Home Sweet Home

We just returned from a 10-day east coast vacation. Did I actually say “vacation”? Traveling with two toddlers was not necessarily relaxing. Two big challenges for me were the 5 hour flights between Los Angles and the East Coast(we flew in Newark, elise-lilli-playground1NJ and flew out of Washington D.C.) and getting them to sleep at night in an environment different from home. Upon our return home they seemed happy being able to sleep in their own beds. This is not to say that we didn’t have fun while traveling – we got to meet and spend quality time with my parents, my husband’s relatives, and our friends. We explored New York and Washington D.C. Our sons enjoyed the experiences of riding planes, and various types of trains and subways. Despite the full schedule, time difference and weather changes, no one got seriously sick during our trip. I wouldn’t want to take another trip like this for a long time, but it was well worth it. The biggest reward for me was that I was able to be with my kids straight for 10 days. As tiring as it was, it was also fun to watch them from the moment they wake up till they fall asleep in their “pack ‘n play” (temporary bed). I could see the sibling dynamics first hand for extended period of time, which I don’t get to do unless we are on vacation.

As I wrote before, my two sons are very close in age, which bring on certain challenges. For example, my older one is old enough to understand that he shouldn’t hit someone or throw toys, but the younger one is still working on mastering those rules. The younger one still chooses to hit or throw toys sometimes, and that tempts the older one to do the same. I often wonder if it would have been easier if they were twins. Prior to having my first child, I had dreams about having twins. I thought it would be an efficient way to have two kids in one delivery, and get it over with. It didn’t happen for me so I got the next best thing: two children only 16 months apart. I realize that it is highly debatable if it really is the next best thing. I wonder which is more “challenging”: to have twins or two children close-in-age. Apparently, whether you have a set of boys or girls, or one of each, plays a big part, according to some parents I have met. Also, whether you have other siblings besides the twins adds a complexity to the equation as well. Needless to say, each child is different and their temperament will make it “easy” or “challenging” for the parents or caregiver to handle multiple kids in certain situations. Whatever the case may be, I will not fully know or understand what it takes to be a parent to the multiples. However, I believe that the Redirecting Children’s Behavior(RCB)’s philosophy will still be highly effective in handling twins or multiples, because RCB does not claim that your child will change completely and start “behaving better” – but rather, parents with RCB skill sets will be able to step back and figure out the ways to redirect them more effectively. I am invited to speak to a group of mothers with multiples this coming week in San Jose, CA. The group is called Gemini Crickets Parents of Multiples of Silicon Valley. You can read more about the meeting on their blog post. I’ll do a workshop on “Turning Terrible Twos into Terrific Twos” and “Handling Sibling Rivalry”, and report back how the mothers of the multiples respond to the idea of the RCB philosophy.

5 comments on “Home Sweet Home

  1. Welcome back to the left coast!

    Sounds like you had good control of the situation, for the most part. 🙂

    I can only imagine the project it would’ve been hauling a couple ‘energy balls’ across the continent.

    But that’s what family vacations are all about aren’t they? 🙂

  2. Henry,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes…we had to tell ourselves that we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to take this trip. Eating at restaurants was challenging as well. My parents told us later that they couldn’t relax and enjoy the meals as they were worried that our kids would bring down the house 🙂 But my father also told me that these are the best times. Someday we look back and laugh 🙂

  3. Anytime you want to borrow twins to test your theory, I have a set to loan you! P.S. There are almost 50 parents of multiples coming to here you speak! WOW!

  4. Ahhh, the joy of air travel with kids… Not only do we parents have to make sure that our kids stay safe and comfortable in a very dry and confined space, but we also need to consider the discomfort of other passengers when our kids can’t help making some noises. I can safely say I don’t miss those days of flying with small children.

    After I had my first child, I couldn’t conceive of having another for a several years. As a result, my children are 6 years apart. So when I watch shows like “Jon & Kate plus 8”, it’s mind blowing to put it mildly. It makes me feel like a wimp. LOL

    I know most parents adjust to different circumstances and situations as need arises, but I always learn something new from veteran parents with grown kids who’s situation has been different from mine. There may not be any “one right way” to raise kids for everyone even if situations are similar, but knowing many different options couldn’t hurt. Life seems to be about continuous learning whether it’s raising yourself or raising your children.

    Welcome home, and good luck with the speech coming up this week!

  5. Do you have time for coffee while you’re here in SJ this week? Would love to see you!

    Now that mine are 4.5 & 6, traveling has gotten much, much easier! Any time we get a comment about how brave I am to travel alone with them, my response is “it’s so much easier now than when they were toddlers!” Good for you for tackling the big vacation – as long as your expectations are set appropriately it can be a lot of fun!

    Hope your speech goes well! xoxo