"You've really got your hands full!"
I hear this phrase most days when I leave the house. I travel with a double jogging stroller (a double Bob) that has a little spot towards the front, which is just big enough for Max to sit down on and hitch a ride. Which he does. Often. It's not that he's just lazy, which he is, but he also walks on his tip toes and that slows him down. Not only that, but it's just plain easier to keep my eye on him when he is not meandering around.
These days, Max is the easier of my three when we are on the go (I almost delete this sentence in disbelief). As a baby, and toddler, he was much more content to ride as a passenger in his stroller than his sisters are. We went so many places...often. Brooke and Lauren are reluctant passengers at best. They are uncooperative and miserable, riding in the stroller. They complain, loudly. They cry, whimper, shout, lean outward, torment each other and are constantly trying to escape. For me, this is extremely negatively reinforcing. Therefore, we don't venture out as much as I would like to. It makes me feel sad, because I know they are not broadening their universe in the same way that Max was able to.
I don't mean to play the "one up" game with other mothers, but having twins definitely puts us in an exlusive group that is most understood by other mothers with twins...or more (bless their hearts). The mixture of indescribable joy and frustration is unique. This mothering experience is so qualitatively different from my first pregnancy and parenting journey with my first born.
In some ways their experience is enriched, merely by having a partner in life. In others, they miss out on so much because their attention is always diluted. Always shared. Not in the same way as having an older sibling. There are physical limitations of mine that prevent the kind of exploration that I would otherwise allow and encourage. Simply put, they often take to running in opposite directions and I just can't wrangle both of them in many public situations.
Note: This post has been sitting in my "drafts" folder since last November. Inasmuch as it is an "unfinished" post, I have decided to post it anyway and be done with it. This is my life...deal with it (I say to myself).