sibling rivalry, TwinsDay

TwinsDay Wednesday: Twin on Twin Violence

These girls of mine have always been risky.

They were risky from the very beginning, when we went to the midwives’ office certain that we were losing our baby only to find out there were two babies (and that they were still in some danger).

They were risky when they started trying to be born at 19 weeks, ending up with their mother on bedrest to wait out their gestation, almost afraid to breathe as I counted days and weeks and months while lying on my left side.

It was a very long summer.

Once we all survived their birth, they were pretty safe for a while, until they started moving…and then they crawled off sofas and fell off beds and climbed into each other’s cribs and broke the latches on bathroom cabinets to steal toilet paper and roll it down the hall.

Now, the dangers are a little different.

As any pair of preschoolers will tell you, learning to share is not an easy thing. How can I give this thing to you when I very much want it for myself…especially now that I know you also want it?

I can’t. It’s simple. And if you persist in trying to get it from me, I might punch you. Or shove you. Or smack you in the face with a toy suitcase and give you a bloody nose.

Last week in the back seat of our van, pushed beyond her limits by one of the most persistent, precocious people I know (who happens to be her twin), Nora blew a fuse and gave Lucy her first nosebleed. It bled on and off the rest of the day. After the initial shock, Lucy was rather matter of fact about it (being no stranger to bleeding from her face, unfortunately). We watched it and waited to see if anything serious would develop. When it didn’t, we figured it was an isolated incident.

Oh, how silly we were.

Since that day, there have been many blown fuses. Lucy pushes and pushes and pushes Nora’s buttons until Nora can no longer hold her temper. Nora erupts and shoves or kicks or bites Lucy. Lucy screams and runs to me for help, and although I’m very much in the “it is never, never okay to hit” camp, I feel a little bad for Nora.

She has all the big feelings. Lucy has a knack for exploiting this. It doesn’t seem fair.

People at Costco used to ask if the girls had a special secret language because they were twins. Like so many things that people say to parents of twins, it was a stupid question. Still, they do seem to have a weird connection. Three times yesterday, they got up from the floor at exactly the same time in separate rooms and went running down the hall toward each other, only to collide head first and fall down, each holding her head and crying.

The final time, just before dinner, Nora got a huge goose egg on her head that immediately swelled and turned purple…and Lucy got what I believe is going to be a very impressive black eye.

I can’t wait to hear what the people at Costco say about them now.

Is being a twin a lifelong risk factor? Are they always going to be hurting each other? Will it get worse before it gets better? The bigger they get, the more powerful their punches…and they don’t seem to be developing much restraint. I never got into a physical fight with any of my siblings, so this is new territory for me- do your kids fight like this? Tell me your stories. I need some perspective!

bedtime, kids behaving badly, TwinsDay

TwinsDay Wednesday: The Pacifier Fallout

Happily, there wasn’t all that much fallout when we got rid of the pacifiers. The girls excitedly traded their beloved “passas” for new stuffed animals. Nora got Baby Joy and Lucy chose Giant, a bear that is as big as she is. The first night, when they asked for their passas, we reminded them that they had traded them in. Nora said, “For Baby Joy! Yay!” and crawled into bed. Lucy cried a little, but snuggled up with Giant and went to sleep.

Unfortunately, that was the last night they went to sleep at bed time.

Since then, we have had a developing situation in which increasingly bad choices are made every night. It’s been steadily escalating.

So far, the girls have:

  • Figured out how to stand on their soft chairs to turn on all their lights.  

(Loving Parent Response: take the chairs out of the room.)

  • Repeatedly taken off their pajamas and diapers, used the bathroom on the floor, and smeared the walls/beds/furniture/toys with special “art.” 

(Frazzled/Disgusted Parent Response: put them in onesies, bleach wipe every.single.thing, strip the beds and change the sheets, replace their discarded cute self-selected favorite jammies with brown ones that they hate, secure their diapers with duct tape. Just kidding. We didn’t do that last one. We did confiscate all the stuffed animals that might have been implicated in the floor-as-bathroom incident, saying they needed to be checked and cleaned. I haven’t found the time yet to do that particular chore.)

  • Pulled out the vent covers and dropped all manner of things down the vents into the ductwork, including clothing, toys and hair bows. 

    (Baffled Parent Response: rearrange the furniture to cover the air vents, then screw the vents to the floor out of desperation.)

    • Dumped the contents of the dresser newly filled with baby clothes for their baby brother, due to arrive in about 6 weeks. 

