I shared my husband’s email upon spending 3 days alone with the boys while potty training and now because of the gorgeous gift of finding humor in hindsight, I can share my past month in potty training twins. It has taken that long for my ego to heal.
I recently wrote a post on how the boys have taught me to have patience in unexpected ways. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I laugh smugly at that naive girl. How ever-wordly I thought myself, a true student of self-improvement. What an idiot. Had I any idea what lay down the road I wouldn’t have foolishly posted that blog. You see I am coming out of that deep dark abyss called potty training twins and with that comes a serious new understanding of what it means to have tolerance, patience and a sense of self-worth.
All the signs were there, every book, blog, quiz on potty training, my guys were a big YES to “does your child show these signs?” It was clear to me that they were ready and so was I. That fact that I was so confident in the ease in which they would be potty trained, made it all the more difficult to digest what was really going on in my house. Not only did they not take to it immediately, they suddenly had no interest in letting me know when they had to pee, peeing on the potty or stopping themselves from stomping around in the puddles at their feet as if they were at a city splash pad. On top of the chaos of trying to catch 2 beings before, during and after they pee, it became an all you can eat/drink buffet for our dog. And I almost didn’t admit that to the world because I am mortified for him. But he did it so he has to own it.
I have never used so many towels in such a short amount of time. The laundry was on a constant spin cycle. One would pee all over the floor in one room while the other would pee all over a different room at the same time. It was a race between myself and our dog to see who would get to it first to clean it up.
This went on for days. I upped the ante with the rewards, bought super exciting underwear, let them watch way more TV than they had every seen, let them eat meals on the potty while watching tv and still any signs of progressions were so minute. They would sit on that toilet for 20 minutes with nothing, and they second they stood up they would go all over the floor!! I have never in my life felt so frustrated, lost and alone, because I had basically been locked in our house for over 2 weeks with them and had forgotten what real human contact was like. In my mind I angrily confronted my friends who told me no diapers was the best. Was it?? It was so easy using diapers. I could go places, it didn’t take 3 hours to get out of the house, my floors were cleaner, I was cleaner. The dog wasn’t constantly walking around feeling ashamed (I might have projected that one, but he should have been), life was so wonderful pre-potty training.
Every book I read, person I spoke too, article I referenced said “don’t get frustrated with them, don’t make them feel bad about it.” Um, but what about me, it does something to your sense of self when you have spent 2 weeks mopping up piss and shit all day. I found myself trying to reason with them. Trying to instill some sense of logic knowing full well that a 23 month old has neither of the two but God Damn I tried. It seemed like such a simple concept to me – it feels better to not be covered in urine than to be covered in urine. However, no matter what I said to them…crickets. One of them would often pee in the laundry room. Literally get up from playing, walk 2 rooms away from the potty chair that was right near them and pee on the floor of the laundry room. How does that make sense?? Maybe he thought peeing closest to the washing machine was helpful for me seeing how I spent most of my day in that room? Nice gesture but a nicer gesture would have been to just go in the chair!
But, as everyone says, it finally did start clicking…with one of them. Which made it almost worse. I am the first to tell people you shouldn’t compare twins but inevitably you will. I wasn’t even ashamed to state loudly -“look your brother gets a chocolate chip for going in the potty, don’t you wish you had one?” I feel bad about that now but when you are in the trenches you sometimes do regrettable things to survive. Life went on that way for about another week, during which my husband fell in a puddle of piss. So in some ways it was worth it because I am still laughing about that one.
And then one day my 2nd trainee just started going in the potty chair. Not for me of course, but the woman who takes care of them one day a week. He deemed her worthier than I of using the potty on a consistent basis. But from that point on he started using the potty chair and is now way more accepting of his new lifestyle than his brother. I didn’t even care that after weeks of giving over my mind, body and soul to this endeavor that he chose someone else to start his new life with, we had made it!
Now a month later we are trained. Gone are the diapers and gone is the rift in our friendship. The dog has regained some self-esteem and I have mentally accepted my friends back in my life who told me no diapers was better. They were right!
We still have some issues with going in public but don’t we all? Potty training is not for the faint of heart, especially training two at the same time. It almost killed me, but like everything else with raising twins it passes, life is better and you grow from it.
You can check out some of my potty training twins tips at Twin Love Concierge