She’s an incredible mother.
It just goes to show how little biology counts for in the making of a family. She’s inexhaustibly patient and actually claims to have missed them during ordinary daily activities like taking a shower. For their part, they don’t know that they’re not ‘hers’, that they didn’t grow in her body. I come home from work and almost every day they have experienced something new together; the first beginnings of a tooth, learned a trick, made a new aquaintance, tasted a new food. They have little jokes that make each other smile, little games, little habits that are entirely predictable between the twins and their mummy.
They may not be ‘hers’ but they are hers. More than they are mine, in fact.
In the early weeks, I took a step back. Not only was I pumping breastmilk for two babies round the clock, but I wanted Kirsty to have a chance at shining as a mother. My claim to parenthood was immediately recognisable; it was there in the scar from the caesarean section, in the blood and breastmilk that leaked from my nipples, the maternity photographs, the way that the community midwife quizzed me with concern about our traumatic first week with the twins but didn’t so much as glance at Kirsty. It was in the way that my family flocked to meet the twins but Kirsty’s were regretably unable to meet them until I was able to travel.
People seemed to be looking for one of us to be ‘the mum’, and the title was automatically assigned to me. She held them more, she fed them more, she certainly LOVED them more in those first few weeks. Her nights were more sleepless than mine, her days were punctuated by baby cries whilst mine revolved around the need to express milk to a timer and alarm. It worked. After a while, people made jokes about how involved Kirsty was in comparison to me, how she was always holding them and wearing them, how disinterested I seemed in my own babies. They stopped looking at me to be ‘the mum’ and began to recognise Kirsty’s flourishing bond. It was a crude tactic but it worked.
I have always loved to watch them interact. She claims to be better with toddlers than babies, but she has such a knack for addressing their needs before they even realise that they have them. The twins are such happy babies and I am convinced that it is at least in part because of the excellent mothering that they receive.
Kirsty loved them when they were inside me and now that they are out, they are so very hers. They have my eyes (Balthazar) and my base personality (Lysander) but when they look at me it’s frequently with her expressions, when they interact it is with the expectations that she has set for them. They are confident and secure, playful and fun.
And oh, I think that she is wonderful. She’s my parenting role model and I’m so proud of her for being the mother that she is, and proving how little biology matters to family life and love. And I love, love, LOVE seeing her in my children.