Today I am happy to start a new series, inspired by Pam of It’s Time For More Coffee. I’ll be posting Mondays about the ups and downs, the joys and challenges, the sweet and joyous moments as well as the maddening insanity that I encounter as a parent of twin toddlers. Check Pam’s My Life with Twins Linky today for more posts about twins by those in the trenches. And bloggers with multiples, please join us!
Elsie and Delia turned three about a month ago, and we are all so excited that they will be starting preschool two mornings a week this fall. The gem of a school we go to is just a few minutes drive (big hills have kept me from ever attempting it on foot, but maybe someday!) and they are sooooooo ready! They’ve been going 2-3 days a week for drop-off and pick-up with big sister Emma for 2 years now, and are very VERY at home there. Which is totally the way to go — I think we will see very little anxiety when their time comes. They’d be ready to start tomorrow if they could!
Playing in the “cave” at school (I think it’s the nose of an airplane?), 2 years old
Our school is very community-based, in that they give lots of opportunities for families to become familiar or involved in the school. For Elsie and Delia, this has meant playing on the playground alongside the “big” kids before or afterchool, staying for circle time with Emma this year every morning (hoping to glimpse sight or perhaps even a pet from the pet rabbit that runs loose in the classroom), and attending sessions of Messy Play Day, which is a toddler art/fun class that they adore.
Another reason this school is great for us is that there are 3 different preschool classrooms, which means we have the option of splitting the girls up in different classes. I know families of multiples often feel strongly one way or another about this topic, and at this point with my girls, I am definitely feeling good about splitting them up and am so glad we have the choice! Both girls have known all year that one day they would be in different classrooms at school, so it’s not a big shock to them. They now know which classrooms they will be in next year and their teachers names, and seem pretty excited with the whole thing — with only a slight bit of nervousness about getting to know their new teachers.
Why split them up so young? Several reasons, the biggest being that being identical, they are difficult to distinguish for people outside the family – and I want them to be KNOWN and called by name by their teachers and peers. Secondly, I think that left together, they would very likely play with each other to the exclusion of others. Which isn’t so bad at this age, but getting to know some other kids would be nice, given they play with each other all day every day the rest of the week! They would also likely goof off and egg each other on in ways that they totally wouldn’t if they were in a group of other kids (like when they tune out and start to dogpile on top of each other in the middle of dance class, for instance, ha ha).
I think we are lucky that due to having a third sibling to break up “the twin thing” and having instigated solo one-on-one outings early on, neither of them is anxious about separating from each other — and they in fact look forward to it at times. So this definitely seems like the right way to go for us! Strangely, every single person (including teachers!) I talk with about this is surprised by our separating them. It is just not on the radar to separate in preschool, I guess?
What’s even cooler about the arrangement at school, is that there are several times during the day where they will likely be able to play together if they want — meeting up in the space between their classes during open studio time or on the playground at recess. Perfect! I really can’t wait to see what happens! I also, admittedly, relish the few hours a week where ALL the girls will be in school, and I will have some time to myself for the first time in at least 3.5 years. Oh, my, what will I do?
What are your thoughts on preschool? Parents of multiples — what were/are your thoughts or experiences with placing in the same classrooms or separate classrooms? Any tips for us for the start of the year? See you all back here next Monday for more reflections on twin parenthood!