Saturday, February 23, 2008
Stand with your feet about shoulder length apart…now step out about 3 inches.
Hold both of your hands up, level with your ears, palms forward….now let your wrist go slightly limp.
Poof your chest up very tall, arching your back so your butt sticks out.
Now start to walk forward, slowly, slamming each foot on the ground slightly harder than you normally would.
Post a very sly and slightly mischievous grin on your face.
Occasionally, and unexpectantly, fall to the floor.
…What if we never learned to walk better than we did at 13 months?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
F: Run, play, *go hug mom*, climb, shout, *go hug mom*, dance, walk, *go hug mom*, crawl, bang, *go hug mom*.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
D: Tonight I was looking forward to settling in with the boys for a quite night to ourselves. W went out with some friends and I made my favorite dish that I was looking forward to enjoying with the kiddos. The evening was going fine; dinner turned out great, and the boys loved it.
I didn’t let it bother me when O threw his tray on the floor, because the dogs were right there to eat every last morsel up. After dinner, I didn’t let it bother me when O ripped F’s sippy cup out of his hand only to have the lid pop off and spill water all over F’s pants. After all, who needs pants on when it’s just me and the boys having a lazy evening at home.
However, my evening was about to change when I returned from cleaning a few dishes in the kitchen and found Pantless-F’s poopy diaper in the middle of the room with F no where to be found.
To my dismay I soon found two giggling babies under a coffee table in the corner of the room, covered in poo. The poo was not just caked onto the babies but also a few toys and all over the foam mat flooring in the children’s play area. I quickly went into action, throwing the boys into their second bath of the day and hurried along through their bedtime routine downstairs. Back upstairs, for the next 2 hours, everything within reach of the poo-culprit had to be soaked, scrubbed, and hosed down…which is not how I envisioned my lazy evening at home alone to go.
Why did the clean-up take so long, you ask? Have you ever seen a kids play mat such as the Alphabet-Numbers mat? Little did I know that while only covering a 6 ft. square surface of our floor, it has over 100 separate pieces of thin textured foam.
Hours of entertainment for the little ones, yes…but also 2 hours of scrubbing if I ever have a run in with the poo-culprit again. Lesson learned.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
~I shake my head and say “stop”. (Trying very hard not to smile and laugh at how stinkin’ cute he is!)
~O turns back to the window, raises the wooden block, turns towards me again…smiles.
~Again, I shake my head, use the sign for “stop” with my hands, and say, “stop”, this time suggesting that he come play with his brother and me.
~O turns towards to window, looks at the block in his hand, looks at the window, shakes his head back and forth, turns towards me and smiles… as he walks over to join his brother and me.
W and I are committed to using positive parenting techniques with our children. This means that we rarely say “no”, but rather… redirect, redirect, redirect. We also try to explain the rules we are trying to teach with simple and consistent phrases such as “too high”, “hot” and “ouch”. This is a lot of work with twins, since there is a lot of running around in different directions. There are times when I’ve been across the room and turn around to find one of the kids into mischief. I have to consciously stop myself from yelling “NO”. It has been explained to me by other twin parents that every time I say "NO", I can plan it hearing it back at me, 10 times more, shouted by two screaming toddlers in a few short months.
Of course, “no” has it’s place. But in order to preserve its impact we reserve it for the rare instances when they are really in danger of getting hurt. I have a lot to learn about forming a mutually respectful relationship with our children, while also setting firm boundaries with them. I've been doing a little bit of reading, but can’t seem to find any books that are specific (or even mention) twins.
For all you twin parent readers, do you know of any good positive parenting books for toddlers?
Saturday, February 09, 2008
YES, WE CAN!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
D: January was a very busy month, full of changes for our family. Just days after New Years, our beloved Nanny left us to go back to school. With only two weeks notice, we were stuck searching for competent childcare during our busy holiday travels. We knew that it was not an option to enroll them in daycare; the enrollment wait-lists in our area are well over 6-months and even longer for 2 children at once. We thought maybe we might find another full time nanny, but I was skeptical that we would find someone over the holidays.
Knee deep into my search, another twin mom suggested getting an Au Pair and filled me in on the benefits of such an arrangement. We had never thought of getting an Au Pair, but once we realized the value and advantages of having an Au Pair it was only days later that I took my search worldwide.
For those of you who are not familiar with Au Pairs, a brief summary of what I have learned so far:
An Au Pair is someone who is recruited (by an agency) from abroad to experience American culture while living and working in a family’s home. In exchange for room and board, they provide 45 hours per week of childcare. All au pairs are proficient in English, carry full medical insurance for their year in the U.S., travel on a cultural exchange visa and have previous childcare experience. Every au pair candidate participates in a thorough screening process and background check conducted by the agency and spends a week at an Au Pair training school before arriving in the home where they will work.
Our agency provided us with a Recruiting Representative to help us in our search, as well as a Local Representative to help us get ready to welcome someone into our home. (It’s the Local Rep. who also checks us out to make sure we are not crazy people with a dungeon in our basement.)
Our search for our perfect ‘match’ was very extensive, and spanned several countries. For 3 weeks I felt like an HR rep, constantly searching through profiles (their education, family background, childcare experience, interests and goals, references) and exchanging emails with applicants…until finally we found her, in Brazil. After several emails, we spoke on Skype and knew instantly that it was going to be a good fit. On Skype she was able to meet the babies and the dogs, and we got to say ‘hi’ to her family. The next day we confirmed the match, and the following day our agency was preparing her Visa to come to the US.
It all seemed to happen so fast, but it also seems like such a natural transition for our family. W and I always enjoy welcoming newcomers to Seattle, and ‘Host’ is one of our favorite hats to wear. We are looking forward to having another culture represented in our household, and another language spoken around our children. We are looking forward to the enormous flexibility that this arrangement will offer us, not to mention the savings.
In the last month, through our Au Pair search, we have been fortunate enough to have hired a temporary nanny who we also love. Her amazing 20-month-old daughter comes with her to the house, and has quickly established her ‘big sister’ role with the Deuce. Luckily she has found another job just down the street from us and we look forward to staying close with them.
Establishing good, quality care for the kids has been an exhausting journey and I do not wish it on anyone. On the other hand, this experience has pushed us to expand our vision of what our family’s “plan” is. I am realizing, as parents, how critical it is to remain flexible and open to changes in the plan. Really, it’s best not to call it a plan at all…more like a loose set of possible options!