Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: Juggling Twins

Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years
Christina and I are book people, so naturally we've been looking for books about twins.  The first one we looked at was Juggling Twins, by Meghan Regan-Loomis.

This book was a good starting place for us.  It's not too serious, so it didn't overwhelm us with lists of things we were going to have to do.  It did, however, give us an idea of some of the things we are going to be up against.   The author definitely has her own perspective, which is both good and bad.

Her perspective makes the book more entertaining than one written generically.  For example, she believes in significant weight gain during pregnancy.  She's also against co-bedding, and in favor of using "play yards" (apparently the term "play pen" has been lost to political correctness).  While I may not agree with all of her points of view, it's more interesting to read than wishy-washy advice.

On the other hand, since she has an older child, much of the advice is given from that perspective.  We were panicked by the amount of help she said we'd need in the first month.  Towards the end of that chapter, we read the part that started, "The amount and type of help you need is determined in part by whether or not you have an older child or children."  Although we realize the first month will be tough, the specific prescriptions she gave grew out of her own experiences.  (We're still looking forward to your visit, Mom.)

Now that I look at this book after a month or two, I see more good stuff in it (which baby goods are must haves and which are superfluous).  Still, I value it the most for the sense of perspective.  As such, it might be a good one to borrow from the library, if possible. 

I think the part that sticks with me from the book is the following (for reasons I don't understand, it's presented as part of a poem):
The next time we are shopping for tomatoes
And yet another cart-pushing poet succumbs
To the irrepressible need to proclaim "Double Trouble"
Reading that was the moment where I realized, "Oh, no, people will be coming up to me to say stupid things in a grocery store.  I've structured much of my life around not having to talk to strangers."  In that moment, my twin panic grew by leaps and bounds.

Twinometer: 6/10


  1. I think no matter how much you prepare, so much of this is just really chance. It seems like the first few months can be really different depending on the temperament of the babies and/or any prematurity issues. I think you just have to jump in, cross your fingers, and then as you feel you want or need help, ask for it. Oh, and be sure to have a glass of wine on hand.

    Nothing annoyed us more (while we were expecting or after the girls were born) than all the people who seemed to delight in telling us how crazy we were not to be hiring help or having family move in for several months. I think those are great options, but you have to do what feels right your family -- and don't apologize for it! As best you can sort of turn off the noise of everyone else, well-meaning though they may be. :) The help that really made a difference for us was the day-to-day stuff: having someone run an errand (especially while I couldn't drive), people who were good enough to make us dinners that we could freeze and have on hand, and friends who came over and actually did chores like cleaning dishes/bottles or laundry. It is hard to ask for and/or accept that help, but it really did make a difference.

    Oh, and from someone who definitely has made a career out of avoiding stranger interactions -- brace yourself. Anytime you go out in public you are likely to be bombarded with questions, comments, remembrances, and unsolicited advice. To this end, you can usually get away from these people faster if you are wearing the babies as opposed to pushing them in a stroller. Double strollers seems to act as magnets and people are not afraid to get right in there and try to touch them. If you're together, I highly recommend each of you wearing a baby for quicker getaways!

  2. Touch them?! What is wrong with people?

  3. strangers already talk to william in the grocery store. I am refusing to read anything else now. We are screwed and about to be outnumbered, and we know it. Baby bargains is good. Tells you a lot about what stuff to buy. Sorry, have to go panic.

  4. Jon, I can just imagine how completely uncomfortable you will be when strangers approach you to admire your babies. I think being too busy caring for the kids will help you avoid too much interaction. But don't worry. People make comments to the parents just to avoid being rude. All they really want to do is lock eyes with those adorable infants and chat them up. (Speaking as a mom who can't pass a baby anywhere without saying hello...unless the baby is asleep.) A smile and grunt in response from the adult is sufficient. You never have to answer any question, really. Try to enjoy how amazing your kids are and pray they like attention. BTW, are they fraternal or identical? Does the ultrasound show that? (There, first stupid questions out of the way!)
    Cuz Pam

  5. Am I the only one who can't rid her mind of the image of you 2 literally juggling 2 babies like some scene from a Fellini film?

  6. Pam,

    There are some ways in which the zygosity (cool word meaning whether they are fraternal or identical) can be determined by ultrasound:
    *If the ultrasound reveals they are different genders, then of course they are fraternal.
    *If they are developing in the same sac, they are identical. This condition is fairly dangerous for them.
    *If they have twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, they are identical. (This is also bad.)
    None of these conditions apply to us at this point. (Which doesn't answer your first question, but you told me I didn't have to {-:)