Having just celebrated my twin boys’ 5th birthday, I’ve been mulling over some of the things I have experienced since having twins. Now, granted, I was not a parenting veteran when Joey and Josh were born. We had a 5 year old, 3 year old, and a toddler who already broke us in pretty well. However, from that first shocking ultrasound where I saw not one, but two little bodies, we knew we were in for a wild ride. (Check out the back story of our guys here.) And a wild ride it has been–full of ups, downs, and all kinds of craziness, good and bad. Mostly good, just wild and woolly at times. I recall seeing a t-shirt online when I was pregnant with them that read “Experience Wildlife. Raise Twins.” Oh, how true it is. Here are just some quick anecdotes and factoids about my twins. I could tell many, many stories on them, but these are the ones that first pop into mind.
(Warning: If you are easily grossed out, embarrassed, judgemental, prissy, or a germophobe, you may want to skip this post. If not, do read on!)
*When they were @3 and still in diapers, I went out for an evening and left all the kids home with my man. Upon returning, I heard the sound of our washer running, which is not normal at all for nighttime at our house. “Why is the washer running?” I asked my husband. He let out a big sigh. Then he proceeded to tell me that while he was in another room, one of the twins came in and said, “Hey Daddy. I need your help in here.”
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Well, Joey pooped and I was helping to change him. See…” He walked into our bedroom and saw why help was needed. Let’s just say our bed comforter was in need of some major washing. Apparently one twin was trying to wipe the other one and had poop smeared everywhere. (See, I told you not to read if you are easily grossed out!) Oh, and don’t worry–that comforter is NOT on our bed anymore.
*Right after my guys were born, I quickly learned that you can not discreetly nurse two babies at once. Ever. Especially if you are out and about. I was once nursing them in the front seat of my van, parking at what I thought was far away from other vehicles and using a big blanket to cover up with. Well, some poor guy pulls in right next to my van and happened to look over at the wrong time. One of the boys had grabbed a corner of the blanket and yanked it away from everything. I’m not sure who was more embarrassed. I’m sorry, dear stranger, if you are now scarred for life. By the way, there’s a funny old episode of Friends where Joey (the character, not my son Joey) is visiting someone in the maternity wing of the hospital and happened to accidentally see a woman nursing twins. “It’s like a freak show around here!” he says. Yep, pretty much.
*The first 4 days that they were home from the hospital, they went through 80 diapers. Yes, 80. That doesn’t even count the diapers and pull-ups that our toddler and 3 year old were going through.
*Our twins are very much identical, but there has always been something that has helped us tell them apart. For starters, their head shapes were different. We also left their hospital bracelets on until they had almost outgrown them–Joey’s was on his right wrist and Josh’s was on his left. When we had to cut those off, I painted Joey’s big toenails red for awhile to help me. Once that wore off, I was pretty good at telling who was who.
*Also, when they were a little over a year old, Josh fell off a riding toy and chipped his front tooth. I was devastated, but when I told their Daddy, he said something like, “Good, now I can tell them apart.” Even now our older boys can hardly tell who’s who, but our daughter is usually pretty good at it.
*Besides being nicknamed Joey and Josh, we call our guys “the Bubbas.” We’re so used to it that we don’t even think about it. If our other children mention “the Bubbas” to someone who doesn’t know us well, they usually get a quizzical look. I can see them thinking to themselves, “the Bubbas?” They then explain that “the Bubbas” are their twin brothers. (Yes, we may be just a tad bit redneck around here!)
*In my twin pregnancy, I carried them for 38 weeks. They weighed 6 lb 5 oz and 6 lb 3 oz and were both close to 20″ long.
*A couple of years ago I was brave enough (or crazy enough) to purchase a pool pass and take everyone to the community pool by myself a couple days a week. One of those days I had taken the youngest three kids in the bathroom with me. Well, the twins locked themselves in one stall and supposedly couldn’t unlock it. I tried and tried to coach them to get it unlocked to no avail. Finally I had to shimmy under the stall door on the skanky bathroom floor to go in and rescue them–in my bathing suit, no less. Since then I have a whole plethora of public bathroom stories where these boys have embarrassed me to some extent.
*This past winter their favorite thing to do right after dinner was run to the downstairs bathroom, strip down naked, and do what they called “the naked parade,” followed by the “butt butt dance.” They even had very choreographed moves and their own music that they made up as they went along. Both of them thought this was hilarious and would laugh wildly as they did their moves. Fortunately they moved on to other things since then.
*We took a little vacation as a family when the twins were one. One night we took the kids to a steakhouse for dinner. They were doing so well and we were so proud of ourselves–that is, until the Big Blowout happened. I went to lift Josh out of his highchair and felt that his back was wet. I looked and saw that he had a huge blowout. So, I grabbed the diaper bag, held him at a distance from my body, and hustled him into the bathroom. I got his nasty outfit off, changed the diaper and wiped him up, put on a fresh diaper, and then went rooting in my bag for a clean outfit. Did I find one? Oh no, I did not. Not even a clean t-shirt or onesie. The only thing I found to wrap him in was his sister’s yellow cropped silk short-sleeve jacket (from her Easter dress outfit), which happened to be in the diaper bag. The poor child–I did take a blackmail picture of him in it, but will not post it here. It’s a real shame. Luckily he was too young to remember it.
*My guys went through another short phase back in the fall that cracked me up. Whenever we were headed anywhere, I would hear one say to the other, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” It would be followed by the other twin saying, “I don’t know, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Then they would both laugh like hyenas.
*Since being potty-trained they have discovered how handy it is to pee outside. We’ve been trying to teach them at least some outside pee etiquette (if there is such a thing). Not too long ago they were watching TV and we heard the front door open. Joey was holding the front door open with one hand, peeing outside the door, and had his head turned towards the TV–all so he wouldn’t miss whatever was on TV at the moment. I apologize right now to my poor neighbors who I’m sure have witnessed some of this.
There’s so many more stories I could tell, but I’ll stop there for now. Since having those two we have had our share of heart-warming, scary, funny, cute, gross, and so on. One thing is for sure, though–raising twins is not for the faint of heart!