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TwinStock is the fun creation of @TwinHappyJen, a Twitter friend of mine. The mother of twins, she has created a fun blog party and invited all of us to participate. In the spirit of Twinstock, I have decided to give some advice (thereby answering Twinstock questions 6 AND 7 ) to other grandparents who may have just heard the news that filled me with thrills at the same time it sent ice down my spine.
"Mom, guess what! We're pregnant with TWINS!"
Lest you wonder about the icy chills, let me assure you I was quite excited, albeit concerned for my daughter who had difficulties with her first two pregnancies and whose youngest was less than a year old! But still, even then, there was an excitement that swept through all of us, even as we prayed for the safety of mom and babies. They did, indeed, need those prayers and still do, but God was wonderful, brought them all through it safely, though with health issues that continue, and we have such adorable darlings who bless us constantly! Oh my, I'm grandma gushing! Guess it's time to move on to the advice. But first, let me grab my wallet with my 1000 photos – oh wait, they’re all in my computer! Here’s one now! Two of my favorite sets of adorable footsies in my favorite season of Autumn! 1. TELLING THEM APART – Not all identical twins look exactly alike, while fraternal twin boys (like my grand-twins) can look a lot alike. Either way, it can make it very hard to tell them apart, especially when they are young. Since you don’t usually spend as much time with them as their parents, it may take you longer to tell them apart. Take a half hour and look for at least one thing different between the two and focus on that. With a friend’s identical twins, I found a dimple on one that the other did not have. I am one of her few friends who has never mixed them up. Well, I did once but that doesn’t count. I walked into the room. Gooed at the one she was holding, gaaaaed at the one the friend next to her was holding. Then froze. I could NOT tell them apart. They kept a straight face for about 1 minute then started giggling. It was two other babies from our homeschooling programs Christmas party! I was so focused on who I thought they were, I never noticed it wasn’t them at all. In my defense, they were only about five months old. For my own grand-twins, they spent several weeks in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and I only got to see them a couple of times then. For the first week after they came home, I truly couldn’t tell them apart, but that probably had more to do with the fact that I was always running as I helped take care of big brother and big sister, so I really didn’t get a lot of cuddle time. I just always relied on their parents putting color coordinated clothes on them to tell them apart. Finally, when someone made a comment about my not knowing my own grand-twins, my grandma competitive juices kicked in. I hid off in a room with both of them, cuddling them and eyeing them excessively closely. I was able to hone in on a couple of definite but hard-to-spot little differences and haven’t missed since – at least not from the front. 🙂
2. DIVIDE AND CONQUER – “Divide and conquer” is routinely used regarding battle stories. However, I’m betting a grandma of twins first came up with the phrase. Twins are adorable, sweet, and lots of fun together. But they can also keep a grandma running faster, hopping higher, and working harder. When that gets to be too much for a tuckered out grandma, divide and conquer can be a grandma’s good friend! Whether it’s taking one twin at a time to have some up close and personal, one-on-one, aloneness time they will also appreciate; having the beloved grandpa of the twins take one twin for wrestling time while you have a quiet reading time and then switch; or relying on the TV (with a good educational show, of course 🙂 ) to help you play with one, while the other watches the show, and then swap – you will all three appreciate having that special time alone as much as you appreciate those times of being all together! Aloneness time with grandkids is always something special and precious. It can be harder to come by with the twins, but it’s well worth achieving AND it makes things a bit more peaceful for a tired granny nanny as well.
3. TWIN TOYS ARE GREAT TOO! – If they have a very special toy, it can be a big help to have a “twin” of said toy that is always kept at grandma’s. This is a good idea even if you just have one grandchild. It’s a doubly good idea with twins, as there are now twice as many chances of one or both toys getting lost between houses. Some children might figure out it’s a duplicate and not like it, but all of my grandkids have been thrilled to find twins of their favorite toys at grandma’s house!
4. BABY STROLLER? MAKE IT A DOUBLE BABY STROLLER + – We went through several strollers over a four year period. My daughters are experts at researching, buying, testing, and selling! After checking through a wide variety of twin stroller reviews, they made their selections. Over the years, our favorites included a Peg Perego stroller and the Valco Tri Mode Sit n Stand double stroller with the extra seat in front for big-bro, who was little-bro at the time.
For awhile, I could even get big sis on the back when everyone got tuckered out on a walk! 🙂 My daughter ordered these online, since she couldn’t find them locally and had a great experience doing that! Later she was able to sell it online as well! Talk about great ways to save money on baby strollers! I, personally, also liked having two umbrella strollers as they were cheap, easy, small, and lightweight. I kept them in the car in case of unexpected "grandmother of twins" opportunities. They fit well, even when I had to add my dad’s walker or wheelchair.
5. DOUBLE WORK, DOUBLE JOY – Having twin grandkids does mean some extra work and can seem to be a bit overwhelming when you first get the news. Rest assured, it also means double hugs, double kisses, double love, and exponential joy for decades to come! You should see the huge smile on my face as I type this, while listening to my grand-twins’ sweet voices as they are busy having fun with great-grandma in the other room!
There are LOTS of parents and grandparents of twins online with plenty more great ideas, helps, hints and fun stories. To find them, be sure you start at TwinHappy and their fun TwinStock blog party. In addition to great tips and articles, they also have fun PRIZES! See you there! 🙂 And while you’re busy bloghopping, hop on over to Homemaker Barbi’s Family Friday as well. Another of my favorite places for great info and advice for all our sweet grandkids! 🙂