Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Once more, with feeling

We just tucked our one-year-old twins into bed for the very last time. When the sun comes up, they'll be two-year-old twins.

Why do I feel so verklempt about this? It was understood, after all, that to keep them going from one birthday to the next was a mark of success. We survived another year, against the typical odds, and for that I'm extraordinarily grateful.

But my babies... well, they're not babies anymore. I knew this; I'm the one who banished the term "the babies" exactly one year ago. I even overheard Carter correcting someone who said it the other day. (What he actually said, with a bit of a four-year-old condescending sniff, was, "They're not twins; they're toddlers." Allrighty then.)

They still sleep in cribs in a pastel-hued nursery, and they still wear diapers. They still drink whole milk from brightly colored sippy cups. They're still home with me every day.

But in just one year, they've gone from crawling to walking to running at full throttle. Katie had not one tooth at her first birthday party; now she has a half-mouthful of sparkling chompers. They've graduated from baby food to miniscule mushy flecks of "real" food to... well, mostly crackers and cheese and ketchup, although they're offered everything we eat, and more.

They don't have any memories of how I nursed them to sleep every night for seventeen months; now, they climb squealing into that same rocking chair to read a bedtime story before being plunked into bed with a wide assortment of fuzzy friends who keep them company after the lights are turned off.

One year ago, a trek to the Fort Worth Zoo was deemed a logistical impossibility. Now, we look back at our Christmas road trip and think, well, that wasn't so bad. One year ago, we were navigating the difficult transition from having a full-time nanny to making do with only one day a week of help. Now, it's been six months since we've had anyone in our regular employ.

When they turned one, they didn't have anything to say about anything. Now, they have strong (and frequently opposing) opinions about absolutely everything. If they lack the words to express themselves properly, which is happening less and less, they still manage to get their points across. And they surprise and delight us daily with their growing voices.

To wit: after dinner tonight, they were allowed to unwrap one birthday present apiece. (Sorry, Opa and YaYa: Carter saw the package arrive and was unwavering in his insistence that we dig out the contents.) Inside the brightly colored boxes were a book and a toy for each thrilled tot.

Katie immediately sat down to ponder her book, page by page, carefully and thoughtfully naming the objects she recognized. "Mommy doggie. Spoon! Star ball." Spencer flipped through his book in five seconds flat, pronouncing "End," as he slammed it shut.

Then my strong and silent boy pointed to the cover and confidently said, "H." What's that, Spence? "H," he said again, pointing to an H in the book's title.

Wow! Lucky guess, I thought, but said, "Yes, Spencer! H." He stubbed his finger toward the next letter. "Oh," he said. Then "Dubba," "Em," "You," "See," and "H." Well, shut my mouth.

This is the kid who couldn't (or wouldn't) say horse last week, who regularly has me scurrying to the Internet for reassurance or horror when I research developmental delays. But now he's two.

What a difference a year makes. What will the next one hold for us?

P.S. It's snowing here and we all got to play outside for a little while today. Lesson for the day: some snow tastes yummy and some tastes yucky....


Anonymous Jenina said...

Happy Birthday Katie and Spencer!

6:15 AM  
Blogger Sugar Photography said...

happy birthday toddlers!

and WOW on the spelling! WOW WOW WOW!

7:29 AM  
Anonymous trabilcobb said...

Amy, did you really think any Franklin child would be anything short of brilliant?

Happy birthday, muppers! And happy anniversary to Carter for two years as a big brother! You are all role models for your adoring fans.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday twin Franklins!

Sweet post - I feel the same way about Lucy approaching 3 years old this spring (although with less emphasis on verklempt and more on giddiness) but I know what you mean about the "babies" growing up. I imagine it's x2 for you!

And I have meaning to respond to you about your comment on my awakened social life/friendships. Yes, it's true, it really comes in waves, I've found. I felt so lonely and unloveable 18 months ago - and now bask in the affection of many! :) It will are awesome (well, you seem awesome from your blog!) and it will pass. I'm glad I was able to make you feel a little better.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Spencer and Katie!!!

I can't believe it's been two years since I was staying with you some ways it feels like yesterday, and in other ways it seems like ages. weird huh? I can't wait to tell Katie about her blood curdling screams and Spencers "disappearing acts." Sweet Spencer, of course he knows those letters, he just likes to surprise everyone. Infinite xx's and ooo's AUNT Mary

12:28 PM  
Blogger Big Mama said...

Happy Birthday 2 year olds!

10:09 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

What a lovely, lovely post. I can so relate. The teeth are just so huge, aren't they. I mean the teeth themselves are tiny, but how they change those little faces... At the first birthday, I was so happy that we all just came through in one piece, and now I have a six year old. I was updating my calendar, listing all the birthdays for the year and wrote in the little box for November 15th, 2007 - "Joe-Henry is 7!" I can't even believe it. Enjoy them - they are so beautiful, and you are a wonderful family!
ps. Thanks for the very kind words and the link. May I link you on mine as well? I'm thrilled to have your support and would love to send you the two readers I have!
pss. I agree about the WOW on the spelling. You might be doing a little research into the gifted child area. Seriously.

11:33 AM  

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