It's really amazing to watch children as they grow. And it happens so fast! When I watch Connor and Chloe play now and then think back at what they were doing this time last year, it really boggles my mind.
This time last year, they weren't even eight months old yet and had just begun sitting up and crawling. They held and shook and sometimes threw toys, and I was excited that they could hold their own bottles for a short while. They made sounds that resembled "Ma" and "Da" and definitely had begun to recognize who we were if asked by turning to look at us. They had chubby baby cheeks and Chloe had almost no hair still as Connor's was getting long and messy. They were still babies, even thought they were learning new things every day.
Fast forward to today. They are running (not just walking) through the front yard. They play with cars (with noises too!), and their Little People. Name an animal and they will make the sound. The new words coming out of their mouths are endless especially with Chloe. (So we better be careful about what we say around them!) They put the shaped puzzles together with no trouble. They sit and look at books like they are really reading them and watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "Wonder Pets" with real interest. They eat what we eat, know the signs for "more", "please", "thank you" and "milk" (and say most of those words aloud too), and sometimes help clean up.
It just amazes me how much they are learning, how well they are doing and also how different they are. Not only can you totally tell that Connor is definitely a boy and Chloe is a girl by the way they act (totally self-learned, we never intentionally treated them differently), but how different their personalities are too. Chloe likes to play with dolls. She watches what I do with Valerie, my three month old niece, and she copies a lot of my actions. Connor plays with the dolls and stuffed animals sometimes, too, but not nearly as much or as well as Chloe does. Connor likes his cars. He also likes pushing/pulling things around the house or yard. Chloe does this too, but again, not nearly as much as Connor. Chloe says so many different words I've lost count and she says alot of them really well. She even pronounces the "k' in words like "book", "milk", "Mickey", and "Monkey". Show her a picture and she can name all our relatives. Connor will recognize everyone, but only says "mama" and "dada" and occasionally "sis" for names. He's been trying though.
Connor is a really good helper. Ask him to get something in the other room and as long as he can find it, he will. He's the first one to help pick up books and put them back on the shelf and will take toys back into his playroom to be put away. Chloe sometimes needs more coaxing. Connor, at least right now, is a better listener than Chloe about most things. I'm pretty sure she understands what I'm saying and is just ignoring me sometimes, which will make for interesting teenage years. (Yikes!) Although Chloe is much more outgoing. She is a social butterfly and has no problem joining in playgroups. Connor will play, too, but needs to warm up. A few months again, there was a big difference where Connor refused to leave our sides in big groups, even with kids he knew. But he's gotten better with that as he's gotten older.
Chloe, although more social, seems to get more scared of things, such as costumed characters and big animals, while Connor is braver. Last year Connor sat on Santa's lap like he was is best bud, while Chloe freaked out. But then neither would sit on Easter Bunny's lap this year even after standing in line watching other kids do it. I just wonder if we'll get a Santa picture this year.
They have their similiarites, too. They both love baths. Mention the word and they are two excited monkeys rushing for the bathroom. They are both really good sleepers, which I am thankful for everytime I read twin board posts. They understand when it's naptime and will crawl up the stairs, even if Chloe sometimes needs a little push to move faster, and understand when it's time to go to bed at night. They only wake rarely at night, sometimes just with a nighmare I think, or if one's a little congested they might have a harder night, but usually it's only one or two nights a week, if even that.
They also play together more now, chase and wrestling are new favorites right now. But they will play contently in the same room doing different things. Admitedly, they fight over toys, get jealous over me (a lot more when Valerie is over, I've noticed) and hit and push each other sometimes, but just like any siblings would do. But they definitely play better with other kids then an only child their age would.
I am glad they have their differences, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Most of what I've read about twins emphasizes that you should encourage their individuality. I think I have it a bit easier since they are boy and girl, but at least they have a head start on it already. And I will continue to encourage it, just as I will encourage how much they are learning and growing everyday.