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Twin grandchildren

(162 Posts)
marypoppins Fri 13-May-11 16:05:57

Hi, I'm a first time, single Grandmother to lovely 14month old twins who are now both toddling.
I look after them twice a week and it is becoming more challenging for me to keep up as they are so active and are starting to be competitive with each other now.
I would love some useful tips from others with twin experience please!

Rosannie Sat 14-May-11 10:14:54

Cogratulations marypoppins, twins have always looked and sounded so cute to me but I'm sure the reality is hard work.
I don't have any twins experience but we have acquired 5 grandchildren in the last 4 years, 4 boys aged just 4,3,2, and 1, when they are all here together or even in combinations of any 2 (which they are every day) it's full time vigilance I'm afraid!
Suspend any thoughts of own jobs or interests, prepare as much as you can beforehand (food, nappies, toys etc) and tune in to CBeebies for a break occasionally!
Good luck

happygran268 Sat 14-May-11 15:01:21

Hi, I've twin daughters and twin grandsons who are now 6. I have looked after the boys since they were 6 months old. One long day til they started school and now twice a week after school. I agree with everything being said, particularly about being prepared in advance. As they get older, you will find they entertain each other a fair bit as well. Mainly relax and enjoy the enormous priviledge of time spent with 2 interested and fascinating little people. Boys or girls or both?

Moira18 Sat 14-May-11 15:07:03

Hi marypoppins I have twin grandsons who are 4 years old and believe me it does not get any easier as they get older. My two are as different as day and night. One is quite quiet and the other is in to everything, never stops talking and there is no doubt he has a mind of his own. I must say that 95% of the time he is adorable but the other 5% he is a little devil. I watch them one day a week from 8am until 6pm and by the time I go home I am absolutely shattered but on saying that I would not change them for anything. Like Rosannie says CBeebies is a god send, I also get a break of two and a half hours while they are at nursery. What I tell myself is that they will not be that age for long so I try and enjoy every minute I have with them.


marypoppins Sat 14-May-11 20:51:27

They are a boy and girl and I do appreciate its really wonderful to have this special time with them!
I just need to be prepared for action, try to plan my time with them and enjoy it! ( Then make sure I can have a quiet evening with a glass of wine if needed afterwards.)
I am surprized at how the 'survival instinct' has suddenly kicked-in for them. I've noticed they will give eachother a quick slap or a hair pull from time to time in self-defence if a toy or some food is being snatched away or their space is being invaded when they are not in the mood. Then at other times they will giggle and hug eachother! Its an amazing process.

Nannyliz Sat 14-May-11 23:45:58

I am Nanny to twins of four years old ( a boy and girl). I don't look after them very often but do visit once a week. I love every minute I spend with them and their 9 year old sister, but find it very tiring as they both want my attention at the same time. Trying to listen to them all at once sometimes makes my head spin!!!!!

I just love watching them play together which they do very well now. Their big sister is very good with them and doesn't stand any nonsense. I'm retiring soon so maybe I will be asked to look after them, which I will love to do.

I remember when they were babies and I looked after them for a couple of hours, they both started crying at once and I didn't know who to pick up first!

BurgundyGran Sun 15-May-11 11:56:06

Marypoppins I will be coming to you for advice! My daughter in England had twins a girl and a boy in March. I went to UK to see them and stayed a month, now rely on photos.

I can't wait to have them here to play with and cuddle.

marypoppins Wed 18-May-11 13:51:40

It's hard when they both want to be picked up and cuddled at the same time.. I usually end up on the floor or the sofa with them one each side cos I can't lift them both at once! But I have started doing more regular exercise now to strenghten my back and it really helps. I'm even losing weight from all the rushing about and I'm so glad the winter is over as I seem to spend alot of time taking to the park and the duck pond in the pushchair at the moment, where I can relax abit while they watch the baby ducks, we have alot of goboldy-gook conversations along the way and get healthy fresh air.

vert Wed 18-May-11 19:32:07

I have 3 year old identical twin grandaughters who are a joy!!
I have looked after them since they were a few months old for long weekends to give Mum and Dad a break. It is hard work, but it does get easier!! Worst bit for me was from the time they were mobile until they learn a bit of sense....10 months to around 2 was often like herding sheep! Now they are a doddle and amuse each other - it is such fun watching them play. I now find them easier than my other pair of grandchildren who are 3 and eighteen months!
I guess it is easier as they are both girls too - one of each would mean different interests
Enjoy them to the full!

Carol Thu 19-May-11 08:51:13

I am mother to twin daughters, one of whom has two year old twin boys, and the other who has just learned that she, too, is expecting twins! Any hard work and exhaustion is more than compensated by the sheer joy they bring. My grandsons are mischievous and full of energy, and I would struggle to look after them every day, but I am happy to muck in and help with bath time, pick them up from the childminder occasionally and do my share of babysitting.

If I can give a couple of tips, it's to keep bringing along packs of nappies to help out with the family budget. They go through huge amounts, but I find I can help by looking for nappy offers and using my doubled up Tesco points to replenish nappy stocks. Also, assume your daughter will always be experiencing extreme fatigue in the first few months, so provide as many opportunities as you can for her to recharge her batteries.

