One small step for the ba­bies will be one gi­ant leap for daddy’s san­ity

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE FOR A FIRST-TIME DAD OF TWINS

Bath Chronicle - - FAMILY MATTERS - Richard IRVINE

De­spite a lot of sup­port, per­sua­sion and plead­ing, the twins are still not walk­ing. if i were to be more en­cour­ag­ing, i’d say they’re nearly mo­bile be­cause they can hang onto things and shuf­fle. i did see thomas stand­ing the other day – he saw me, got ex­cited, jumped and fell over. the prob­lem is, ‘nearly’ walk­ing is not ac­tu­ally walk­ing in the same way ‘nearly’ swim­ming is drown­ing. they’ve got a de­cent ex­cuse as they were born five weeks pre­ma­turely but even talk­ing that into ac­count, they’ve

passed the magic mile­stone of one year and that’s ex­actly when all the peo­ple pre­tend­ing to be ex­perts on the in­ter­net tell me they should walk. there were also two of them hang­ing around in the womb, which means they were born a

lit­tle smaller. thomas was a tiny 3lb 7oz so maybe that af­fects the speed with which they gain mo­bil­ity. Friends and rel­a­tives are united in say­ing, ‘trea­sure the days when they’re not walk­ing, it’s a night­mare, they get ev­ery­where, noth­ing is sa­cred, we nailed cup­board doors shut’. that’s true, but oc­ca­sion­ally i’ll ask, ‘when did your off­spring start walk­ing?’ “Nine months, lit­tle Balt­hazar was in­cred­i­bly ad­vanced for his age and by the time he was the same age as your two, he could dance the fox­trot”, they re­ply.

My main mo­ti­va­tion to get them mov­ing is so we can leave the house without the kind of bag­gage Mariah Carey re­quires for a mini break. Last Sun­day, we de­cided to drive into town and show them the Christ­mas lights. By the time we’d filled the car, loaded the ba­bies, driven there and found the lift out of the car park, it was dark. The friendly fam­ily shop­pers had been re­placed by an­noy­ing drunk Christ­mas rev­ellers shout­ing across the street. It made me yearn for that magic day when I will shout, ‘we’re go­ing’ and they just put their coats on and walk out of the house (I imag­ine).

Un­for­tu­nately, this looks a long way off for Emma. She’s cer­tainly no weaker or less de­vel­oped than Thomas but he’s try­ing very hard to walk whereas she lacks am­bi­tion. Lazi­ness is too strong a word for her as I think it’s more ma­nip­u­la­tive than sim­ply not be­ing both­ered. Through a crack in the door, I watched her con­fi­dently stand up in her play pen, then, just as I burst into the room and shouted, ‘well done’, she sat down. And who can blame her? Why would you be in a hurry to walk when there’s a halfwit to carry you or push you ev­ery­where you want to go in a comfy buggy?

Baby steps: learn­ing to walk

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