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12-Month Twin Routine

IMG_7250Since Spring classes haven’t started yet, I am home most of today and thought it would be a good time for an update.

7:30am The boys are awake and saying “Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-. . . ” I roll over and poke G. B. so that he starts his long waking process. I stumble to the bathroom, wash my face with a baby wipe while swishing mouthwash, and pump moisturizer into my hands, rubbing it into my sleepy face as I sit in the rocker in the boys’ room. “Good morning, Boys. How did you sleep?” I always say. We just rearranged their room to be more toddler-esque, and I realize that the sound machine is near Baby A’s crib. If I walk over there to turn it off, he’ll start crying for me to pick him up, and I’m too stiff for that right now. We’ll just all chat over the white noise.

When I walked in, Baby B was inspecting his teddy bear for lice. I ask him if the bear is okay. I can’t hear his response over the white noise, so I pull my mommy self out of the rocker and start the day for real this time– picking up Baby B, turning of the machine, scooping up Baby A, and dumping them both into bed with their dad. I noticed Baby B’s diaper was really lumpy, but thankfully my nose wasn’t awake yet. Two diaper changes with crying because I had to take them away from dad to get them clean.

8:15am I spoon-feed the boys oatmeal every morning to make sure that they at least get one full meal of the day. They make such a mess the rest of the day that I can’t tell what they’ve eaten and what my little schnauzer has cleaned up. They also drink milk  from training cups as they eat breakfast. This gives them something to do between bites instead of yell.

9:00am After cleaning up the floor and the boys’ faces, I put them down to play so that I can microwave my breakfast and have some hot-ish tea and start this blog. When I’m not blogging, I use this time to check emails or straighten the kitchen. The boys clean out my pantry, emptying its contents onto the floor. I could put  a lock on that door, but I’d rather sweep later and have the 15 minutes of quiet now. I also find joy in watching my 25-pound kid try to pick up a 2-liter bottle. They eventually find me over at my desk. Baby A chews on the zipper of my jacket and Baby B reaches for me, whining about another poop.

9:30am I feel a tiny bit guilty about my children on the floor without socks and only in onesies, so I put one on each hip and take them to their room and strip them down. They get distracted by the toys in their room, so now they’re only in diapers and scooting around. This has been successful enough.

10:00am The boys are in cleaner onesies than their PJs were and back in the kitchen emptying cabinets. Instead of taking away the food processor, I remove the blade. I’ve already made the bed and dumped all the dirty laundry down the shoot. I am a responsible mother. Don’t mind the clean laundry piled on the couch. Off to fold it before nap time.

10:45am I put the boys down for a nap and take a shower.

12:00pm By some miracle, the boys eat some chicken/spinach/greek yogurt/pasta leftovers with me. I leave them in their high chairs and hand them cookies to munch while I box up some things to sell and type some of this blog post. I also sing high notes and make silly noises and faces at them to make them think this is a fun game [of productivity].

1:00pm The boys have been angels for me today. They’ve played and napped and played, but now Baby A is sitting in the floor in the sunlight in front of the largest window in my house beating a pane with all his might with a toy wooden hammer. It takes 24 times of me telling him no and moving him across the room for him to stop crawling back. What I care about most is not the window or the stubbornness. I care if this a turning point in the excellent behavior today because it can happen that quickly.

3:00pm It wasn’t a turning point! We’re still going strong. I gave the boys a small snack sometime between the hammering incident and when my weekly help showed up just now. Otherwise they’ve been playing quietly. It’s not always this way, but I’m blessed by how often it is this way.

3:30pm It’s nap time for the boys. They lie in bed and jibber-jabber for about 15 minutes. They usually sleep about an hour twice a day and 11 hours at night (8pm – 7am). I plan my classes while my helper organizes the toys strewn across my living room. This young teen comes over for four hours once a week, and her help is fabulous. When the boys were younger, she mostly made and washed bottles. Now that they are older, she cleans under their highchairs, wipes down their highchairs and toys, and helps with bath time.

4:45pm When the boys wake up, I have my helper heat a Lean Cuisine for them. I’m out of toddler meals and need something quick because it’s MoM’S NIGHT OUT. While they eat, I do my hair and make up. MoMs is a support group for Mothers of Multiples, and I fully and without reserve recommend any mom of twins or higher orders join.

5:30pm My mom-in-law comes over to give the boys a bath and put them to bed. My helper will stay through bath time. I say my goodbyes and hop in the coolest vehicle I’ve ever owned–my minivan. It’s an Odyssey with a sunroof and tinted windows. All six CDs in the changer are silly songs albums. I hit FM as quickly as I can and scan to anything–anything not family friendly.

I drive an hour to this place I’ve never been. I walk in and see bouncer at the door. I didn’t know it was that kind of place. He asked me for my ID. I don’t hear him, because I’m looking so hard for anyone familiar–anyone who looks like they have responsibilities at home. No one here does. No one has responsibilities at home but me. I tell the bouncer I’m with a group, and he sends me to the left. When I get there it’s a birthday party for what seems like a frat boys and their girlfriends. These are not my people. I go back to the bouncer, and he directs me to the right side of the entrance to the very back where there’s a table for 12 and only one woman. I’ve never met her, but I can tell by the “recently escaped” look on her face that she is my people.

The long table fills up quickly, and we’re all catching up. The chatting usually starts with small-talk, introducing ourselves to members we haven’t met or catching up with those we haven’t seen in a while, gushing about how thankful we are for whoever is with our children tonight, but the conversation eventually leads to our shared experience–birthing and raising multiple babies simultaneously. Three of the moms here aren’t even out of the “fourth trimester” yet. As I am talking with them, I remember how many theories I’ve heard about when this gets easier. Some people say three months or six months, but most people agree on the first year. I wouldn’t want to be moving backward, for sure, but hearing some of the preschool MoM’s stories doesn’t make me want to rush forward either. This is a really sweet spot we’re in, and I plan to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

How old are your twins? What were the sweet spots for you? What tips do you have for toddler schedules?

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