Are those twins?!
Wow, you have your hands full!
If I had twins, I’d send one back!
I don’t envy your life!
A friend and I were out shopping one afternoon with my boys when she commented, so you just have the same conversations with strangers all day long. It seems that way some days. Most days I don’t mind, but sometimes I’m trying to get the boys from their car seats to the shopping cart or carefully select my produce at the grocery store so I keep my answers short and my head low. But still the boys attract attention wherever we go. The comment that I dread the most is, have you seen the adorable video of the twins climbing out of their cribs at night (have you?)? Of course I’ve seen the video.
Two little boys climb out of their cribs at night and ransack their bedroom. Their parents repeatedly return the boys to their cribs and the room to order. I’ve seen the video along with the millions of other viewers, but I’ve also lived the scenario in real life. Twins boys were once described to me as Velociraptors; they hunt in packs and search out weak spots. I’ve found this statement to be startlingly true. My boys will support and egg each other on. When they first climbed out of their cribs, Xavier would get out first and then wake Bruce up and encourage him to climb out too. Together they are an unstoppable force. They have torn the mounted monitors off of the walls in their bedroom as well as the mounted TV in our living room. We no longer have any wall art or lamps in areas where the boys play. And the list of their destruction continues. Where was I while this occurred? Peeing or making lunch. It only takes seconds once they’ve identified their target.
So how can anyone survive this level of chaos? My house is in a constant state of lockdown. Our family room is lovingly referred to as the pitt. It’s the safest room in the house for the boys; sturdy baby gates at the base of the stairs and the entrance to the dining room, the couch and chair are old and beige, and it houses the majority of their toys. If we’re home, the boys are in the gate. Unless they’re eating or sleeping. Xavier and Bruce are capable of sitting in a chair and eating meals, but meals are safer and controlled when they are locked securely into their high chairs. I often wonder when we’ll let them sit in big chairs, but that feels like years away from now. They sleep in KidCo pods, small tents designed for small kids who have climbed out of their cribs early or for convenient travel sleep options. This keeps them safe from harming themselves while they’re supposed to be sleeping. Like I said, my house is a constant state of lockdown. There are moments are blissful freedom for them, bath time. A few nights a week, my husband bathes the boys and it is the only time they are allowed in the bathroom (I am not looking forward to potty training, but mostly because I will have to give them more access). After bath they are allowed to run down the hallway with all the bedroom doors closed, semi-lockdown.
Travel outside of the house with mobile twins requires lockdown that travels with you. My double stroller is my lifeline. I have had five double strollers in the two years of living with twins. The best is the CityMini GT because it is HDA compliant so it fits in all public buildings. For their safety the boys must remain in their stroller until we get home or to a safe location. It’s quite impossible for me to keep eyes on two little boys running in opposite directions. And when they were lighter I used the Twingo, like an ergo but one baby goes on the front and the other goes on the back. They are physically locked to you. I also shop mostly at stores that can fit a double stroller or has double carts; Costco, Target, and Home Depot (please share in the comments below if you know of others). Thank goodness for Amazon Prime, where I order all things not purchasable at those three stores. Meeting friends for play dates requires four walls with one closable exit, otherwise it’s just not safe for us to play! I’m a twin mom; I’m scheduled, predicable, and always trying to stay one step ahead of my boys.
There are moments of sadness when I look at my kids locked in the stroller or high chair while their friends are running up the ramp or wiggling in the booth freely next to their mom. I just can’t give my kids those chances yet. I’m a little envious when I see dads babywearing their kid, leaving the mom to freely talk with others inhibited by a child. There are times when one will wake up from nap earlier than his brother, and I’ll sneak him out of the room. We can snuggle on the couch together, read, or play just the two of us. Often I dream of how life would be easier if I had one baby at a time. A twin parent’s break is only caring for one baby at a time.
Still when I’m exhausted from a day of keeping everyone alive, there are unexpected joys of twins. The boys giggle out of control when they feed each other animal crackers on the couch. When the watch tv they like to snuggle with each other. Before we switched to tents, the boys would fall asleep holding each other in bed. Waking up in the morning, they immediately call for their brother. And when we’re playing with other children, they are fiercely protective and defend each other. I love their bond. I know they will be best friends through life. As the toddler days continue, I’ll just be happy if we all make it out alive.