The happiest times are bedtime stories, funny twin conversations, enthusiastic cuddles, and sitting round the kitchen table making cookies and chocolate cake. Messy but hilarious.

grandmabet Fri 20-May-11 14:56:19

Hi Mary Poppins

I have twin granddaughters now aged 12 and they are an absolute delight. Although identical my daughter has done her best to make them behave and dress completely different from each other, so it is very much like having two different people. One is particularly into cooking and wants to try out new recipes all the time; the other is made about sport and I have to play various forms of football as I refuse to run around too much and don't like the ball hitting my legs.

I would say stick in there and your rewards will come. Mine are very protective of me and often use me as a shoulder to cry on when Mum or Dad upset them.

carboncareful Fri 20-May-11 15:15:29

I refuse to tell anyone which one is the eldest. Always use both names when calling them. Remember that they can help each other get into mischief i.e. one pushing the other into the washing machine; one pushing the other up and over the gate; holding the chair for the other to climb up etc. Good luck

marypoppins Fri 20-May-11 18:44:40

That happened for the first time yesterday - twin teamwork!
I watched them work together to pull out their travelcot/playpen so they could get to a plant pot full of soil hidden behind it..they are so clever already! Will have to keep my eyes on the little darlings.

Moira18 Sun 22-May-11 14:07:22

HI carboncareful, my son refuses to let people refer to the boys as twins. He says that although they were both born on the same day with just a few mins between, they are individuals which they most certainly are. Like you we have not told the boys who was born first.

Jaxie Sun 05-Jun-11 14:09:31

I was staying in a holiday cottage with my daughter and her son aged 3. Because I was sharing a bedroom with him, and he was nervous of being left on his own, at bedtime I agreed to lie on my bed until he fell asleep. After an hour I was getting bored as it was too dark to read. I remonstrated with him: "If you aren't asleep within the next half hour I'm going." "You can't," he replied. "Why," I asked. "Because I'm far too young to be left on my ow, he answered." An answer for everything - perhaps he's going to be a lawyer.

Carol Thu 10-Nov-11 11:30:58

I've mentioned on another thread that I can't find now - my daughter (a twin) produced her twin girls 10 weeks early, just a fortnight ago. They are in the special care baby unit, having weighed only 2 lbs and 2 lbs 10 ozs - Alice and Polly. I already have fabulous twin grandsons who are just 3 years, born to my other twin daughter - both sets by IVF.

Polly has had an infection and been poorly, but it was spotted early and she is much better now. Alice is a tough little baby who boogies round her incubator and drags all the paraphernalia across so she can extend her arm to touch her mummy and daddy when they put their arms in.

It has been an eye-opener to have close contact with a special care baby unit - the nurses and doctors are so skilled and my daughter and her partner have been supported all the way. It will be a few more weeks before the babies reach a good weight to enable them to go home. I would appreciate any advice from Gransnetters who have been through this experience, especially with regard to supporting the parents if one baby is allowed home before the other one. Thanks.

greenmossgiel Thu 10-Nov-11 18:01:39

Carol - somehow or other I missed your original post about the birth of your little granddaughters! Bless their wee cotton socks - (very wee by the sound of things, too)! They sound as if they're making such good and steady progress. I've had no experience of twins in the family, but just wanted to wish you congratulations! thanksthankswine

Carol Thu 10-Nov-11 21:24:45

Thanks green I've just been adoring them in their incubators for the last hour. What a privilege! They are so tiny, but doing just fine and starting to grow - bliss!

Carol Wed 16-Nov-11 18:28:27

A week on, and I have just been able to spend an hour with my new grandaughters, one in her incubator and the other being nursed by her mum. It's the first time I've seen one of them at close contact and the other with no air mask on, jiggling around in the incubator. They've had quite a difficult week, with infections, blood tests, x-rays, antibiotics and so on, but are looking great now and both have put on some weight - 2lbs 7ozs and 3lbs 3ozs. Should still have been 7 weeks before they were due, but they're now nearly 3 weeks old. It was all I could do not to weep with joy when Polly was lifted out of her incubator - Alice's turn next time I go.

Annobel Wed 16-Nov-11 18:37:24

Overjoyed for you, Carol. It's such an anxious time and you feel so helpless. They are clearly in very good hands. Soon be your turn for a cuddle and I bet you can't wait.

greenmossgiel Wed 16-Nov-11 18:42:59

That's lovely, Carol! Your heart will be filled with love for them. Here's to Polly and Alice - bless them! thanksthanks

Ariadne Wed 16-Nov-11 18:55:41

Oh Carol! My love to all of you. xxx

Libradi Wed 16-Nov-11 19:14:53

Hope you get cuddles with your dear little granddaughters soon Carol.

Grannylin Wed 16-Nov-11 19:49:43

Lovely to imagine Carol, what precious little bundles!

Faye Wed 16-Nov-11 20:04:44

I can't imagine them being so small. I bet you have put on a few years with the worry. It's good to hear they are okay and you must be feeling a lot of relief now!