They won't drive me potty

22:29, Aug 19 2012

Toilet-training twins. Terrifying? Totally.

The process of toilet-training my first child was an epic disaster. We tried to fit it into a Christmas break when he wasn't at daycare. Having a time limit made it stressful, and raised his stubbornness hackles. Of all the things I would like to have done differently with him, toilet-training would top the list. It became a weapon in his arsenal, where if we told him off for something, his response was to stand up, look us in the eye, and deliberately pee on the floor.  

ARRRGH. I feel angrily guilty to remember it.

So I've been dreading toilet-training the twins for a long time. In fact, last night I had a nightmare about it, of the full-on "wake up terrified and sweaty" kind. I dreamed that my boy twin, Finn, had a "whoops" on the school bus, in front of my Form One art teacher. It turns out that she is my not-so-subtle subconscious representation of shame and inadequacy (long story).

It's ridiculous to have nightmares about toilet-training, but it's something I handled so poorly with my first child that I fear making the same mistakes with the twins.

Things are going more smoothly this time, though. I'm far more relaxed, and don't have an artificial time limit imposed by the schedules of work and holidays. The twins spend some time in nappies, some in undies, some as free as the breeze, and it doesn't matter. Toilet-training doesn't have to be a black-and-white achievement; it can be a continuum of small successes, and that's okay.

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Uncarpeted floors are helpful, too.

Finn, in particular, is having regular success. Vieve is more aware, but more resistant. Her observant nature has determined that the point of sitting on the toilet is to repeatedly shout "Leave me alone!  Alone time!" I don't know where she got that idea. *cough*

Still, finding Rory-doll on the loo made it clear that the message is getting through to her, though she was unhappy that Rory-doll had to "wash his hands"... in the washing machine.

She is very excited about (togs togs togs) UNDIES.  I found Vieve dancing around the lounge apparently singing "I have pooey undies! I have pooey undies!" A few moments of questioning determined that she was, in fact, rather enamoured of her (My Little) Pony undies. Phew.

When we had a friend visit, a rather intimidating chap who dresses only in black, she excitedly fetched him a pair of tiny pink rainbow pony undies, and insisted that he have them. Pony undies for all!

So I'm quietly hopeful that toilet-training can be achieved with a minimum of fuss. It's about managing my own expectations, more than anything. Toilet-training twins? Totally attainable.

Some people find success with putting their kids on the potty regularly. Others wait until their kids decide they are done with nappies. Some parents find a middle ground. What worked for you? What challenges did you face?

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