The twins turn four

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As I typed the title to this post I paused for a moment and wondered when (assuming it’s inevitable) Jude and Vivienne will object to being referred to as a collective noun. They have such an incredible bond; both would quickly name the other as best friend. I hope that they’re always that way.

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They turned four last Thursday, and while I’m mourning the loss of my babies just a little, they’re at such a magical stage right now and I enjoy each of them tremendously. The other day Vivi was insisting that she was bigger than Jude (I think it was a debate about snow pants – since naturally when you turn four, the 3T clothes that fit you yesterday are probably too small now) and Jude reminded her that no, he’s one minute older.

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Jude is still the most easygoing child. He’s the quietest of the three and always has been, but when you get him one-on-one he has such funny, interesting, whimsical things to tell you. Alone time with him is such a joy. Lately he’s been talking a lot about the ghost and ghost cat that live in our house. On a couple of occasions he told me that he saw the ghost, without any fear, but in a way that K and I tend to believe. K says she’s seen it before as well, though I never have (but everything on our dresser shifts forward periodically and has to be pushed back or things begin to fall off on their own – that must be the cat). What started as a simple ghost sighting has turned into an elaborate tale of friends (imaginary or otherwise). He’ll tell me what they’re each up to, stories of vehicles they own that can travel to the center of the earth, the time the cat borrowed Jude’s lava suit, and what the ghost does for a living (he’s the principal at the ghost cat’s school, apparently.)

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Jude doesn’t care too much about his wardrobe, but he likes comfortable things and lately seems to like “new” clothes. A kindergarten friend brought over a huge pile of hand-me-downs not long ago and he got dressed from her clothing pile for a few days running. When we went to the elementary school Valentine dance, he specifically requested a new outfit (day-of, but fortunately I had some snazzy things in a box of hand-me downs in the basement). He still doesn’t like “cold pants” (anything that isn’t leggings or sweats) and asks me to warm up jeans with the hairdryer before putting them on.

He loves to watch sports with Mama K, and grins throughout his gymnastics class with Vivi. He’s a bit of a loaner at school. Once again this year it was a challenge to get him to nominate any of his own birthday party guests (he simply rattled off the names of Vivi’s school friends). It seems he plays mostly by himself or with Vivi, but he seems to like it that way. Lately he and Jonah have some toy passions in common (LEGO and Hot Wheels) so it’s been lovely to see the two of them connect and spend more time together than they ever have before.

He’s so silly and loves to make you laugh and is such an easy crowd. He’s also incredibly loving and affectionate. He’ll stop throughout the day (and in the middle of the night) to say, “Mama? I love you.” His little voice melts my heart.

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Vivienne is a born performer and a lover of many things. She’s the sort of child who I never worry won’t have hobbies or passions throughout life. She loves to dance and sing, she loves gymnastics. For a number of months she’s loved the movie The Greatest Showman and quickly decided that she’s going to be a trapeze artist. She’ll go to the basement (where we put in a trapeze at Christmas) and practice for ages. She’ll beg us to come down and watch her as she puts on a show (and she’s incredibly fun to watch). She begs to be signed up for dance, asks to go back to swim class, and is so dedicated at working to get better at the things she loves.

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She can’t wait to learn to read and write, and loves to “do” Jonah’s homework (once it’s come home graded). She’ll copy down words that she finds in coloring books or on worksheets just for the practice, and sometimes as she falls asleep (or doesn’t) she’s been known to recite word after word just to sound out what letter they start with. She loves to make up stories and talk your ear off as she falls asleep (I usually fall asleep next to her before she’s done talking).

She still loves art; a passion she’s had since she was a toddler. She’ll color and create for hours. She still has very strong opinions about her wardrobe. She loves sparkles and dresses and leggings and leotards and “girly” things. All of the headbands. All of the accessories.

She’s incredibly affectionate lately, needing lots of cuddles and climbing onto our laps without notice. She loves to shower us with kisses and tell us that she loves us. She talks a lot about how much she loves her family and says that she never wants to move out of this house and away from her family. She’s emotional, dramatic, and fiery, but also resilient and fearless.

For Jonah’s sixth birthday we bought him the first three Harry Potter books and I read them all to the kids over the past three months. I didn’t expect the twins to be old enough to be interested, but Vivienne loved every detail. She followed the story every bit as well as Jonah and was eager to read more at every opportunity. She loves Hermoine and told me recently that she wants to go to wizard school when she turns 11. She wanted a wand and a school robe, so my parents bought her the wand for her birthday and I made her a school robe. We watched the third movie the night after their birthday, so I dialed up the magic by hanging “floating” candles in the living room and making butterbeer. While Jude didn’t care at all about the books, he did enjoy the movies (and the chocolate frogs, of course).

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They’re such funny, wonderful little characters and I cannot imagine life without them.

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