Since having babies, I always scrutinize other peoples’ babies to see how much bigger they are. We have friends with twin boys that are a month older than our guys. And I looked at their babies and thought, Our boys will never get that big!
I saw monstrous chubby kids, drooling and smiling and screeching happily, and I never made the connection that our guys would someday grow to be that big. It completely took me by surprise when they grew out of the first batch of clothes, and I had to get new, bigger clothes. It hadn’t dawned on me that our baby boys were going to, you know, grow.
But here we are, half a year later. They are no longer little blobby dudes. They are drooling and smiling and screeching happily. They are little people. I gave birth to little people. And they are so goddamned cute I can’t stand it. One of my favorite parts of the day is going to haul them out of their crib in the morning. They are usually awake after babbling contently for a while. And when they see us, they kick and smile and tremble with excitement, they are so happy to see us. Hey! It’s YOU! I’m so happy to see you! OMG, you’re my favorite! I’m so incredibly happy! I’m the cutest baby on the planet! Now pick me up and change me, I crapped myself!
I imagine none of this is news to any parent. Babies are cute, etc. But there have been other things I have learned in the past six months that I never would have expected. Like, for instance, a seemingly bottomless capacity to function while sleep deprived. I was expecting to fall to pieces, especially in the early weeks. I think back and wonder how we did it. Somehow we kept going, even when we never got more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a stretch.
Or another new parent epiphany: baby boners. Baby boys get baby boners. I had no idea. I…just…I didn’t know.
I didn’t know how different they were going to be. When you have twins, and they are born a minute apart, you figure you are going to see more sibling similarities than differences. One of the very first sentences our pediatrician uttered upon meeting us was don’t compare them. I was a bit baffled why she came out so strong with that. But now I understand. It’s impossible not to compare them.
They are so, so different. Cascadian was Baby A. The guy with the huge head. He was 25% bigger than his brother right out of the, um, gate. And he’s still bigger. He still has an impossibly big head. Like, bigger than 100th percentile. I’m not sure how he keeps his giant head balanced upon his neck. And beside being larger, his body is different than his brother’s. He is squat and round and heavy. When you pick him up, your arms and back protest.
Loyal also has a larger than average head, but it somehow seems more proportioned. He was the smaller guy when he was born, and to this day, he is still the floppier little dude. He has a long, thin neck, and lanky limbs. He’s got plenty of baby chub, but he somehow already looks like a little boy. And though his head is not as large as his brother’s, his ears stick out much more. His ears slay me. He may grow up to curse his ears, but my god, I love them. I love his little face and those cute ears.
And already, their personalities are so different. Cask will give you a big smile if you just glance in his direction. He’s happy to sit and babble at you and will join dinner conversations with full-throated conviction. And he sticks out his tongue and gives you a smiley, spitty raspberry. Holy crap, the spitty raspberry is his favorite thing ever. When Cask is sleepy, he likes to cuddle and tuck his impossibly heavy head into your shoulder.
Unlike his brother, Loyal is usually asleep by dinner time. He’s ready to zonk out by 5 pm, while we may struggle to put Cask down at 7:30. Loyal doesn’t like to cuddle, he likes to climb. He doesn’t sit still. He will kick and stiffen his legs and make himself as tall as possible. His smiles are a treasure because they are fewer and a bit more coy. Loyal is most likely to make happy noises while he is alone in his crib, or playing under the gym. He coos and screeches and makes grunty monster noises until he’s got your attention. Then he quiets down and observes you. Intently. He’s got you all figured out. He looks around at the world and sees everything.
We already wonder at the differences in their personalities. Is Loyal shy? Is Cask an extrovert? Is Loyal like Papa? Is Cask like Mama? You would ask these questions about any siblings, but we are lucky enough to see them develop at the same time. And they are so, so different. Having twins is pretty fun.
Little boys! Little boys! You have changed our lives. Thank you so much.