We made a trip to the Oregon Zoo here in Portland on Sunday. Of course, it rained a lot, but we still had a great time.
Kyle and I talked awhile back about giving the kids time apart. He would take one and I would take the other, and we'd go do separate activities. We partly wanted to do this to give them each an opportunity to bond with each parent without competition, but mostly to give them a sense of self that isn't linked with their twin. I've heard from other twin parents that their children had a hard time carving out their own identities - they are always labeled as a "twin." I can't imagine how that must be!
Still, even though I fully understand the benefits of separating the kids from time to time, I also had a very hard time making it happen. I'm not sure why, except that it was out of the norm for us (we always do everything as a family when I'm home!), and while I looked forward to the opportunity to spend time alone with each kid, part of me still felt like I was taking mommy-time from the other one. Kyle and I talked about it for awhile until we decided on a compromise. We would all four go to the zoo, but each parent/child pair would take a different path, then loop around and meet at the primates. This first time, I took Roman and Kyle took Giovanna.
Once at the spot where the path split, my anxiety raised again. I braced myself for Giovanna crying for me as Roman and I walked away, or Roman wanting his daddy. But we all said "bye bye" and the kids were off in their separate directions - no problems at all! Roman and I went to look at the penguins, sea lions, polar bears, seals, fish, turtles, ocelots, and tigers. Kyle and Giovanna went up to the mountain animals. Ro was extremely excited to see the seals and sea lions. A little girl, about four or so, was there also, and was all excited with him. All of the exhibits were very fun, but the best was the orangutans. They were right by the glass, and one woke up and turned his head toward Roman a few times. He giggled and gasped and grabbed my leg, his dimples getting quite a workout. Giovanna had a great time, too, of course!
We all met back up as the kids were falling asleep on their feet (we made them walk the whole way!). We fed them a snack and headed home for a nice long nap. Kyle and I watched "The Other Boleyn Girl" which was actually pretty good.
It was a very successful outing, and easier than I had anticipated. Next time, I'll take Boogie and Kyle will take Ro. We may go to the aquarium, or one of us will go to the Children's Museum and the other may stay home. Then we'll switch again!
Daddy trying to show the kids the bear was ok:
Finally got the kids to go near the bear:
I guess the smaller bear was less scary!
Riding the wood goat:
Oooooo - otters!
With the faux penguins:
For more pics: http://s132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/Brieshon/Year%202/2008-12-08/?start=all