Well the last ten days have been absolutely exhausting. We’ve crossed another milestone with the twins. The milestone that means, for the first time in nearly seven years, I no longer have nappies to change during the day. Hopefully anyway (wink, wink).
Wednesday began as any other day; I had just about managed to get the big two off to school on time and I was starting the morning rush clean up. I certainly hadn’t planned a mid week start on the potty training front. In fact I had planned to crack it the week after the kids go back to school in November. My two little Tazmanian devils had different ideas though!
The previous night I had decided to start researching tips on potty training twins. I’m a big believer in following your own instincts but I felt it wouldn’t hurt to read up as I was entering unfamiliar territory. As a result of said research, I decided to do an introduction to potty training. I.e. familiarise twins with potty, decorate potty and introduce the concept that wees and poos go on there.
N.B. I read so many articles that were titled ‘Potty Training in Three Days’. These unrealistic deadlines set us poor Mammies up for a fall. It takes as long as it takes.
I imagined a limited and intermittent interest would ensue. How wrong was I! The twins were so excited to get started. Once they’d sufficiently plastered their miniature thrones with whatever stickers I could get my hands on, they wanted to try them out. Twin One said, “Mammy, I want to do a wee wee” and he did! Twin Two followed suit and I was absolutely flabbergasted.
They carried on amazing me with their readiness throughout the day. Including, doing number two on the potty. I actually cried happy tears when this happened.
The hardest part for me, physically, was that I kept the TV switched off for three days. I didn’t want it to distract them from the task at hand. So, whereas I could let them watch some TV whilst I did household jobs or rested, I had to keep them entertained and occupied the whole time (that makes me sound awful). I have spent every day celebrating successes and uttering the chant “wee wees go on the potty, poo poos go on the potty”. My back and hips were agony each evening.
With regard to the TV cessation though, I have absolutely loved having a break from it and just really spending uninterrupted quality time with my children. It’s made me evaluate how much TV they watch and I definitely want to lessen their viewing time going forward.
Day four was much more stressful because we got the twins to start wearing pants and joggers, since they had spent the first three days 'free'. This was something I hadn’t done with my other two but it definitely made the twins more aware of the sensation (and kept the mountain of laundry at bay). Anyway, I digress, they had lots of number ones and number twos but none of them on the potty.
Needless to say, we went back to them going commando on day five and carried on that way for another two days. We spent those two days talking to them about wearing pants and then took the plunge again, with more success this time. They are becoming very independent with it too, which is such a relief. They still have the odd accident but are definitely getting there. We’re even going to venture outdoors tomorrow.
I'm taking this much more slowly than I did with Dino Boy. I still feel like I rushed him to potty train and he just didn’t have a chance with how highly strung and anxious I was at the time. I had no patience with the process. He was constantly faced with my looks and comments of disapproval whenever he had an accident. I wish I could do it again with him, it’s definitely one of my motherhood regrets.
That said, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot and I know that holding on to those feelings of shame and inadequacy aren’t going to help me with the twins. I just have to accept that I am on a journey as a mother and I don’t always get it right.
Just another slice!