The unexpected side effect of separating multiples in day care

My 3 year old fraternal twin boys have been together in group care since they were 3 months old. One of the reasons we chose our day care was that it provided the option to separate the boys at any age group. Our original plan was to separate the boys for a year before “real school” to give them an easier transition. Over the last three years, changes have taken place that limit our opportunities to separate the boys, so they will be together until they go to kindergarten. As we love love love our day care, we are reluctant to move to a new place just to separate the boys. When it comes to quality care for your kids, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

It’s that time of year that day care transitions happen. To move to the 3s room, the boys must be potty trained. Nate is fully trained while Alex is fully in diapers. As we strive to treat the boys as individuals, we opted to move Nate to the 3s room since he is ready. There’s a spot waiting for Alex when he is trained, and we are not-secretly hoping that being separated from Nate will provide Alex with some inspiration to use the potty.

So far, the boys are dealing easily with being separated all day. They run to give each other hugs at the end of the day. But my husband and I have experienced unexpected growing pains! Water Play is Tuesday for Alex, Wednesday for Nate. Show And Tell is Wednesday for Alex, Tuesday for Nate. On and on. The boys have always shared sunscreen, diapers, wipes, and clothes. Now we need to provide two sets of everything. After three years of doing drop off and pick up in the same room and the boys being on the same activity schedule, all of a sudden we need to remember different stuff for each kid for each day.  It seems minor but with the morning scramble already so crazy, it’s a new challenge for us to continually remember who needs what and when.

Mind you, I am not saying it is hard. It had just gotten so EASY to drop them off in the same room with the same stuff on the same schedule. I always think of these day care years as practice for real school so I’m glad we’re going to have a short period to practice life with two kids in different activities. And believe me, when Alex moves to the 3s room, I am going to celebrate our time back on easy street.

9 thoughts on “The unexpected side effect of separating multiples in day care

  1. Enjoy the day care years while you can. Real school presents a host of challenges for working parents, which I didn’t bargain for when my son entered kindergarten. Such as, needing to plan for (and pay for) “before school” and/or “after school” and/or winter break, spring break, summer break and teacher workdays when school closes. Wise (working) parents play WAY ahead of time for this. In some states and counties, there is a “school age child care” located at the public school but waiting lists can be long. I registered one year in advance for “after kindergarten” care at my son’s school in FAirfax VA, the smartest thing I ever did. Daycare is a breeze for working parents, compared to regular school!!

  2. Your post also brings to mind what challenges lay ahead for me, as my boys just turned two (and my older son just finished first grade). As twins head into real school, another challenge will be how to meet the very real need for individual homework attention and help. With my first grader, we needed to be very hands on to move him along academically. It is WAY different than when I was in first grade (at least in VA). With twins, there will be no rest for the weary, especially as they may be at different levels in development & learning every step of the way. I have largely treated my boys as a “unit” up until this point, out of sheer necessity just to get through the day and deal with my older son’s needs too. For me it is juggling all the boys needs that is my undoing, or at least it feels that way very often.

  3. I can’t wait for my girls to have separate identities instead of being treated as a unit. I’ve already started to try and wean myself off that thought pattern that has so greatly become a source of sanity and convenience.

    The girls spent their first day apart yesterday as L was home sick and J chose to go to school without her! Big day; no hugs at the end, though.

  4. My fraternal twins haven’t been separated, despite daycare and school policy.
    This at my earnest request, since I have one more child and a demanding job and couldn’t deal with all the mess. Plus, they help each other (one is better academically, the other socially) and are extremely happy.
    They do occasionally separate without complaints (eg, the more social one may have a sleepover at a friend’s while his brother enjoys family quiet) and only one chose to participate in an extracurricular sports activity.

  5. i guess to an extent, i’ve experienced some of this anyway (though the kids are at home with a nanny). my son’s skin/butt is FAAARRRR more sensitive and requires different products. They wear different sizes in clothing and shoes. And so there are almost no economies of scale!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..In Lieu Of Worship =-.

  6. When my daughters started preschool last year I discussed at length with the coordinator whether to split them up. She said for the first year keep them together for my own sanity or I would be trying to juggle too many field trips, class parties, homework, etc. Even this year I opted to keep them together. Everyone wants to know when I’ll separate them… maybe kindergarten, definitely first grade. It’s a hard decision no matter when you make it.
    .-= Quadmama´s last blog ..Appointments Times Four =-.

  7. we followed what our girls wanted; they are together for the things they want to do together and apart for separate activities. admittedly, tuesdays is hard … one is in dance, one is in horseriding, one is in a sailing club. and they all start at 4pm at three different sites around the town.

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