Now that the little ones are on the other side of the year mark, I plan on doing the monthly updates less frequent. Primarily because it feels weird to say the girls are “13 months.” Sort of like setting the microwave to 90 seconds to cook a small bag of popcorn. Maybe it’s just me, but it drives me crazy when the brain needs that one extra step to comprehend something. 90 seconds. Oh, that’s 1 minute and 30 seconds. 13 months. Oh, that is one year and one month. But when someone asks the question, you can’t say “one year and one month,” you have to give the shortened “13 months.”
After reading the last paragraph, you were probably thinking, “what the hell is he thinking?” So, let me go a step further. I think this internal issue is similar to two syllables versus one. “Zachary” with 3 syllables was never going to cut it for me, so I made sure I was “Zac” starting in Kindergarten. Just like Cari became Care. And Charlyn became Char. I have probably already given too much thought to what we nickname our next au pair – Saskia. Sas? Kia? Something completely random? I have T-minus 3 months to figure it out and come to an agreement.
Now that I have that nonsense off my chest, let’s talk about the girls. At 13 months, here is what life looks like:
We continue to roll with the “2-3-4” schedule that we implemented around 9 months. We have shifted it back a couple of hours to enjoy more time with them in the evenings, but here is how it looks on a “perfect” day in month 13:
8:15 a.m. – Wake time. The girls are pretty much naturally wired to wake-up here. There is only one thing that might change that – a poo diaper. If either is rockin the poo diaper, they may wake as early as 7:30. If neither had an overnight bowel movement, they occasionally surpass 8:15, but I wake them up a few minutes later.
8:30 a.m. – Breakfast. The diapers were changed and now we have two hungry girls. They love eggs and almost all of the traditional breakfast foods – oatmeal, toasts, etc.
10:15 a.m. – Nap #1. We always lay them down exactly two hours after they woke. And they are ready to nap at this point. We almost never have issues putting them to sleep here unless we extend the 2 hours (in which case they are “over-tired”).
12:15 p.m. – Wakey. This is the ideal time for them to wake, but it also changes based on the poo status. If no poo, they will sleep until 1:00. But it is better to wake them after 2 hours so they sleep for nap #2.
12:30 p.m.— Lunch time. Again, they eat almost all typical lunch foods. There is almost nothing they cannot eat at this point.
2:45 p.m. – Snack time. I have found that they sleep better for nap #2 on a full stomach, so a small snack here is helpful.
3:15 p.m. – Nap #2. Always 3 hours after they woke up.
5:15 p.m. – Wake-up. This is probably the most volatile piece of their schedule. You never know when they are going to wake from nap #2 (a lot depends on how their previous nap went).
5:30 p.m. – Supper.
7:00 p.m. – Bath time. A fairly new development here, but we have switched to a nightly bath. Mainly to clean their butts and to help establish the routine before bedtime. We only use soap every couple of nights so that their delicate skin does not dry out.
7:30 p.m. – Night-night.
All told, their schedules are slowly resembling that of a young school child. 3 meals a day + snack. Awake for about 7 hours a day (17 hours of sleeping sounds like a lot!).
The next big change is moving the girls to one nap a day. I foresee this happening in the next 2 to 3 months, but we will let it happen naturally as they are ready for it.
As I alluded to above, the girls are now taking a bath every day. This was a big change.
But the biggest hygiene development may be brushing their teeth. After sprouting so many teeth in the past two months (close to 10), we are trying to keep them sparkly white. We invested in some standard Oral-B toothbrushes a couple of months ago, but the girls were not open to the the idea of scrubbing their teeth with those. We often got lips that were sealed shut and fighting to get the brushes in their non-open mouths.
The game changer came when we invested in some electric vibrating toothbrushes (recommended by one of Care’s patients). Kendal is our shining star in this department, as she immediately took a liking to the new brush and takes it upon herself to keep her teeth clean. Kamryn is a little bit tougher to work with, but she is still brushing every night.
As I wrote in my post a couple of weeks ago, we are transitioning the girls to eating with utensils. As a whole, I have been very impressed by how quickly they have picked it up. With the utensil in hand, they probably shovel 50% of food into their mouths from the spoon/ fork. The main problem – remembering to give them a spoon or fork before every meal.
At the same time we are introducing the utensils, we are bumping up against a disturbing trend – screaming. From the second we sit them down in their high chairs to the second they are out, they feel the need to yell and holler. The only exception is when there is a large stash of food on their plates. Food they want to eat. I think this trend has gotten worse because they figured out that screaming gets them instant attention. To reverse it, I am attempting to provide even less attention/ ignore the screaming. But that is not always simple. And I’m not the only one that feeds them. More to come on this topic.
We just had the big unlock. Previously, the girls knew how to crawl and they knew how to walk. But it was difficult to convince them that it is easier to get from one place to the next by walking. If they were trying to get 10 feet, the first 3 were covered by walking and then a drop to the knees and crawling the remaining 7.
This past weekend, Kamryn figured out that life is just easier when you skip the crawling. And of course Kendal noticed and immediately followed suit. The days of crawling are on their way out. The speed at which they can move (and get in trouble) has just greatly increased again.
With regard to the walking, people often ask if they are “on par” with the deadlines by which you are supposed to meet milestones in infancy. Walking, obviously, being one of the bigger ones. I have heard parents say their kids started walking anywhere from 8 months to 18 months. For me, I am extremely happy with their development as-is. I’m sure they would be a little quicker if they were in a daycare and watching other infants walk around. But that would also mean that I would have a shorter timeframe to mentally prepare for the new responsibilities I have as the caretaker of walkers.
In my mind, the right time to hit the milestone is when they hit it. Life is more enjoyable when you are able to relax and witness the growth of your children without comparing them to others. I love it.
For those that might say they hit this milestone earlier or later than expected, I have one thing to say to them. In honor of The Masters weekend and my winning Master’s pool pick, Sir Danny Willett hailing from England, “gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit!”
For those who have never watched Happy Gilmore, the winner of the golf tournament in the movie wins a gold jacket. The winner of the Masters receives a green jacket. So, when those moments in life come when you just don’t care, Adam Sandler’s famous line bears repeating, “gold jacket, green jacket, who gives a shit.”
In summary, life with 13.5 month young twins has its challenges, but the rewards come in witnessing the constant developments and sharing in their big wins. I love it!