Exploring the trials of 18-month old twins

We recently had the privilege of hosting our 18-month-old twin grandchildren for the weekend. While it was an absolute joy to have them spend a couple of nights at our house, we needed the next few days and nights to recover.

My son jokes that he should start a business to help prospective parents and grandparents toddler-proof their homes. For a small fee, he could bring his two kids into someone’s house, and they would discover all the areas that need attention within just a few minutes. Since there are two of them, they only need half the time of a single youngster.

We found this to be spot on. Within a few minutes of his arrival, Dylan managed to insert a poker chip into the running fan. He loves to push buttons and pull levers, so it was only natural for him to push the disk through the protective cage of the fan. And, no, we were not teaching the kids to gamble. We bought the chips at a garage sale and thought they would be fun for the little ones to plink through a slotted lid. We were right.

We also learned that we needed to remember to shut the door of any room we did not want invaded. If one of us went into the bathroom, he or she needed to make sure the user closed the door as he or she came out. In addition, we made sure the toilet lid was down.

At one point, I neglected to secure the door behind me, and Dylan disappeared through it. As I shooed him out, I said, “Who forgot to close the bathroom door?” more to myself than anyone else. Dylan apparently did not consider the question to be a rhetorical one and replied, “I did it.” So cute.

Rose is actually the talker of the two. She can repeat just about anything she hears. There is always music going in the family’s house, and she has taken up singing along and occasionally beatboxing with her dad. It does take a bit of close listening, however, to determine the difference between “Grandma” and “Elmo.” Her brother is quickly catching up. When either wants to give something to the other, he or she will say “thank you.”

The twins are always busy doing something, and their attention spans are still quite short. They will continue to improve, at least until they become teenagers. I tried to straighten up the room after they were asleep, but it only took a few minutes in the morning to scatter all the toys again. We took consolation in the fact that, as my wife’s grandmother famously said, “It’s okay. Toys ain’t dirt.”

We put the little guys in their little wagon and pulled them around a few blocks. They took delight in spotting birds, planes and flowers along the way. As long as the vehicle was in motion, they were happy. But, as soon as we stopped, they wanted out to stretch their little legs. They definitely enjoyed riding over those dimpled blocks on the ramps where the sidewalks meet the streets. I guess they provided good vibrations for their diapered bottoms.

I somehow managed to avoid changing either of those bottoms the whole weekend. It’s not that I don’t know how; I prefer to entertain the one who is not receiving a fresh diaper, however. Somebody has to do it, and I take my role as entertainer quite seriously. I can make them laugh, though sometimes my timing might not be perfect. Grandma wasn’t happy when I got them giggling during lunch. They apparently should not be encouraged to cover their eyes for a game of peekaboo while their hands are covered with tomato sauce.

All in all, we are calling the weekend a success. Nobody got hurt in the process, and the twins were okay, too. We feel blessed that our grandchildren are only 45 minutes away and feel sympathy for those grandparents who don’t get to see theirs on a regular basis. They are truly addictive.

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