    (Frustrated Parent Response: turn the dresser to face the wall and put it in the closet so they can’t open the drawers.)

    • Figured out (in the absence of their soft chairs) how to stack books up so that they can reach the light switch and, once again, turn on all the lights. 

    (Incredulous Parent Response: take all the books out of the room at bedtime. Also, in a moment of being proactive, take the wagon and the toy strollers they use for their dolls, in case they try to stand in those, which they inevitably would.)

    • Broken off all the slats of their mini-blinds to let in the light and then complained that it is too bright to sleep. 

    (Totally Annoyed Parent Response: pull completely destroyed mini-blinds to the halfway point so they are out of reach and won’t look as awful from the street, pull the blackout curtains over the window and secure them with clothespins.)

    • Eaten the clothespins while laughing raucously and singing gospel songs loudly to each other. 

    (Bewildered Parent Response: take away wet, chewed clothespin pieces, shake head in despair, and give up.)

    As I write this, it is after 10pm, and the girls are still awake. They are reciting Calef Brown’s poetry from this bookto each other and yelling “aaaaah! say the abc song to me now!” to each other in turn. Nora is yelling, “Good night, Lucy!” and Lucy is responding, “NO! Not YET! I have to get in my BED!”

    I’m sitting in the living room, too tired to go see what they are actually doing now.

    I’m beginning to believe that God made two-year-olds so irresistibly cute because they are driven to do the worst possible thing at all times. It is impossible to guess what they might do next. When I see their sweet, dimpled faces smiling at me in the morning, though, I’m glad they exist, no matter how badly their room has been destroyed. I try to remind myself that this is a phase that will pass. I pray every night that we will never, never again face a situation like the floor-as-bathroom incident…and I steel myself for exactly that scene (or something worse) every time I open their door.

    Also, I look at their five-year-old brother with renewed appreciation, because he’s not two anymore, and there is only ever going to be one of him.

    Somehow, this is comforting.

    irrational fear of earthworms, TwinsDay

    TwinsDay Wednesday: Collective hysteria

    I cannot overemphasize how grateful I was for the first real warm-weather day. The afternoon was made for outside play, and after being cooped up for months without much chance to hang out comfortably in our yard, my children were itching to get out and enjoy it.

    They were clawing impatiently at the door as I gathered our snack to take it out to the porch, all jabbering at once about what they were going to do. The girls were particularly excited.

    I’m going to ride my ladybug bike.

    Well, I’m going to ride my bee bike.

    Well then, I’m going to ride Sam’s blue tricycle.

    No, I want to ride Sam’s tricycle! 

    Well, you can’t. Because I am riding it.

    No, Lucy!

    No, Nora!


    I knew if I could just get them to back up enough to get the door open, they and their overexcited, angsty arguing would simply spill out into the afternoon sunshine and be blown away on the delicate breeze that was clinking the wind chimes.

    As the door opened and they poured forth onto the porch, something terrible happened.

    Nora saw a dead earthworm.

    She might have just decided to examine it and poke it with her finger, as she does most things, had Lucy not spotted one at the exact same time and begun shrieking in terror.

    Once the hysteria started, there was no turning it back. They would not step near the dead worms. They would not look at the dead worms. They covered their eyes and ran, screeching, around the carport, intermittently crashing into each other and the much-anticipated, now-forgotten ride-on toys. It was total mayhem.

    Sam, ever logical where the Sisters are concerned, tried to help them. “Look, just walk around them! They’re dead, they’re not alive, they can’t hurt you…Look, just sweep them away with your foot! Use this broom…”

    And finally, “See? They aren’t even slimy,” and he picked one up, moving it in Lucy’s general direction.

    Both girls screamed as if their skin was being peeled off, as if the sight of the poor, shriveled worm had simultaneously melted all four of their eyeballs in their sockets. The sobs and shaking were unlike anything I can remember.

    We had no choice but to go to the backyard, where there is lots of grass and no pavement for unfortunately drowned earthworms to mummify themselves in the sun.

    There is no place for using ride-on toys, either…so the ladybug bike and the bee bike and even the sought-after blue tricycle stayed parked.

    Yesterday at lunchtime, Lucy expressed her hatred for ants (“They’re disgusting,”) and flies (“I never want to see one looking at me ever again- they should all get squashed right now”).

    Nora emphatically nodded.

    We could be in for a long summer.

    birth story, TwinsDay

    TwinsDay Wednesday: A Birth Story

    It has taken two and a half years for me to write this story.

    It’s not an easy story to write, because it makes me feel fragile and a little bit powerless.

