Twinfant Tuesday: To separate, or not to separate?

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Categories Going out, Guilt, Independence, Parenting, Routines, Time Management, Twinfant Tuesday1 Comment

Looking back on our early days with our now two-year-old twins, there aren’t too many things I’d do differently.  (Well, maybe hire a night nurse!)  But one thing that stands out in my mind that I would have changed if I could, is taking one baby out for an outing more often.

I recall having friends ask how often my husband and I would split up with our kids.  At the time, I filed these comments into “you don’t understand because you don’t have twins” category.  On days when my husband and I were both around, we pretty much operated as a family of four.  We did all activities together, or were cooped up in our house together.  It felt essential to have both sets of hands on deck for both kids at all possible times.  For those necessary tasks like running to the grocery store, which, sadly became our “me” time for the first year, one parent would grin and bear it for an hour, while the other blissfully strolled the aisles solo.  This made perfect sense to us: it’s not “easy” to bring just one of the babies on errands, so why wouldn’t we leave both kids at home if we had the option?

However, now that our kids are older, we split up much more often.  We’ll take one on an errand alone, or on a special outing, and the kids light up at that grocery store, like we took them to Disneyland.  (They do often end up shouting the other twin’s name, and/or the absent parent’s name, on the outing, looking for them.  But, it still is so precious to see how excited they get to have their own trip with mom or dad.)

It makes me feel sad that I didn’t realize earlier how special that solo time would feel to them.  Arguably, maybe they were too young to have the awareness of this separation before we started doing it.  But, still, I think there may have been value in us splitting up with them before they did recognize it.  So much of the first 18 months or so of parenting twins was filled with anxiety for me.  Looking back, I think if I had ventured out on my own with one baby more often, it would have built some confidence in me that would eventually have led to adventures with both babies.  I think it also would have led to less mommy guilt: ie, since an hour at the store was my “me” time, I wasn’t “allowed” other time alone.  If we’d divided up with baby, maybe I’d have done more sans baby for mommy.  :)  Lastly, I think it may have been healthier to split them up more than we did, allowing them to be their own person, even if just for an hour.

Katie is a working mom of 2-year-old twins, who makes too many trips to the grocery store, with or without kids!

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The Me Time Bandaid

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Categories Babysitting, Finances and Saving, Going out, Making Time for Me, Organization, Parenting, Time ManagementTags , 1 Comment

Like most parents-to-be my husband and I envisioned what our life would be like after the arrival of our fraternal little bundles of joy with keen optimism. We decided that our version of parenthood would involve a budget that would always include a babysitter fund.  We were happy to accept hand-me-down clothing, take more local vacations and make other financial sacrifices as a trade for some more time to ourselves as a couple.

A month before Molly and Jack’s c-scheduled arrival we opened up an account with a nanny site and posted an advertisement for a handful of regular babysitters.  I wanted a sitter who would be available during the day from time-to-time so I would be able to get a break or a nap when my husband was at work and another sitter or two who would be available for our evening date nights.  The well-thought out plan allowed us time to receive resumes, review them together towards the end of my pregnancy/ first few days of the twins’ lives, schedule phone and face-to-face interviews and then test out our sitters while we went out to a restaurant walking distance from our house, so we were nearby.

A few days after our new family returned from the hospital my husbands’ grandmother’s health took a turn for the worse.  He received a call from his father urging him to head to the hospital immediately at around 2:45AM, while we were finishing up a middle of the night feeding of Molly and Jack.  Chris drove to the hospital while I put the kids back to bed and waited for his call.  He returned home, just after breakfast and the family had already begun to make funeral arrangements.

2.5 week old fraternal twins

Molly and Jack were barely a week old and we both knew that it would be difficult to manage their care at a visitation and a funeral.  We hadn’t even called the babysitters who had applied to care for Molly and Jack and over half of our family would be attending the funeral.  On the night of the visitation, less than two weeks after their birth, we separated from our newborns for the very first time, under the charge of my best friend and my brother.  I believe I provided a laundry list of highly unnecessary instructions and then we took a deep breath and we left our children for a few hours that evening. We came home to sleeping twins and our babysitters watching a Storage Wars Marathon on TV – hardly the difficult situation that I had written a novel to prepare them for.  The next day we left Molly and Jack in the care of my parents, and a significantly shorter set of “care” instructions, while we went to the service and the visitation (but not before a milk pumping pit stop).

