Sometimes the phrase ‘this is why we don’t have nice things’ is said in our house, most of the time in anger, sometimes in disbelief. It started back before our twins were even able to walk. I never knew two kids could be so destructive, and yet here they are, living under our roof. And while most occurrences have been minor, we have had some real doozies on our hands. We try our best to take all the precautions we can but they never fail to amaze us at how destructive twins can really be.
When our twins were at the crawling/walking-along-furniture stage that is really when we started to see the potential for destructiveness. The changing table drawers and wipes containers were never safe to be left out. On a few occasions when I would be distracted, silence would overtake the house and you knew something was about to be trashed. We became masters of folding the wipes back carefully into the container and restacking the diapers back into drawers. Clothes weren’t safe either; I can’t even begin to tell you all the times I walked into their room and saw every piece of clothing they owned in every corner and crevice. As annoying as this could be, sometimes it was easier to just let them go to town on it so I could have those 10 minutes to myself to breathe, or clean elsewhere, or even just drink my coffee in silence.
Now while messes are one thing, and easier to handle, where our twins really excel is at the destruction of property. One of the issues with twins is sometimes not knowing who the actual culprit is but, in our case, 90% of the time it’s usually our son, who has a fondness for sticking items into other items. Two examples that come to mind is the close call of our DVD player and the unfortunate death of our Wii U. Our DVD player was a recent case and while it was old and cheap I was determined to save its life. I took it apart only to find a pink residue which I have concluded was lip gloss and two pennies. After spending 30 minutes with a dozen Q-tips the DVD player lived to see another day! Unfortunately, our Wii U was not so lucky. It managed to swallow a quarter and two pennies and it was enough to end its life prematurely. Our son also holds the record for having to call two professionals in one week to our house. The first to our broken living room window from an ill-placed ball and the second was a plumber to our toilet eating a foam bath letter, or two. I look back now and laugh but receiving those bills at the time were not a joy.
These are all just the tip of the iceberg of the destruction we have seen in the last five years and we evolve constantly in our parenting to try to find ways to avoid as much as we can. One thing we have learned is the importance of putting things away. The Wii U is never left out now and we take the extra five minutes to plug it in each time we want to play it. When we are finished it goes back on a shelf out of reach. Also, we take great care in making sure there are no coins laying around or things that can easily fit into slots. Our twins are five-years-old and as much as I want to believe they are fully capable of understanding right from wrong there are just certain things we don’t take chances on.
There is a saying up in our living room: “Please excuse the mess…the children are making memories”. And that’s really what it all boils down to, because as destructive as our kids are, memories are still being made. Things can be replaced; though sometimes expensive, they are still replaceable. As I sit writing this now, my living room is a minefield of magnetic tiles, Candyland pieces, and other random toys. The new rule is that they can take out as many toys as they want but the living room is to be spotless before lunch is served. As much as they fight me on that every day I know that they will clean it, because darn it, they want lunch.
I sometimes feel like we have the most destructive twins in the world. I could fill a whole page with all the things we have had to throw away, fix, or replace. But like I’ve said, it’s never bad enough to stress too much about. I do leave this one more piece of advice that I stand completely behind: Invest in Magic Erasers. Greatest thing ever! I can’t even begin to count all the times I’ve discovered crayon drawings on the wall, furniture, or windows. Those erasers get crayon off of anything.
Oh great, my son just rammed his toy into the wall… that’s going to leave a mark….
Marlana Zank is a stay-at-home mom to three kids, including an eleven year old daughter and four year old boy/girl twins. Let’s not forgot her amazing husband and Luna, the newest four legged member to the family. Her hobbies include reading, Zumba at the local Y, and a crazy obsession to “Gilmore Girls”, “Parenthood”, and “Supernatural”. Realistic hobbies include laundry, house cleaning, cooking for picky kids, and knowledge of all Disney and Nickelodeon.