I keep telling myself not to worry but I don’t think it will ever happen
DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR A FIRST-TIME DAD OF TWINS
IT’S been a solid ‘B’ for parental performance over the past 17 months.
The ‘A’ evades me due to irrational fears.
Whether or not they hinder my ability as a parent can be argued both ways.
For example, the father who says, ‘a good night’s sleep will sort that rash, stiff neck and high temperature right out,’ is possibly too laid back.
Interestingly, different fears have dominated different stages of the twins’ life, so let’s have a look at those concerns chronologically. 0-3 months: It was a maelstrom of terror. We had two fairly small babies, little sleep and no idea. My main concern was supporting their necks. I struggle to support my own neck, so being responsible for the twin’s central nervous system blew my mind. Every move was measured, and every step was accompanied by Victoria shouting ‘hold their head’.
There was also my general unease with the concept of being entirely responsible for keeping another human alive.
Thankfully, we were given a leaflet on sudden infant death syndrome when we left the hospital so we could follow procedures to lower the risks and panic uncontrollably because it’s very rare.
3-6 months: Although the broken neck fears were subsiding, I was now conscious of dropping a baby. I drop lots of things in day to day life so why not a baby?
Thomas could also roll over and liked to pull the blankets over his head, which meant I routinely woke up to check he hadn’t smothered himself. 6-12 months: A time when the
twins started eating proper food and we were never far away from our leaflet on how to save a choking baby. Despite this being my main concern, I also remember checking their development on an online chart, which seemed to suggest if they weren’t playing tennis by 12 months, they had some kind of disorder. They also slept through the night for the first time and I naturally assumed we’d had a carbon monoxide leak and they’d died.
12 months to present day: The general fears about something terrible happening have been replaced by a gentle anxiety about whether they’re doing the right things at the right time. Naturally, their ability to move without our help is both a blessing and a curse. Thomas has an ability to climb, which is vastly superior to his ability to descend. He’s getting better but still views jumping headfirst as the safest way to get down. Presumably, these fears will continue to subside all the way through childhood until they’re almost non-existent once they’re driving and looking for a job.
Watch out, baby on the move