We knew that we’d be leaving the twins under the care of others early on, however we certainly didn’t think that we’d be doing it that soon.  We both wish that Great Grandma Hazel had been able to meet Molly and Jack and we are so thankful for the people in our lives who stepped up during our VERY early days of parenthood.

When we interviewed our sitters and left Molly and Jack alone as intended that fall, it was just a little bit easier knowing that we had done it before.  We still have two of our original babysitters who have cared for Molly and Jack since they were just a month old and nowadays they look forward to their time with their sitters just as much as we enjoy getting out for a date.

To view a post I wrote on my personal blog on interview questions to ask a potential babysitter click here.

 


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Toddler Thursday: Tips for Waiting Patiently in Line

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Categories Going out, Parenting, Toddler Thursday, Toddlers1 Comment

No one likes to wait, right?  And having to wait with twin toddlers in tow can be considered a rare form of torture.

waiting

My twin girls are now 6 1/2, and I still employ some of the “entertainment” techniques I used when they were toddlers when we find ourselves waiting somewhere.  For us, this made standing in line at the grocery checkout [mostly] bearable, and waiting in the pediatrician’s office not [quite] so torturous.

Here are my top five tips for waiting patiently with the littles.

Put your hands…  The girls could be “entertained”, at least long enough for me to unload the grocery cart, with a game of “put your hands”.  “Put your hands on your head.”  “Now put your fingers in your belly button.”  “Put one finger in your ear and one on your nose.”  “Do you have pockets?  Put your hands in your pockets.”  This makes me laugh now to remember, but I tried to dress the girls in something with pockets if we were going grocery shopping.  They LOVED to put their hands in their pockets, and it kept their hands from touching everything in the checkout line!

Pick a square.  This gem still serves me well in public restrooms (ICK!!!).  I’ll tell the girls to look around and pick their very favorite square of tile to stand on.  Or, “Put one foot on one square, and your other foot in a different square.”  “Can you reach your feet across four squares?”  “Can you both stand on the same square?”  My kiddos are six and they still love to tell me how many squares they can stretch across.  (Knock yourselves out, girls…as long as you don’t fall down in the public restroom…ICK!!!)

I spy.  Our girls loved to play “I Spy” with a magazine or book while we waited in a doctor’s office.  We’d look for certain colors, animals, shapes, letters.  As our girls grew, this game evolved.  “How much does this cost?” asked in the checkout line, was a great way for them to practice numbers.

Sign language.  We did Baby Sign Language with our girls, and they loved to show off their stuff.  It would buy me some time to run through the list of words they knew.  “How do you sign ‘cow’?”  “How do you sign ‘book’?”  “Now, ‘book’, ‘ball’, ‘book’?”  Cue laughter.  (And a couple of times this led to me meeting someone who spoke ASL…that was super cool for the girls to experience!)

Fill in the blanks.  We’ve all read the same books 1,459,297 times, right?  Especially with rhyming books, I found I could recite them quite easily, and the girls LOVED to fill in the blanks.  “‘A’ is for apple that I like to (bite), ‘B’ is for (bear) whom I cuddle at (night).”  Songs are also fair game here.  “Mary had a little (lamb), it’s fleece was white as (snow)”.  And throwing in something silly, mistaking that Mary had a little “horse”, for example, would keep our girls in good spirits.

Waiting with twin toddlers (or twin six-year olds) is not something I relish most of the time, but we usually find a way to occupy ourselves…have some fun…and maybe even learn a little something.

Do you have any tips and tricks to share for when you’re found waiting somewhere with your littles?  We’d love to hear!

MandyE is mom to 6 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

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Take Your Child to College

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Categories Activities, Education, Going out, Parenting41 Comments

I encourage you to spend a few hours with your kids at your local university or community college. You’ll be surprised at what you can find to do there. Without them realizing it, you’ll be setting your children up to imagine themselves as university students in a few short years.

I know that college isn’t for everyone. Many of us are happier for going straight into the job market or getting vocational training. I do believe, though, that every child has a right to know that a four year degree can be an option. Given my daughters’ love of formal education, I would be very surprised if they didn’t elect to head straight for a Bachelors degree after high school. I did. Their dad didn’t. They have options.

I work at a university, so I know many of the hidden gems of campus. Ever since my daughters were toddlers, we’ve visited the campus on occasional weekends to go exploring. Sometimes, there are child-focused activities, such as Fossil Day, Explore UT, and the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland exhibit.

The Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center.

Even without those, though, there’s plenty to do. We never go to campus without paying a visit to the Turtle Pond.

The University of Texas at Austin Turtle Pond is a great stop for little ones.

Scavenger hunts are a wonderful way to occupy a few hours. When my daughters were learning the alphabet, I’d challenge them to find each letter as we roamed the university. They loved carrying little clipboards and crossing out the letters, one at a time, as they looked at signs, fliers, and license plates.

UT Austin street sign. Why not take your little ones on an adventure to your closest university campus.

We’ve examined the details of architecture on campus. It’s amazing what you notice if you look closely. My office was in this building for years, but I never stop discovering new details I’ve missed.

MAI details

As the girls grew older, we began to talk about the people whose names were engraved on university buildings.

On our last campus outing, I gave the girls license to take photos. J noticed how beautifully painted the ceiling of a walkway was and took this photo. I’ve walked past that building for 14 years and never noticed.

Notice the details.

We are building wonderful memories. My daughters have an image of where I go during the day.

A plaque at UT Austin.

I’m also showing them that a university is a place they want to be. They see college students walking campus, carrying books in and out of the library, sitting on the grass and strumming guitars. They can see themselves at college because they’ve spent time on this, and other university campuses. They’ve visited my alma mater in California and several other Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina colleges. When we set forth to visit the planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC, I didn’t even realize it was part of the university until we arrived.

Forget take your kid to work day. Take your child to college!

Barbara Jordan statue at UT Austin.Have you and your kids explored a college campus? What did you do there?

 

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Maintaining the Silliness Quota

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Categories From the Mouths of Multiples, Going out, Medical, Parenting Twins, RelationshipsTags 2 Comments

Today, my daughter M and I went to her very own doctor, the one she doesn’t share with her sister. M’s twin sister, J, did not join us, instead staying at school with their 3rd grade class. This is quite the rare occurrence, since I usually try to schedule appointments outside school hours and therefore have both girls with me.

M was very silly at the appointment, needing more reminders than usual to focus on the doctors’ questions. I wondered what was going on, only to discover this was yet another sister thing.

M: I was super extra goofy for you at the doctor.
J: What?
M: You weren’t there, so I did your sillies for you.
J: WHAT!?
M: You weren’t there, so I had my own sillies and then I was extra silly to make up for you.
J: Yeah, I got that, and I repeat: “WHAT!?” That makes no sense.

At least she agrees with me.

M missed her sister. The appointment ran late enough that M risked missing lunch at school, so I took her to a restaurant for a meal. When I asked for a table for two, M let me know that it sounded wrong. She went through every combination of meal partners she could think of, pointing out that we always needed at least 3 seats.

By the time we were done eating, though, she was enjoying herself.

“I like this quality time with you, Mommy,” she confessed, “just the two of us.”

Now I need to find some Mommy-and-me outing time for J. She would be okay with M going on a playdate without her to make it work, “as long as it’s not with [one of their 3 best friends] S. We’re a trio.”

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Butterfly Morning

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Categories Going out, Parenting Twins, Preschoolers2 Comments

My little Robin, from her earliest days, has been a quiet poet. She would wake up before Hailey, as a baby, be happily lifted from her crib into my arms, and look out the window for a long while at the sun rising over the mountains. As she has grown, she has continued to show me that she is always watching, taking in her surroundings with a keen eye. I see what catches her attention; it is the beautiful things. A flower blowing in the breeze, a colourful earring dangling from someone’s ear, a canopy of trees overhead.

butterfly2I have been making more efforts to go on adventures with the girls one-on-one. This past weekend, I brought Robin out on a rainy morning for a donut at Timmie’s and a tour of the biology department’s greenhouse at Carleton U, which was hosting a tropical butterfly exhibit. It was free, not too busy when we arrived, and fulfilled its advertised promises of colourful butterflies landing all around us. I was so happy that I could bring my little Robin to such a beautiful, engaging activity.

Of all my girls, I knew she would like it the best, so we went just us two. She tried holding an orange quarter with a butterfly perched on top, but she quickly grew nervous and dropped it. She told me she preferred to look and not touch, so that’s what we did.

butterfly5We acted as though we were the only two there. I hoisted her up in my arms to get a better view, and together we watched colourful butterflies flutter and land all around us. I watched her delicate hand extend to point out a butterfly quietly eating flower nectar, and met her gaze when she looked at me with amazement. It was a moment I hope I never forget.

