One of the best pieces of advice given was to keep our twins on the same schedule. Whether it be for feedings, sleep, bathing, and every other daily routine. What we did not know was that seemed to begin when I was pregnant with twins. This is my journey through pregnancy, infant stages, toddler times, and into the elementary years.
Pregnancy Stage: The Prelude
I always felt the need to read to my babies before they were born. I started at the 13-week mark. In the beginning, I wanted to read novels and Shakespeare, thinking that it was such an ingenious idea! Later realizing that my hormones would take over, and I would hardly get through the first page of a board book without falling asleep. Regardless of how tired I was, I still read what I could.
Around the second trimester, I would wake up hungry around 4 a.m. I would snack on either applesauce, pudding, or yogurt. It was just enough to get me through until I ate again.
They’re Here: Showtime
Once we came home, scheduling worked its way out naturally! For meals; my husband and I would prepare the bottles and our food, feed the girls, then we would eat. Leaving clean-up to follow, once the four of us were finished.
Tummy time, naps, and bath times were spread out between feedings and diaper changes. After dinnertime, and the girls’ nighttime bath, I would read to them. This would lull them sleep.
My 4 a.m. cravings turned into 4 a.m. feedings. Afterward, they would both pass out for a couple of more hours. I was already conditioned to be awake during this time and, apparently, they were too!
Toddler Time: Intermission
Meals stayed the same. Especially when my husband and I would turn a specific television show on; our girls would waddle on over towards the kitchen, looking for something to eat. The theme song became our convened dinner bell.
Tummy time turned into play time, and even play dates with friends. Naps were not as sporadic and became longer after they would eat lunch. Bath times stayed the same, as did reading before bed. Occasionally, one of them would wake up, wanting a quick snack around 4 a.m. That did not last long, as they grew into the threes.
Some things that would start on the same schedule was the climbing sessions, potty training, and temper tantrums. If one had an idea about something, the other would follow suit shortly behind her.
They found it hilarious to climb out of their beds. Going through their drawers, and “redesigning” their room became like ninjas. I used naptimes as the time for me to clean up around the house or attempting to take a peaceful shower. I would have the monitor on but quickly learned to cut my free time shorter. It became a balancing act. As soon as I felt that I had a few additional moments to catch up on things, a new milestone would come around the corner.
During potty training time, if you take your toddlers out with you, prepare to learn the quickest route to the nearest restroom. Always have a spare change of clothing with you. Just in case one, or both, do not make it in time. Once one saw her sister using the potty, the other became eager to use it, too.
Thankfully, our girls did not have severe temper tantrums. Fits were thrown when we would be out in public. I received the random look of disgust, but not as much as I thought I would. The funniest was when I grocery shopped. The girls would sit sweetly in the cart made for two. I would go down one aisle and hear a compliment from another shopper. As if on cue, the two of them would be bicker. Minutes later, they would be loving each other.
Bath times and nighttime reading gave them familiarity of needing to relax and unwind. They would try to get each other riled up. When either my husband or I would sit down to read with them, they had their blankets in hand, and their eyes became heavy.
Elementary Years: The Show Must Go On
Our daughters are now seven years old and in the second grade. Their meal schedule has stayed the same. They have a light snack, on occasion, between lunch and dinner.
Baths have become showers. As they patiently wait for the other, they will read their books for school. After, they finish reading and/or complete their homework.
The petty arguments continue. The battles can be over who had which Barbie. Why the other one is not wanting to play. Or, disagreeing on what to wear.
No two experiences will be the same. Create a schedule that works for you and your family. You’ve got this!