My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Always humbled

Over the years, I've done a lot of complaining in this space.  Oh woe is me, my challenges are so hard, boo hoo hoo.

But there's always someone out there who has a bigger challenge and appears to be handling it better despite  it being a bigger challenge.  For me, that would be the quad mom in my Mom's of Multiples group.  Jiminy Cricket I feel like such a jerk when I complain about twin challenges next to her!  I barely manage to avoid being unpleasant most of the time and she's unfailingly friendly.  I'm trying to take her word for it that she's not perfect, her house isn't as clean as she'd like, or that she has her flip her shit moments, but by all outward appearances, she's got her shit together and I bow down.

I know you're not supposed to compare children, but let's face it, we all do it.  Teeny Tiny has been mobile for a little while now but Middie Biddie is still just trying to surf on her stomach and pitching a fit when she doesn't get anywhere.  My kids do seem behind their peers (peers who match their adjusted age) in terms of milestones.  I've been trying not to be disappointed or too worried about it.  I've been told that multiples often lag a little bit because the parents can't give twins the undivided attention to be teaching skills that singletons receive.

My twins and her quads are the same age.  Two of hers are a day older and two share my girls birthday.  And all four have been crawling for a while now.  Can't consider gender a factor, she has 3 girls and 1 boy.  All things being equal, my kids really should be hitting milestones at approximately the same time hers are.  Heck, mine should be a smidge ahead because I should be able to devote more time to each child than she can.  So, all things being equal, I guess the failing factor here must

I just feel so behind.  I still want to puree all the girls food but I'm trying to resist that urge and give them the opportunities to eat more real foods.  I bought a package of diced carrots designed for babies 8m+ and left that along with some other dinner for my parents to give to the girls last night.  I assumed that the carrots would be the proper size for their current development and skills.  I get home and my mother tells me that Middie Biddie gagged on them and Teeny Tiny couldn't really chew them so she spit them out.  I looked at the pieces and they just seemed huge to me.  Is this the size that younger babies than mine are able to handle but mine can't?  I'm still cutting up food much smaller than those pieces.  Tonight, I diligently cut up pieces of our corned beef dinner for the girls.  They loved it, until Middie Biddie gagged and puked it all up.  Hoping it was just a fluke, just a bit that touched her gag reflex the wrong way, we let her have some more, until she did the same thing again.  Months of finger foods and she's still shoving it to the back of her throat threatening to choke or puke, sometimes doing a little bit of both.

Am I holding them back?  They pretty much spend their entire day either in their cribs, on the floor of the small child proofed playroom, or in an exersaucer or playpen.  All of these places are limited but I put them there because they can't really hurt themselves.  I can't imagine the girls getting into anything because they don't get the opportunity to do so.  I also don't challenge them very much in the food department because I'm too afraid they'll choke.  If it was one and I could give them my undivided attention, I'd be a little riskier, but with two, what if both are in harms way at the same time?

If she can be moving her 4 forward, I must really suck if I can barely just keep up with my two.  It's either me, or my kids are slow.  Since I don't really consider that a possibility, I have to conclude that I'm just not very good at this.  What other skills should they have that haven't even occurred to me to be looking for or encouraging?  I'm trying to consider the facebook factor - where you compare your everyday reality to someone elses highlight reel.

I still feel like I suck.


  1. I think you are being too hard on yourself. I have my bachelor's and master's degree in child development and my son is still delayed enough that he qualified for physical therapy. I know a lot, but am still "schooled" on a daily basis.

    Each child develops in their own way and at their own pace. It's so tempting to compare ourselves to other moms and our children (I am guilty of comparing my twins too).

    I don't have a good single source to recommend (and I don't like a lot of the things out there personally), but perhaps you can find something that has some ideas for activities to encourage milestones (but don't take it too seriously as it can be too much pressure and an unrealistic expectation of yourself).

    Hang in there and recognize that you are amazing for keeping up with your two!

  2. I also think you are being too hard on yourself. When kids crawl is really not that big a deal...honestly. One of my twins has autism and I'm not as hard on myself as you are! Your little girls are fine. It is too easy to play the comparison game, but don't do it. That way lies madness. The milestones they don't hit right on time aren't your fault, anymore than ones other kids hit are solely attributed to their parents. A lot of when kids crawl, get their teeth, eat solid food, walk etc is genetic.

