Penning your children, for fun and profit   3 comments

We had another “twins make three under three” family join us for dinner this weekend – what a blast! Here was another couple who we didn’t have to apologize constantly to for our chaos. They brought their own chaos. And what great chaos it was. Their three are a few months older than ours, but almost identically spaced – only difference is their twins are boys. However, the group of six had a fantastic time running/sliding/sandbox-ing/exersaucering/drooling/tummy-timing/bouncycastle-ing for a few hours together in our backyard. The weather was hot and humid, and the kids (not surprisingly) demanding, but in between the relentless wiping, nursing, mediating, feeding, bandaid-ing and re-directing, the adults got a chance to hang out.

Our oldest girls are both three this year, so they were in heaven playing princesses and jumping in the Bouncy Castle. The biggest question was how to keep two sets of twins who aren’t yet walking happy while still allowing for some “off the clock” time for the parents. While our girls are happy to play in their “circles of neglect” (AKA exersaucers) for solid chunks now, the boys are at that age where they want to go in several directions at once. And our house and yard really aren’t toddler-proof at all yet (gotta get on that one – thanks to the boys, I know some great places to start!). So to augment all the other toys in the yard, I hauled up our favorite purchase from Bridget’s toddler era, the Superyard.

The Superyard is essentially a big portable gate that bends into an octagonal playpen.And while some have issues with these types of containment items, I say “bring it on!” While I don’t personally use “the yard” for hours at a time, nor do I leave the area when the kids are inside, I think that it is a “must have” for mothers of multiples and older kids. It’s great for separating spaces into “toddler-friendly” and (like most of my house  yard  living space), not yet toddler-friendly. It’s portable, movable, indoor-outdoor, and (mostly) Labrador-proof. Set up outside, with some climb-on toys and the Leap Frog toddler learning table inside, it gave the boys some nice freedom to explore new toys without any adult intervention. And it freed up their mom’s hands (and brain) to hold a refreshing adult beverage and enjoy a little adult time for once. So while we all had a big laugh about that scene in Back To The Future, when Michael J. Fox says to his 3 year old uncle in the playpen, “You better get used to these bars, kid”, you know what they say: “A healthy family starts with a happy momma…”

And so, to all you “free-range”, new age, anti-containment-unit parents out there who feel I’m damaging my kids in some way, I say, “Come on over”. No really. I’d be more than happy to retire the Superyard at parties and get-togethers, knowing that you have personally volunteered to corral and protect our “six under three”! But just in case you get a wee bit strung out trying to keep up with the little buggers, I’ll hold onto the Superyard… you might just want lock yourself in!

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Posted July 5, 2010 by twinsideout in Family matters

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3 responses to “Penning your children, for fun and profit

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  1. Love it Kym! We were very close to getting a super yard when Riley got mobile – he is a little menance and there’s only 1 of him! Nothing wrong with containment units at all.

  2. Love your blog, Kym! Your sense of humour is contagious and I love reading about your challenges and victories with the kids (& Wil)!! I had a playpen for both my girls (not twins!!) and I highly recommend them for little ones and toddlers. It gives them their own safe space to play in while parents can do other things — always in view of the children of course since they shouldn’t ever be left unattended!! I had to retire mine when my daughter learned how to stack her toys in one corner and then climb up the toys and hoist herself over the top and onto the floor, giggling the whole time at how she “tricked mommy”!!

    You are an awesome mom, Kym…and your daughters are so lucky to have a mom like you!

  3. Pingback: Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Our little Twin-adoes have struck again « Twinside Out: When twins make it "three under three"

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