Monday, January 28, 2013

First word!!...?

Today I was giving the twins a snack and as I asked Rachel if she wanted another cracker Sam piped up clear as a bell "crackehr."
I was thrilled and shocked. I gushed over him and he repeated it once and that was it.
They still don't say Mama or Dada deliberately but Sam can repeat a word like cracker?
I know they understand pretty much everything we say. I truly am not worried about them being a little delayed. So why am I now focusing so much on this milestone? I mean, I still love their babbling, love the wacky sounds they figure out how to make, love repeating their non-sense.
But over the past month I've really started yearning for words and I think the reason is twofold:
First, they do a lot of whining for things. Life will be so much more civilized when they have some basic words that let me know what they want.
Second, I have waited a long long long time to be a Mom. I want to hear that name directed at me by my children.
....maybe if I ignore them a little, they'd be forced to say Mama to get my attention..... I just don't think I could survive the whining and screeching they tried first.

Friday, January 18, 2013

On my own

Tonight I'm on my own with the twins.
Okay they're already in bed and don't generally wake during the night anymore. So really this is no hardship! But it feels different not having another adult around. I'll sleep in my bed alone tonight while Andrew is upisland visiting a friend.
 If there is a fire, I'll have to get both kids out on my own.
There will be no fire. I know this.....and if there is I can move fast....and I've already ensured there is nothing to trip over on the way out to the garage..... the cat, however, may be left behind. Because there is no way I'm leaving two babies alone outside in the dark to go back into a burning house to save a cat.
Ooookay overthinking this.
Moving on.

In other news, Sam and Rachel are being more and more personable with each other. Although their first instinct is to serve their own self interests, they are increasingly responsive to the other's emotions and wants. Today Sam reached down to get a sippy cup from the floor and Rachel went for the second one. Sam was faster and got them both, was happy to get have them both! But when Rachel wailed he happily handed her one of them. It was so civilized....you know, eventually.
Yesterday Sam dropped his cracker from his highchair and Rachel gave it back to him. Sam dropped his sippy cup repeatedly into Rachel's chair and time after time after time she fished it out and put it back on his tray or into his hand. She was such a little helper!
We still don't really have words. And the frustration they express when they don't get what they want is getting louder and louder.
Sam's uh-oh is perfect and he'll sometimes clap his hand to his head and say pikab which I think is supposed to be peekaboo. Rachel will repeatedly say upa upa but totally out of context.
They don't seem to understand at all when we try to get them to repeat after us. Maybe we've spent too much time repeating their sounds to them.
Now when we say, 'Up, Rachel wants up? Say Up. Up Rachel. Up." She just gets frustrated that we clearly understand what she wants and yet we're refusing to act on it in a timely fashion. It's mildly funny but I really do want them to find some words before they start wanting more complex things that they need words for. I certainly don't want to refuse to assist them when I know what they want but I do want to encourage them to repeat after us.
Any ideas? I'm totally open to suggestions!
Oh and yes, we have a few signs which they occassionally repeat but rarely without us first asking. "Rachel do you want more?" with the 'more' sign indicated often results in a disgusted look because again, clearly we wouldn't be asking if we didn't already know she wanted more. So get over it already Mom and give me the freaking cheerio I'm whining for.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Proof of comprehension!

Sam and Rachel are suddenly displaying amazing understanding. I still say they have no words, no words that are consistent in context anyway. But that's not to say they don't have language or know exactly what we're saying.

Last week I was washing my hands after a diaper change and looking in the mirror I saw Sam drop his bottle on the floor and walk away into our bedroom. So I called out, "No Sam, not on the floor. Can you bring your bottle to Mommy?"

I had no expectation of him responding to this. So I was shocked when I saw him go back to the nursery, pick up his bottle, bring it into the bathroom and put it on the counter next to me.
I cheered! I praised! I was sooo proud.

The next day while Daddy was running the bath, I undressed and handed Rachel her clothes and said, "Take these to Daddy." And she did!! Again shock and horrays rang through the house.

But the examples that thrill me happened yesterday and today. After a diaper change Daddy came back to the living room followed shortly by Sam and Rachel. Someone, or perhaps both of them, had brought a clean diaper with them. We asked about this. Who brought the diaper? Rachel raised her hand. We laughed, not believing it meant anything. Of course Sam liked our response so he raised his hand. We laughed harder. Then I say, "Sam can you take the diapers back? Put them back in your room."

You cannot imagine my surprise when he stooped down, picked them up and walked out of the room. I asked Andrew if he was actually going to manage it so Andrew followed him. Sure enough he walked all the way to the nursery and put the diaper back on the shelf. It fell off so he picked it back up and pushed it further onto the shelf and then walked back to the living room.
We cheered! We clapped! We praised! It was awesome.

This morning it got better. I was by the back door with the twins and their shoes and coats were at the front door. I said to Rachel, "Can you bring me the shoes?" And she did!! She walked to the front door, got all the shoes and brought them back to me.

I'm so excited. I've got helpers!! I've got tiny little hands that can help accomplish things all day long.... Okay, maybe only sporadically throughout the day when they are engaged and in the perfect mood to oblige. But who cares! I have helpers!

Let the manipulation .....erm, I mean... positive reinforcement begin!