Tag Archives: Twins

The Twins Have Started School

The twins have started school and I have mixed feelings about it (they don’t, by the way, they hate it).

I am relieved that they are now out of the house for a few hours, but, I miss them terribly. I am so used to waking up to their combined chatter, non-stop from the time they wake up, to the time they can’t fight sleep anymore and flop down in the night, that now the mornings seem empty and quiet.

Also, I have a confession to make. I cannot take their crying and yelling, as the teachers take them away from me at the school gate. I can hear them (the younger twin especially) pleading for me, and I cave. Yes, I cry. I feel silly, of course, but that does not stop the tears – they keep rolling down and I find it hard to swallow that lump in my throat (it’s coming back now with the memory of that parting)

I dread the mornings, when I have to drop them to school; when I try and create an artificially lively environment in the car by singing and talking about some irrelevant topic as a distraction method. I put on nursery rhymes and ask them to sing along. Needless to say, my completely transparent efforts are met with stoic silence from my otherwise chirpy twins. They look at me with sad eyes and declare that they don’t like school. It makes me want to turn back and take them home. Clearly, my nerves are not exactly made of steel, to put it mildly.

I called my mum when I was at school the other day. She understood, of course, but then she asked me how I’d feel when they’d grow up and go away. I could not imagine it. I don’t like to think of myself as a clingy mother, and I always thought I’d have the strength to let my children go, but now I am having serious doubts on any such abilities I thought I may have had. (God bless my kids!)

These years will pass I know. They’ll pass too soon says my mother, I guess from experience. If she could, she would summon Well’s Time Traveller and go back in time, to when we were little. She does not understand why I want to do just the reverse, to get propelled into the future! I see her point now, though. I cannot imagine how it will be to be old; to see my kids only once in a while; to call them and be told that they were busy- that they would call me back. In theory I know that’s how it will be, but when we are actually there, it’s not like all this reflection would help the reality.

Anyway, I digress. Didn’t mean to write all this. I meant to just pour out some feelings about my “separation anxiety” in child psychology parlance (except that in my case both the kids and the mother suffer from it!!)

I know they’ll settle and I can start to make use of my time. It’s a milestone and I am not sure how I feel about it. When I picked them up from school today, the younger one said “mama, I like home”..

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The Sibling Factor..

I feel like a tightrope walker. All I seem to be doing, for, well, for a large part of my day, is the balancing act – between the kids that is.

Three kids – one five year old and then twenty month old twins – you can imagine the i-want-this-one kind of fights. To a new entrant in our house, the noise levels can be, well, just a wee bit overwhelming, to put it mildly. I am used to it, though; screaming is part of the general acoustics here. There is always a bone of contention, and that object, for that time, assumes such great importance for all three that nothing else can match its excellence and try as you might the one who has it will not part with it and the other two cannot be persuaded to play with anything else;  distraction tactics are met with flailing of the arms and, of course, some more screaming. No matter how hard I try to be fair and equal, there is always one kid (sometimes two)  screaming, or worse, sulking (this, mostly the older one) feeling betrayed and cheated. The younger ones like to express their discontent, at what they take for unfair treatment,  by prostrating themselves on the floor with shrieks that could pierce the Rock of Gibraltar.

The older one, on the other hand, has mastered the art of touching the raw nerves , of saying what she thinks will get her a reaction, and it does. “You don’t laugh with me the way you do with the twins”, or, “they are small, so you are always giving them my toys”.  She knows she’s being unfair when she says that, because I have been only too careful not to make her feel this way.  In fact, I have neglected the twins if needed, but not her, because I knew that it would be difficult for her to suddenly have to share everything, from her mother to her toys, with two more siblings. But, even then, at some level, she feels that I am not fair, that I treat her and the twins differently.

So, here’s what I think.  It’s a tough balancing act when you are a parent of two or more kids. In your mind you try and be fair, but that does not  necessarily mean that the kids see it that way too. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that they won’t.

I don’t know how my parents did it. I now realize what it means to raise three kids (we are three siblings too) and have them feel equally loved.  It’s a hard thing to do and my hope is that once they are grown up they won’t feel this way. Sibling rivalry can manifest itself in unpleasant ways, and that’s scary for a parent.

My kids are young right now and these are passing, insignificant fights, I know that. But, it makes me think, how will it be in the teenage years? When one of my girls is, say, 16, and the other two 13? Gosh. Imagine that.

These days will, in retrospect, look rosy and wonderful.

