Back 2 the Future: Child-proofing

Griff Thena Phe recliner3 121605
“Child-proofing” is a term that gives me a good hearty chuckle, like “potty trained.” We child-proofed the heck out of our house when we were expecting the twins. Magnetic locks on all the cabinets, with the magnet stored up high. Gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Locks on all the door handles, outlet covers out the wazoo, chemicals stored up high (except personal lubricant)… The kids had the run of the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway, but couldn’t get anywhere else.

That was perfect, until the twins learned to walk.

From: me
Date: 12/20/05 21:09:12
To: NorthernWarrenCountyOhioFreecycle@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Freecycle] ISO baby gates PLEASE!!!

Please, for the love of all that is sacred, if you have a spare baby gate, would you consider giving or loaning it to me?

I have 16-month-old twins and I just cleaned the kitchen trash off the floor for the 9th time today. This is AFTER I taped the lid shut. They just used their twin powers for evil and lifted the lid right off.

We have two gates but they are on the top and bottom of the stairs. I never would have dreamed we’d need to gate them out of every part of the house. Silly me.

So please, I am nearly in tears because they think they are hilarious but I can’t take this anymore! If you have a gate you aren’t using I PROMISE I will return it to you if you can loan it to me. Or maybe I can trade you for something. We just don’t have any $ for gates until at least the new year, and even then… Gates are crazy-expensive.

Thank you in advance!

[Note: The twins thinking they are hilarious frequently coincides with me nearly being in tears. That hasn’t changed in the last four years.]

This post resulted in an intimidating fencing system cobbled together from various semi-broken baby gates. On the plus side, the boys were finally confined to the living room and hallway and were no longer free to roam and plunder the garbage. Sadly, my 3-year-old had to be able to predict her need to urinate in enough time to press the release button – which only sometimes worked – on the hall gate blocking the babies from the kitchen/dining room/bathroom. And my blog is named “Diagnosis: Urine,” so we all know how that worked out for me.

Any good “child-proofing” stories in your past?

Jen is the married work-from-home mother of 7-year-old Miss A, 5-year-old boys G and P, and 3-year-old Haney Jane. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine.

Potty training….times two

My boy/girl twins, Danny & Abigail, are now 27 months old.

Random cute photo---because, really, who wants photos of kids on potties to go along with this topic?

Random cute photo---because, really, who wants photos of kids on potties to go along with this topic?

I know, no one really wants to talk about poop any more than, as moms of two or more little kiddos, we already do. And yet, doesn’t it take up so much of our day? Instead of giving out information or talking about what worked for us, I’m going to solicit you more experienced, wiser moms out there of older, diaper-less twins.

My guys are past two and getting older and more mature every day. We have been talking about the potty for months and have several books that talk about potties. (My husband was horrified when he read one for the first time. Does it have to SHOW the pee on the floor?! Really?! And talk about it incessantly?!). Anyway, we bought them each a potty—bright pink, because I’m not an idiot—I’m going to buy two identical potties–and pink was on sale. Hey, when you’re buying two, $10 off is a nice savings. I can use it to fund my Starbucks habit….

Abigail at the beach

Abigail at the beach

So, we sit on the potty each night, the kids help me flush. They’d like to help wipe too, but hey, even a mom of toddlers has boundaries somewhere. But they sit on the potty, wipe, flush….and are happy to do it. Except, no pee. We’ve been doing this for a while now and are going no where. And, I feel like we could stay here for a while. I know, I know…they may not be ready. But I’d like to give them the chance to show me that. So, I’m asking you moms out there for ideas. What are tips you wish you knew when you were potty-training your twins or singletons? What do you wish you didn’t do? Did do? Help a mom out here!

Potty Training, x2

Last week, Maddie (age 2.25) got up from her nap and announced that she was going to “make wee-wee on the big girl potty.” Which she did. And with the exception of naps and nightttime, she’s been wearing underwear and using the potty ever since. One accident. That’s it. Part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. It can’t be that easy, can it?

No, it can’t. The joy of having twins is that Maddie is only the first (and clearly the easiest) part of the potty training battle. Riley awaits. Throughout their whole short lives, Maddie and Riley have been extremely close on developmental milestones. They sat up, crawled, and walked within days of each other. Their verbal ability is nearly identical. If Riley climbs something new at the park, Maddie is right behind him. Even physically, they’ve always been within a pound of each other in weight and 1/4 in. of each other in height. What one does, the other does, too.

Potty training seems to be the end of their like-minded behavior. I have never seen Riley less interested in something in his whole life. The Baby Bjorn potty has taken up permanent residence in our playroom; Riley has yet to sit on it. There is a stepstool next to the toilet so that Maddie can climb up and sit on the potty ring if she chooses; Riley hasn’t tried that, either. My mom was visiting over the weekend and she brought underwear for both of them; “I wear PANTIES like MAMA!” crowed Maddie.* Riley took one look and walked the other way.

To be honest, I don’t care. One potty trained is better than none, and I don’t want to push Riley if he’s not ready. At least not yet. He’s barely two! So I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. It’s more that I’m fascinated by this first instance of Riley’s total lack of interest in Maddie doing something that he is not. It’s like he hasn’t even noticed! Normally she can’t even walk into the other room without him scampering off after her.

So I’m curious: for other readers with multiples, have your twins hit developmental milestones at the same time? Do you feel like they push each other to learn and try new things, or do they seem to follow separate paths?

*Maddie has become fascinated by undergarments of all kinds recently. I was getting dressed the other morning and she said as I put on my bra, “This mama’s boobie thingie. I want a boobie thingie!” I told her that there was no rush on that.

