Heather’s Top 10: Reasons Potty Training Twins is Really Hard
- It is obvious, but sometimes (as is the case with this) the obvious is well worth stating: When you’re running as fast as possible to make it to the bathroom in time with one of them, the other one is on their own, unsupervised. Enough said.
- When you’re running as fast as possible to make it to the bathroom in time with the other one, you still haven’t had time to re-diaper the one who just went. Bambino without a diaper = accident.
- There are two bambinos/There are twice as many accidents.
- Twice the hand washing. There are several sub-categories here. a) bar soap: they try to eat it and since there are two of them it is twice the guidance/hassle/infuriation. b) pump soap: they desperately want to do it themselves but knock it over, get frustrated when they can’t pump it correctly, and when they can pump it correctly they pump out loads and loads of it all over the bathroom when you’re not monitoring closely enough, and since there are two of them it is twice the guidance/hassle/infuriation. c) water faucets: they insist on operating the water flow themselves, prefer it to be at full speed, and quickly get extraordinarily WET when you’re not monitoring closely enough –often requiring change of clothing, and since there are two of them it is twice the guidance/hassle/infuriation. d) hand-drying/towels: they like to play with the towels so if you’re not monitoring closely enough they attempt to soak the towels with water and suck the water out and basically do anything they can to avoid ending the hand-washing-ritual since they love any excuse to play with water, and since there are two of them it is twice the guidance/hassle/infuriation. e) skin moisturizer: our particular twins need much skin moisturizer so hand cream is necessary after hand washing… see above, “b)” re: pump soap.
- They are so very interested in the process, and like to watch each other pee so very, very much, that it is nearly impossible to keep the pee flow of the one going from flowing onto the one watching (see Exhibit A below).
- Since flushing is, of course, their favorite part, there is arguably more fighting over flushing than potty training is worth.
- Even though we have two identical potty seats they fight over who gets to sit on which potty seat when. And they fight over who gets to sit on the “big potty” when. There is arguably more fighting over who is sitting where when than potty training is worth.
- While they are fighting over who gets to sit on which potty when (and which book we’re going to read while on the potty), they inevitably get distracted. Bambino distracted = accident. There are two bambinos/There are twice as many accidents. Yes, I know, I already said that. It warrants saying twice. Believe me.
- Our reward system: one peanut m&m for each pee pee, one caramel-filled-hershey-kiss for each poopie. The chances of having double success during any given bathroom experience are very slim, thus chances are that only one bambino (not both) is getting a reward-treat for their achievement. Thus one is forced to tolerate having no treat while watching the other eat a treat. At age two watching your twin brother eat candy while you have none = crying meltdown/tantrum. There are two bambinos/There are twice as many crying meltdowns/tantrums.
- Given how OFTEN they actually go (or mistakingly think they need to go), and given how LONG the entire process takes (running to bathroom, taking off clothes & diapers, attempting to go, books, fighting, flushing, fighting, rewards, fighting, hand-washing, cleaning up accidents, re-diapering, re-dressing, re-directing to new activity, cleaning up/dealing with whatever happened with the unsupervised twin while you were in the bathroom with the other…), by the time you’re done with one bambino you usually have to immediately start again with the other. You could easily spend all day and night just going back-and-forth doing this whole process with the twins. THIS is arguably more exhausting than potty training is worth.
Potty training twins — yet another example of something that we constantly ponder around here: How do people do it with triplets??????
Exhibit A. Owen watches Kyle pee in the potty. Note “accident” — pee pee all over Kyle’s leg — that Owen is closely inspecting and Kyle is wiping from his leg with bare hand. What the photo does not show as clearly is that the “accident” was also all over the potty, the stool, the floor, and Owen’s feet.
Exhibit B. Now Kyle watches Owen pee in the potty. Note the concentration on the part of both boys, and that the pee pee is going straight into potty. Success! …But what the photo does not show as clearly is the meltdown/tantrum/fight that ensued immediately following this scene, when Kyle tried and tried but couldn’t pee, then announced “Mama my pee pee turned off,” Owen received his peanut m&m, and Kyle got none.
Note: New P.S. to this post– A few people have emailed me to ask why we don’t just simplify things and have the boys pee sitting down. Here’s my explanation to the most recent email on this subject:
Oh, we did teach them to pee sitting down!!! Believe me! that would make *everything* so much easier. And that’s how most all boy toddlers pee. But… alas… again, in typical K & O fashion, they refuse to go with status quo. They INSIST on peeing standing up “like Papi”… and once they caught on to how Braydon does it (which did not take long — just one trip to the urinal in a public place and it was cemented in their heads)… well, so long then to sitting-down-peeing. Since then neither of them will sit to pee.