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The clingy stage, all over again, and this time, it’s double trouble!!

My five year old is just about getting out of the really clingy stage (still demanding, don’t get me wrong, that’s not going to change – mommy must do everything!) But, she’s past that I-am-going-to-stick-to-your-leg-do-what-you-can state. So that’s something of a relief. (She’s developed other somewhat distressing habits, like the sulking and moodiness of a teenager, but, more on that later – another post). For now I am happy that she’s not hanging around me like a rope, on most days.

However, the twins, now one and a half, are right there! Clingy does not quite define their behavior right now. They are gluey to the point that I cannot even escape to the bathroom without them pounding on the door beseeching me to come out.  And that makes me wonder if this is so extreme because I’ve done/am doing something wrong!

The only thing I can think of is that, at night, I don’t put them to bed. I  leave the room because they drink milk (still on the bottle!) before sleeping and I can’t put two of them in my lap and feed them, so I leave them to their maids, something they were OK with till recently, but now they scream and shout and want me in the room. The problem, however, is that if I do try and put them to bed, they fight over who has to be in my lap, pushing the other out. It leads to much shouting and crying, with both of them saying “both babies!!” or “Mama, I want your lap!”.

It’s now kind of become a vicious circle – I flee because they fight each other for me, and no matter which one I pick up, I feel bad for the other. I leave because then, at least, they know that I’ve not picked one over the other. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I do know that, because I leave, they get clingier. I did try once to lie down next to them and pat them both, didn’t work. They both wanted to climb all over me and fought sleep.

Maybe I need to do this a few times to make them believe that I am not going to leave them at sleep time. But then, I get tired by the end of the day and look forward to a little bit of downtime before I go to bed. And that’s what I am going to have to give up if I have to put them to bed too.  I have no time in the evenings to myself, none at all.  My older one has to be fed and put to bed by 8:00 – 8:20, on school nights, so once we come back from the park, I am on a fast track to get her all set for the night. Then we eat dinner (mostly, I eat with the twins taking turns to sit on my lap while I try and eat!). Then I play with them for about forty minutes, till the maids eat and wrap up. So, by the time it’s time for them to sleep, I am out of steam (and patience).  That’s when I want a bit of time to unwind, talk to my husband (seems like that never happens nowadays – a gap’s developing that I don’t like). The kids sleep with us at night, and the twins still wake up a lot, so I don’t get even one uninterrupted night’s sleep – they sometimes wake up at the same time and in their sleep they cry for mommy. That’s the hardest part, because they are sleepy and not in a mood for sharing their mother and I am not my best at that time either.

What am I doing wrong? Do all mothers of twins go through this?

I have so much to write, but, I need to sleep now. It’s late and something keeps telling me to stop blogging and sleep while the kids are sleeping too. Wonder what tonight will be like..

To bed now.

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Four year olds, and their moods.

My older daughter is a little over four and a half. She is, by and large, a well behaved kid. Or, so she was. Now she’s moody as hell. To the point that I have names for her depending on her moods.  We (she, my husband and I) laugh about this often – she, mostly, likes the fact that I have names for her sulky days, or whiny ones, also the happy ones.

She may wake up happy, but within minutes of opening her eyes, she’s turned into a sulk pot. For no reason. I make it a point to be in the room till she’s up and don’t, as far as I can help it, hold the babies  when she’s waking up, so she does not feel that her mommy has not been in the room while she’s been asleep (she does not like that and has told me this  on several occasions). But try as I might, she’s moody, and whiny. I can see that she wants to play and be happy but something holds her back. One day, when she was in a happy mood (which is not rare either) I asked her why she acts this way. She said that I didn’t play with her anymore and that I was always scolding her. This, obviously, was not the case, though I could see that she meant what she said. So, the point was, she felt this way.

Ok, so she was partly right, but only partly. I do have less patience than I used to and have less time to play/read to her. But I am doing the best I can. I spend as much time with her as I can, I don’t go out much and when I do I, mostly, take her with me, even if I don’t take the twins. but I guess for her four year old mind that’s not good enough. It’s all relative – she’s comparing to the time when the twins were not there and compared to that, of course, it’s different.

My mom tells me that my sister, the eldest,  used to be the same and when my brother was born (they are a year and a half apart) she went through the same thing with her. And now, my sister is the most loving sibling one could have. So I am thinking this will not have long term repercussions and that she’ll learn to accept (which, I can see she has to a large part) the fact that she has to share her mother.

