Author: Naomi’s Dad, Rick
I know Naomi likes to commiserate with you all, and tell you what a heavy cross raising twins is to bear; that’s because she’s an Internet Mum, not a Traditional Mum.
Phrases like “age appropriate behaviour” (really an excuse for letting them get away with murder) roll off her lips like gentle waves on a tropical beach, calming, even ‘mindful’ but not achieving much. And yet, for many years I was her Mum and Dad, raising her in my own ‘age appropriate’ way, and look at her now, she’s perfect, the best daughter in the Southern Hemisphere!
All without an online forum from which to seek understanding and enlightenment. Nor did I even once stress about her having too much screen time.
Being a Twin Grandad
Twins are wonderful, let’s begin with that as a basic premise. When they jump out of the car and come running toward us, shouting “Hello Grandad, Hello Nanna” and throw their skinny little arms around us, what’s difficult about that?
Or when they start taking their first lurching, staggering steps, who can say that’s tough? When Ollie is so proud to show me he’s learned to do a bunnyhop on his scooter, or Lexi speaks with such shy pride about her swimming achievements, I feel like my world is about as good as it gets. It’s enchanting, truly.
Seeing the intimate psychological bond they share, realizing that they are understanding each other, communicating with each other, even before they have learned to speak is such a wonderful revelation. And then, as they learn to speak, their capacity to interpret the needs of their twin to a baffled grandparent, that’s special to behold. Even being tied to my chair with a string a beads for the twentieth time in one day is still a gift of life.
A Twin Grandad’s Perspective of Modern Parenting
Parents of twins can of course be a chronic pain to grandparents. They know so much, and yet so very little, it’s truly amazing the helpless little kiddles survive at all. If it wasn’t on the internet it’s obviously just old fashioned folklore, Presocratic nonsense, not relevant to modern twins. Nonetheless, our own little prodigies have grown up and we must allow them to metaphorically stumble and learn from their mistakes, even though at times our tongues bleed from selfharm, and we see how we could do the job so much better. Poor us. And yet, at the same time, secretly so proud that our own children are caring, loving parents, doing their very best in their own fashion.
Fortunately, as we age we mellow, we too are still learning, learning to be grandparents, to be the provider of wheelbarrow rides, the tellers of tales to our credulous grandchildren, telling them stories about their own moms and dads, and hearing them ask of them, “Mum, is what Grandad said really, really true?”
The privilege of being a twin Grandad is like winning Lotto. Twice.