It’s been over a month since Rachel and Claire turned four. All through the muckety muck of the thundering threes I kept my eye on this prize, looked for this light at the end of the hellish tunnel that was age 3.5 times two.
I had read about the half years, how children can experience disequilibrium and get thrown off balance mentally and maturity wise, while throwing you off your rocker.
Other twin moms kept me going with tidbits of encouragement. They’d been there. They were still alive. They seemed somewhat normal, and the nervous ticks from the traumatization looked to be wearing off. They assured me that it wasn’t specific to my kids. All kids were jerks at this age.
“Oh, 3.5 was terrible. But four? Four is glorious. It was like a light switch went off and poof! They were normal again.”
“Those moms who talk about the terrible twos… their kids must have not made it to three!”
“Keep wine and chocolate in stock at all times.”
“3.5 sucks. That is all.”
So about a month in, we’re looking pretty good. I tear my hair out less. I definitely like them more. Yelling may still be a daily function, but at least not an hourly one.
I’m noticing little changes in their behavior and maturity that’s showing all of the signs of something I have simultaneously yearned for and feared all at once: they’re turning into little girls.
Four is problem solving. It’s “We have to wear our swimming suits to swim!” and “Sissy! I’ll find your water cup!”
Four is learning to set the table, even if it’s just napkins and forks. We don’t really get fancy around here.
Four is offering me a sip of your juice at breakfast when you see that I am without.
Four is shedding of some of the baby fat, the emergence of skinny legs and slender arms. But please hang onto that little belly a while longer, if only to make me feel less alone in that area.
It’s “Where’s Rachel?” and “I need my Claire!”
It’s waking up agonizingly early and being rip roaring and ready to play.
So maybe four is when I will teach you to make coffee.
It’s when a 30 minute nap is enough to keep you up until 9pm.
So maybe four is also when you’ll learn to get Mommy a glass of wine.
Four is the magical world of pretend: superheroes, princesses, and baby spiders (WTF?). It’s dinosaurs, McQueen, Mater, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, all rolled into what would be one frightening Pixar endeavor.
It’s taking your Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash everywhere because they’re your favorites.
It’s reaching up and getting your own water from the dispenser. And pouring it in the sink. And getting more from the dispenser. And pouring it in the sink.
Four is loving preschool, making friends, and loving your teacher like she’s a member of the family.
It’s genuine pleases, excuse me’s and thank you’s.
It’s constant closeness, subtly interlaced fingers, and sweet heads placed in your sister’s lap.
Four is the constant push and pull. It’s playing together always, yet getting frustrated by the close quarters, yet not wanting to separate for even a minute. It’s having difficulty discerning the screams and whines from the laughs and squeals of delight.
Four is also a barrage of genuine feelings. “Mommy, I’m mad at you!” or “That makes me happy!” and my favorite, “Mommy, that’s not a choice!”
It’s the funny things that come out of your mouth. “Yeah! That’s a great idea! That’ll be awesome!”
And then the bizarre: “Daddy, are you going to take you penis too?”
It’s the soft stroking of hair, coupled with “Iss okay, Sissy…iss okay…” when you know she’s in trouble. It’s stealing glances to see what your best friend is thinking.
Four is whispers in bed about what we’re going to do tomorrow. It’s nuzzling of noses as we lay our heads together. It’s wiggles and squirms that slowly give way to deep breaths and soft snores as you fall asleep with your warm hand on my cheek.
Four is pure love. Random hugs. Heartfelt “Mommy, I loooooove you’s.”
It’s so much that I don’t want to forget, yet so much more than I can even write here.
But it’s pretty awesome.