    I have put off writing the story for a long time. I even spent an hour peeling broken crayons with my fingernails yesterday afternoon instead of writing it. Finally, though, it’s written, because you asked to read it, and I’m sharing it with the world.

    My pregnancy with my twins was my second. My first child was born after an uncomplicated pregnancy at 40 weeks and 6 days. I labored at home, arrived at the hospital in transition, and gave birth to him 3 hours later. He weighed just over 10 pounds. It was a perfect natural labor- no interventions needed. I had some nerve damage and some difficulties afterward because of his size, but his birth was just perfect. I felt like after that, I could do anything.

    The first thing I learned about a twin pregnancy was that no matter how smooth and uncomplicated my prior singleton pregnancy was, twin gestations are considered “complicated.” Whether or not there are actual complications, there are going to be “complications.” My complications began right from the start, just before 7 weeks, when I had bleeding and went in for an ultrasound thinking I was losing my baby. Instead, I found out I was having two babies.

    Everyone was excited. “What a blessing!” we heard, over and over. I knew we were blessed- instead of losing one child, we were getting two- but I mostly felt overwhelmed and anxious at the news. Now, instead of worrying about the safety of one child, I was responsible for two. As the shock began to wear off, I told the midwife that I still wanted to do everything as naturally as possible. She smiled wryly and told me that “everything is different with twins- you’re going to be getting a lot more attention around here.”

    She was right. The bleeding continued for a couple of weeks, and I was convinced the end was around every corner. We had weekly ultrasounds for months. Once, I was sent to the hospital for monitoring to rule out preterm labor when they thought something looked off with my cervix on the ultrasound. Nothing was happening- no contractions were detected. On every ultrasound, the babies were always doing great. They were the best case scenario for twins- dizygotic, diamniotic (meaning they were fraternal twins with two separate egg sacs). They were in good shape, and so was I. I was even able to be in my sister’s wedding and was feeling pretty good, although everyone commented on how big I was.

    Just after the wedding, around the 23 week mark, the medical team discovered my cervix was shortening and sent me to the hospital again for monitoring. I still wasn’t having any contractions, but they decided to put me on complete bedrest to keep things from progressing any more. It was the day before my 32nd birthday. I spent the next three months in bed, lying on my left side, working from home, watching borrowed movies, reading books, learning to knit and trying not to go crazy while my husband was away at work and my two year old was away at day care. Thanks to the prayers and the support of friends and family who helped clean and cook and care for us, we made it through. It was the hardest twelve weeks my marriage has ever endured.

    I went in for an appointment at 36 weeks and was released from bedrest. It was finally okay for the babies to be born. I expected they’d fall out on the way home or something, but they didn’t. In fact, as I was leaving the midwife’s office that day, the scheduler informed me that she’d be scheduling a planned C-section for 37 weeks. “That’s when twins are full term,” she said, “and we don’t want them to go much past that.”

    I was floored. After spending three months constantly worried that I was going to end up with two premature babies in a NICU somewhere, they were planning a C-section? I told the scheduler she could do whatever she wanted, but that if they scheduled a C-section for my twins (both of whom were always head down), I would not show up.

    She smiled and said we could wait until the next visit to schedule it.

    At 36 weeks and 4 days, I went into labor all by myself. George and I went out and walked, and things picked up nicely. After laboring at home for a while, when contractions were 5 minutes apart, we called our doula to meet us at the hospital. We had decided a doula would be helpful, considering there would be two babies and no one quite knew what would happen during labor. A friendly extra set of hands and a like-minded, calming presence seemed like a good idea. We checked in around 11 AM. Things slowed down on the way to the hospital, but I wasn’t worried- I knew once I got settled and was able to start walking around again, everything would be fine.

    That was my first unpleasant surprise.

    “Oh, you can’t walk around,” the nurse said. “You’ll have to stay put. They want you on constant monitoring.” Even though I told her I had discussed intermittent monitoring with my midwife, she was insistent that it was against the rules for twins and that the doctor on call (who supervised the midwife) wouldn’t allow it. I told her I needed to see the doctor. She went out and came back a while later, saying the doctor was busy but that they would not budge on the monitoring. Two monitors, two babies, constantly on.

    The trouble with those monitors is that they never stay put. Every time the nurse (or two nurses, or in one case four nurses) were able to get both babies’ heart rates on the screen, one baby would move. The alarm would start sounding and nurses would come running to fix the monitor. Each of these episodes took about 45 minutes to correct. Then they would leave, turn off the lights, I’d have a contraction or two, a baby would shift position, and we’d repeat the whole process.