We didn’t talk a lot, and I knew she wouldn’t want to. It wasn’t a morning to quiz her, or encourage her to work on her speech. We observed, we found beauty, we shared looks of wonder. We turned our heads up to see the busy cloud of fluttering wings darting around the ceiling, captivated by the flashes of colour.

butterfly4A butterfly was passed onto my hands, so I squatted down to bring it close to her. She stepped back, hesitant in case is flew anywhere near her face, but stood close enough to see its antennae, its legs, its slowly opening and closing wings. For a moment, I saw the essence of childlike wonder erupt over her face, evidenced by her shy smile.

butterfly10It was only a morning, but without anyone else to detract from our moments together, I felt like I learned so much about my younger twin girl. My hope was that she would feel special, attended to, and worthy of my undivided attention. I think she did, as much as I can gather from her limited speech. What I know for sure is that I have a very deep soul in my Robin, and I am the lucky one for being chosen to mother her beautiful little spirit.

 

Sarah is the mother to four girls, two of whom are identical twins Hailey and Robin. They were born in the Yukon in a very small hospital at 35 weeks, and though they were small, they were mighty. She now lives in Ontario, where her high school sweetheart husband works very hard, and she stays home with the girls, freelance reporting on the side. In her past life, she was a journalist who covered everything from fast-paced federal politics to cats stuck in trees. Her writing has appeared in local newspapers and magazines, and in national publications like the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada Magazine. She is a yogi, a mediocre cook, an awesome Beyonce dance move imitator, and an avid blogger at Cure for Boredom.

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Mommy (and Daddy?) Milestones

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I’ve written numerous times about “Mommy Milestones”…those experiences that mark some kind of turning of the tide…often something I have to work up the courage to do with my twin girls (now 5 1/2).

There were lots of Mommy Milestones when the girls were smaller.  There was the first time I spent the day with the girls by myself, and the first time I took them out of the house by myself…there was the first time I took them to the pediatrician by myself, and the first time I took them to the park, outside the confines of their stroller.

These days, at 5 1/2, my girls are so grown up, and my Mommy Milestones are few and far between.  Sure, there was their first day of Kindergarten a few weeks ago, but I count that more as a family milestone (although I am **terribly** proud of myself for not crying in front of them…that definitely counts for something in my book!).

Today, though, something is happening at our house, some turning of the tide.  I can’t quite decide if it is to be classified as a Mommy Milestone, but like my No [Public] Crying Award for the first day of Kindergarten, there’s gotta be something written down.

Haircut
Baby A’s first haircut, at just shy of 9 months old!

Since the girls were tiny (and Baby A had freakishly long hair), I’ve taken the girls for their haircuts.  I’ve gotten a trim, and then they’ve each sat in my lap for their turn.

Now, with me working full-time and my baby girls in school, things are changing.  I went last week for a haircut (and glorious alone-time with my hairdresser…that hasn’t happened in YEARS!!!).  Today, Daddy is carrying the girls after school for their haircuts…without me.

Truth be told, I may be a little more nervous for Daddy than for the girls.  I know they’ll do fine.  I don’t know if Hubby has a Milestone tally…but if he does…I imagine he’ll count this one.

I post this today as a reminder to us all to celebrate those little milestones.  You can bet I’ll be enjoying a cookie in honor of today!  😉

What’s your latest milestone?

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

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Awkward Conversations

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Categories Attitude, Community, Going out, Mommy Issues, Other people, Parenting, Parenting Twins, Perspective, Preschoolers, Toddlers1 Comment

All summer long, I’ve had two or three kids with me wherever I’ve gone. Big Sis is in preschool half-day mornings, but all our afternoon outings consist of myself, pushing two 20mo b/g twins in a double stroller, which their 4yo sister is skipping next to. Or, in a store, it would be the twins up front sharing the child seat (they just barely fit now), and Big Sis usually in the main basket (she prefers to ride) with my wallet/phone/keys and items to be purchased. It is clearly obvious I have three young children, and I “have my hands full,” which is usually the gist of all my conversations at the mall, store, or park.

