Today I took Teeny Tiny to the doctor to look at her feet while my mother stayed with Middie Biddie at home. She appears to have my toe issues which have caused me some pain so we're keeping an eye on how the bones in her feet are developing. She's fine by the way, that's not what this post is about.
This post is about how I am a completely different mother when I only have one child. It was amazing!
I arrived a solid 15 minutes early rather than 5 minutes late like I've been doing lately. Not having to fuss to get both into car seats, make sure I have enough entertainment and snacks for two, just getting out the door was remarkably easy!
She spent the whole car ride perfectly happy with the toy I gave her. When there's both of them, they each look at what the other one has, wants that so they throw away the toy they do have, can't reach the other one, and meltdown ensues. With no other toddler for distraction, she just played with her toy as happy as could be.
When we got there, I didn't bother with a stroller or anything because for a change, I didn't feel the need to keep anyone contained. Knowing that I could grab a hand if she tried to bolt suddenly made me much less nervous about a toddler bolting. We simply got out of the car and went inside. Incredible! It's usually such a fuss just to get from the car to the door of a building. But not when you only have 1!
Then inside, I was able to check her in and it didn't bother me when she ran to the other side of the lobby to check out the toys. Normally I don't allow them more than a few feet from me because I'm so nervous about them both getting into something at the same time that they shouldn't be getting into. What would have totally stressed me out if I had both of them didn't bother me one bit with just one.
I could sit in the doctors office and let her explore knowing how easy it would be to turn her away from things she shouldn't touch. I didn't have to try to keep her (and her sister) entertained in one spot.
Then we went off to a quick appointment for me, and again, no problem! Whipped out the single umbrella stroller and I could go through doors easily, maneuver on a dime, play, just so totally different from the double stroller. I didn't feel all claustrophobic just trying to get through a normal sized hallway.
After the girls nap, I took them to the local coffee shop with a toddler play area and it was back to business as usual. I chatted for a moment with a mom of 3 year old twins and as Teeny Tiny got away from me and started climbing into the fountain while I was trying to convince Middie Biddie to stand on her feet rather than lie on the ground when holding my hand, she gave me the line I've been giving new twin moms for the last year, "it gets better". I told her how remarkably easy it was when I just had one this morning and she said "Oh, don't ever do that. Once you've experienced how easy it is with just one, it makes the difficulty of two that much harder!"
I'm not always the mom I want to be. I want to be fun. I want to encourage exploration. But with two, I'm not that mom. I found out today that with one, I am that mom. It kind of makes me sad some times. But it's good to know that I am capable of being that mom and that it's not so much that I'm an anal retentive freak, but that being tense and and a bit stressed out and keeping everyone corralled is just how you have to be to keep twins safe. Dealing with two isn't twice as hard, the difficulty seems to multiply beyond that. You have no idea how much the ability to focus has on your personality until you've spent 2 years never being able to completely focus on anything. The lack of distraction and being able to just keep one safe allows SOOOOO much more freedom than when you have to keep track of two! I think on K's days off I'm going to be more spontaneous and just grab one kid and go somewhere.