Before I had children, I would marvel at parents who could quickly rattle off numbers like "27 months" while I spent five minutes trying to figure out what that actually meant in years. Now that I do have kids, I know that every month you haven't killed them — either intentionally or unintentionally — is a major milestone worth bragging about.
But I still don't have a ready answer about their age and find myself paying less and less attention to the 26th as it passes by on the calendar. You see, they were born June 26, but they were due Sept. 6. But twins almost never make it to their due date, so even if they had been "on time," they likely still would have been August babies. (Indeed, they came home from the NICU on Aug. 12, which just so happens to be my birthday.) On top of that, because they were so premature, Jaden is just a little slower to do some things than other babies. And, of course, the big fat cherry on top is that Malachi has the motor control of maybe a 5-month-old.
So when people ask me how old they are, what I want to reply is: "Pick a number between 5 and 13 months. ... You're right!"
(What I actually say is "a year," which I think throws them for a loop since they are expecting me to reply with a more precise calculation like most parents of under-3-year-olds.)
This week, however, I have noticed a huge shift in both of them. They can't walk or talk yet, but they suddenly seem like kids, not babies. The biggest difference is that I feel like I can finally communicate with them. They imitate me in a way that I can recognize. I blow raspberries, and they blow raspberries. I say "nah nah nah," and they say "nah nah nah." I clap my hands and... well... Jaden claps his hands. Malachi waves them in the general direction of each other.
Not only that, after months and months and months of using baby sign language, I'm pretty sure I saw Jaden sign "milk" right next to a bottle the other day. He also has been grabbing onto my legs and offering me food or toys, none of which had happened even a few days ago. And my favorite new development happened today: at the beginning of lunch they both turned to each other at the same time and laughed the same laugh. It said: "Dude! We're eating yogurt! I LOVE YOGURT!"
But here's the biggest milestone this week: Jaden is now mobile enough to get to things I can't put away. This means that for the first time, I've had to tell him "Jaden, no" and needed him to know what it means. I was frankly shocked when he froze and sort of nervously edged away from the forbidden item.
...only to edge back over a few minutes later. But still! Progress!
This is sooo exciting! It means they have finally crossed over from the realm of animal-like creatures to human beings I might one day have a conversation with!
So I still don't know how old they are, but I've decided it doesn't really matter.
As their grandparents' generation says: Age is a state of mind.
|Jaden and Malachi at their 1st birthday party.|