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Toilet Training Twins – Mother of all Messes

By Rebecca Robinson - 26th March 2013

That got your attention, didn’t it? When other mums think about my life with twins and say to me, “I can’t imagine it…”, I say, you can, just close your eyes and imagine. You have toilet trained one toddler - caught wees and rushed little bot bots to the loo with the speed of a mother possessed. You have cleaned one too many oopsies off the carpet; wiped up, washed up, and scrubbed up, after months of the never ending messes of babyhood and toddlerhood. You know the feeling of walking around supermarkets with your inner monologue repeating your to-do list, then the question, “do you need to do a wee wee?” interrupting your thoughts every 15 minutes or so. So double it.  Basically, my life is a nervous twitch of wee wee wee wee weeeeeeeeeee. Does anybody need to wee?

I don’t have a time limit and I have never really had a start date for toilet training. It’s been a gradual process over time. The stress isn’t time related. But we have reached the stage of undies and I’m wondering how to manage the heightened state of alertness. My girls have also, as usual, tricked me, by swapping roles of who I thought would be more ready. So I have had to rewrite the script of who is ready for what.

What if the worst case scenario happens? Surely, they won’t both do it at the same time?, you ask.  They do. They have. Believe me.  Both scream, both poo twice on the same outing, both lose their dummies (including the spare you found under the car seat), both want a feed, both fall asleep, both vomit.  At the same time.    Now I carry two jumbo packs of undies, and in the car are four pairs of emergency clothes, beach towels and a very large water bottle...just in case. There is no room for the shopping.

Out and about is once again a game of chance. It is also a very squishy game -  of how many people can fit into a toilet cubicle. The initial excitement of public toilets is still with us, so rushing to the toilet is part of the game, I suspect. And then there is the painful bumping into the toilet roll dispenser as you manoeuvre amongst two giddy little people shuffling about with their undies and trousers around their ankles, or on the floor, bending to roll up damp trouser cuffs and toilet paper rolls mysteriously unravelled to the end, and then the ethical dilemma of what to do with all that paper. As I often mutter about life with twins, it’s quite uncivilised.

While it’s a very tedious game this toilet training, I have to admit, it is quite exciting to hear tinkle-tinkle; that sweet sound of success. The glee and smiles of little ones happy with themselves is contagious. At a café the other day, behind the closed doors of the bathroom, the three of us excitedly hip-hip-hoorayed to the sound of tinkle-tinkle, waved, and sang bye-bye to the wee wees.  When the entire café started applauding too, and I noticed the big open windows above us, I realised I’m still far away from the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have heard more than once that it takes four years to recover from twins. With one year to go, I’m holding my breath for a civilised life. And a nice cup of tea, in a quiet café.

Image by freedigitalphotos.net

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