November 23, 2014

Terrible twos not so terrible after all

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Oh, the terrible twos. Everyone talks about them. You hear all kinds of horror stories about them. And right now, my wife, Kay, and I are living through them with our twin boys, Ethan and Ryan.

And to be honest, they’re not all that terrible.

The boys turned 2 in May, and so far it’s actually been quite a bit of fun. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of bad days, but I wouldn’t say it’s an overall negative experience.

The best part is how the boys have advanced from mumbling and saying some random words that they obviously don’t know the meaning of, to being able to carry out actual conversations with each other and us. I get a kick out of listening to the two of them communicate, and trying to figure out what, exactly, they are saying.

They both like to be our little helpers, even in the discipline department. If we have to yell at one of them for doing something wrong, you can be sure the other one will probably have to put his two cents in also.

The other day, Ryan was playing with a broom in our kitchen, holding it way up in the air. He was knocking things over with it, so Kay and I told him he needed to keep it on the floor.

“On the floor!” Ethan mimicked. “On the floor, Ryan.”

Ethan then proceeded to grab the broom handle and try to force Ryan to put it on the ground. Ryan, of course, thought Ethan was trying to take the broom from him, and it turned into a crying game of tug-of-war until we took the broom away a few seconds later.

One of the biggest challenges of twins, at least for me, is telling them apart. They both have their little differences — they aren’t identical — and we try to dress them differently, but sometimes when you try to address them quickly, it’s very hard to know which one you are talking to. They’ll probably both grow up believing that I think their names are “Hey!” as that tends to be my go-to way to address them in a quick pinch.

As their vocabulary has grown and they have begun to understand a lot more, they have started to realize who they are. Though, sometimes they still get confused. For a while, this would be our conversation:

Me to Ryan: “Who are you?”

Ryan (pointing to himself): “Me.”

He’s not technically wrong. They usually know their own name, although it isn’t foolproof, as sometimes you ask them and they’ll tell you their brother’s name.

Over the last couple of months, we have been working on potty training. And by “we” I mean “mostly Kay.” Potty training is very frustrating to me. I know the reward in the end will be great, but right now it drives me crazy. Kay is brave enough to have them wear underwear during the day instead of diapers, but the fear of accidents keeps me from being that brave typically.

The biggest problem right now is that as soon as they think they have to go, they have to go. There’s nothing more frustrating than driving down I-75 and hearing from the backseat, “Poop. I gotta go poop.” So you quickly find an exit and pull into the gas station. By this time, child number two also has to poop because he heard his brother say the word.

So you unbuckle both children and head inside. You get one into the bathroom and sit him down, he strains for literally 0.73164 seconds and looks up and says, “No poop.”

And back in the car we go, 45 minutes later than we were before the false poop alarm.

So there is definitely plenty of frustration, but our twos don’t seem so terrible. Though I’ve already heard some warning about the threes being no cakewalk either. Something tells me each year will bring some “terrible” with it, but obviously the good will outweigh the bad. Hopefully that continues through the “terrible teens.”

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