Twins at four

Fourth birthday

Usually I find the twins’ birthdays bittersweet. Of course I love to celebrate another year passing, but it’s always tinged with a sadness that time is flying past too quickly, that it’s racing away from me.

For some reason this year felt a bit different. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I am suddenly more positive and more at peace. No tears were shed by me on their birthday this year.

For a start, the twins’ excitement about their birthday was catching. In fact, their excitement about life in general is catching. And I feel like life has opened up again. With each year that passes, the job of parenting twins seems just that little bit easier. And as it gets easier, it gives you more space to enjoy yourself and the days you spend together. I’m not for a moment suggesting everyday is sunshine and smiles but I do feel more able to cope with the bad days, and to see that the good days outweigh them and more than make up for them.

They turned four on their first day at a new pre-school. Ez took it in her stride, just as she did with their settling in session in the summer, but after tears on the first day, Fonz has amazed me by running into each session with a smile (and when Fonz smiles his face just comes alive with the most infectious joy). He absolutely loves it there, and seeing him (and his sister) so happy makes me feel wonderful. I had a nagging sense of guilt about pulling them out of the nursery where they had been for two years, especially given Fonz’s general aversion to change, but after their first week at pre-school every uncertainty evaporated and I know without doubt we’ve made the right choice for all of us.

And how are they together at four? Like all siblings they swing from best of friends to mortal enemies within the blink of an eye. Starting pre-school seems to have brought them closer. They look out for each other, support each other, defend each other, enjoy each other’s company. That magical twin bond becomes more visible every single day. They’re this little unit, and when they introduce themselves to new people, they always add that they’re twins. It’s a part of their identity and they are proud of it.

Their imaginative play has really taken off and having someone right there with them to share their playing must be fantastic (unless of course you both have a crystal clear view of how you want the game to pan out, and that view is at odds with your brother or sister’s). They are both interested in exploring their independence, usually led by Ez, with Fonz coming along for the ride. Ez has requested her first sleepover (at grandma and grandpa’s) totally on her own without us or her brother. I think Fonz is relieved he gets to stay with us.

Turning four in the first week of September means that, unlike most of their peers, it will be another year until my small people start school. I’ve always known that this will benefit them, but part of me wished they could go this year anyway. I feel passionately the opposite now. This year is like being given the best gift ever. I get another year of freedom with my children. Another year of their awesome company. Another year where their dad and I are still the absolute centre of their worlds. I feel so incredibly lucky – this year will be precious and I intend to treasure it.

suffolk sea

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12 Comments

  1. September 14, 2013 / 6:53 am

    I feel so emotional reading this. A little jealous perhaps that you are getting this extra year, as I send mine off to school. Such a gorgeous post. I love how you recognise their differences and let them be different and do things at their own pace.
    I felt the same when MM turned four. The usual heart gripping sadness just wasn’t there. I’m sure his excitement was part of that and also I felt, as I suspect you do, that he wanted to be four, he was ready to be four and I think that helps.

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:59 am

      Definitely. They ARE ready to be four and I’m ready for them to be four. It’s exciting seeing them develop and grow now, rather than terrifying.

  2. September 14, 2013 / 7:38 am

    I feel so emotional reading this! I simply can’t believe they are 4 already… That’s a lovely post

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:58 am

      Thanks Peggy x

  3. Eve
    September 14, 2013 / 11:45 pm

    Lovely post – been reading your blog since the twins were babies…Discovered it as a new mum looking for inspiration. My little boy turns 4 in a couple of months too. It’s ridiculous how fast the years have gone! Definitely agree about the benefits of that extra year, it feels like a gift. X

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:57 am

      I can’t believe this blog is nearly four too! And that I still have any readers! Thanks so much for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy this extra year too x

  4. Donna Lumsden
    September 15, 2013 / 7:24 am

    We have been discussing what to do next summer when our twins will be 4 and we will have to decide whether to keep them in the private nursery they’ve been going to since they were 10 months or take a pre school place at the school they will eventually go to (this will involve arranging wrap around childcare with a different nursery or childminder). Very reassuring to read how well your little ones adapted.

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:55 am

      I was so worried about moving them from somewhere they were happy and settled but I can honestly say that I haven’t regretted the decision for a second. They are really thriving in the new setting – older children, they’re given more responsibility and they love it. The hours are trickier to manage around work though – I’m freelance but I’m still adjusting to the different working days.

  5. September 16, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    How can they be 4 already??? Congratulations on them growing up into such lovely, wonderful little people

    Littler will be 4 in a few weeks and I’m glad she has that extra year to enjoy being at pre-school rather than school – to grow, develop and carve out her own space before getting sucked into the system

    This age seems to be a purple patch for her as it is for yours, I quite like this age!

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:53 am

      Oh I know, four already – how?!? Glad you have another year with littler at pre school too – I definitely think it’ll give them a great start to have that extra time.

  6. September 16, 2013 / 6:55 pm

    I was so the same about school – in Scotland the cut off is in February so L (April) didn’t start until last year (5 and a half) and is one of the oldest. I really struggled with that when we moved here, but now, with A and S (December) starting this year (four and a half) I’m wishing, oh so wishing, I had anothe year with them…

    They’re loving it though, on the upside, but isn’t four such a lovely age – most of the time!

    And what a fabulous picture at the bottom there!

    • Heather
      Author
      September 22, 2013 / 5:51 am

      I’ve only had a couple of weeks of four so far but it’s definitely getting the thumbs up at the moment. We just seem to have so much we can do together now and we can break out of our routine pretty easily. Happy house!

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