I’ll admit it–my wife and I have been putting off potty training. It’s not that we’re against the idea–we’re pretty psyched about not having to spend literally $100 a month on Costco-sized diapers for two little asses and are over the whole diaper-changing/alligator-wrestling ordeal. It’s just that we have a psychotically busy April and are just trying to make it through the month before we hit the potties hard. In preparation for this next chapter of parenthood, I’ve enlisted the help of Kristin Myers, a veteran mother of twins who has recently featured me on her blog and just released a new book titled Twin Turbulence. (Guess what it’s about!) In this guest post, she offers tips to aspiring parents of potty-trained twins which stand to benefit those of us about to enter the cold tile floor battlefield. Enjoy!
The Top 10 Most Unglamorous Tips for Potty Training Twins
1. Set a timer to remind yourself to put them on the potty. A potty-trained parent is a potty-trained set of twins. Be prepared: You will become very familiar with the hard surface of your bathroom floor as you will the excretory magic to happen with your parental super powers. Do not be above bribery. M & M’s are great incentives. So are Post Potty Parties – obnoxious songs and dances to appropriately celebrate Number 1 or Number 2 after they occur, of course. (A premature party can startle them mid-stream, either creating quite a mess or the need to start all over.)
2. Do not be fooled by anatomy. Both boys and girls need help learning how to squirt down! You do not want to learn this the hard way while sitting on the floor in front of them. Just saying…
3. You’ll want to be present as the action is happening. Otherwise they’ll “help” each other wipe and clean up. This rarely ends well. Imagine two 2-year-olds trying to dump the contents of the kid potty into the grown-up potty. Not good. In addition, twins can exhaust a roll of toilet paper faster than a puppy dragging the roll through the house. And when they’re done? It’s great fun to stuff it all in the toilet to see just how many flushes (or floods) it will take to make it disappear!
4. When at home, twin bare-bottoms become more commonplace than pants. You don’t mean for this to happen, but it does. Grandparents will more than likely be offended and fight the uphill battle during visits. Just ignore them.
5. If you let your boy pee on a tree even once, I guarantee your daughter will feel the need to demonstrate her vertical stream as well when you least expect it. Like in the park. On the great big tree in front of all your friends. It’s a very uncomfortable moment. Trust me.
6. Eat before you go out to eat. The majority of your time at a restaurant will be spent in the bathroom with one twin or another. Cuz when they gotta go – they gotta go!
7. Public restrooms. If you’re a germaphobe – get over it right now. Your twins will touch every surface deemed untouchable in a bathroom stall. Pitfall to look out for with Mommy: The sanitary napkin disposal lid is way too much fun to open and close! Pitfall with Daddy: Everything! (Daddies: Just knock before entering the ladies room. Men’s rooms and twins are a nightmare. My germaphobe of a husband has never been the same since the time he discovered our twins holding and closely inspecting the fun neon-colored urinal deodorizer.)
8. When in a jam, loop the handles of a plastic grocery bag over the buckles of their carseats and spread the bag underneath their bottoms – hopefully they’re wearing long pants. If you know they might fall asleep on the car ride home, this can be a lifesaver.
9. Port-A-Potties: Every twin parent’s worst nightmare. I cringe at the thought. If the only alternative is Mother Nature – pick a grassy hill and instruct them to sit right down on their bare bottoms. The stream naturally trickles down and away. (Not my proudest moment. At another park. In front of all my friends.)
10. Derived from the out-door experiences listed above: Never leave the house without a portable potty in the back of your car. Just make sure that when you close the victorious Ziploc bag, yellow and blue really do make green! Another horrible lesson to learn the hard way. Thank God we don’t have that van anymore.
Best of luck! Here’s to hoping you have nothing to add to this Tip List when your twins are diaper free!
About the Author
Kristin Myers is a stay-at-home mother of three (two of which are twins), wife to a husband who kicked cancer’s ass, and the author of the recently-released memoir Twin Turbulence. The story starts in 2004 when journaling became her outlet. This is not a handbook – it’s a labor of love. While reading you will nod, laugh and empathize with Kristin as a woman, as a parent, as a wife, as the mother of twins (which is a completely different ballgame) and as part of a team facing a cancer diagnosis.These are the honest reactions to the constant, unexpected nature of life that was magnified by twins. The trials and errors, the ups and downs, and the in-betweens. This is the truth of living through the rough parts while searching for any and all silver linings.
. . .
Thanks to Kristin for the badass advice and for being a fantastic Twinfamy Lobbyist on the Internets. Please take a gander at her book and purchase it if you so choose. It’s available in paperback and Kindle edition, and she’s so super nice that she’d probably read it to you aloud if you asked politely enough.
Also, if anyone else has any potty training tips or helpful links–especially in training twins–feel free to leave them in the comments below (I have a feeling we’ll need all the help we can get).
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If not, perhaps you’d be more comfortable peeing on a tree.