One of the fascinating things about having twins is watching how very differently they develop. Hal’s hernia caused him so much pain that his brain put development on hold for a month until his operation, meaning he now hits every leap about a month after Conall (except for his teeth – he had his front two through by four months). But more interesting to me is the way they seem to almost share skills between them. Hal has learnt to wave, but Conall to clap. Both are scooting about the floor pretty rapidly now, but whilst Conall has perfected the crawl and is now desperately trying to walk, Hal is quite happy to roll where he wants to go. And although Conall will scream his displeasure at a dirty nappy until you clean him up, Hal’s much more bothered by the cold than a wet bottom.
They are also wildly different personalities. Conall is physical – hitting, banging, feeling, but also cuddling, stroking and holding onto your hand. He explores with his whole body – although putting things into his mouth tends to be the first port of call. He has already had a tantrum or two, and he’s into everything. Hal is quieter, gentler, more willing to play alone for a few minutes whilst Mummy gets the washing in or mixes the bottles. He’s more reactive to facial expressions – smiling and gurgling and replying to chatter. He is more likely to explore with his hands than his mouth, and he will spend a long time testing out how a new toy works, tipping it in his hands and feeling the different parts.
When one cries, the other gets distressed. If Hal cries, Conall will go to him, put an arm around him, try to kiss him – although Hal will often mistake this for an attack, and scream all the louder. Conall is dismayed by Hal’s tears, and will refuse to feed if he hears him upset. Hal, meanwhile, will join in with Conall’s wails until Daddy or I respond, then abruptly stop crying once he sees Conall safely dealt with. He will try to coo and smile at Conall rather than offering physical comfort, the only exception being his regular attempts to hold Conall’s hand.
They are both equally loving, adorable and fascinating to me, but in such wildly different ways!