Moms and Dads of toddlers… It gets easier. I promise. It really does.
It wasn’t long ago that my boys were extremely busy toddlers. I’m actually surprised we made it out of that stage without any broken bones or stitches. To say my Wesley and Andrew were active and fearless is an understatement.
I remember running into another mother of multiples at our grocery store’s “play center” about a year and a half ago. Her b/g twins were about 6 years old, and mine had just turned 3. We didn’t chat, really, but after we both acknowledged being part of the ‘secret mom of multiples society’, she left me with a simple statement that has stayed with me. Before now, it was something I held on to with hope, and now I still hang onto it because it was the truth. She was so right. So right, that I am sharing it with you now.
Here is what she said to me:
“It gets easier. Just wait until they are four. It gets so much easier.”
Now I completely realize that not all children follow the same developmental timeline, and what a blessing it is to have two children the same age to witness those differences in development, firsthand. That being said, her “4 year” mark was right on target for both of my boys. So right on, that when they were 3 years and 363 days old, I was still in the “hope” phase of her statement. Shortly after they turned four, I repeated her words to myself, and slowly began to notice the changes happening right before my eyes. Amazing.
Toddlers come with their challenges. Everytime we’d be frustrated or overwhelmed with one thing, it would soon pass and we’d be on to a new one. They climbed on EVERYTHING (but mostly on things dangerously high). They were curious of the contents of every single drawer and cupboard. I remember spontaneous back arches and flips making diaper changes difficult and messy. Then it seemed like we had to wrestle our boys into their pajamas on some nights. When we started with ‘timeouts’, our main goal became trying to sit the kids in the designated ‘timeout’ zone for more than ten seconds as opposed to the actual discipline aspect of it all. My boys are really good kids, but at times, it felt like we were losing a battle against a small team of toddlers.
…and then four came.
…and guess what?
IT. GOT. EASIER.
Don’t get me wrong, we still face our fair share of difficulties. Restaurant manners one time. Restaurant rebels the next. Testing limits. Talking back. BUT, there are so many things that have gotten easier in the past 6 months.
The boys dress themselves. This saves us so much time, and allows us to give a direction, secretly knowing the boys will succeed. We are proud and they are proud.
The boys stay near us. For the longest time, I would not enter a store if I was unable to confine the boys to a shopping cart (have you seen those tiny carts at the chain drug stores?). Four year olds still have curiosity, but they are better able to follow simple rules and we are able to shop with the boys trailing right behind us or next to our cart.
They totally get consequences. Last night, Andrew cried over his lost possibility of having a popsicle treat, but I can be sure he knew exactly which of his actions led to his freezie-pop downfall.
Hang in there. The twin toddler phase seemed more difficult to me than the twinfant stage. The term “terrible twos (and threes)” didn’t just invent itself. Hang in there, laugh, lean on friends for support, and enjoy the bright spots amongst the chaos knowing it will all be ok.