    I tried sitting in a rocking chair for a while, then on a birth ball, but any movement dislodged the monitors. They finally told me I just needed to lie on my side in the bed and avoid moving. It felt like this labor was all about the equipment.

    They kept coming in. If it wasn’t the monitors, it was something else- check blood pressure, check temperature, check the endless strip of paper being produced by the monitors, change the strip of paper when the paper ran out, introduce the new nurse coming on at the shift change, set up incubators and scales for the babies hours ahead of time to prepare for their arrival. I was ready to get down to the hard work of labor, but they just couldn’t leave me alone. Finally, my midwife came in to check me and said I wasn’t making adequate progress.

    This led to the second unpleasant surprise.

    “There’s a first-time mom here who is also having twins,” she said. “Your labor is going to go faster than hers, because you’ve done this before. We need you to make quicker progress- we don’t have enough people on the floor to handle two sets of twins coming at once, so we need your babies to be born first. We’re going to start pitocin.”

    I shook my head, my eyes filling with tears. I knew the risks. I knew that it was likely to make my pain unmanageable without additional medication (especially since I couldn’t move from my left side for fear of disturbing the monitors), and I wasn’t willing to do it. I knew I was strong and that my body could labor naturally if given the chance to do its work. I begged her to ask the doctor to let me out of bed to walk. “You and I both know it will get things going,” I told her. She agreed to talk to the doctor. A few minutes later, she came back and said the doctor had agreed to let me off the monitors for ten minutes to walk.

    Ten whole minutes.

    I walked laps around that floor like my life depended on it. As soon as I got out and started moving, contractions picked up. They got harder and closer together. I had to stop a few times to work through them, but I walked as much as I could. As we rounded the corner, I saw the doctor standing in the doorway of my room, ready to intercept me. My ten minutes was up.

    I got back into bed. The nurses descended on me to hook up the monitors. 45 minutes passed while they tried to get things set up, and the contractions faded back again.

    The midwife came back after an hour, checked me again, and said I had no choice but to do the pitocin.

    This was my third unpleasant surprise.

    Once they started that drip, everything was different. I was no longer in control at all. I couldn’t tell when a contraction would start, when it would peak, or how long it would last. Every time a nurse came in, she turned up the drip a little more. Eventually, I was suffering through incredibly long, incredibly painful contractions with no ability to shift position or do anything to lessen the pain. The hours passed slowly. George and the doula did their best to help me through contractions, but there was no discernible pattern. After several contractions that double-peaked and one really memorable one that lasted eight minutes, I told them I had to have an epidural and that I didn’t want anyone to question me or make me feel bad about it. There was no end in sight, and I just couldn’t take it any more.

    The anesthesiologist came to administer the epidural, and my fourth unpleasant surprise happened almost right away.

    My blood pressure suddenly dropped, and I passed out.

    When I came to, they had given me some other drug to counteract this side effect. George’s face was white as a sheet. I imagine mine must have been a similar color. He said later that while he stood and watched the numbers on the blood pressure monitor dropping lower and lower, he thought I was going to die.

    Once the epidural was going and the pitocin was going and the other drug to counteract the blood pressure drop was going, things went smoothly and were easily managed by the nurses. They liked the new, less combative, placid me, who felt nothing and didn’t ask to get up or move or talk to the doctor or anything. They put me on my back, informing me when it was time to push and when I was having contractions.

    The other twin mom had her babies first. A nurse came in and told me.

    Finally, mine were ready. We had been praying for them by name for months, willing them to stay put and grow as long as possible. Now it was time to meet them.

    Baby A, Lucy Clare, was born at 5:15 AM, weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces.
    I held her for a few minutes, then reluctantly passed her to George. The hospital doesn’t like there to be a break between the birth of twins. The nurses said we needed to get Baby B out as quickly as possible.

    Baby B decided to flip over and move up under my ribs to take advantage of the wide open space that she was no longer sharing with Lucy. The doctor, now in the room, was able to wrestle her back into position from the inside. It was probably a good thing I had that epidural at this point. I watched the doctor’s grimacing as she struggled with the baby, her arm invisible from the elbow down. I felt nothing. I stared over my left shoulder at Lucy, who was lying in the warmer, taken from George so they could examine her. She was staring at me with wide, calm eyes. I remember thinking I should be holding her, that when her brother was born, no one took him away. It was the first time I felt like I couldn’t give her what she deserved.

