Monday, March 31, 2008

Identically clingy

I knew I was in trouble about a week ago when Matthew stood up in front of me, lifted his watery blue-gray eyes to meet mine and then raised his arms with that sad, lonely, needy look.
That look was familiar.
I remembered it from my oldest son when he was about 15 months old and from my daughter at about the same age, and I knew it was only a matter of days before Jonathan raised his arms with the same pleading, heart-breaking gaze. They seem to hit these emotional milestones together.
I was right and now I am exhausted.
They have reached the age of separation anxiety. Not the don't-leave-me-with-someone-else-or-I'll-cry-my-eyes-out-and-make-you-feel-like-a-bad-mom kind. I'll think we'll get away without experiencing too much of that. They have each other and they seem to take comfort in their relationship whenever I leave them.
This is worse. With the other kind of separation anxiety, you can be pretty sure that after you've been gone for five minutes, the caretaker will distract them and they'll forget all about you until they see your face again and remember that the show must go on, restarting the tears they had put on hold.
This is the I-want-to-be-in-mommy's-arms-24-hours-a-day-and-don't-you-dare-pick-up-my-brother kind. I get nothing done and neither is ever happy unless I manage to stay out of sight. If they can't see me, they are content. They play well together and are thrilled to be dumping their toys bins, throwing blocks and pushing chairs around the kitchen.
But when they see me, I am surrounded by desperate arms and a moat of tears. If I pick both up at once, they start to wail and cry and push each other away. If I am holding one and the other even comes near, the tears flow from the baby above and the baby below.
I can't win.
I either walk around with a baby on one hip, trying to dodge the other for a while until it's time to switch, or I hide out altogether, penning them in the living room and peering around the door way to check on them occasionally.
I've asked other twin moms how they've handle this, but the only hopeful answer I get is that they grow older each day and that everything will get better as they age.
I know. I know.
I don't want them to grow up too fast and I am flattered that they need me so much, but can't we just skip a few months here? Turn clocks ahead a little just past the separation anxiety stage? I'm even willing to move right into tantrums. Even the really loud, embarrassing ones.


Lexi said...

This is funny becuase I have this now too. Laycee has always been like this... always but the can or can't see me crawls around looking and crying for me. But Logan just recently started and it is like a race to see who gets the most attention. Logan is distracted if I leave the room, but Laycee is not. It is really annoying, but I know what you mean about not wanting them to grow up too fast, but still wanting to fast forward some. THat seems to be my constant desire because each new stage brings new challenges

The Myers Family said...

I'm going through the same thing right now...i just sit on the floor wherever they are and hold them for a bit...distract them..then RUN! :) I mean not really run..but sneak off and do what i have to do..i'm fortunate enough to also have a 3.5 year old that will grab them and lead them into another room to play for a while. I do ALOT of distraction though. Good luck and i hope you find some great you's just a stage and this too shall pass. By the way, i'm brenda...been reading your blog for a few weeks...i have identical 15 month old girls!