Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Monday, November 26, 2012

"MINE!"...or is it?

When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with trying to learn from the parenting "experts" (aka - those who had written books on parenting), tips and tricks for the best ways to parent twins.  Most of the tips were things like:"Get your babies on a schedule - when one wakes to feed, also wake up the other"; or, "Tandem nurse your multiples to save time". Which is great advice....if you can make it work for you.  Honestly, most of that "wisdom" went out the window once I was actually presented with two live kicking and screaming babies (interestingly enough - one who nursed well and one who didn't - noting that the "experts" didn't give any great tips for tackling that!).  As I am sure most of you did too, I quickly discovered that parenting was a learn-as-you-go type of job, and that not only was what I had read not necessarily relate-able to real life, there was also obviously no one right way to be a parent!

Well, here's our latest dilemma...

We recently started the hardcore version of the "MINE!" phase.  When the ugly "mine" word would come out for the 57th time in a day I would try to resist the urge to roll my eyes and yank whatever item she would be referring to out of her grubby toddler hands, and instead would semi-calmly say, "no sweetie, actually that is Mommy's, but you can play with it for now" (or something along those lines).

Now, pause for a second for a sidebar discussion. I often forget that the girls are twins.  I mean, obviously they share their birthday, but otherwise they really couldn't be more different. One is a blond, while the other is a brunette.  One loves to color and sing, while the other likes to play with dolls and puzzles. One is messy and abstract, while the other is clean and linear. They are two totally different people. I promised myself that I wouldn't treat the girls as a unit, and I felt like I had done a pretty darn good job of treating them as individuals.

Then I really started thinking about this "mine" phase that the girls were in... and perhaps this could be one of those 'twin things' that I should be handling differently.  Maybe it's an identity issue. Maybe the girls are seeing themselves lumped together as a "twin" unit instead of as the individuals that they are.

Then the light bulb came one.
 
All of this time I had thought I was treating the girls as individuals...and while intellectually I was, I had totally ignored the opposite side of the coin.  They are forced to share just about everything physical....a bedroom, clothes, toys, mommy and daddy, all the way down to sippy cups and towels...they do have their own cribs, car seats, and blankets, but otherwise, absolutely everything is shared between the two of them. Maybe they do need actual, tangible, everyday things that are "theirs".

How did I not realize this before!?

Here's our temporary solution to not only the "mine" phase, but also to their apparent 2 year old identity crisis phase (lol).  We call these the girls' "studio apartments". 

When the girls are in their "apartments" anything that they take in there with them is theirs, for the time that they are in their apartments. Books, blankets, toys, snacks, whatever! If it's in there, it is theirs.

Here's Bri's studio apartment view from above (included are Bri, blocks, blanket, and book):

And Livvy's studio apartment view from above (included are Livvy, blanket, her baby doll "Lellow", and Elmo):

Both girls have reacted incredibly well to this concept, and really seem to like having a space that belongs to them, even if it's for a short period of time.  We let them stay in their apartments as long as they wish....it's not unusual for them to be in there for 45 minutes or more at a time, several times a day.

WOW! I feel like such a dummy! But I'm glad our apparent oversight was relatively easily remedied this time =). The next thing we know we need to do is separate the girls so they can get used to doing things without the other one always present. Si and I have tried each taking one girl and doing something special, but they don't react well to that AT ALL. They kick and scream and raise havoc because they want to be close to their sister. We can't even take them in different carts into different sections of Target because they absolutely melt down! Oye vey.  So, we have to work on that.  Any tips or tricks from the real experts (that's you momma bloggers!) is very welcome =).

So, that's all for today.  Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! 

Until next time -
Megan

9 comments:

  1. What a brilliant idea! While mine are b/g, they still share everything...trucks and babydolls. I love the "studio apartment" - very creative. Great timing for me to read this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. That is a really cute idea. My kids fight about everything. So much so that we have started buying 2 of the same thing just to avoid the fights. I don't know about you but my now 2 year old is really starting the terrible 2s. In regards to the mommy or daddy date I know that is a really great idea but my girls are like yours...they want to be together and they aren't twins ;). I love the fact that you don't treat them as "twins" so to speak. So while I don't have any words of wisdom I do love your idea ;).

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  3. Love the studio apartments- I might have to steal that. As far as taking them on separate trips- why push it? If they want to be together, I don't think you have to separate them just for the sake of separating them. They'll let you know when they're ready. Our daddy is currently deployed so they never ever ever go anywhere that they're not together. They are in the same class at preschool and other than that they're with me so they're together. And like yours, they freak out if separated. If one wakes up from her nap first, its all I can do to keep her from waking up her sissy so they can be together. But I'm pretty confident that that won't always be the case ;)

    When the girls were tiny babies, I read an article by a mom who said that she believes "Its not a problem until it becomes a problem. And when it becomes a problem, that's when you fix it." For example, we used to rock the girls to sleep. But it became a problem when dad was going to be deployed. So we then taught them to go to sleep in their own beds. I guess we could have "started as we meant to go on" (which is another parenting school of thought) but then we would have missed out on all those sweet snuggles. Anyway, all that to say, if it becomes an actual problem for your family that you can't separate them, by all means work on it. But you don't *have* to just because someone thinks you *should.* And I don't think its necessarily a twin issue. If my girls weren't twins, they would still be together at all times because dad is deployed and we don't live near family. Good luck! Sorry I wrote the longest comment ever.

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  4. It won't be long and Hudson will need his own flat too! Mine is a big word here at this house too. But he doesn't really have to share a whole lot. We do practice sharing all sorts of things however, because at playgroup he's been known to cop a terrorist kind of antisharing attitude. Oh man THAT was a poor parenting moment!

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  5. You are a genius. You should write a book! haha

    Seriously, I love this idea. I might try it. Something tells me that Drew would want his apartment and Emily's too!

    Glad to see you are doing well!

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  6. I laughed when I saw the pic of the "studio apartments". It's such a simple idea but could be just what twins needs. I wonder if this will help resolve the "mines" in my neighbourhood

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  7. Hello! I had a question for you about possibly collaborating on something and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

    - Carolyn
    carolynfallon3@gmail.com

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  9. I'm catching up a bit on your blog, and I love this post! We haven't had many issues with "MINE", but it's something I do worry about. In the way of toys, our girls have their own baby dolls, but everything else is shared. They have their own cups and plates and towels (of what you listed), but everything else is communal.

    My thinking is that the girls will share a room for as long as possible...at least until they're 8 or so. At that time I can see separating them.

    In the meantime, I love the idea of each having her own space. Our girls call a certain couch their "safe spot" when Daddy is chasing them, playing tickles. It would be a similar concept...when I sit here, this spot is mine.

    Thanks for the ideas! :) :)

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!