Twin Activities

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Categories Activities, Ask the Readers, Infants

Recently I started Toddler in swim lessons. She’s three now, and while we don’t have a pool ourselves, my in-laws and my brother both do, so I thought it was time to learn some water safety. I didn’t know how it would go, particularly because she kind of, sort of, isn’t a fan of water on her face. And by that I mean screaming bloody murder if she’s anywhere near a spraying showerhead. The lessons are also very costly. About a dollar a minute. But what the heck, it’s a heated indoor pool with teachers who are great at what they do. If a few lessons gets her to not be afraid of the water, I figured it was worth it.

And I’m very happy to say that… it’s been a blast! She’s been making steady progress with every lesson. We went from not wanting to put any part of her head in the water at all, to being able to dip her entire head under and pop back up. After only 3 lessons. So, full steam ahead. Hopefully she’ll be able to swim by the time she’s done with our 8 lesson package.

I had no idea that I could be so proud of her overcoming her fears. I feel a little silly cheering for her by the side of the pool when she does a back float, but really that emotion just cannot be contained.

And I realized that I really, really want my other kids to be a part of this too. The twins are 7 months old, too young to participate in these sorts of activities, I thought. But I saw a set of 8 month old twin brothers in the Parent and Me class. And the instructors tell me they take babies as young as 3 months. While I haven’t seen any that young, it’s definitely true that that the babies are the ones who take to the water with no fear. While the 2 year olds are crying and refusing to try stuff, the babies are just happy as can be, kicking the water like they’re in a comfy bath.

So that brings me to the real reason for this post. If I had only one baby I wouldn’t hesitate to enroll in another class. How great would it be to have the peace of mind of knowing your baby would know what to do in an accidental fall-in? But mostly because it would be fun, something all the kids could experience together, and a nice way to spend the summer. I could schedule back-to-back lessons for Toddler and baby, so baby and I could cheer for Toddler during her class, and Toddler can watch or play in the kiddie pool while I’m in the water with baby. However, I don’t only have one baby. The process would be much more difficult with two. I would either have to take them one at a time, or get another person to come with us. Neither option is really all that feasible, requiring the coordination of lots of schedules/people, and they don’t account for my third child.

Unless Husband is really enthusiastic about doing a family lesson on the weekend with all 3 kids (and even that would be a little tough), I’m going to take a pass for the babies this summer. Which is too bad, because I already bought an adorable tiny swimsuit and swim trunks for them.

And I think, will all activities in the future be like this? Mommy and Me classes where we’re the Mommy-and-Me-and-Me? At some point I know they won’t need me as much and joining activities will get much easier, but until then, are we relegated to not attending? What activities, if any, are conducive to a 2 to 1 ratio?

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lunchldyd is mom to 3 year old boy/girl twins and their 5.5 year old sister. She is now teaches part-time to juggle the needs of her young children. When not at work and the kids are asleep, she is addicted to watching TV and sometimes sacrifices sleep to read in bed. She lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband, three kids, and two dogs.

9 thoughts on “Twin Activities”

  1. I was thrilled when I saw that the gym at work was offering Mommy and Me yoga classes. I called to find out how to register. I was told that, while they had plenty of attendees where both mom and dad showed up with baby, they couldn’t promise to accommodate twinfants. I could just hope that one of those dads would be willing to take one of my children. I didn’t enroll.

    I never did find a way to may Mommy and Me-type activities work for me, but storytime at the library and other sorts of things that were more like what we did together on a regular basis worked fine. Anything that involved sitting with both girls in my lap or running and jumping together was fine. Anything that involved lifting children in a prescribed way wasn’t going to happen.

  2. We’ve been doing parent & me swim classes with our b/g twins since they were babies. My husband and I both love seeing their progress and we’ve been at the pool most Saturdays for a long time now – they’re nearly 4 years old. We are both cheering dorks. :) We also try to do things separately (me and one, my husband and one) based on their interests. And like you hear often, some things get easier as they get older. I’m a big fan of swim class, hopefully your pool can help you make it work – maybe ask for an extra instructor or use the childcare for the others while you swim with one every other time? Twin mom life is such a juggle – hang in there!

    1. So you and your husband both attend swim lessons? Is that how you make it work? My husband left for Iraq when the babies were 5 months old and we’re now divorced, although at age 7, the one parent-two child ratio is totally manageable.

      1. Yes, we both did swim lessons in the baby parent-and-me class but as soon as they moved into the toddler classes we’ve both just been on the sidelines. Our Y pool instructors are great with the little kids even when they can’t swim yet. We’ve had to skip classes or make it work when life gets busy or he’s away for work but my husband and I really enjoys it and it’s a priority for our free time as a family. I also do activities with just one of them. Scheduling and finding childcare is the challenge of course.

  3. I attended one Mommy & Me yoga class when my twins were about two months old. The instructor was happy to use one of my babies as a model, which worked out well for our participation.

    As toddlers, my kids are currently taking a swim class. For that, both parents attend and manage a baby. There’s really no way to handle both toddlers non-swimming on my own in the water.

    By the way, in our swim class, there’s an infant who’s nine or ten months old. She’s fearless and LOVES the water. My toddlers resist going underwater, but the infant will practically dive in. Loves it.

  4. I have help. My mom, my brother, my husband, a babysitter, my SIL…sort of a rotating crew. My boys have been doing Little Gym since they were 7 months and swimming since 11 months. The library I do alone.

  5. I take my almost 1 year old twins to a music class solo and they love it! We also take swim lessons but my husband has to come- we picked an early evening lesson so he could make it after work. I have to say that it has been worth it! The kids love it & it’s only once a week. I have been to the library for story time and that is manageable. I tried little gym but found that a bit challenging alone. They allow for a lot of freedom & 2 kids in different directions was a bit dangerous with the equipment they have! My Motto is “it doesn’t hurt to try” you can always leave if things turn bad & you can always try again.

  6. Thanks for all the suggestions! The 8 mo twins I mentioned in my post? I saw them on a Saturday with both parents in the water, then on a weekday morning with mom and two nannies, one for each baby!

    We took all 3 just yesterday to grandpa’s, and the babies LOVED being in the pool. But keeping tabs on all of them, even with two additional adults, well that part’s not fun. I don’t even have pictures of my babies’ first time in a pool :(

    Maybe with some practice we’ll get a great experience out of it. The two hour window we have to get babies changed, sunscreened, packed, in the car for 15 min ride, then into the pool for 20-30 mins, out, dried, changed, fed, played with by grandparents, and back in the car for another 15 mins… all with a toddler too… WOW.

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