The moods are there and I think they are here to stay for a while. I just have to be patient, because my losing it makes it worse. It’s hard, though, when you’ve woken up eight times at night (between the twins sometimes that’s the case) and then in the morning have to deal patiently with a four year old who is watching your every step and judging you for being “better” to the siblings!

It’ll pass I know. They are a happy bunch together, so when I see them all play and hear the ecstatic screams of the twins as the rush to hug their older sister when she returns from school, and she, in turn, dropping her bag to embrace them, I feel it’s all worth it.  I am happy that (hopefully) they’ll always have each other.

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Patience. I need patience.

I tell myself everyday, literally every night when I sleep, that I shall be more patient. It does not happen.

My four year old daughter returns from school and throws a tantrum. Everyday. I think it’s a phase and I try and be calm, but  I am not a patient person by nature (when you are a parent, that is one quality you must have. Unfortunately, I lack it). But,  I try. She does not want to eat, does not want this and that, everything is an issue. I know why she is doing this and it’s only normal. Her life has changed after my twins (now a year old) were born. She does not get her mother as much as she used to, even though I spend more time with her than with the babies. Also, she’s tired and hungry by the time she gets home and, being a four year old, can’t deal with it, so she just generally screams and flails her arms and legs about – something, it seems, most four year olds love to do. It’s a preferred way of expressing their will.

I have little time at lunchtime – the babies need to be fed too and they cry if they hear her scream and shout. So here I have a clingy four year old, wrapped snake-like around my legs, wailing, and a set of twins crawling their way to me to seek security. Within minutes of entering the house, after picking her up from the bus stand, I find myself holding three kids, all of whom want the other to leave the mommy. Patience. I tell myself. Patience..

There are, of course, good days too, but, it seems, that right now, those are few and far between. I understand the older one’s clingyness and do feel bad that I don’t handle her better, but I feel tired (and sleep deprived) and the screaming just blows some fuse in my head. She was not like this before and, even now, she treats the babies really well and accepts that I am their mommy too. But when she is tired, which she is when she returns from school, she lets it get the better of her and that just starts this snowball effect – she screams, I lose it, the babies cry, I get angry, she cries more, the babies get even more upset, I try and calm everyone down, then – somehow – we make up, she tells me that I upset her, that makes me feel like a worm, I hug and kiss her, and then we eat lunch! Phew.

I know it will get better and, like I said, it’s not like this all the time. So, I am hoping it will pass. And I am working on my patience levels.

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Drop the baby mama!!

My four year old has been an angel since my twins were born almost ten months ago. She’s been caring and, mostly, patient. That, however, has changed. Was too good to last I think.

It’s happened because of multiple reasons. One, the novelty has kind of faded and she has realized that they are here to stay! Two, and more importantly, the twins are now asserting their will, demanding my attention, crawling into everything, including her toys. She sits down to do a puzzle and they want to grab at it. I can understand her irritation but with the two of them around it is difficult to stop them all the time.

From the beginning I have given 90% of my attention to my older one, just so she does not feel left out. I often leave the twins crying and come to her, but now it’s getting very difficult. She’s become extremely moody (the fact that summer break is on and her mind is idle has compounded the problem!) and tells me not to pick them up. To make matters worse I had  gall-bladder surgery and was away to the hospital for a couple of days. In my absence she cried her heart out and was inconsolable, to the point that I decided to return home a night before I was scheduled to! Am recovering now but cannot do much right now.  But it seems that my leaving turned some switch inside her, she’s sooooooper clingy now, does not want to leave my sight and does not want the twins anywhere near me.

For now, till I have recovered fully, I have moved the poor babies out to the other room with my mom and the maids, and my older one is with me and my husband. But that is going to change soon.  I am handling it, and she does love them too, plays with them a lot, but when it comes to me, she wants me all for herself..sigh..I know it’s something I have to deal with, but ti’s going to take some energy and patience and with just three days having passed since my surgery, I am a little tired and can do without tantrums!

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Twin Girls!

I’ve been away from my blog for too long, have been on bed rest, then had the babies, who are a month old today..so am only writing this quick post to say that I’ve not had a chance to log on in months, but hopefully will be able to do so every now and then from hence on…optimistic (with twins girls and a toddler??), maybe? but hey I need to stay optimistic or I might just lose it!

I am thrilled with the twins, but it’s crazy, unending, constant, constant, constant!!!! I am lucky to be in India and able to afford lots of help – two full time maids – and yet I am on my feet the whole day….

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