However, we’ve also been frequenting an indoor playground about once a week. They’re wonderfully confined spaces for kids to run off their energy, safely climb to their heart’s content, play with other kids, all while Mommy gets to blissfully sit by the sidelines without having to constantly chase after them. Today, since it was so incredibly hot (over 100), I took them for the afternoon. Big Sis has always just taken off at these places without a backward glance, and now the twins are following her lead. So I struck up a conversation with a nearby mom whose baby was crawling around at lightening speed. I noticed a couple older kids flocking around her as well.

Me: “They sure get around fast once they start moving huh?”

Her: “Oh ya, she’s going everywhere.”

Me: “So these 3 are yours?”

Her: “Oh no, just the two girls. If I had three I’d kill myself.” (Some exasperated eye rolling.)

Me: (Uhhhh… Awkward chuckle.)

I found out her girls are 6 and 1. I chose not to tell her about my 4yo and 20mo and 20mo, but I’m sure eventually she figured it out, as 3 open mouths came running when I pulled out the snacks.

lunchldyd is annoyed that these kinds of conversations keep happening.

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Twins vs Singletons

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Categories Activities, Development, Different Gender, Family, Going out, Parenting, Parenting Twins, Perspective, Preschoolers, Siblings, Single Parenting, Singletons, ToddlersLeave a comment

Having a set of b/g twins 2.5 years after their sister puts me in a position to be able to compare and contrast the experiences of having twins and having a singleton– really having twins vs having two singletons. Now that the twins are 19 months old and Big Sis is 4, I feel I’ve gotten enough under my belt to do a little analysis. (Of course, everyone’s situation will vary, and all experiences depend highly on the temperament of each child as well as the character of each household, but I do find that there are some definite differences).

The GOOD…

Developmentally, I’ve got two kids doing the same thing. They generally play the same way, eat the same things, like the same places. They are in the same age group in any classes for which I’d sign them up, and very soon they would be able to play with each other. It’s one drop off and one pick up for both kids to grandma’s, and to preschool/school later on. At least until they’re old enough to pick their own separate activities, they’d be doing most things together. Big Sis will always be 2.5 years older, which means they would rarely be doing or liking the same things.

Two kids at the same age also means they’re more or less on the same schedule. There may be days when their naps are off, or even weeks during transitions when one does something that the other doesn’t yet. But even accounting for those differences, I consider them a unit for eating and sleeping. Big Sis has a different naptime and bedtime from her siblings; and actually she doesn’t even get to nap anymore because of the scheduling difficulties, even though she really could.

It’s a given that children cost a lot, but I think twins come with some economies of scale (assuming the comparison is between twins and two singletons). I get to buy many things in bulk, and sometimes I can even get a twin discount on stuff. But having twins over singletons is more of a time saver than anything else. Making two bottles at once only takes slightly more time than making one bottle, when I change one child I usually just change the other– almost everything we do takes less time than doing them with two children of different ages.

They have each other. They get to grow up together, learn together, support each other, and never be lacking a sidekick because their twin will always be there. Older/younger siblings do a lot of things together too, but it’s just not the same, at least not until they’re adults.

And the BAD…

Double Trouble” is true! It was actually easier when they were infants, when as long as I figured out how to feed them simultaneously, they were happy. There was a rough patch getting them on the same sleep schedule, but after that it was pretty good going until they became toddlers. Now, sometimes there are just not enough hands (or eyes). Example: toddlers on the move in the park. One was making a beeline for some stairs, while the other was attempting to topple a large trash can. Big Sis required minimal supervision, as she had found some little friends to play with.

The twins are also much more aggressive than their sister ever was. They are much more vocal in what they want, and will fight, even bite each other! They egg each other on when they’re misbehaving. “Group mentality” perhaps. One climbs on top of the play kitchen, and the other will climb it too. One screams and throws food, other other ups that by tossing a sippy cup too. Alone, perhaps they would not dare. Singletons just don’t get away with as much.

Activities for twins are difficult when there is only one adult. At least at my twins’ age, everything is much easier when the ratio is 1:1, or even 2:3 when including Big Sis. One adult to a set of twin toddlers is sometimes impossible (as in the case of Parent and Me swim class), but even when possible, it can get very stressful and overwhelming (Mommy and Me classes). Even if different-aged children are in an activity together, they would not need the same kind of attention at exactly the same time.

lunchldyd is a high school teacher on summer break in the Los Angeles area. She wonders how this comparison will change as her kids get older.

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Take Kids Swimming: Jump Right In!

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Categories Going out, How Do The Moms Do It, ParentingTags 2 Comments

Living in Texas, water has always been a big part of our family life. Our summers have always centered around boat rides on the lake, splash parks, running through sprinklers and days at the pool.

