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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Torn

I'm going to say up front that I know how fortunate we are to have two beautiful, smart, funny little girls. I do know that in the core of my being. And I know what it took to get to this place. Some would probably feel that I have little or no ground to stand on when complaining about how much harder it is to parent 2 children as opposed to only 1, much less parenting 2 children who are the same age. Add to that the fact that they are not at the same developmental level and you have the recipe for one torn mama...who is going to complain, just a little.

 There is not enough of me, pretty much ever.

The following video is not normal. And you can see that, although 3 minutes seems like a long time when you are watching other people's children play, it is soooo not long enough when you realize that what followed after this 3 minutes was a fight for my exclusive attention that lasted the rest of the evening.
Tandem play from Lisa on Vimeo.

Right now Kate is obsessed exclusively with puzzles. And she's quite good at them, only needing minimal input from me, usually in the form of my bodily presence and the occasional cheer.
Kate with puzzle from Lisa on Vimeo.

Lucy is not that into puzzles....unless Kate is doing one. Then she's ALL ABOUT PUZZLES. Except that she is not really developmentally there yet. She has just now gotten to the point where she can do these types of puzzles without my help.
But she will INSIST on doing the puzzles she got for her birthday so we will sit down, I will put in a good many of the pieces (which she will bitterly complain about the entire time) and then have her try to fit in a few of the last pieces. (By the way, having her start from scratch just switches to her bitterly complaining from frustration so...yeah. It's a no-win situation.) Doing puzzles with her is BEYOND aggravating. Keep in mind that we've been doing these puzzles since her birthday in December and we haven't really progressed since then.
Lucy with puzzle from Lisa on Vimeo.

Yes, I sound incredibly irritated in this video which, granted, is not a stellar mom moment. We had been working on that puzzle for quite some time and this was the upteenth time she had popped all the pieces out. I actually had to take a break from working on this with her as I was so exasperated.

What bums me out the most is that I never really get quality one-on-one time with either of them. Kate just happens to learn these types of activities faster. Lucy learns (and has more interest in learning which is key) more physical activities faster. But in order to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone, they need to know that I'm there to help. With one eye always on the other child, they know my attention is divided. And usually, Kate will butt in to "help" Lucy with the puzzle or Lucy will want to "show Kate how to hang on the monkey bars" for so long that Kate never gets a turn. I'm in constant referee mode. It's really not fun.

I've also had to get creative with discipline. Without fail, as soon as I tell one child not to do something (like bang on the trash can with a metal spoon), the other one will walk up and do EXACTLY what I just finished reprimanding the other one for. And, to add insult to injury, she will look at me with a sly grin to see what I will do. OMG really?!

So I know that most anybody with 2 kids has these issues. And parents with twins have it even more. But knowing it and living it are very different things indeed.

I just don't understand why I'm not relaxed, stress-free and able to combat this never-ending cold....

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness! First off I love the second video of Kate. Her, "I'm not sure," is absolutely priceless. Lisa you have it way harder than those with twins because as you said at the beginning your two are at quite different developmental levels! That makes a huge difference as to how they play. I'm trying to think of something to suggest. I know you'd probably like them to play together more but when they are engaged in different tasks would the one that isn't playing with you play a game on the iPad. Kate seems very ready for some games and Lucy maybe listening to songs. Do they have stories on iPad like they used to have books on tape? You remember those Disney stories where Tinkerbell rings her little bell when it is time to turn the page. I guess know they are on CD's. Not the best idea, as a teacher I hate to encourage screen time, but if it is only for a short time each day and it gives you that one-on-one time it might help. Something special to do might buy you a little bit of time.
Hope you are feeling better soon,
Elizabeth

Tony and Sue said...

Oh, my. I don't envy you! My two are different ages AND obviously different developementally. Luckily my daughter goes to school in the morning so I have just my son for a while but when they play together -- OMG! They are WILD ANIMALS! I feel like the worst mom having to yell over them to get them to calm down!

I love how each of your girls plays, though! I can identify with you/Lucy because my son (though younger) gets frustrated easily, too. Then, you/Kate reminds me of me/my daughter! Much easier to deal with.

Hang in there! Hope you feel better sooner than later!

Sue

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