A few weeks ago, our 5-year-old twins J and M were pre-schoolers. I’d clock off work around 5:00, and drive to their pre-school to pick them up. When I reached daycare around 6:00 pm, they were always bursting with stories, discoveries, and questions to share with me. They’d trip over each in other their attempts to tell me and their Dad everything they had to report. M tends to be more long-winded than J, but many of their tales were groups efforts, born of their day in a common classroom.
Our schedule in our new city is quite different now. I work until 4:00 pm local time, and that work is done in my home office. Our daughters are elementary school kids. We have yet to finalize after-school care arrangements for our girls, but for now, my husband is picking the girls up from their bus stop around 3:00 pm. He’s finally getting to enjoy some post-deployment time off work.
I had already explained to the girls that my work in my home office made me as unavailable as I had been at work before I started telecommuting. Still, I prepared myself for another serious conversation with the our daughters about the fact that I would unavailable to them for their first hour home from school.
I needn’t have worried. M and J are in different classrooms for kindergarten, apart for much of the day for the first time in their lives. They have little desire to spend any time with me or Daddy when they get home from school. They need to be together. They grab a snack, during which M briefly reports on her day to Dad, and then both girls disappear into their bedroom, shutting the door behind them.
They have plenty to tell us come dinnertime, but the first hour of the day during which they can be fully together is sister time. It’s not enough for them to see each other at on the school bus, at recess, and at lunchtime. It’s not nearly enough, after almost six years together, starting in the womb. They haven’t complained at all about being in separate classrooms, beyond first-day jitters. They just silently agreed on how to get quality twin time into their day.
How much time do your multiples spend apart? Do they want more? Less?