Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TwinsDay Wednesday: Just don't say Double Trouble. Please.

Double Trouble.

We hear it at Costco a lot. (Costco, that heavenly buy-in-bulk place with the super giant double-wide carts, perfectly designed to hold your Double Trouble, should you happen to be blessed with it.)

It's one of my least favorite phrases.

First of all, it doesn't make sense. Does the person saying it believe all children are trouble to begin with? Can she tell that my children, in particular, are full of trouble? Do they look more deviant than other kids she's seen?

Second, saying Double Trouble shows a lack of creativity and a lack of experience. No parent of twins would ever say "Double Trouble" to a fellow parent of twins. In fact, only someone with no twin experience at all would use this phrase.

Why? How can I be so sure?

Because Double Trouble doesn't begin to explain the kind of havoc that is wreaked on your life as a parent when your twins are two years old.

There has to be some kind of other mathematical formula that can better explain what happens when a pair of two year olds are coming into their own at the same time in the same household.  It's more like Perpetually Multiplying Trouble, or Trouble with Lots of Exponents.

Double Trouble doesn't even begin to cover it.

Let me show you my bathroom earlier this afternoon.

This is my bathroom. No, it doesn't usually look like that.

My husband called and asked me to measure the TV cabinet. I walked to my bedroom and got a tape measure off the dresser. The Sisters were playing quietly in their room with their dolls. I walked to the living room, still on the phone, and provided the measurements...length...width. I reminded him what time I taught piano this evening. I told him goodbye. I started back to the laundry room to put the tape measure away.

Then, SuperSam yelled from down the hall. "You've got to come NOW and see what the Sisters are doing! Oh, no! Oh, no, this is a real crisis!"

I followed his voice down the hall to my bathroom and found both girls on the floor, apparently having sisterly bonding time over mouthfuls of Chapstick and deodorant. Bottles of travel shampoo were open and smeared everywhere. Artistically applied eyeliner covered the side of the tub and part of the floor. Tampons had been unwrapped and dropped into a mostly-empty cup. One roll of toilet paper had been completely unrolled into the bathtub and was soaking wet.  There was an open bottle of sunscreen, a new tube of concealer and handfuls of Q-Tips in the toilet. Lucy was brandishing a can of shaving cream.

I stared at them, speechless.

Nora finally broke the silence. "This Chapstick tastes like candy canes."

So much for childproof cabinet locks.

I should point out that Lucy has a history of defeating cabinet locks, and the one on this particular cabinet had already been replaced with a different model. I also close the bathroom door every time I leave it for extra security.

They can open doorknobs now? and childproof locks that are different than that other kind they figured out how to open?

Considering the earlier events of this week, I really shouldn't be surprised.

This is how I found them after "nap time." And no, they don't share a bed. And yes, those toys were all put away before nap. Nora climbed out of her crib. After she had pulled out every toy and book (and, inexplicably, all the sweaters from their closet), she flipped over Lucy's toddler chair, propped it against her crib like a ramp, and used it to climb inside with her where they both took off their pants and diapers.

Their diapers. Thankfully, one of them was only wet. The other one needed some heavy-duty cleaning (she could have used a bath, really, but there wasn't time).

I found them this way about twenty minutes before my piano student was due to arrive for a lesson.

We cleaned the walls, changed the sheets and took the sides off their cribs that day to convert them to toddler beds, worried that in all the climbing in and out someone would get hurt. This is a little earlier than I'd hoped to be dealing with the bed issue. Sam was quite a bit older before he managed to climb out of his bed, and since they walked so late, I hoped the girls would follow his example.

It seems they prefer to set their own standards.

Our last two days and nights have not been exactly restful.

I have to admit that I had been enjoying their very alert, but content to play in their cribs for a few minutes and keep each other company stage. I could fit in a shower or get a load of laundry folded before I got them up. They could chat to each other and hang out for a while before they got antsy.

They could. Until this week.

Now it's all broken loose and it's running all over the place. This evening, while they are supposed to be sleeping, they have pulled out all the baby wipes from the container on the shelf and gotten all their clothes out of the closet. They have every toy and book scattered all over the floor. Again. They were both wearing cloth diaper covers as hats the last time I checked on them.

Most importantly, they are not sleeping. They are cranky and tired, so they torment each other (and their brother) during the day.

Somehow, when it's time to rest their exhausted little bodies and minds, they suddenly become the best of friends and decide to play all night long. They kept turning the lights on, so I moved the stool they used to reach the switch. It's totally dark, but they just don't care. I can hear them running around as actively as if they had night vision goggles. As my grandmother Horton would say, "they are having a big time in there," under the cover of darkness.

Come daylight, we'll be cleaning it up. I can only pray there isn't poop involved this time.

If I survive this stage of my double blessing, I promise to come up with a better term than Double Trouble.

And the next time someone says that to me, I'm going to have a response ready:

"You have no idea."