If you are daring enough to post pictures of your twin toddlers on social media – you will no longer get invited anywhere. If you are brave enough to post pictures of your twins’ (mis)adventures – and why not, they’re funny, mostly cute, and always good for a laugh – just know that slowly, the invitations will stop coming. But here’s the thing: You also will be glad about that. The more war stories you share about twin toddlers, the more people who don’t have twins will start to look at you funny and back away. And for a few years, it’s actually easier to go nowhere, so the lack of invitations will be a relief, honestly.
Toddlers are the worst and also the cutest; this is without a doubt my most favorite stage of twindom. The tantrums, the lack of judgment and logic, the complete lack of fear of water and lack of understanding that roads are for cars. This is slightly manageable when you have one toddler, who you can just haul off in a different direction. But twins. You cannot go anywhere without a double meltdown at the same time while they both run in opposite directions, now that they’re both able to run. In our house, all of our bookshelves face the wall. We had to cut branches off the tree by our drive way to keep my son from climbing it while I got my daughter out of the car. The first floor of our house looks like a daycare because when you have two it’s really the safest, sanity-keeping thing you can do for everyone.
And after sharing these stories, at mom’s nights out and on social media, you’ll realize slowly that the invitations have stopped coming – and you’ll actually be kind of relieved. It is much easier to contain them in your baby-proofed to the max (including an indoor fence) home. There are no picture frames lower than five feet off the ground in our house. Small tables (end tables, coffee tables, accent tables, bedside tables) are all in the attic. Every single piece of sporting equipment is locked away in the laundry room. All art supplies (glue, scissors, crayons, and paint) are behind locked cabinets or gates. My big kids dance in front of the bathroom doors as I unlock them for a quick use. This is an imperative in our home after the toilet and hairbrush incident.
Twin Toddlers Get You Invited Nowhere – And That’s Okay!
Twins give you an easy out. The lack of invitations means you don’t have to summon your courage to say no or feel like you are being rude by declining. Kind as they are, most folks don’t understand how difficult it is to go places with two toddlers. And when they see the orange marker decoration your toddlers added to your white chair, they’ll think twice about having you over to their home with all the new living room furniture. I don’t blame them, and I’m ok with that. I don’t want my kid to color on your furniture any more than I wanted him coloring on mine. And it’s going to be really hard for me to hold a decent conversation with you anyway when one twin disappears up your stairs and I have less than a second to keep him from climbing up your kid’s bunk bed and jumping off the top bunk.
When I have someone over or I am going somewhere with the twins, I constantly have one eye on both of them. I rarely finish a sentence, let alone a whole conversation. I hope people don’t think I’m rude, but if either of them are out of my sight at this stage for longer than a minute, you can bet one is in the street. I have never taken the twins to a birthday party by myself because it takes two people to keep an eye on them at this stage, especially with many other small children around. And I don’t even think my twins are necessarily badly behaved. I have two older singletons, so I generally get the toddler phase. It’s just that this time around, there are two of them, and no matter how amazing a mom you are, you cannot be in two places at once and toddlers can’t help being toddlers.
There is a blessing in being mostly homebound for the next two years. We have learned to keep our kids busy in the backyard with the baby pool and sprinkler, swing set, and popsicles. We’ve given up on the living room and let them use the couch cushions as landing pads. We do chalk in the driveway and baseball and basketball (there's always enough for teams when you have four kids). We plant seeds and watch them grow, have dance performances, do plenty of art projects (supervised and in the rec room only), watch movies, go on walks, collect rocks, and throw water balloons. Being at home is not only easier for now, but it is also giving us a lot of time to really enjoy these precious years as our last babies grow into “big” kids. Having twin toddlers can be really hard, but it is also absolutely amazing to watch them start to talk to each other, give hugs, comfort each other and see them to really begin to be best friends.
Meg Sacks is the mother of four – including boy-girl twins. She is an office mama with 18 years of corporate communications experience and is also a contributor to Jacksonville Moms Blog and the MOPs International blog. She loves writing about her kids and learning over and over again how to be a mom – especially to twins!