I'm talking age here, not quantity.
Although, sometimes, twins are better. And sometimes, they are exasperating. And always, they are exhausting.
But right now I'm talking age.
While I enjoy holding someone else's newborn, snuggling in to breathe in their newborn-ness (unless they're formula babies, and then I have to breathe from afar because I find that smell nauseating, even in my own offspring), and marveling over the tiny-ness of new life....
I am so glad that child is not my own.
It's not that I don't like or even love someone else's child. It's that for almost ten years we have had at least one very much loved newborn/toddler in the house; and after ten years and eight children's worth of experience (or our experience with eight children, however you say it), it has been absolutely true that children become much more enjoyable after the age of 2.
So I'll snuggle your newborn and smile at your newborn and truly be awed by her cuteness, but you may have her back because she's really no good to me until she's at least 2.
Gideon and Salem have not yet reached the 2-yr. mark. But they're almost 19-mos. old, and they are showing promise of becoming worthwhile munchkins. For instance: I have been able to sit in church with them for the entire service, morning and evening, for the past three (four, maybe?) Sundays. This is monumental to me. Remember, their father is the pastor and does not sit in the pew (oddly enough). So while I can farm out the others, those two have been my special charges; and until recently, they won every battle. Say what you will about my parenting methods, but I know why they behave now. They behave because for one week while we were on vacation, Ethan sat with us as we were in a church two thousand miles from our own. And that one service, he handled the disciplining and correcting. And they sat, quietly, after that.
And also, they are close to 2.
And close to 2 means words make more sense to them, and consequences start to make sense. And it means that they can more effectively communicate what they want or are frustrated about, and they can better understand rather abstract ideas like, "Gideon's turn. You need to share."
It also means their sense of humor is starting to be honed, which is really important to me. It really is! The two kinds of people that absolutely annoy me the most are 1) worriers and 2) people without a sense of humor. I want to send both kinds of people to bed with no dessert EVER unless they can come back downstairs with a happy face.
And seeing an 18-mo. old crack up because I said in my most stern voice, "JON-JON! You come here RIGHT. NOW." when his name is really Gideon, thereby blowing my authoritative cover...well, that is funny. So ha ha ha, and now, Gideon, really do come here.
It's just so freeing (and yes, especially with twins) to have them reach these little plateaus of independence. I don't have to follow them around the hill that is our yard for fear they will fall on their faces. If they do fall, they are old enough and seasoned enough to wipe the dirt from their hands and continue on without the screaming that used to follow. They can get their own diapers, and take things to the trash, and put things back when I say, "Put that back."
And it's wonderful. It's wonderful!
Two is wonderful. And two are wonderful (and also, yes, exhausting).
But mostly, wonderful. (And exhausting.)