There's really no way of knowing at this point because the girls are who they are, and I don't think they're old enough for me to have a whole lot of influence on their behavior. In my mind, they are too young (14 months) to misbehave so my effectiveness hasn't really been tested yet. K disagrees. He thinks babies are perfectly capable of misbehaving, having major meltdowns, etc.
A couple of days ago, I took my new (to me) car to the shop to check on some minor things I've noticed and to get a complete buyers inspection to make sure there's not something sinister lurking beneath the hood. While I was stuck there, K brought the girls to pick me up and we went out for breakfast.
The girls were so well-behaved. They sat in their high chairs at the restaurant, barely able to see over the table and reach their eggs. They just quietly nibbled away, looking around, eating up the attention of anyone who walked by and remarked on how cute they were. When we finished eating, we packed them back up, cleaned up the carnage under the high chairs as best we could, and headed out (tip your servers well when you bring kids!). Completely uneventful. That's what I expect at this age, there's no reason for them to meltdown or cause any scene.
K says that this is a testament to how we're raising them. He said that when we walked in, he noticed the other diners practically groan at our arrival, anticipating their meals being disturbed by two obnoxious kids. Is that the norm for kids this young? A couple of two year olds, yeah, I would totally anticipate some obnoxiousness, but 14 months?
Ok, on the off chance that K is correct and their behavior is a reflection of how we are doing things, here are the only theories I can come up with on what we're doing that might be reflecting in their good behavior. Again, I'm not convinced that we're fabulous so in 6 months when they are holy terrors, I expect to eat these words, but ya know, just in case, here's my advice (for what it's worth).
- Our schedule is such that if we leave the house, we do so at the optimal time. The girls wake up, they eat, we leave. So when they arrive somewhere, they aren't hungry and they are as rested as possible.
- Every time the girls eat, there's protein on the plate. Something I learned during my brief jaunt into gestational diabetes, when you eat sugar (be it carbs, fruit, or treats), if you have it with protein, you'll avoid those blood sugar spikes and crashes. No hyper highs or cranky crashes. Every time they eat, there's meat, cheese, yogurt, or eggs on the plate, and if I can't manage that, they're drinking milk instead of water at that meal.
- Cranky girls go night night. Period. If your butt is dry and your belly is full, you must be tired so you're going into your crib. Whether you use that time for a nap, to quietly play with your lovey's and giggle at each other, or even whine your way through it, if you're cranky, you need rest. For the most part, this seems to work for us. They pretty much start getting whiney and cranky around nap time and I put them down before they can firmly establish a case of the cranks. When we're out and about long enough to hit the overtired stage, it's fortunate that they tend to favor the thousand mile stare rather than a crying fit.
- They eat plenty during the day so they don't get hungry and wake up throughout the night. So they generally get 11-14 (yes, sometimes 14!) hours of straight sleep at night. Even if something goes awry and naps don't work out, they are running on a lot of good rest.
- Very little unnatural sugar. I'd say we give the girls a treat about once a week, usually after dinner, and usually they share a pudding snack pack. Other than that, I dunno. We haven't been giving them graham crackers or sugared cereals or cookies. Sugared carbs are the foundation of my diet and it has not served me well. I want protein to be the foundation of their diet.
So that's it! Personally, I think they are just good-natured and will likely become little monsters in a few months when they are old enough to understand the power of disobeying and throwing temper tantrums. But just in case they are easy babies because of what I'm doing, that's my advice. Protein on every plate, limit sugar, quiet or sleep time when the cranky begins, and when taking them out of the house do so when they are most rested and their bellies are full, even if you're going out to eat.