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January 19, 2011

Staggering

When the girls were first born, I adhered to the sage advice from several “multiples” resources, “When one baby wakes up, WAKE UP THE OTHER BABY!” I was determined to get – and keep! – the girls on the same schedule.

The girls started sleeping through the night at three months old, and at that point, I started allowing a small amount of flexibility in their schedules, particularly during the time in which they were taking three naps a day.

I always put them down for naps at the same time, but if one baby woke up early (and in those days, waking up meant crying!), I would pick her up but allow her sister to continue to sleep for up to 30 minutes. I reasoned that those 30 minutes wouldn’t damage the synchronicity of the girls’ schedules too much…and I used those 30 minutes for some valuable one-on-one time.

Over the past year, these occasions have happened very rarely. The girls are content to talk to themselves or play quietly in their cribs if they wake up a little early. And with only one nap, I am not usually anxious to admit that someone is awake before they “should” be.

My sweet Baby A came down with the flu on Monday morning. She’s fighting like a champ, only slowing down when her ibuprofen begins to wear off and her fever begins to creep back up…but she has slept like a rock at naptime and at night.

I laid both girls down at their usual naptime yesterday. After about 2 ½ hours – what I consider a very successful nap – I began to hear chatter. I went into the girls’ room to find Baby B awake, but Baby A was still sacked out. I put my finger to my lips to ask B to be quiet. I tiptoed to her crib and whisked her out of the room to allow her sister to sleep a while longer.

I took advantage of A’s extended snooze to spend some one-on-one time with B, reminding me of the “staggering” I used to do when the girls were tiny.

I brought B downstairs, and we snuggled together in the living room (a big treat, as that room is off-limits for the girls). She sat beside me in the armchair and we perused a cookbook. She pointed out all the different meats and veggies, and we ooh’ed and ahh’ed over the yummy desserts.

And then I decided to see if B would be willing to help me with some laundry. I haven’t folded laundry with the girls since they were tiny…before they were very mobile so as to mess up my meticulously organized stacked of towels!

B giggled at the huge mound of towels I dumped in front of her on the bed. I sorted the washcloths from the hand towels from the bath towels. And then I asked her to hand me one washcloth at a time. She did an amazing job! She was so patient…the perfect helper!

Baby A did get some one-on-one time when I took her to the pediatrician, although it was nothing like the thrill of folding laundry. But I guess we’ll take what we can get…and look for opportunities where they arise.

One-on-one time is always special, no matter the task at hand.

11 comments:

reanbean said...

So sorry to hear that A has been sick. I'm glad she's been able to sleep well, though. Mine usually have disrupted sleep when they're sick, which just makes dealing with the illness that much harder.

And I agree, one-on-one time is very special no matter how special or ordinary the task or activity might be.

I hope A is well again soon!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Kendra and I do laundry together - she even says laundry (which 18-month-old says laundry?!) - it's because there's so much darn laundry in the house I'm always emptying laundry baskets :)

Hope A is 100% better soon.

Andrea said...

So sorry to hear A has been sick! Bless her heart and Mommy's heart! I will say prayers for a speedy recovery. I hope everyone else stays well. I love quality one on one time. It always makes me feel like they get their own time away from each other. Like you ours is usually around nap time and I absolutely love it! Makes you realize what it would have been like with just one, so glad I had twins!

Tracy said...

So sorry to hear you have a sick one and glad you found an opportunity for one-on-one. I feel like that is the hardest thing for me to deliver in our house and it's not until I give some one-on-one that I am reminded just how important it is.

Quadmama said...

Sorry for the sickness. Hopefully she's on the mend. One time we had a virus wipe out all the girls. I think Tortilla recovered first... and was delighted to have some one on one time with me while her sisters slept.

Barbara Manatee said...

awww! Love those rare moments alone! :-)

My two still share a bedroom together and are usually pretty in sync with when they fall asleep and wake up (although Jacob usually wakes up first and often wakes up his sister, ready or not). Once in a while, one will wake up from a (rare) nap first and I'll let the other one sleep...and when the 2nd one wakes up and realizes he/she is alone...they almost always start to sob, realizing they are alone. so sad/sweet :-)

strongblonde said...

awwww...poor little A. i hope she gets better soon. i hate sick babies :(

but i do love one on one cuddle/fun time. there just doesn't seem to be enough of it, you know?

MultipleMum said...

Poor baby A!

Love the folding washing togetherness! (Must try it!). My Dew Drop is my little helper (he is often awake before the Minx).

We put the washing on (his jobs are to click the button on and close the drawer that holds the detergent) and put the dish washer on (he puts the detergent in the little drawer).

He loves helping! I figure the Minx will have her fair share of household duties when she gets older so she may as well enjoy her beauty sleep now!

Rebecca said...

I love those stolen moments...it's so rare when you have twins and I think that's why we hold them so close to our hearts! Love it!

Momma Chantal said...

That is so sweet! I love those moments of one on one time! I wish there was more opportunity for those moments.

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

This is a sweet post!

Lboy thinks that a stack of folded towels are a launching pad. He climbs on them & then throws himself off-which ruins all the folding I just did. But it is cute!