One year in and it gets better every day. There are lots of laughs, cries, slow moments, messes to clean up, dirty hands, and laundry to fold with 12-month-old twins. All the mundane things keep happening, meanwhile, there were many gross motor, fine motor, and personality developments in this past month that I want to share with you.
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In and out of a Sitting Position
This observation is a testament to every baby being differnet and developing at their own pace. It was just around their first birthday that both of my boys began sitting completely independently and being able to get themselves into and out of that sitting position all on their own. This seemed like a huge milestone to reach. I had been waiting for the day when they would sit and play with an object.
Before this, they were very mobile and would crawl all over the place. They were pulling up to stand, but they didn’t sit. If I put them into a sitting position (which I didn’t like to direct when they weren’t doing it on their own), they would maybe stay there for a few seconds but very quickly were back on all fours off to explore something new. Quite honestly I was a little worried about why they weren’t sitting yet. But when I look at the environment I have prepared it promotes movement. They haven’t been propped up into bouncers or baby saucers. When I looked at all of these pieces, it made sense why crawling came before sitting.
Needless to say, when they started sitting all by themselves I was thrilled! It was the best thing to observe them sitting and playing with a toy for minutes, content as can be. It reminded me that they will find their path of development and we can honor and respect them by following them and what they are showing us.
Another gross motor development that lasted only for a week or two was bear crawling. The older twin did a lot of this. Butt straight up in the air, head down, and an intense forward motion! It seemed like it was a bridge between crawling and walking that added an extra element of core strength. One twin moved like this a lot of the time for 2 weeks or so and then went back to more traditional cross-crawl motion.
The twins are good little climbers. They especially like to climb up onto their weaning table. It requires a lot of redirection, but I encourage climbing on our Montessori platform and ramp or we take a trip up the stairs. They also have a Montessori climbing triangle to climb. However, they are not yet interested or exploring climbing up past the first rung on the triangle. I am not in any hurry as I know as soon as they start climbing there will be no going back!
Moving Along a Wall
More and more the twins will get from point A to point B by walking along the wall or moving from different pieces of furniture. They seem to like being upright and are preparing for walking.
Our 12-month-old twins have been exploring with standing unsupported. I observe a lot of hesitancy and uncertainty when they are unsteady. One of the twins seems more excited by what he is accomplishing and experimenting with what his body is capable of. Each has had 5 to 20 seconds of standing unsupported. When they are ready I am sure we will see more of this in our environment. We will continue to follow them both on their own path.
I continue to see a refinement of fine motor skills. From discovering the peg pop-up toy to focusing intently on pulling Duplos apart. They have come to master the Object permanence box and translated that skill to a large ball run. Observing them make connections and get engaged in something in their environment is so much fun to observe. I have also noticed a new level of frustration when things don’t go the way they planned. For example, with the peg pop-up toy, if they can’t get the peg guys to pop up after a few times then they may scatter the work all over. It is in these moments I start to see more and more of a toddler emerging.
Preferences and Personality
There have been huge efforts to communicate and are beginning to say “mama”. These have been some highlights from the twelfth month. I am thankful to report that they have rediscovered their love for avocados! They have been using their Montessori weaning table, mostly for snacks. At times I will bring books or activities to the weaning table for them to work with which works well.
During self-care tasks like getting dressed, they can participate more. They are starting to push their arm through their sleeve, lift their foot for me to take their pant leg off, and sit in their dressing chair. It still surprises me how much of what I say they understand. The transition from total dependence to more and more independence all happens so quickly.