Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Parenting Catch-22

We have finally exited out of a super-insane whiny stage and into a much more cooperative playing stage around here lately. I do say "a stage" because I know that we will go through many more whiny phases before all is said and done. But John and I were seriously about to go crazy if we had anymore days of just constant whining/fussing/screaming. The past couple of days have been down right pleasant. The girls are playing with their toys and each other a lot, where as before they were demanding constant attention from either John or I. We've gone through these phases before so we knew we just needed to stay consistent and weather the storm so to speak.

The Catch-22 I speak of is that now that the girls are off playing happily, I feel like I should go interrupt them for a lesson plan or game or some other activity. So I went weeks trying to get them to give me a spare moment of quiet time and when the quiet comes, you feel like you should be in there educating them or something. Of course, the pretend play they are now engaging in is probably so much more than anything I could teach them. They are teaching themselves, exploring and thinking. This morning I was rushing around trying to get ready for a playdate so I asked if they wanted to watch a show. I use the tv as a very careful tool. We only watch at most 2 thirty minute shows a day at this age and a lot of days we only watch one or even no tv. When they told me that they would wanted to give Bunny and Teddy a snack instead of watching tv, I figured it was a major WIN! I got out their play food and they busily made themselves happy while I rushed around getting us ready to get out the door.

Then it was time to put our shoes and coats on and head out the door. MELTDOWN. They wanted their show. I explained to them that they chose to play with Bunny and Teddy instead of watching a show. I said that it was a very good choice because they now Teddy and Bunny were so happy to have friends to play with and feed them a yummy snack. I said if they had watched tv, Bunny and Teddy would have been lonely. By the end they were happy with their choice, but there was a moment there. Whew.

To skip around a bit... last night Izzie very very very barely chipped her front tooth on the bathroom sink. I want to reiterate, that it is a barely there chip and she is fine other than a sore mouth and a possible headache, for which I gave her tylenol. This morning she asked for her ice pack again, but it didn't get put back in the freezer last night and was no longer cold. They got these ice packs from Santa Claus. Maddie got an Elmo ice pack and Izzie got a Cookie Monster ice pack. With twins you HAVE to respect their individual toys. They share SO much, that when they get something individual it is THEIRS to do with whatever they want. We do talk about sharing and borrowing, but if someone says no, then we respect that no matter what.

When I asked Maddie if Izzie could borrow her ice pack, Maddie said no, but that she wanted to give Izzie a hug. Well Izzie said, "Maddie I don't want a hug from you right now. I want to borrow the ice pack." Maddie still said no. I fixed Izzie up with a temporary ice pack and they went off to play. A few minutes later Maddie comes in the office and tells me she doesn't love Izzie and that she wanted to hit her, but she walked away to tell me instead of hitting her. (MAJOR WIN!) So we sat down and talked about it for a bit. I told her that sometimes I get mad at Daddy, Nanna, her and Izzie but that I always love them no matter what. Finally I figured out she was feeling bad that Izzie wouldn't let her hug her.We talked about it and everything was okay. In the end though, Maddie decided that she loved Izzie but she didn't want to be next to her right then. They did both play in the toy room for a little bit longer, but they were playing separately. Maddie took Bunny in her doll stroller on a "trip" to Wisconsin to see Aunt Betty for one thing. Izzie stayed in the play kitchen making cookies with Grandma for Teddy.

By the way, this was all before 9 am. Then it was time to head out to our playdate at Pump It Up, Jr. I just joined a new Moms group, looking for fun and interesting playdates that are closer to home than PAMOMs socials which tend to be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour away. They had a lot of fun at Pump It Up, Jr. which is an indoor bounce house place. It's geared for the three and under crowd and it is perfect. It's a small room with 3 large bounce houses in it. One is a big slide, one is an obstacle course and the third is a mostly flat maze. They jumped, crawled, bounced and generally had a good time. Our time there flew by in an instant. We got home just in time for lunch and then more playtime. This time both girls asked to watch a show before they played, which I allowed. Then I thought I would play a game with them, but they wanted to play "all by themselves." Izzie went upstairs to have a tea party with White Teddy (different than the above mentioned Brown Teddy) and Maddie stayed downstairs to play with the doll house. They were both very content and happy to spend time apart, something that happens on occasion, but not too often.

And now... for the pictures!
Izzie and Maddie playing a maze game that Nanna bought them for their birthday. It helps with pre-writing skills as they hold hte stylus and move magnetic beads around the board. Big bonus: NO PARTS!

Cute photo of Izzie.
 A photo of my other children, or would these be my grandkids? Bunny and Teddy. They've even stolen the dolls clothes. My girls don't play with babydolls very often but Bunny and Teddy are their babies.

 WEEE! Says Izzie as she goes down the BIG slide!

Maddie having fun throwing a ball.
Izzie had trouble jumping once she discovered these two balls. She could barely hold them. Finally I convinced her to share one of the balls. She kept the pink one of course.
 Maddie hung on to this green one the entire time.

 I know this is fuzzy, but it's one of thos photos you WISH came out! Izzzie and Maddie were riding double on an inflated letter I.

 Izzie riding solo now.

 Maddie pushing over a letter P. She was looking for the letter M, but there was only an PI and U for some reason. Maybe Pump It Up?
Izzie and Momma. I tried a photo of Maddie and Momma but our eyes were closed.


MandyE_TwinTriumphs said...

It is crazy to think about all the things that happen before 9am, isn't it? A whole psychology lesson, for one! :)

I love reading about how your girls interact and solve problems. And I know just what you mean about not knowing when you should interrupt their playing to join in.

There are times when our girls play beautifully together / around each other. I have general "guidelines" I set for myself about how much free play I want them to have, versus play with me involved. When it's "time" for me to step in, sometimes I just sit back and watch rather than interrupt them. But then I feel a little guilty on some level for not being in the playroom with them. I'm quite sure I'm overthinking it! :)

Mae Buzen said...

Your twins are adorable! I enjoyed the pics. Something related you should check it out - There's a Book in Here Somewhere. High jinks and misadventures in a family with two sets of twin boys -- these are the kids you're glad YOU didn't have! The stories are funny, heartwarming, and just odd enough to be completely unique. I loved it! And the photos that go with the book are hilarious!