This post is spending time, one on one, with each of my little men.
I've blogged before about the need for twins to have time apart from each other after reading Emotionally Healthy Twins. And more important, time with me without having to share it with their brother. It's easier said than done when there is only one parent (and not much better when there are two). It's happened once in a while when one has been sick, and friends have taken the other out for some fun. And while they have time apart when this happens, the twin sick at home isn't always even aware that I'm there and certainly can't be counted as fun.
So a couple of months ago, I put a plea out to friends, for someone who could commit to a regular couple of hours each week to take one of the boys, giving me time with the other. I was pleased as punch when my BFF and the boys god-mommy Shaun from Swim, Bike, Run - How Bad Can It Be stepped up. She had an injury at the time that cut back on her training and gave her a free evening each week. The idea was for her to start heading out with Nathan (who loves and trusts everyone) and eventually move to alternating weeks with Corwyn.
And I have to say it's been great. So far, the things we've done aren't overly complicated or far reaching but they were done on each boys time table according to their individual wants. So if biking, he gets to pick the route and distance. If at the playground, undivided adult attention, no waiting while mommy alternated between jungle gym with one and the swing with the other. And even something so simple as picking what DVD to watch without making a compromise is a confidence booster and a nice change.
And I'll tell you, going out with one child - a total BREEZE. We've gone to restaurants and coffee shops, on transit, and in stores, biking and walking. So totally simple, it's almost relaxing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change having twins for anything, but some of the things that we don't do or do in a flash, can be done more often and at a leisurely pace with only once child. They are so different when they are not competing with, depending on, egging on or egged on by a twin. Their inner personalities show more.
So far, Shaun has taken out only Nathan, giving me lots of time with Corwyn. But not to worry, Nathan has had some mommy time when a couple of friends have taken Corwyn for a couple of hours. While I like this and totally appreciate it, with these friends (B&B), since both boys love and trust them equally, I'd rather they take both boys at the same time (there are two of them) or make sure they spend an equal amount of time with each of them.
Fortunately for Shaun, but unfortunately for me, her injury is pretty much healed and she's into Ironman training again (she did her first when the boys were a mere few months old and we all went to cheer her own). She's going to have to cut back to alternating weeks now and as we get closer to the date, will likely need to cut it out completely. So for now, she'll probably still continue to foster her relationship with Nathan (we're hoping they can get some pool time in since she's determined to get him ready for a kids tri next year).
So I'm looking for someone else for the other week, someone who could take Corwyn for 1-2 hours. I am sort of leaning towards begging my other BFF from Aias.ca since her son and Corwyn are like brothers from another mother. It would be rough at first as I know Corwyn would initially resist, but he likes both Monika and her partner (who built a cool computerized engine for the Duplo trains for Aias). I would trade this time for watching her little man (Aias) who fits right in at my place.
Likely starting in January, I'm going to try to enroll the boys in classes/programs at the community center. Either different programs, or the same program at a different time. This would give the kid in the program something fun to do without his twin and the one not on the program at that time, some fun time with Mommy.
I was reading a blog post over at The Twin Coach about having the kids in separate classes in K this year. She's made sure her kids have had time apart and time with her one-on-one but has noticed their individually even more now that they are in different classes. It's a question I get asked a lot even though I still have 2 years to go about keeping mine together or not. I don't know if the school has a policy but if they don't my desire is different classes. After spending time with them apart from each other these last couple of months, I'm even more certain that is the right thing to do (for my kids). Although again, from reading Gina's blog, I have to be realistic about the logistics of two different classes, teachers, etc. while holding down a full time job.
Having a cookie and water at (big name coffee place) in the Safeway. I was even able to leave him there while I went back to get the water. He stayed waiting patiently and didn't whine, or bolt or goof off or any of the other things that at least one would have done if both were there (don't worry, I could see him, the SB is just that pink counter you can see in the back)
I think Nathan liked petting the kitty more than he did the bike ride we he was out with me. He has a huge passion for cats (we'll probably get a rescue sometime in the next year.)
Another food stop. And before you think this is all I do with Corwyn, it's the only time I can slow down long enough to actually take a picture. This one was after he wore me out running beside him on his bike for a half hour. Honestly the kid can keep up such a pace that I may be able to take up 5k running again and have him with me. He's getting really good with stopping at streets and driveways without prompts from me (I think showing him the mangled bikes on our bike rack really helped him make the visual association).