One on one time

So we tried a new experiment this week. Occasionally the girls have gone to visit Grandma and Grandpa for a few days, but this time we decided to let just one girl go. It's tough for the girls to have to share attention all the time...and it's not so easy on the grown-ups either. And who doesn't like getting all the attention to themselves? So G&G flipped a coin, and Rowan won for the first trip. We dropped her off on Sunday, and she'll come home tomorrow. We've missed her, it's strange to be without her for this long. But all in all, it has been a big success. I think it's been really good for all of us, and it's definitely something I want to do again.

First of all, it is WAY easier to take care of one toddler than two. I mean, I know that's obvious. But it's like...25% of the work it is to take care of them both. Since they're small, you still have to watch them all the time of course. But there's so much less conflict. It was shocking to me to realize yesterday afternoon that I hadn't even heard Saoirse cry all day. I got to let her nap, wake, eat..all on her own schedule. Usually we have to compromise for the sake of sanity. We took blocks apart and took them together, over and over. We read books, sang songs. Not that we don't do these things when it's all 3 of us...but it's different. It was so nice to get to focus on her. Last night Chris, Saoirse, and I went out to dinner, and Chris said, "I don't know if she looks cuter today, or if it's just that I'm looking at her more." It's the looking. Really looking. And what I'm seeing is that she is really a sweet, happy, silly girl. Chris said last night, "Well, if you just had one like this, I can totally see why you'd think...oh yeah, let's have another one!"

Of course, the drawback of seeing how sweet and easygoing she is when we're alone is that it makes me feel pretty bad about how our more usual days go. There's so much more crying and conflict. They compete for my attention, for toys..for everything. It frustrates them so much when they can't both be picked up whenever they want, or pick a book to read (at the exact same moment), or play with the [insert toy here]. I was reading an article on child development today that said "...they can't really be expected to wait their turn before kindergarten or 1st grade." Great. That made me feel good. That's the fundamental problem with having twins. Two babies. One parent most of the time. I'm trying to reframe it, be glad that we can have SOME time alone thanks to G&G. It's good because this helps me be more aware during the days when there is conflict that it's more the situation than that they are some very difficult children who are trying to drive me crazy.

Saoirse and I had a fun day today. This morning we started a music class that I will be taking with both of the girls for the next 13 weeks. It's a mixed age group with kids 0-5 (the girls are the youngest in our group) and their moms. Well, one grandma, but mostly moms. We sang songs, did fingerplay, played with some instruments. Saoirse liked it, she was very quiet and observant. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the girls warm up and get more comfortable in class over the coming months. After class Saoirse and I went to Sweetwater cafe to have some hot cocoa and blueberry scone, just us girls. It was a gorgeous fall day, so we sat outside and ate. Then home for a nap, some lunch, and then off to check out a store/playplace that I'd heard about, My Urban Toddler. Very fun, we bought some new little rattly egg things, like a maraca but handheld. Saoirse shook them along with the radio all the way home.

Here we are shopping at Shaman Drum, Mommy's favorite bookstore in the whole wide world. :)

Here's Saoirse all dressed up and ready to go to her first class:

Here she is at Sweetwater:

Tomorrow we're off to get Rowan, we've missed her!


  Harris Boys

September 10, 2008 at 6:59 PM

that is such a neat idea. we may have to try that with our grandparents. I can only imagine what a few days would be like with only 1 busy toddler....hehe


September 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM

What a GREAT idea! I think I might try the same thing when they get a bit older. You worded my thoughts perfectly on why it's 25% of the work with one than with two. Did you find that she was looking around for her sister at all while she was away?


September 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Linda-Yes, she did look for her, and ask for her, a couple of times. Once in her bath, once after naptime when we would usually go get Rowan out of bed before eating. But when I said she was not here, she went bye-bye with Grandma, she seemed okay with that.