Tonight my mum put the babies to bed and when she came downstairs she commented on how fast they are growing up. It seems only moments ago that I was beached on the sofa, counting down the minutes until the twins were born and now they are such squirming bundles of energy, working so hard to learn how to sit, crawl and ultimately, walk, talk and wreak havoc for themselves.
They look so different to their newborn selves too. Twin one was a scrawny little creature with plucked chicken legs and a baggy face that had too much skin for its delicate bones, while twin two was just a tiny streak of a thing with long skinny legs and a concave little belly. Now twin one is a chubby cherub with ruddy cheeks bursting out beside his berry bright eyes, arms and legs solid with many bottles of milk and dishes of pureed goo, tummy a rotund, replete ball of a thing, twin two is still slender and tall, but there is more flesh on his bones and his hair is a glorious crest of tufty blonde curls.
I still remember the early days when they would curl around one another like kittens in a basket, half filling their crib, serene and unmoving, now they are rolling around in two cots, waking up upside down and back to front in a chaos of toys and blankets. Twin one can wriggle around the room on his belly and is determined in his pursuit of wheeled toys. Twin two is still mastering the art of rolling from front to back again, but he's a mean bouncer and seems to have understood that shaking his head violently from side to side is a great way of saying NO to anything he doesn't want to eat, drink or do.
The biggest change though is that they are finally starting to notice each other. Admittedly it is often only so they can steal each others' toys, but today as they sat side by side in bouncy chairs twin one reached up to touch twin two's face, and then they both sat staring at each other, smiling shyly as if they'd only just been introduced. Twin one's hand dropped down to grasp his brother's fingers and they held hands tugging gently at each other as if to test if this brand new toy was really real.
All babies love other babies, so I can only imagine how much fun it must be, as a baby yourself, to find that you have your very own, live, baby to play with in your house all the time. Twins can be hell on earth from time to time, what with their stereo screaming and endless needs and demands, but at moments like this I feel sorry for all those singletons who will never know the joy of having a permanent playmate, of never being lonely or bored because there is no one of your own age to amuse you.
The sight of my twin boys, fingers entwined, eyes entranced and mirrored smiles, makes up for those millions of nappy changes, those fraught meal times where I try to satisfy two appetites instantly, those days when the moment one stops, the other starts. It might not be easy with twins, but the rewards are twice as great, so it all evens out in the end.