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.
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....