Lots is happening: zaiki are four and a half and enrolled at a private pre-k half a mile from our house (happy-happy-happy dance, no more traffic or driving, yo!), I am teaching public speaking at a state university in addition to my regular day job and life has gotten a little bit easier. The biggest change comes from a different approach to things: nothing is permanent, and thinking about the present greatly reduced the feeling of weight on my shoulders. I took a clue from the girls: they change so quickly, nothing can be taken as an always-and-forever thing. One day Sonya loves her smoked salmon, the next she can't stand it. Go figure! No planning! Pass the wine!
I think sometimes that if I had another baby, I would totally rock the baby stage knowing what I know now about child development. Oh, the little precious one is not sleeping through the night? Just wait a week or two, she'll be snoozing like a champ. LOL.
But alas, no babies here. I've said before I am not a fan of babies. That is still true: if I meet one and is offered to hold it, I usually politely decline. That's how out-babied I am. Raising twins would do that.
I much prefer my children now than I did even two years ago. They are turning out to be really cool almost human people. For instance,they just began to dress themselves in the morning.
DRESS. THEMSELVES. WITHOUT ME!
<Insert here a moment of silence so I can savor this delicious developmental milestone>
Those of you who say: "Humph, what's a big deal about getting your little ones dressed?" know nothing. Every morning, around 7 am, was the time for my own small personal rodeo: by the time I was done it felt like I unsuccessfully tried to saddle up two robust and very unwilling ponies.
Husband is the one who implemented the dress-yourselves routine using the slightly gentler version of the drill-sergeant techniques picked up in the military, for which I am eternally grateful.
Now all I have to do is lay out everything the night before and they do all the work. The infuriating fact is that it only takes them a few minutes to get fully dressed, which means the stinkers long had the ability, but prefered the fun game of "let's see who can kick mama the strongest".
This new milestone brings me to the topic of today's post. Here is why 4.5 (let's just round it up to 5 for easy typing) kicks 4's ass. These are all the things zaiki learned to do in the past few months:
1. Dressing themselves - as described above, huge for a parent of twins. Cuts down the morning to-do list by at least half. Shedding happy tears.
2. Wiping their butts. Another biggie. See numero uno for the reasoning. Plus, less exposure to kid poop, which ruled my life for 4 long years. Do ya all like how I strategically placed this improvement under number two? Tee-hee.
3. Self-play. I believe that self-play is the first step towards independence, self-regulating and creative problem solving, even if it sometimes means kick-stomping your sister skinhead style to get the coveted doll. All of these are crucial to surviving their school years, and if they can dodge a dropkick, then I feel secure for their place in the school foodchain.
4. Improved fine motor skills: now I can actually ask them to bring me something or to turn up the volume on the TV and not only do they understand me, they are actually able to perform the required task. This makes my job as a mother easier while fostering independence and self-actualization, so everyone wins.
5. They are funnier and get humor. They make me laugh on a regular basis. The jokes are just too much. For instance, Maya was talking about God and the communion: "Mama, does it mean that we all have a piece of God inside us?"
Me (melting at the spiritual awareness): "Yes, Maya, that's what it means"
Maya: "Ok, then I got the God's head..."
Hysterical laughter ensued and the discussion degenerated from there...
So I'm remaining optimistic for the upcoming year ahead: I hope for more independence and less whining, free-ish time for the Husband and I, but who knows...:)