19m twins - am i holding them back/restricting?

(16 Posts)
QueenofKelsingra Mon 02-Dec-13 17:45:28

Hi all,

I have a 4yo and 19m g/b twins. I am becoming really conscious that they are not getting to do the same things as the eldest was able to. for example:

with DS1 I had him on reins by this point for popping to the corner shop/quick errands. DTs have never been out on reins, always in the pushchair.

DS1 had lots of outdoor time at the park. DTs occasionally get out in the garden but never the park as I cant help/play with all 3 safely and keep them contained at the park.

DS1 got to go to soft play/ baby&toddler groups. I occasionally do soft play with the DTs but only if I have my mum or similar with me. I don't do any baby classes as I don't feel the need from a social point of view and it seems so much more hassle than its worth with two of them - I come home feeling more knackered that staying at home playing with them!!

DS1 was doing painting/playdoh by this age - the thought of 2 of them with paint terrifies me!!

anyone else feel like this/have similar issues? am I holding there development back for my own convenience here?

all thoughts welcome!

notwoo Mon 02-Dec-13 17:51:37

I've got the same age gap but only a singleton 19 month old and I feel the same - he's stuck in the buggy for the school run, stuck in his high chair for meals (and a while before & after if I need to prepare stuff / clear up). So I reckon its nearly as much a second child thing as a twin thing.

I'm sure your twins get lots of interaction from each other so don't worry about toddlers. Can they go to a preschool for a couple of mornings a week from 2? Could be good for all of you!

I'm hoping that parks etc. will get easier as DS gets slightly more 'sensible'

QueenofKelsingra Mon 02-Dec-13 21:08:51

hi notwoo,

glad its not just me! I cant afford to send them to pre-school/nursery - v tight budget (which was not designed to cope with surprise twins!!) so they are stuck with just me!

sometimes I can tell myself 'its ok, they have each other' but then I worry that they wont play with other kids and become very insular and not able to be separated as they get older! so cant win really!!

i'm hoping that in a few months things will get easier - they aren't really talking yet so i'm sure doing stuff will get easier when its a two way conversation!!

123rd Mon 02-Dec-13 21:19:05

I felt exactly the same and I had a nearly 3yr gap between my dd and ds. In my experience you are a lot busier second time round, nothing is quite as novel either. And that is only with singleton gawd knows what I would have been like with twins.

realblueprint Mon 02-Dec-13 21:22:41

22 mo between singleton DDs here and feel exactly the same.

DD2 is strapped in the buggy so I can walk DD1 to school on time, even though she is well old enough to walk (ok, this is interspersed with scooter and walking time). Don't do groups or that stuff anymore.

I quite like it smile Half of the stuff I did with DD1 I only did because I felt I had to, am in a much better groove with my 2nd and enjoy just bobbing round the house with her.

YOu have 19mo twins and 4yo -you are awesome and I salute you smile

EarlGreyCuppa Mon 02-Dec-13 21:39:48

Queen your post seems to confirm what I've always suspected, I've only got twins and had felt that they missed out on some stuff as toddlers, because of the logistical nightmare that is looking after >1 child (and you have 3 of course). We missed out on many early childhood activities that my fellow ante-natal mums did with their babies.

Saying that, once you and they have negotiated this phase of childhood, there are lots of advantages to having / being twins. Joys off having a playmate, the closeness (can be a bind too of course), the convenience of same activities at same times etc.

So overall, don't beat yourself up about it, it sounds like you're doing great job.

DowntheTown Mon 02-Dec-13 21:40:43

I'm in the same boat - although my DS1 is a little older; my b/g twins are 20 months. They certainly don't get to walk as much as no1 did, though I'm trying! And so far I haven't forked out for a regular 'activity' with them like I did with DS1, for which I feel a bit guilty.

However, we do go to a small soft play where they quite happily do their own thing, occasionally interacting with others. (I can even usually find five mins for a coffee and let them get on with it..!) Any chance of something like that near you, or a small play-group where they could meet other little ones more regularly?

I don't think they're really too short-changed - and they certainly don't know any different.

Also I don't think b/g twins get quite so insular as bb or gg. So don't worry about that - they'll make plenty friends, and there's lots and lots of time ahead for friend making!

Keep telling myself the advice the old ladies are always giving me - enjoy every minute; they don't stay little for long.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Mon 02-Dec-13 21:46:11

Just 'hang in there' and 'cope' until summer & then school starting for DS - it's only a few more months. By then they will be bigger, DS will be at school for much of the day, when he is home he will be bigger/more sensible and life will start to get a little easier.

They are 'second' children and twins - it was never going to be the same as it was with DS and that's not a bad thing, it's just different smile

defineme Mon 02-Dec-13 21:49:32

I wouldn't beat yourself up about it-they get lots of socialising with each other . However, I had the same kids and same age gap and I think you could be a little braver if you want to?

I felt playgroups were good because the doors were guarded etc so it was a safe place. I didn't feel the need to socialise as I had an established group of friends then, but if they needed to get out I would take them anyway. Soft play was tricky, but I did go on my own with them to the specific toddler sessions, they're all still here!. The park I would put us in the farthest place from the road or within the fenced/gated playground.

With reins I would have one on reins and one in the pushchair.
Perhaps you could do a messy play class with them if you don't want to paint at home?
I did a lot of painting/chalk/water play in the garden.
Roller ball paint pens/ aqua doodle /homemade colourless play dough are all less messy. They are young though and you might feel more able to do that when they're preschool age -2 ish rather than 1 1/2.

