When I was pregnant someone told me that I would need to "run my two boys like dogs" as they have so much energy. I thought it was a funny way to describe tiring your children out but now, two years on, I TOTALLY get it! If I could have my two on a leash and ride a bike while they ran next to me I would! The boys have so much energy so we spend a lot of time at parks, trying to do just what that person told me, run them out like dogs. However one problem, I try to choose parks in the middle of fields or far from roads as my two kids like to run in different directions.Read More
SOOOOO yesterday I lost Hunter at the park. I'm a terrible parent right?! We went to our favourite park on the shore, Onepoto Domain, if you follow me on Snap Chat then you will see it often, it's a bike park and playground all rolled into one and is epic...except for when you lose one of your sons and a stranger finds him standing on the ROAD!
We met up with one of my fellow twin mum friends, Heather, and her two amazing twin girls who the Nuggets adore!
We go to this park all the time so I feel very comfortable there, the road that leads into it is only accessed by those going to the domain, so it's not super busy. The park is set back from the road and the car parks back onto it, so kids have to go past a row of cars to get onto the road. This is something all mums, but in particular mums of multiples think of, how far is the road if my twins split and run in different directions? We often look for gated playgrounds to take this risk out. As I said though, I felt pretty comfortable here and surely I could catch a Nugget sneaking to the road before he got there right?! Wrong!
I have written about this park before here. We were playing at that same slide but this time I was standing at the top. Usually I sit at the bottom so they come out, see me and then run up again. The whole playground goes back behind that slide, so If I'm at the bottom I can see most of the playground and I know they can only run back into bush area behind it. My friend and I were keeping an eye on our four toddlers who were wanting to play with different things on the playground, of course they do! Hunter was playing on the slide to my right and Oscar was walking across a wobbly bridge to my left when he fell off. He was crying so I picked him up and brought him back to the slide, I probably spoke a few words to my friend before thinking Hunter hadn't run back up to the top of the slide. Now I am not a helicopter parent, but even if I wanted to be you couldn't be with twins in a park unless you duct tape the little buggers together! I started to worry so went around the side of the playground as we often play around there, but he wasn't there. For some reason I didn't think he would have walked down the path to the road so I actually wasn't THAT worried. I seriously thought he would've snuck back up past me into playground so I checked again. He wasn't there and again I wasn't THAT worried as there is the bike track that he could have been on, so that's where I was checking next. This is why I felt terrible afterwards, why didn't I think about the road? WHY wasn't I THAT worried? I mean my 2-year-old child has been missing for a minute to two, we are in a busy park during school holidays, someone could have taken him or he could be on the road (duh Anna why didn't you think of that!).
As I was walking out to the bike path I see a nice young women walking towards the playground with Hunter in her arms. When I think about it now I am so relived, but at the time I was like "oh there you are!" She informed me she found him standing on the speed bump in the middle of the road! I mean seriously, what the hell! I felt like I needed to explain I have twins and I wasn't just a slack mum not keeping an eye on her one toddler at the park, as I felt a little bit judged that he had gotten out there.
Now I think, why didn't I think to go there first? Why wasn't I panicking and running around to check the places faster than walking? I need to get my head checked! I know this won't be the first time this has happened to a parent, but it's the lack of panicking thing that got my thinking and freaked me out a bit, maybe I am too relaxed as a parent?!
We can't win as mothers can we, there are always two sides to every emotion, thought, plan, routine, parenting style....it's endless. I was feeling bad for not panicking when I am usually quite proud of being a relaxed parent and going with the flow. I'm a mum of twin boys who are rough and tumble, I let them explore the world at a pace they feel confident with and yes sometimes they get hurt! I also don't have eyes in the back of my head, so I can't physically watch out for them 24/7 and I don't think I need too. Kids learn from mistakes. Not having eyes in the back of my head has led to Oscar receiving a massive cut to his head when he pulled a chair onto his face (his scar is how some people tell them apart) and Hunter breaking his nose riding his trike off the steps of our deck! Bad stuff happens, you have to take it all in your stride..otherwise I think I would be a wreck with the endless 'what if' possibilities. I know this isn't one of those if they fall down let them get back up scenarios, he could have been hit by a car, it is horrifying to think about. But should a hopefully once off, really make me call into question my whole parenting style?
