Fri 6 Nov 2009
TwinParenthood.com is pleased to turn over this space today to guest author Ilana Long, mom of now school aged twins Benji and Marina. This story is excerpted with permission from Ilana Long’s humorous multiples parenting book, “The Binky Conspiracy”. The book is available at Amazon.com
Wee-Wee-Wee All the Way Home
“It’s all to do with the training; you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.” -Queen Elizabeth II
Steve and I lay in bed, bickering at midnight, as if this decision would alter the course of our childrens’ lives. “I think it’s time we just go military on ‘em and get it done with,” he asserts.
We are at an impasse about the path to potty training our two-year-old twins, Benjamin and Marina. Steve, a math teacher, wants to take the logical, ordered approach. I want to go with a more creative, freeform method.
To be fair, I have to admit that Steve’s techniques have always been the route to success in our previous child-training efforts: sleep schedules, feeding schedules, consistent discipline. Nonetheless, I feel a need to argue with him, if only to keep in shape for these tactical bouts.
“C’mon, Hon,” I add, “They’ll pick it up at their own pace. I promise they won’t go to their Microsoft interviews still sucking their thumbs and wearing diapers.”
He is unmoved. “Look, let’s try it my way. If they’re not potty trained within the week,” he concedes, “we’ll reassess.” We’re like some kind of miniature parenting focus group, awaiting results from our study.
For each child, I purchase three pairs of outrageously overpriced training underpants, imagining, in my naiveté, that these will last three days. We have waited until the heat of summer in their second year, so that we can let them run around naked on the back deck, and, hopefully, become aware of the fact that they are peeing. We fill up a little wading pool for them to play in, and explain the rules.
“Alright. No peeing in the pool. If you need to pee, go and sit on the potty,” I say, gesturing to the lovely addition to our outdoor patio furniture.
“Okay,” says Benji as he is peeing out a stream into the pool. “Oh, look. I peed!” He is thrilled with this visible action that he is now able to perform with his useful equipment.
Not to be outdone, Marina exclaims, “Ohp.” Bowing her legs, she opens her eyes wide with surprise, “I can pee, too!”
“Run to the potty. Run. Run!” I shout, knowing full well this is a futile effort. The damage is done. Simultaneously, they race to the potty chair in a frenzied game of musical chair, and try to sit on top of each other.
“Me first,” says Benji. And seven seconds later, “Nope. I can’t pee.”
That afternoon, we go through all six pairs of underwear. I race to the store and buy 12 more pairs. They are ridiculously pricey. I consider taking out a second mortgage on the house.
That night, we put the kids to bed in underpants. I know. I know. Well, now I know. You could have told me earlier that most toddlers sleep in diapers, even after they are potty trained during the daytime. Hours later, I’m wide awake, running the dryer on high and breaking out the few training diapers I had too-hastily stashed away in my earlier over-confident delirium.