the last month, is a shared love of Lego. Both of them LOVE it! I had been given a big boxful of Duplo by a friend in the village and, initially, I didn’t think they were quite old enough — or have the fine motor skills — to use it, but it has proved to be a massive hit! They love sticking the bricks together and making huge towers. They play happily for ages.
This has been such an interesting month in terms of their development.
Really strong personality traits are really beginning to show now and the rate they learn things is extraordinary. And not the same things either. It’s astonishing to watch — and a real case for ‘nature’ over ‘nurture’. These boys are being brought up in exactly the same way, in the same environment. Yet they are already gravitating towards different things. Amazing.
One thing they do share though — as well as their Lego — is a love for each other. Say to either one of them ‘Aaah — look at Bertie/Cosmo — he is your brother‘ and they sidle up to their twin for a cuddle. It is gorgeous to see. The start of a long and happy friendship with their sibling. So precious.