Forrest is kinesthetically precocious, I think. Shortly after mastering his traditional little cross-crawl, he started standing. He rises up from the floor, unaided, then beats his arms in the air...sort of like Tarzan or King Kong. I really had misgivings about this description when I first used it. I mean, it's so overly masculinized. But, really, he looks sort of...cave man like, that's just what comes to mind when I see him do it. He gets down into this little squat and jumps and grunts and chirps. Then he rises up out of the squat and hollers and flaps his arm exuberantly. I guess it sort of looks like he's having some weird episode...or he looks like he's doing a cross fit exercise, maybe. You know, something that is really going to make your quads sore the next day.
While Forrest spent his time standing and announcing to the world he'd done so, Pippa mastered cruising around the furniture. She could even walk with just one hand aiding her. I think she could actually walk on her own pretty early on, it just hasn't dawned on her yet...unlike Forrest who, when given two hands to help him walk, he'd shuffle in this jerky, puppet sort of way.
The jury was out on who would walk first since they both attacked he problem with very different strategies. However New Year's day, Forrest started walking. They both have, in the last couple days, taken some negligible mini steps on their own, but yesterday Forrest really struck out into the real world of walking. He likes to carry this pooh bear stuffed animal that is almost as big as him while he hobbles around. It's pretty ridiculously cute. Have I mentioned that he's in the second percentile for height? He's a very short little honey. The lack of height is great for cuteness but not great for carrying giant stuffed animals.
After seeing her brother shuffle around like a little unstable T-Rex (those little arms out front to balance), Pippa, on January 2nd, decided to join the ranks of the walking. Without months of standing and hollering about it, she has simply started to stand on her own and walk. Just like that. They do appear to motivate each other. When he could push himself into sitting and crawl and she couldn't, she seemed very frustrated. Having a big sister runnig around certainly spurs them on, but they also appear to really push each other.
Pippa, who is, incidentally, the opposite in size (97th percentile for weight!), started clapping and saying, "Yaaaay!" a couple weeks ago. Every time she does it, we all stop - everyone in the house - and clap and say, "Yaaaaay!" She loves this, obviously. The night after she really got it, really understood she had this power over us, she woke me up in the middle of the night. I rolled over to her and she looked up at me with a big grin, clapped and said, "Yaaaay!" I wanted to holler. But, also, it was pretty adorable. Forrest, after watching these demonstrations, has started clapping himself. They clearly are aware of what the other is learning and doing. They also often have little giggle fits together. They crawl through this little tunnel we have and laugh and squawk at each other. It's very sweet and funny. Of course, they stop as soon as I try to get video of it. Grrrr.
So, Pippa outweighs Forrest by 4 pounds. She is a big sweet potato while Forrest is an itty bitty potato. He is in a much greater pencentile for weight than height, so he still seems like a dumpling, just a short a one. Everything about him is little, except his belly. I cannot get over his hands, in particular. They are so little and sweet. I can be exhausted and grumpy and he'll wave one wee mit in my face while nursing, and I just feel all ooey gooey love. That's oxytocin for you.
Pippa is a cute little monkey, too. She's so big and strong (her grip is ferociously and disturbingly strong) and, like her big sister, super keyed-in to what's going on around her. Oh, and she can holler so loud that you can hear it in orbit. Even when she wakes at night, she just does it loudly. Eyes closed, still sleeping, she goes immediately to this grunty, yelling complaint. It's super inconvenient as it wakes other sleepers. She is a force to be reckoned with.
They're both so sweet and active and adorable. I find myself feeling bad that I have less energy to take them places (the logistics alone are exhausting). They're like little shut-ins. Cute, sweet little shut-ins. It's hard to take them to non-baby proofed areas as they both like to put EVERYTHING in their mouths. I realize most babies are not like Ila was - she never put anything in her mouth. Really. It was weird. Pippa and Forrest crawl and wobble around the room, mouthing everything in their path. They leave little slime trails. Like slugs. "How did the toe of my shoe get wet? Oh, Pippa just crawled by." It's crazy and gross and totally...normal, I guess. This particular trait doesn't seem evolutionarily adaptive to me, especially if you're a twin and your parents have less ability to watch every move you make...or carry you all the time so you don't choke or ingest poison. But, what do I know?
Ila has also been busy. She was in a production of the Nutcracker this past month. She was a mouse and a snow flake. Dancing, actual ballet, is not exactly how I would describe the movement in the two scenes with her and the other 3 year olds. Not that that matters, of course, because it was sweet and hilarious. I felt so happy for her up on the stage, doing this thing without us. It's sort of amazing to see her becoming her own, independent person. She (and the other little kids) seemed to have no stage fright, and Ila has been so enamored with this whole experience, she wants to be called Clara (the little girl in the Nutcracker). "Ila," she informs me, "is never coming back." Oh, boy. She's been going by "Clara" for about two months now, so who knows how long this will last. It's hard to determine whether she simply loves dancing or if she is more in love with acting out the story of the Nutcracker over and over in our living room.
She's also really hit her stride as a talker. In the last six months she's added lots of face and hand gestures. She's so expressive. She says, "We should eat some ice cream later...maybe?" with this little eye-brow raised, quizzical and conversational little look, accompanied by a casual shrug. Like this is the way to get ice cream - act nonchalant. It's so funny. It's like she's pantomiming us and all our expression, trying them on and picking the ones that feel right. Not to mention her fabulous 3 year old logic. When Kiyomi was chopping onions recently, she mentioned that the vapors from this onion were going to make her cry . Ila informed her that this was because Kiyomi has "thin eyes" while Ila has "thick eyes," so the onions weren't going to bother her. It's very hard for me to believe she is only 3, that she was a goofy little baby like her sister and brother only two years ago! What did we do before we had her? Stare at the wall? I know some of those things were important, engrossing, time consuming...but I've totally forgotten what any of it was (maybe cleaning my house?). This is just as well, since I won't be able to do that adult-focused living for a long, long time.