I did have to train myself to be very laid back and calm (not naturally like that) - no bit commotion if one of them fell over, no fuss if someone is covered in mud ... don't sweat the small stuff kind of thinking. We did have some crap times at the park (the time when it was suddenly foggy and I discovered that ds1 had chicken pox and they all started to cry at once -not our finest hour), but generally I found the house stays cleaner and I stay sane if we all get out of the house even now they're a lot older!
The only thing I didn't manage was swimming - I left that until ds1 was at preschool.
I still always felt no one got enough attention, but I think that's for life.

Doppledanger Mon 02-Dec-13 21:50:19

I had twins when my daughter was 2 and when ever I felt like this I just tried to work round it, ie with paints and play doh, strap them in the highchairs ( possible outside in the garden) so you have more control over the mess, with playing outside, try and find a park that is enclosed ( we have one on the next estate to ours). I never did baby classes with them cause I had three so I just count manage but we would go to mums and tots and I found a local twins club which was nice cause everyone helped each other out. I think it is part a second child thing and part a twin thing.

Artandco Mon 02-Dec-13 21:53:44

Get easy art things - watercolours ( far less messy), play dough fine at table, aqua draw ( just water in pen), megasketchers etc

Find a park that's small. No one is in the them atm as cold so wrap them up and they can play safely

It's not impossible, just different. You just need to be confident that you can handle each situation. Try both on slings and just 5 min walk around block/ to shop then gradually increase. In the end it will make it far easier for you

QueenofKelsingra Wed 04-Dec-13 10:31:57

thanks everyone. I'm sort of glad its a 'second child' thing not just a twin thing!

I guess this age is just hard as they want to do so much but aren't quite able/reliable to do it without lots of help. will attempt to be brave and try an outing with reins but we live on a busy road which makes me nervous.

to be honest, I actually really enjoy just being at home with them which is part of why I don't go to toddler groups etc, I just worry that I should make more of an effort for their sake!! its much less stressful in our own surroundings!!

I guess it will get easy to manage as they get older.

k8thegr8 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:40:19

Hi, being nosey on this thread as I'm a nanny to twin boys just turned two.

When I first started out with them a few months ago, they were 18 months they were like yours. Hadn't walked about used buggy all the time. No,soft play, no groups etc etc.

Was a bit wary of taking them out on my own at first and as they bith have such different personalities it aloud me to help settle the unsettled twin, while the other was confident enough to go off on his own.

Soft plays were a nightmare to start. They didn't know what to do, were unsure, and dint like the texture if the mats etc. by about the 5th visit they were confident and started toddling off. By week 10 they were off in the big area on their own and would come back every now and then or I'd check.

Toddler groups I started off with my friend again, they were a little wary to begin with learning the routine, play snack, tidy, song time etc, by the 2nd visit they were a lot more confident.

Parks, we went along with said friend let them walk, call them back, walk cal them back. They soon got the hang of it, if they didn't come back they wee sat back in pram then let back out etc etc. now can walk and come back (as much as a two year old toddler can haha!!)

I did all of the above during June, then by the summer holidays I had to then add the older brother and sister into the situation so met up,with said fr end and her 3 children and we got up to all sorts. Some places it was hard work but others I found having the older two there easier aswell because they just tagged (were dragged) along.

Now I'm confident enough on my own to take the twins out places during term time, then in the holidays I have all 4 Andre go off for days out on our own. We go everywhere hardly ever at home as they are in 3 days a week, I feel going ou places has bought them on so much with speech, being sociable which they were pretty bad at, as they were used to being with each other, ones boss the other submissive, well they soon learnt it doesn't work like that in the real world.

We go to soft play at least twice a week, song club, library, toddler group, swimming, walks, cafe, meals, shopping, semsory group, parks, play dates.

Can't wait yo go back after Christmas to get started on crafts, messy play, sensory things, being more grown up walking about smile

k8thegr8 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:42:36

Also tried the bags with the leads on, found them such a hassle and really was like dragging them about, so I've just taught them to hold hands or if in park etc walk close by smile

Or even some days I take the single buggy and swap over :-)

k8thegr8 Thu 02-Jan-14 23:44:58

Also forgot to add they are twins 2 years, 4 year old boy but a very young for, and 6 year old diva!! I do get really funny looks when I'm out because I'm 24! But them looks make me more determined to,go out and prove myself!! :-)

Scrounger Tue 07-Jan-14 17:36:47

My DS1 is now 7 and the b/g twins are 3 1/2 and are now in preschool for part of the week and started going to playgroup for a morning or two from 2yo.

I know how you feel, it can be daunting and there are some things that I didn't feel comfortable with because there were 2/3 of them and some things that required a bit more thought. They did miss out on some of things that DS1 did but they have done others - coffee mornings at other peoples houses, some baby groups are fine and people helped me out - it depended on the group and they both enjoyed going. So maybe don't write those off. I was concerned about them just playing with each other but they don't do that, they play with others, play with groups and each other.

I didn't take them to parks on my own, there wasn't an enclosed area and I didn't feel safe enough - they would always leg it in different directions and get into trouble. I can't remember when I started getting them out of the buggy but I used the reins with a backpack as a back-up, I slipped the loop around my wrist and held their hands. Just started with small distances at first to / from school with DS1 and if one played up picked him / her up piggy style and kept going. They are pretty good now.

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