    Baby B, Nora Lillian, was finally born at 5:55 AM, weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Her face was bruised from her struggle with the doctor. I didn’t get to hold her then, because they were afraid she was blue because she needed oxygen. (She didn’t.)

    The girls were 36 weeks and 5 days old.

    When it was time to deliver the placentas, the second one didn’t detach. There was traction and pulling and a great amount of blood loss that just wouldn’t stop. There were a lot of people running around and doing things. They finally stopped the bleeding with a special balloon, inflated to keep pressure evenly on the inside of my uterus. Then they said I couldn’t eat or drink anything but ice chips. They wouldn’t tell me why.

    At this point, I hadn’t eaten or had anything but ice chips in over 24 hours.

    I pleaded with them, but they were resolute. No food, no drink, no explanation. After another 12 hours, when we had all been moved to a different room (though I still wasn’t allowed to sit up or get out of bed), the nurse finally agreed that I could eat something. My mom and stepdad went out and got Chick-fil-A for me, and the smell of it made me cry. I was so hungry. Suddenly, our nurse burst in. “You can’t eat that!” she yelled, grabbing at the box of chicken nuggets. “You can only have light food! Clear liquids! Broth!”

    By then, I had been through enough. My voice shaking, I told her that I was hungry, exhausted and at the end of my rope, that I was tired of them telling me what to do without explaining the situation, that she could send my doctor in here to explain what was going on, that I wasn’t taking any more information from her. The doctor (again) was too busy to come and explain, but after a long time, one of the midwives came and told me they had been worried I might bleed out and need major surgery. That’s why they wouldn’t let me eat.

    I have never felt so controlled, so tied down, so kept in the dark about my own condition. I was angry and sad and frustrated.

    The story ends sweetly because both my girls were born healthy with no complications. I didn’t need a C-section. No one had to go to the NICU. I was able to keep both girls in my room with me. I was able to nurse them both easily. We had to stay one extra day because Lucy had jaundice, but it resolved on its own, and I was able to advocate to stay at the hospital with the girls instead of being discharged and leaving them behind. The extra day in the hospital gave me a chance to figure out the positioning for tandem nursing on my own, which made me feel pretty awesome.

    I am so grateful that the girls were fine. We spent months praying that we could keep them inside long enough that we would be able to bring them both home when they were born, and we did. That is the most important thing.

    I met with the midwife a few weeks after the girls we born. She said things hadn’t gone exactly as she’d have liked them to go but that rules are rules and we had to follow them. She encouraged me to see the vaginal delivery and the well-being of the babies as a positive outcome.

    I agree with her- this was, in many ways, a positive outcome.
    So why was it so hard to write this story? Why do I still feel conflicted about it?

    I do not think “the birth experience” is more important than the welfare of my children; however, it’s not enough to say, “Well, all’s well that ends well, and you should be grateful that the babies were fine.”

    In a situation where an invisible doctor and a group of nurses were holding all the power, I as the laboring mother felt I had no power. I felt I had no choices. I felt that I was kept out of the loop about what was happening to me and that I wasn’t able to speak up for myself or my children. After my son’s birth, I felt like a superhero. After the girls’ birth, I felt like one who had come through the great ordeal (with the scars to show for it). For now, I have to hold the feelings of gratitude and frustration in tension. Feeling upset about how some things went doesn’t negate the joy I felt in bringing my girls home with me. These things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    The truth about birth stories, even the perfect ones, is that they’re just the beginning. Once the girls were born, I felt such freedom and joy at being able to hold them, to look at them, to do what I knew was best for them. I’ll be forever grateful for the moment that we left the hospital, George driving with me sitting in the back squeezed between their two car seats.

    My twin pregnancy and twin delivery was just the beginning, and I don’t dwell on it. Some of the memories of the birth still cause me pain and regret, but I survived. They survived. The real story started once we were all together, heading out into the world to be each other’s family, and we’re more overwhelmed every day by the blessing of having them in our lives.

    Joining in with Rosie’s Twin Birth Story Linkup at A Blog for My Mom- pop over to read how some other twins decided to make their entrances.

    names, TwinsDay

    TwinsDay Wednesday: The naming of things

    This TwinsDay Wednesday, I need to share how The Sisters have been adding their special creative naming flair to our discussions about possible names for the newest Dupuy, due in late July or early August.

    Their suggestions so far have been really entertaining, to say the least.