Have any of you had any moments that lead to a crisis of confidence in your parenting?
Today was a great day, I was reminded that I should be so grateful to be a twin mama and have my handsome, smart, fun and clever little boys, Oscar and Hunter in my life! Today was a great day but there have been plenty of really really tough ones. We had an extremely tough time settling into twin life (that's a whole other blog post though, and it's coming, I promise).
The Nuggets turned two in March and with two comes the terrible twos. While my children definitely are delightful, they have been trying the last few months. They aren't naughty but they are just learning so much and they are trying to put it into practice. Just like the other morning when I was getting changed and they decided they wanted to "scramble" some eggs! I mean it was very clever, they got the bowl out from the cupboard I usually scramble eggs in, pulled a chair up to the bench, put the eggs in the bowl (and the floor!) and then got a fork to whisk it together. Hunter kept muttering "whisk, whisk" when I caught them. It's very cute and all but not something I wanted to deal with first thing in the morning!
Another example; which I feel a bit mean about being frustrated over, is Hunters lack of skills on the balance bike. I have twins, very strong and ahead of the game kids. They do stuff other kids their age won't dream of...and they usually can do everything equally as good as each other. So when Hunter hadn't mastered the bike like Oscar had it threw me.
We went to the pink bike lane in Auckland CBD the other weekend and it was an absolute nightmare! Oscar NAILED his bike, he rode it the whole way with no problems and was really good. But Hunter was useless (I know this is a horrible reason to be frustrated) but he cried, moaned and just wasn't having a bar of it. We should have brought his three-wheeler, but we had done balance bike rides before and even though he wasn't as good as Oscar he could still plod along. This time however he just wasn't into it, which is cool, but after having to bend over and push him along (when we stopped he would tantrum) it became a pain in the ass and back, literally! Cue getting frustrated as this was just something we had never had to deal with...I feel like an awful mum writing this. Why should I be frustrated by my child just because he can't do something as well as his brother? Come on Anna, pull your head in! If you follow me on Snapchat then you would have seen the battles we were having.
Fast forward to today and I knew I wanted to get the boys out and about this afternoon while we still have some pretty good weather. Being honest again, parks kind of suck at the moment. They get bored but at the same time they don't want to go home and fight me all the way to and into the car! Which is just sometimes too much to handle so I don't even try in the first place. Who wants to be kicked and screamed at while you wrestle your kids away from a park and into a carseat?
Today was going to be different, I wanted to get out and about and enjoy my afternoon with my children who are growing up all too fast for my liking. I thought we should head to a bike park Jay and I had taken them too about 8 months prior on the shore. I know...bike park? You think I'm asking for a second run of the pink walk! But this park had the bike lanes and two playgrounds so I thought it would take much longer for them to get bored.
This time we packed both of the boys Cruzzee balance bikes and one of the three wheelers for Hunter as he wanted that one. I took the second balance bike as I know my boys, they fight over toys and want to have the same things. Best way to avoid that is have double of the important things.
We cruised around this awesome bike park, at Onepoto Domain on the shore for about 30 minutes and I was right, Hunter suddenly had the confidence to hit the balance bike again...AND he was great! He went over the bumps and cruised down big hills. I was so proud of him, it was such a good outing and I loved seeing Hunter develop and grow.
There was two cool playgrounds at the park, one for little kids and one for bigger children. In the big one there was a giant tube slide, the boys seriously played on this thing for 20 minutes while I did random exercises at the bottom (I could'nt get to the gym on Monday so felt I needed to get my heart rate going for a little while).
The boys LOVED this slide, Oscar always went down first follow by Hunter. Oscar was so excited when Hunter came down, EVRYTIME, he jumped up and down with such excitement that Hunter was about to pop out. It was that moment that really made me remember that I was so so so lucky to be a twin mama. Yes they can be trying but moments like these just make my heart melt. They have their best friend from birth and even though they fight, are co-conspirators, they find so much joy in experiencing new things together. It literally made my heart fill up with so much joy. I admit, I have been a little overwhelmed and busy recently and haven't found enough joy in the small things. I'm so grateful for today, to have two boys who love each other dearly, are healthy and amazing little men. Little men that make me want to be a better me, to have a supportive partner, a partner that also makes me a better person. I'm very lucky and sometimes I need to set aside all the "garbage" and remember that, just like today. Man I am lucky!