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 be....me.
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.