Start your engines!

Or rather, stop your engines, sit down, and empty those gas tanks. At Casa Case, we have entered a new phase – potty training readiness. And as with anything else with twins, this milestone seems to bring with it more stuff!

We are now the proud owners of:

* 4 Bjorn potty chairs - 2 for upstairs and 2 for downstairs. We chose the same color throughout the house so there would be no fighting over which potty to use.
* 24 pairs of Thomas underwear – again, all the same.
* 2 potty books we read together every night.
* 2 Bjorn potty seats – for when they want to sit on the big seat.
* 1/2 bag of M&Ms – not sure where half the bag went so we’ve only had a few successful potty trips. Need to check with my husband Jon about that one.
* Stickers, sticker charts, other rewards.
* Lots of cleaning supplies, including carpet cleaner. Lots and lots.

After research and reading, Jon and I decided to get conversations started about potties going shortly after our boys turned 2. When the boys transitioned to the 2s room at day care, they started sitting on potties every day so it was a natural transition to start talking about potties at home. For now, our plan is to get the boys desensitized to potties by having them sit on them on a regular basis.

Since both Jon and I work outside the home, our next long weekend is Thanksgiving. And we’ll both be home an entire week at Christmas. We might be slightly insane but our plan is to have THE BIG EVENT happen over Thanksgiving, with a backup plan to train over Christmas week. Happy holidays to us!

Here’s how you can help… give us advice on potty training twins!  Should we train them together? Separate? Plan to train together and if it doesn’t go well, change direction? Are we missing any necessary items? What method worked for you? Things to avoid?

If all goes well, I hope to post a “What We Learned Potty Training Twins” follow-up post before the end of the year!

Potty Pride Before a Fall…

The early days with my twins admittedly are somewhat blurry, but the days of plural potty training? Not as hazy as I might like! Sometime ago, I composed a diatribe (more of a catharsis really!) on our experience training our twins…the upshot of which, in trying to focus on the upbeat, I declared something along the lines of “our twosome have yet to have an out-of-house accident.” Shortly thereafter, I’d need to retract those words. But as it is with all things twin parenting, keeping your humor makes even the “less pleasant” experiences with twins doubly amusing. Here’s the confessional tale — in the interest of integrity, the epilogue to the Lage family potty training story:As we sat savoring our Chic-Fil-A nuggets in the Food Court, a somewhat harried young mom approached us, “Is your daughter still in diapers?”Judging from her thinly-veiled expresssion of panic, I could tell this wasn’t just a curious inquiry from a mother wondering when to start potty-training her child. A quick glance to her stroller-bound daughter revealed the gleeful countenance of a girl who in all likelihood was joyfully, but precariously. wearing no undergarments.

With sincere regret, but not very subtly-tinged pride I responded, “Oh, I am so sorry! They are both potty-trained.” In efforts to offer the limited assistance I could, considering my twins’ joint triumph over diaper-manufacturing magnates, I directed her to the in-mall, soft playground; where surely, a mother of a similarly-sized child could provide the necessary nappy.

I then returned my attentions to my twosome, “Didn’t that make you feel good to know you don’t need diapers anymore?”

“Yes, Mommy, “ chirped my son, providing the the answer he clearly knew was expected.

The waffle fries had my daughter’s total attention. She emitted a half-hearted, “Mmm-hmm.”

That night, as we tucked everyone in and said our prayers, we (mostly me) voiced our thankfulness for all we’ve learned (namely, how to use the potty) and the example we can set for other kids preparing to tread the same path.

3:00am.
“M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-y!”

Upon entering the lava-lamp lit nursery, I could see Sarah standing in the very corner of her tented crib. Training panties, Tinkerbell nightgown, sheet and fleecy blanket all drenched in a daughter-described (and dramatically minimized), “Little accident.”

Knowing she is the latter stages of the potty-training process, these late-night, deep-sleep accidents are not totally unexpected, or overly corrected.

As I groggily stripped the bed and restocked it with sleep-inducing supplies, I made a mental note to purchase a new vinyl protective cover the next day, as hers had a mattress jeopardizing rip.

Babies-R-Us (the only location in town that stocks vinyl crib mattress covers) continues to be an entertaining destination, despite the fact our twosome can hardly be considered “babies” anymore. Of course the 50-cent Big Bird jet plane ride at the store’s entrance serves as a great motivator for appropriate in-store behavior.

We hadn’t been shopping ten minutes when Darren erupted with an urgent, “POTTY, MOMMY!!!”

Pushing the in-line double stroller pottyward, with the adrenaline-charged speed of an Olympian luge-launcher, I raced
against the biology of boy parts.

I lost.

Stroller seat? Saturated.

Pants? Puddled.

Mom’s patience? Over-taxed.

Wedging the stroller so that it kept the stall door ajar, allowing me arms-length access and sightline to the strapped-in and highly-amused Sarah, off came Darren’s shoes, socks, pants and wringable Thomas the Tank Engine undies.

Wisely, I continue to carry dry clothes for instances such as these.

Woefully, I neglected to pack a plastic bag in which to place any urine-dripping duds.

Into our thermal waterproof lunchbag they went. Delicious.

Twenty-four hours had yet to elapse since my pride-inflated declaration of the diaper’s demise in our twin-blessed household.

Alas, our journey to plural potty prowess continues….

Suppose the moral of this story is, if you see the three of us out
eating Food Court cuisine, please…no personal questions. Just ask
us how to get to the mall playground.

[Here's hoping my now-kindergarteners' pals don't use Google yet...]