    I’m not sure what to make of their out-of-the-box naming style. SuperSam has always been a conventional namer. As a toddler and young preschooler, he named his toys categorically or by species. His stuffed dragon was Dragondy. His blue bear was Blue Bear. His sheep was Sheepy. Every now and then, a more inventive name slipped in (like the spotted Easter bunny named Io because the spots reminded Sam of Jupiter’s moons). Generally, though, he stuck to basic, serviceable names.

    The girls are not like that.

    Nora, barely talking, began insisting early on that she have two dolls at all times. Why not, right? Her mama carries two babies at once, so that’s obviously just how things are done around here. Whenever she held a baby in one arm, she would turn and demand that we give her “Other Side Baby.” I didn’t realize at first that this was his given name. To this day, though, even when he is not the second baby in the equation, he is simply called, “Other Side Baby.” It seems pretty permanent.

    When a friend gave the girls some dolls for the bathtub, Nora declared right away that her doll was named “Jack.” She didn’t even hesitate, and he has been called Jack ever since. Lucy wasn’t into the naming thing yet, so Nora also christened her doll. His name? “Refill.” Jack and Refill are usually inseparable, so if one Sister is holding them both, the other one has to be content to use Other Side Baby.

    Refill and Jack (not their typical order of appearance)

    Once Lucy started naming her own things, she quickly demonstrated a style all her own. Her first named doll was “Jesus.” Pictured below are some members of Lucy’s Sisterhood of the Uniquely Named.

    From left to right: Blue Eyes in the Curtain, Pocket, Little Lord Jesus With The Poopy Diaper (not to be confused with “Jesus”), Yellow Submarine, Banana Hair, and Purple Baby.

    Now that our children know they will have a new sibling, they have been contributing to the name pool. Nora’s initial prophetic-sounding declaration: “If the baby is a boy, he will be named Penis.”

    The baby is, in fact, a boy.
    All semblance of prophecy ends there.

    We managed to convince her that another name might be better, and she settled on “Little Cute Brown Baby.” SuperSam is not in favor of this name, seeing as how “no one can know until someone is born what color that person is going to be.” Lucy’s number one suggestion is “Dude.”

    I think we need some other ideas. Feel free to make suggestions. If you need to see him before you can think of good names, here’s a sneak peak:

    Just one little baby, who will not be named after his body parts

    If you are into the twin thing and want to read more, check out Rosie’s great list of twin blogs!

    google, Lucy, TwinsDay

    TwinsDay Wednesday: Lucy takes on Google

    It’s possible that Lucy has been feeling a bit left out lately.

    With all the major milestones Nora has been achieving (spontaneously stripping off her clothes and diaper, climbing out of her crib, climbing into Lucy’s crib, rearranging and upending furniture to use it for her own devious climbing purposes, jumping off chairs, jumping off tables, jumping off stools, jumping off and on her bed), perhaps Lucy was feeling the need to prove herself.

    I am, of course, completely aware that Lucy masterminds many of Nora’s more outrageous missions, just as she orders her big brother around. I can hear her little voice right now from behind their closed bedroom door commanding, “You do it, No-rah. You go geddit RIGHT NOW.”

    (I have no idea what she is telling Nora to get, but I am sure it isn’t good. They are supposed to be asleep, after all.)

    Anyway, since she doesn’t get enough glory for being the boss of everyone, she has apparently been pursuing other interests. She had the iPad for about 48 seconds yesterday morning. (Two-year-olds do not have iPad privileges in our family.) I heard the song from the Newton’s Apple game playing, so I came over to get it from her. I thought that was the end of it.

    Much to my surprise, later in the afternoon, I saw that she had been using Safari to google things. Who knows what kind of nefarious schemes she is cooking up? I can’t understand her search terms.

    Here’s what she entered:

    Ippp j,kmokk.llllllhhgggvbhnhnu

    Her other search, “gfgfgfgfgfgfgfgf,” did actually produce a set of results so weird that I’m not going to duplicate them here. I hope she didn’t watch any of those YouTube videos. Weird, weird, weird.

    I guess I’ll add the iPad to the list of things I thought were out of her reach but really weren’t. (It was on top of my dresser.)

    On second thought, she probably got Nora or Sam to get it for her.

    With Nora’s super climbing power and Lucy’s scheming mind, nothing is ever going to be out of their reach again. 

    On a serious note- where else can I put things? The dresser was the last place that was out of reach for them. Short of building a shelf eight inches from the ceiling that runs around the perimeter of their room, I’m just not sure where else I can move things to keep them from being able to get them. Any ideas?

    double trouble, TwinsDay

    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.”