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September 7, 2012

A Matter of Perspective

As a twin mama, I try to resist the urge to think, “It’s just one baby,” when I see comments on Facebook from singleton mamas.  I know the middle of the night is the middle of the night, no matter how many mouths you have to feed…a tantrum is a tantrum, even when it’s not in stereo.

And these days, as I recently alluded to my “normal”, I don’t actually think much about the twin factor.  I’m a mom, these are my kiddos, and this is what we do.

Still, I’ve had the opportunity to experience “just one baby” here lately.  Baby A has officially (???) given up her nap.  [Oh, how I loathe to type that, but my gut is that it’s our new reality.]  For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been putting a sleepy Baby B down for a nap, and A hangs out downstairs with me.

I encourage her to have “quiet time”, and she’s generally pretty good about doing puzzles, or playing with blocks, at least for about an hour.  On average, that leaves us about 30 minutes of time together, which I think is a pretty fair mix.

Wow.  You’re not getting any kind of break during the day,” my husband lamented.

And while it’s true I don’t have the option of a nap myself, “nap time” still feels like a break to me…there’s “just one baby” to keep an eye on.  Even when she’s trying to demand more of me than “quiet time” should allow, it’s still pretty darn manageable!

And yesterday, when B was at school and Baby A and I had the morning together, things were really pretty easy.

While Daddy and I occasionally split up the girls for errands (usually one stays home with him while somebody accompanies me to the grocery store), Baby A and I had almost three hours and a virtually non-existent to-do list.

We chilled out over a bagel and milk at Panera.  We browsed through the school supplies on clearance at Target.  I enjoyed a little computer time at home while she played nicely, and then we worked together on some very specific block creations.  (She wanted to build a mommy lion and a baby lion.  Between the two of us, mission accomplished!)  Then we cuddled in the living room and perused a cookbook, one of the girls’ favorite one-on-one activities.

I have a friend with quadruplets, and she talks about how easy it is to be out with just two of her four kiddos.  I know it’s just a matter of perspective. 

But I'd be lying if I said this singleton experience isn't a nice “break” now and again.  I’ve just got to figure out how to get Baby B in on the action.


Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Sing it sister! I had a singleton before I had twins and any way you slice it having one child is easier than two!

My girls gave their naps up right at their third birthday BUT it has been okay. They go to bed so much easier at night now and I find that I can still get some quiet time during the day. (Usually that involves a bucket of water, some paint brushes, and a request that they paint our fence in the backyard!)

At the beginning of the year, my husband took E to the bank but J didn't want to go. (Can't remember where the big sister was.) Jude and I were sitting at the table just the two of us and she gave me a huge smile and said, "Mama. It's just me and us!" It gave her such pleasure to have me to herself and it was so sweet the way she said that!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

One-on-one time is soooo good, isn't it?

I love that A is actually playing quietly. The only thing that keeps K quiet are those blocks and sticks I blogged about (I think she has to be quiet to concentrate fully :))

BTW, I keep telling D the kids are getting big and may drop naps soon - he refuses to accept it. HAHAHA

Mandy said...

Oh how I yearn for one on one time. But I love nap time too much to share it with either of them! I fear our nap days are dwindling and it makes me sooo nervous.

But I have to pipe up. I can't imagine just having one. I see what my cousin and friends go through with just one. One child that always needs your attention and want to play with you. One child that has trouble sharing. One child that is needy.

I often feel sorry for those SAHM's of just one child. I love having a built in playmate. My ladies only know to share, and to play nicely with each other. Above all, I love being able to change laundry [and steal time on the computer] because they are playing with each other and not me.

So in that respect, the more the merrier!

Miss Megan said...

I love the one on one time too! My baby A is starting to take very short naps and if I don't snatch her up out of there she will wake up her sister (who on average will sleep another hour and a half if not interrupted). Baby A and I have fun =).
I also agree totally with Mandy! I feel bad for the SAHM's with just one kiddo because that one kiddo IS totally dependent on girls play nicely together too and keep each other company. Sure, I still read them a gazillion books a day or build blocks with them, but they don't need my constant attention. It's pretty sweet. I think it's nature's way of giving back to us since the first year with twins is pretty pull-your-hair-out crazy!

Charlene said...

the way my children came, I never had one on one time, til my last one. My first two are 12 months apart, then I had the twins, then another one and another one....I always had more than one when I was out and about, until Nathan was little and the older kids were in school. It was weird...but in a good way.

And I know exactly what you mean about resisting the urge to say something on facebook, everytime I see someone complain about laundry, I think to myself, try washing clothes for 8 people and then complain. LOL! You are right it's all a matter of perspective!

Amber D said...

This is so true! Sometimes I can't help it when I see someone complaining about a situation that really isn't that bad. Or if they think motherhood is "so easy". I want to scream "You only have one kid! You have no idea!" I restrain myself, most of the time. :)

Barbara Manatee said...

I hear ya!! Its always been at least 2 here so the very rare occasion that I just get time with 1 is great. I ran some errands over Labor day weekend and did some shopping with Sarah. We both loved it. Then now that I get out of work earlier and J&S ride the bus home, I was able to pick Adam up early from daycare one day this week and took him for a quick treat before getting the twins off the bus. It was only about 30-45 minutes but it was nice, just with him! :-)