Hello, again, hello! I realize I neglected to post yesterday, and that it was "Twin Tuesdays" day, but sometimes my days are so filled with twin stuff, so much so that I don't have time to write a post! It was a Twin Tuesday, indeed. So today will be just a little stream-of-consciousness bit about twins, albeit on Wednesday.
My two littlest ones have been keeping me busy and on my toes. I can't let them out of my sight. They are climbers. (Have you had one of those? Or possibly two?) And they are challengers -- as in they will challenge any gate or obstacle purposely put in their way. And Buddy Twin is sort of "crafty," as in he will craft anything into a step stool to climb to anything he wants. I have to make sure they are occupied often, and if I need to run upstairs or downstairs to fetch something or do something, I have to make sure they do not see me, because I will soon have one climbing a gate to follow me. They are my shadows.
I have started finding activities where they can get out of the house and start to be like "normal" kids. I say "normal" because I have definitely been more house-bound with these two than my older singleton daughter ever was. Part of it is logistics -- it's hard to go anywhere with two active kids of the same age -- and part of it is financial -- it's expensive to do most any activity when you multiply fees by two, sibling discount or not.
I just recently happened to find two free activities with a week of each other. The first was a playgroup. A fellow Girl Scout leader mentioned that she meets with other moms and their kids at her church every week, and she invited us to come along. So I did! We've gone twice: The first week was great; the second week was more challenging as they were more familiar with their surroundings. Since twins have a built-in playmate, it's not as if they don't have someone with whom to play. It's slightly hard, however, to teach them to play with children who are not their rough-and-tumble siblings. Especially with a bunch of new toys around.
The second free activity was at a local daycare/nursery school. The daycare put an ad in our local paper offering free classes in art, books and music weekly through December. The half-hour classes are available to the first 12 kids who sign up. We've been to two "Music and Movement" sessions, and while they are not the best kids' classes I've ever attended, they are free, and with other kids, and with an adult who is not Mommy leading the fun. The only unfortunate part is that Buddy Twin is enticed by all the climbing structures and balls in the room and does not want to sit on the round circle where he is supposed to be! And of course he figured out pretty quick where the teacher stores the parachute, which means he wants to try to get that thing out whether she wants to use it or not.
My next future challenge will hopefully be story time at the library, which is also free and "drop-in," meaning you don't have to sign up. I'm slightly hesitant because I'm not sure if Buddy Twin will be able to sit and pay attention just yet. I am sure that once he is "comfortable" in his surroundings, meaning by class no. 2, he will be enticed to grab books off the shelves instead of listening to the story of the "Three Little Pigs!"
On Monday, the twins were a little stir-crazy, so once I got a few daily chores done, I rounded up the troops and went for a ride in the car. Now, this isn't practical with the price of gas lately, but I just needed a break. I went through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru and got a Pumpkin coffee with an old gift card, and then just took a country drive for 20 minutes. I needed just a few moments of peace, and the little ones love riding in the car. After our drive, I decided to pick up some paint samples at Home Depot in the next city.
The Home Depot happens to have a pet store across the parking lot, so we walked over for some free fun. The store doesn't have dogs (it does have rescued cats for adoption). However, it has zillions of fish tanks, birds, reptiles and rodents like rats, hamsters, guinea pigs and mice. It was definitely free entertainment -- I think Buddy Twin could have watched the hamster go "round and round and round!!!" on the hamster wheel for hours if I let him. I was able to finish my coffee without any conflict and all was well. And then I had the thought that maybe I need a toddler-sized hamster wheel in my house!
Today, I got out the crayons -- a monitored activity in our house which needs to happen more often -- and let them scribble on paper plates to make "pumpkins." I hung them up in the kitchen so they would be proud of their artwork. I'm planning on trying to work a few tiny, easy art projects into our lives so that they get used to doing little things like this. I am having a little Mommy guilt about all I used to do with my oldest when she was their age, but life was just completely different then in so many ways -- less busy overall, more napping (!) on her part, less work on my part, and just one child in my care. That said, it's all changing now. We need books to be read more than just at bedtime, we need arts and crafts, we need focus and structure that has somehow gone by the wayside in the past few months.
That is my goal for the coming months! (And, oh yeah, to get my Christmas shopping done early too :)
I thought I would share a few links that might help other Moms and MoMs find some inspiration for adding a little learning, teaching, crafts and projects into your day.
I love this handprint fall tree art from Kaboose. I want to attempt this with the twins!
A Mom With a Lesson Plan is also a great blog with so many great ideas for little ones.
No Time for Flash Cards is also an awesome site for ideas when you have very little ones. And if you "like" their Facebook page you will be reminded to check it out often!
The site "For Tots" has lots for tots! Click around to see what might work for you.