    All this worrying will get you no where. My son crawled right on schedule, and spoke his first 4 word sentence at 11 mos and was walking at 10, at 3 years old he spent his days sleeping and crying because he was sick. My daughter hardly crawled at all, and if she did it was right before she started walking. Every kid is different.

  3. It'll all come out in the wash. It always does.
    -Willy Wonka

  4. Kids develop skills at different times. My grandson took forever to eat foods other than purees. But at 18 months he does a very good job with a fork and spoon. He never mastered a conventional sippy cup, but learned to drink from the straw sippys very early on. We thought he would never roll over or crawl but he eventually mastered both those skills and moved on to walking at 14 months. Your girls will master these skills in their own time. I know it's impossible to not compare, but try not to worry.

  5. Don't sweat it, Alex. My daughter was born the same time as your girls (and nearly 6 weeks prem). She's our much wanted 4th baby and it's interesting how relaxed we are about her development, compared to our first. She seems bright and alert and interested in her surroundings and that's good enough for me. Crawling a little and babbling a lot. I'm in no hurry - I can wait.
    Recent research has proved that there is absolutely no correlation between hitting milestones early and intelligence. My oldest son hit all of his milestones on time, yet is on an IEP at school. My others were all over the place. It's a crap shoot and there's not much you can do about it.
    As for the food issue, ugh...we've had so many battles I've lost count over the years. One wouldn't eat lumps, one hated meat, one only liked yoghurt, etc, etc. It's just phases that they grow out of.
    Your girls look wonderful and healthy. They are loved and safe, which is the most important thing. The rest is just small potatoes.


  6. I could have written this post (except file the quad mum bit!) My b/g twins are almost 6 months and every day I worry that they're not hitting milestones as quickly as their peers - no sitting, rolling from back to front, etc. and my g is behind my boy developmentally. It's so hard not to compare especially when other mothers do it for you :(

  7. I feel this way too sometimes, especially motor skills wise. My babies don't roll. Well, Apple rolls front to back, and he will roll back to front in his sleep, but otherwise neither baby moves. They sit up and play in one position, never moving. They are 8 months old (6.5 adjusted). All the other 6.5 month olds I know are on the move, either rolling or crawling!

    You are being too hard on yourself but I do it too. So ... yeah ... we can get over it, or we can just try to silence that voice that compares our babies (to each other, to other moms' babies, etc).

    In terms of the food - gagging is okay. My babies don't eat purees and they gag sometimes and spit out the food. They have to learn where their gag reflex is and some babies learn that faster than others. Also, I give them HUGE pieces of food, so they have to bite off pieces instead of picking up smaller pieces and putting them in their mouth. I feel like there's less gagging that way but what do I know really.

  8. 3 kids (7,5,1)
    1st: Crawled at 9mths, walked at 11.5 mths, said "mama" at 11mths
    2nd: Never crawled, walked at 15.5 mths, said "mama" at 28mths (had hearing issues)
    3rd: Crawled at 7mths, walked at 12.5mths, hasn't yet said "mama" at 13 mths

    The child in the middle who looks dull is so bright she's already skipped one grade and is still working ahead of her peers. My oldest does well in school, but doesn't really exceed anything. Youngest is too young ofcourse for us to know anything, but I have no worries. Baby milestones truly don't mean anything. Keep playing with them. Enjoy them. Try not to compare them. Trust me the schools will be doing it all too soon.

  9. Kids develop at their own pace and it's not at all a reflection of their parents if they are later than their peers (with the exception, maybe, of the parent that leaves their kid in a swing/carseat/crib 24/7 and even those kids catch up eventually!). My 5th baby was a full term singleton and still didn't sit unsupported until 8 months, crawled at 11 months and didn't walk until 17 months (and she was the floor a lot for freedom of movement). She's 5 years old now and a dancer. Last week she auditioned and was accepted to a competition dance team! As for milestones and intelligence, my 3rd baby (also full term singleton), now 9 years old, is identified as gifted, yet didn't crawl until 9 months and didn't walk until 15 months! She is also a dancer on a competition team. My 3 boys crawled/walked at 8/13 months, 7/11 months and 6/16 months.


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