I usually long for summer, but this year I’ve been dreading it (and not just because I didn’t want to shove this postpartum body into a bathing suit). I have 3 boys plus the twins and the thought of taking all 5 to the pool by myself scared me. Two of my boys can swim, but O is only 3 and is too confident to be smart around water so I resigned myself to only going swimming when I had my husband’s help. I quickly changed my mind after spending one of his on call weekends at home trying to keep everyone entertained. I spent the next week thinking, planning, and browsing the summer section at Target. When I finally felt comfortable I braved the pool.

That’s right. I took five kids swimming. Here’s what happened:

Swimming supplies

My plan: I had intended to get O a life jacket, but he took one look at one and bluntly said “no”. The thought of wrestling him into a life jacket every time we went to the pool didn’t appeal to me so I went with a puddle jumper. I looked at two types of floats for the babies. One had a small inflatable center that was surrounded by a mesh ring. The second type needed to be completely inflated and was much bigger. I chose two mesh floats with detachable sun shades. The package said “easy to fold and carry” and they looked like they’d be a snap to untwist and use. I also purchased them a double stroller with a huge sun shade that was big enough to even keep their feet out of the sun. In an effort to make the older boys easy to spot I bought them neon green rash guards.

What worked: The puddle jumper is awesome! O wears it happily and it allows him to keep up with his big brothers in the deeper areas of the pool. The rash guards are great. They are so bright I can easily spot the boys from across the pool and can even see them while they are under water. The double stroller’s sunshade has been so helpful. It keeps the babies cool and has an added bonus of blocking what the babies can see. There have already been several times where I was able to put the babies in the stroller with the shade down and have them nap at the pool.

Will and Rhodes. Check out W's cheesy grin and super bright rash guard.
Will and Rhodes. Check out W’s cheesy grin and super bright rash guard.

What didn’t work: The mesh floats were a total fail. They are too bulky to carry unfolded and once they are inflated and wet they are impossible to fold small enough to put them back in their case. While both babies were heavy enough (according to the float’s specifications) Rhodes seemed too light. He kept slipping down and his mouth would inevitably end up in the water. I tried several positions but I just couldn’t make it work for him.

Managing the babies before getting into the pool

My plan: I wanted to do as much as possible at home / in the car so when we got into the pool I could focus completely on supervising the kids. My plan was to apply all sunscreen at home and bring spray with us for touch ups. I also wanted to change the babies into their swim diapers and swimsuits in the car and put O in his puddle jumper in the parking lot.

What worked: Changing the babies and putting the puddle jumper on O while we were still in the car. We were able to walk right into the pool and start playing and I didn’t have to worry about the kids getting into the pool without supervision.

What didn’t work: The sunscreen. Our first trip to the pool was 3 weeks ago and my car’s interior still has streaks of greasy sunscreen in some spots. I now do faces at home and put an older boy in charge of spraying arms and legs when we are at the pool.

Managing the babies while in the water

My plan: To use the floats or pull the double stroller close to the edge of the pool (with the brake on) and only take out one baby at a time.

What worked: The stroller has been great.  I can play with one baby at a time while safely watching the other kids. I’ve learned that if I put diluted juice in a sippy cup (we usually just fill them with water) the novelty of having juice will keep the baby in the stroller entertained and happy.

The babies using their floats. See how low Rhodes is? We haven't used them much since.
The babies using their floats. See how low Rhodes is? We haven’t used them much since.

What didn’t work: The floats. If both babies want to be in the pool at the same time I must have another set of hands. I’m simply not comfortable having both babies in the water by myself.


Since having the twins I’ve realized that we can still get out and do things, I just have to adjust, plan, and be willing to try. While I’m pretty proud that I’ve been able to manage the pool, I’ve had to concede that it’s just not something we can do every day like in past summers. While the kids love going it isn’t a relaxing time for me anymore. I’m constantly counting heads to make sure everyone is safe and the amount of effort it takes to get everyone ready and gather all the needed supplies is exhausting. Even though we won’t be visiting the pool as often this summer we have still found ways to play and stay cool. We’ve had really good times at the local splash pools, had too many snow cones to count, and the babies are always happy to splash in a tub of water.

The babies love this water table. I removed the legs to make it safer.
The babies love this water table. I removed the legs to make it safer.

 

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