Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Article on Disney World in Real Family Travel Magazine

     In the March, 2013 issue of Real Family Travel Magazine, an article I wrote was published.  It is entitled

"Taking Young Children to Disney World:  It is All in the Planning."  My wife Lisa did all the

great photography, except for the article's cover photo (I have no idea where they got that from).  In order

to read the magazine you need to follow the link below and then enter the password USA-mar-1303.

Let me know what you think of the article.  If you like the issue, you could subscribe to the magazine either

on the Ipad or the digital version.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Twins School Decision

            I am writing this in order to sort through a decision my wife and I will be making with regards to our twins attending a new school next year.  You see our boy and girl are now attending kindergarten, but not at their home school, due to their daycare situation.  Next year, they will be going to our home public school.  When they entered kindergarten, we requested that they be together, and this was granted, especially considering the fact that we were only going to be in the school for two years. 
            Now they will be in their new school, and even though we had been thinking that we would separate them in grade one, we are starting to ponder whether requesting that they be together for one more year might make the most sense.  At a recent parent-teacher interview, we were told that not only do they not play together, but they have totally different interests and largely different friends in the classroom.  They do often walk in to class together, occasionally even holding each other’s hand, but they are clearly individuals after that.  We have always felt that as twins they are more comfortable when the other one is there, but not dependent on him or her.  Their teacher even volunteered that it might be a good idea for them to be together again next year, since they were going to a new school.         
            If they were still at their current school, we would undoubtedly separate them, because we think they should be able to handle it, and long term we feel that being in separate classrooms is better for them.  It certainly takes away the comparing of them, which is only human nature for the teacher.  But since they have been no trouble and are clearly independent of each other in both school and the classroom, having one more year together in the same classroom while adjusting to a new school (and a full day of class rather than just a morning or afternoon) would be helpful to them. 
            Even if we do make the request, the school administration may turn us down, for whatever reason, valid or not.  But my wife and I need to sort what we want to do first, and I think I am leaning towards one more year together, if possible.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Preparing for Twins: Classes

I highly recommend taking a class or classes, even if you have already had singleton children.  However, finding a class that caters specifically to twins or multiples in your area may be difficult.  Check with your local Parents of Multiples group to find out if they are aware of any such classes.  I think we heard about the class at Becoming Maternity in Toronto from a friend.  We also attended a general child birth class offered at our hospital and facilitated by a retired nurse.  It offered a tour, which was useful and reassuring, but was catered to singleton births with very little information specifically for twins or multiples.  I understand, however, that some hospitals, particularly those specializing in multiple births, do offer a twins or multiples specific class and tour.
The class at Becoming Maternity was excellent.  It was instructed by a practising labour and delivery unit nurse and was three consecutive Saturday afternoons.  There was only one orher couple with Lisa and me in the class, and so the attention and help we got was tremendous.  She told us exactly what to expect during the pregnancy, including what would happen if they were born extremely premature, and then what to expect at the hospital.  This was the first time I was aware that the two babies would almost immediately be given to me, if it was a natural birth.
The other thing that I recall vividly was learning how to swaddle a baby.  I had never even heard of swaddling before but I got pretty good at it.  For those uninitiated like me, swaddling is way of tightly wrapping the baby in a blanket to keep it warm.  A few months after Josh and Abby were born, Lisa told me that they had outgrown swaddling.  I was quite disappointed because it was one aspect of fatherhood I thought I had perfected.  At these classes we learned about many aspects of giving birth and the first few months of raising twins, including the hows and whys of breast feeding, and about doulas.  A doula is a postpartum mother's helper, particularly at night to help the mother get more rest, and/or at the hosptial working as a birthing coach. 
I highly recommend taking such a class if one is available in your hometown area or at the hospital.