Saturday, May 23, 2015

17 Tactics to Prepare You for Raising Twin Toddlers

When I was taking care of newborn twins, I thought life was rough: double nursing, double diaper duty, double shots of espresso to mitigate the effects of double sleep deprivation. (Of course, the coffee came into play after I stopped breastfeeding. I'm pretty sure there's a mathematical equation of motherhood that goes something like this: x + y = z, where x is a set of twins, y is caffeine, and z is the strong desire to propel oneself off of the roof of a Babies 'R' Us. But, per my usual, I've strayed a bit off topic.).

So, back to the double babies thing: I took solace in the hope that once we were beyond the infant stage, things would get easier.

Turns out, I was doubly naive. Now my boys are toddlers, and I’m dealing with twice the tantrums, twice the amount of food on the floor, twice the stress of potty training, and the disadvantage of being double-teamed when they set their devilish little minds on pulling my pants down.

When you have twins, the “terrible twos” takes on a whole new meaning. It’s best to be prepared. If you’re currently expecting twins—or you already have a set on the brink of Toddlerhood—consider employing some of the following strategies in order to increase your chances of survival:

1. Invest in two 30lb bags of dirt. Strap one to your hip and drape the other one around your neck. Attempt to go about your daily activities. When you can no longer take the weight, open the bags and sprinkle the dirt all over your house.

2. Search Ebay for a replica of the medieval torture device known as “The Rack.” Purchase it, and use it at least twice a day to get used to the sensation of your limbs being ripped in opposite directions.

3. Attend a few professional wrestling matches. Pay particular attention to how the ref handles illegal moves. You’ll probably also want to study how he manages to avoid getting kicked, slapped, or hair-pulled during the fight. Actually, you may want to find him after the match and ask if he has any interest in moonlighting as a nanny.

4. Buy a couple of piranhas. Try brushing the teeth of one while keeping the other one from chewing on everything in sight, including your fingers.

5. Master the art of channel flipping. You’ll need mad skill when you’ve got one kid demanding Mickey Mouse while the other one is screaming for Curious George. If you really want to hone your craft, ask your husband to scream incessantly while throwing fruit snacks at you while you practice.

6. Practice opening a shampoo bottle in a torrential downpour. This makes for excellent bath time prep.

7. Learn how to cook two completely different meals at once. Make sure the (juice, sauce, smell) of Meal A doesn’t come anywhere near the components of Meal B. Then:

8. After taking the time to prepare two completely different (yet equally time-consuming) meals, throw them on the floor. You might as well determine the most efficient cleanup method now, while you still have some semblance of your mental faculties about you.

9. Start streaming TLC’s Extreme Couponing on Netflix ASAP. Toddlers can eat A LOT, and even if you’re still nursing (God bless you), your free boob juice won’t be enough to satisfy all of their nutritional needs, or their propensity for overpriced, processed crap. Fifty cents off a bag of fishy crackers can really add up: After your 146,224th bag, you’ll have saved enough to send them both to a four-year public college. AND YOU WILL WANT TO SEND THEM AWAY TO COLLEGE.

(Disclaimer: Okay, so you'll probably miss them when they're gone, but it's hard to think about the big picture while one of them is standing on your kneecap, and the other one is yanking out your arm hairs.)

But at least I have all my arm hair and won't be needing a knee replacement in the foreseeable future.
[via memegenerator]

10. Borrow a couple of puppies from the pound. Give them each an espresso. Then put them together in a tiny, enclosed space, and attempt to get them both to pee in a pot.

11. Revisit one of your favorite childhood activities. Remember monkey in the middle? Find some friends  or, even better, fellow twin- mothers) and get a game going. You’ll be “playing” this a lot with your kids, with basically anything you love and/or need serving as the “ball.” This may include, but is not limited to, the following: your car keys, your cell phone, anything edible, and your sanity.

12. Buy noise-cancelling headphones and try to watch a movie while wearing them. Toddlers are freaking loud. Two toddlers are twice as freaking loud. Subtitles are the new black.

13. Engage the parking brake on your double stroller and push it through a cramped, heavily-populated area. This is excellent practice for when you’ll have to push your kids around the narrow aisles of crowded stores in those double-passenger shopping carts shaped like racecars that they have at places like Home Depot and particularly sadistic grocery stores.

Seriously, they're like a weird, impossible-to-navigate, car-cart hybrid: Nascar, meet Ass-Cart. As in, you're really going to have to put yo' ass into it if you expect to push it through the store fast enough to keep your perishables (and your brain) from rotting.

14. Consider purchasing and following a beginner’s marathon training program. It’s no secret that toddlers have a penchant for mischief. You’ll be running. A hella lot. Little kids are surprisingly fast, and—when there are two of them—they tend to take off in opposite directions.

15. Adopt the pre-hibernation eating habits of bears. You’ll definitely want to fill your nutritional reserves. Trying to eat with one demanding toddler around is hard enough; trying to eat with two demanding toddlers around is laughable.

And my equally demanding twin can smell them, too.
Two noses are greedier than one.
[via memegenerator]

16. Master the “rub your belly while patting your head” challenge. Multitasking isn’t an art when you have twins; it’s a matter of survival. In fact, you should probably figure out how to do this while pushing the type of shopping cart mentioned in #13.

17. Learn how to buckle a car seat with one hand. Put the other hand on the windshield wiper control, gear shift handle, or turn signal lever. While you’re busy strapping one kid into his car seat, the other one will often shimmy up to the driver’s seat and begin playing with anything that can be pushed, pulled, or broken off completely.

If you’re really dedicated to your twin toddler training regimen, you can also try banging your head against a wall until you start seeing double, but I don’t recommend sacrificing any of your brain cells voluntarily.

Although the accompanying migraine would definitely give you a realistic glimpse of how you’ll be feeling for the next couple of years.


  1. As a fellow twin mom (of 18 month olds), this is my favourite twin article on the net to date. You nailed it.

    1. Soildarity, sister. I feel you. Thanks for reading :)