Sometimes Murali asks us (directly or indirectly), why we are not as strict with Abhi as we are with Achu. I have three reasons for being so. Two short and one long (and painful) answers. Starting with the easy one, firstly, I don’t think Abhi is yet there, where he needs to have some rules applied to him. He cries only when he has something really bothering him. He plays on his own. And he is not the baby grabbing toys away from the other one. 🙂 But whatever we need to tell him for his behavior, we follow them, definitely. One thing we are not doing anything about is his sleeping pattern now. Abhi really was the perfect sleeper for the first year. After coming here, he gave up on sleeping on his own. Now, he needs to be rocked to sleep; he wakes up multiple times a night, and each time needs to be rocked back to sleep. Ideally, I would have done the same I did with Achu. Sleep training Abhi so that he (and others) could sleep better. But, I haven’t done that yet. That brings me to my second reason. P. She is not a mom yet. She loves taking care of Abhi. She got attached to him so much (Abhi too. 🙂 ). And she loves to cuddle and rock him to sleep. You know, its something any aspiring mom would love to do. 🙂 And I cant deny her that with Abhi by teaching Abhi to sleep on his own. P said she wanted to try making Abhi sleep on his own, but I know she cant do it. I have done all this with Achu and I know its not easy. There will be sleepless nights, babies crying trying to adjust to the new routines, resisting a new way to sleep, not getting what they want and so on. I know P cant do it. 🙂 Even if she could, I didn’t want her to. Because I want her to have that close experience with Abhi. 🙂 She deserves having a kid and to be a mom. And until that happens to her, I want her to, at least, have this experience now.
My third and painful reason is what started happening to Abhi and me ever since our India trip began. Something that started with our flight trip to India. I had no clue that it was going to be a pattern for couple more weeks. On the flight to India, Abhi and Achu, cried the most. I could hold only one of them at one time. Because Achu was crying the loudest, I had to hold her most of the time and let Abhi cry it out. I just had no choice then. After going home, the same pattern continued. Achu was at her cranky most for many weeks. Abhi was mellow, laying down on the bed, being on his own. After I got a maid to help, Achu wouldn’t go to her and I had to let the maid take care of Abhi for few things while I attended to Achu (all the time). Achu’s sleep was at her worst and I was getting the feeling that I was spending all my time with Achu. Surely, I was feeding Abhi, changing or monitoring him etc. But, just the bare minimum. He was mostly by the bed in the living room, watching things around or playing or watching TV. He slept by himself, didn’t need to be patted or rocked. Didn’t even need anyone be next to him and make him sleep.
Some days later, I realized what was happening. How much I was missing Abhi. And how he must be missing me. The first time Achu fell sick, my first thought also included Abhi, about how he was going to get more ignored from me because Achu wouldn’t leave me alone. Maid was gone after some three weeks but I didn’t hire anyone else. By then, I was crazy about getting every thing done first for Achu because I didn’t want to change anything and make her cry more. I figured it out that wasn’t solution. She cant always come first. Just because Abhi wasn’t complaining didn’t mean he shouldn’t deserve more time from me. (There were times when I used to wish if Abhi was as demanding as Achu). I started with locking myself and Abhi up for some half an hour in the bedroom before he would sleep, so that I could get some one on one time with Abhi (Achu screamed outside the door for few days and eventually learnt to do something else). I changed their schedule so that Abhi didn’t have to wait always. Even if Achu was crying for something, I let her cry or have ignored her to give time to Abhi. Achu eventually learnt and behaved much better than when I was giving her all the attention. I also tried to fix Achu’s sleep so that I could sleep better and be there awake in the morning with Abhi.
Things are better now. Weeks have passed by since our trip began, but I still have the feeling that I don’t spend enough time with Abhi. Abhi was temporarily supposed to sleep in P’s room, until kids settle down from the jet lag, place change etc. But, then P got so attached to Abhi that I couldn’t take that away from her. So Abhi stills sleeps in P’s room at night. I used to shuttle down between bedrooms for few days, but after that, P started taking care of Abhi all by herself. I feel like I am not doing justice to him by not taking care of him at nights. Personality wise, Abhi is not the kind of kid (now) who would demand attention. Unlike Achu, if he needs something or if he is bothered, he sits silently than come to us. On the other hand, Achu always shows her displeasure very clearly in actions which makes people around her give her attention. You know, I think this is the biggest challenge for a twin mom that she cant be a 100% mom at the same time, to both the kids. All this made me develop a soft spot for him. Since I didn’t have to put any effort in making him sleep for the most part of his first year, I want him to have that attention and care, at least now. I want him to be rocked to sleep and pampered a lot to make up for the time he didn’t get enough time from me. I don’t want to be that strict with him yet. I am so very conscious at giving Abhi more time and attention that I watch out for his mood and give him more attention. All the times I jump at the chance of putting Abhi to sleep or rock him or pamper him. Achu also needs to learn that there are two babies in the house and they both should get equal attention. But, she is also a baby and its only natural for her to feel possessive about me. At home, I know that the same pattern is continuing even now. I think, its natural tendency to take care of the crying baby. Whenever Achu is crying, I see even nanny is only looking after her and I don’t even hear Abhi. Those times, I go sit next to Abhi and play with him or read to him that he wont feel lost.
Looking at the bright side, I am glad that Abhi has like two moms now. :). So he is going to be pampered for few more days, until P will stay with us. Once the needs comes up to have Abhi and Achu sleep in the same room with us, I will work on making him sleep better. I hope, until then, he will get all the pampering he missed when he should have had it too.