Formerly - A look at the ups and downs of life with a double pushchair!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Slides and Ladders

With a total washout half-term week I decided to treat my kids on their final day off school to the local attraction at Willows Farm.  Even when it rains the kids can have a great time in the giant soft play barn. I arranged to meet my friend and her three kids there and we hoped that it wouldn't be too busy as with sideways winds and torrential rain a hilltop farm isn't normally a top attraction.

Well needless to say we were wrong. The place was packed. Taking two toddlers to soft play is reasonably stressful at the best of times but yesterday took on a new level of challenges.

I found a small corner to park my double stroller. Once eldest daughter and boy in the middle knew where I was they ran off to throw themselves down the slides.  A&E pulled off their wellington boots and dived into the small and compact toddler area suitable for 2-4 year olds. They were happily running around and climbing and I even found that I managed to sit down for approximately three minutes before toddler E got confused as to how to go down the slide and toddler A noticed there was a larger world of soft play tunnels and slides to explore.

In a flash they were off and disappeared from my direct line of vision in different directions. Moving to a central spot where I could survey the mass of bridges, tunnels and slides I made a mental note in my head as to what they were wearing in case I lost either of them and then felt relief when I noticed A daringly cross the rope bridge and E happily watching bigger kids hurl themselves off the drop slide. All was going well until seconds later A was getting crushed on the bridge by a group of 4 year olds trying to step over her on the bridge and E was refusing to move out of anyone's way. I had no option but to rescue them both and persuade them it was lunchtime.

I secured them into highchairs so that my stress levels could be reduced at which point they both needed to go to the toilet!

We did have a fun packed day. Not long after lunch A climbed into the stroller, found her dummy and her bunny and went to sleep. I really tried my hardest to encourage E to copy her but instead she took the opportunity to have me to herself and persuaded me on to the slides again!

After four hours in the sweaty indoor soft play zone we managed to get outside in the drizzle, see the animals and other attractions before heading home. I successfully loaded my four wet and muddy children into the car, E was asleep before we left the carpark, and I drove home with four happy children and with a sense of achievement that I had kept my kids entertained all day and I hadn't lost any of them.

Friday, 1 June 2012

It's all about the bog!

Yes you did read the title of this blog post correctly.

It would be extremely remiss of me not to write a blog about the major accomplishment that A&E have achieved over the past month. They are now fully toilet trained, having completed their sticker charts and have received their own Baby Annabel dolls and it is fair to say that I have spent most of my waking hours (and indeed some sleeping hours) crouched on a toilet floor with a toddler desperately trying not to fall into the toilet, or to get any of her clothing wet.

Since A&E were born, I dreaded the thought of having to toilet train two toddlers. Would I do them both at the same time, would I do one first, then the second, would they both need to go at exactly the same time and would I ever leave my house again?

Well I thought toddler E was ready so I took the plunge and decided to start with her. I couldn't have been more wrong. In the space of a day toddler A was running to the toilet every 20 minutes proudly showing anyone that wanted to see her Hello Kitty knickers, and toddler E was traumatised and safely back in her nappies. Five days later toddler E clearly wanted to get stickers on her chart so rose to the challenge and succeeded.

Seemingly overnight I became smug mother of toilet trained twin girls but didn't really dare to leave the house. When we did go out I wondered how many extra changes of clothing to take with me and as soon as I went anywhere I searched for the proximity to the toilet. I am extremely aware of the preferred public toilets - the winning one being the toddler sized toilet in the fabulous building that I go to twice weekly for twins club and a playgroup.

I no longer have to spend hundreds of pounds on nappies but the amount of toilet paper I am getting through is huge. Only on one occasion when I was helping one of them on the toilet did the other proceed to go at exactly the same time - in her underwear. My downstairs toilet did start to smell like a public toilet but we have invested in some great floor cleaner and a lovely mango room spray.

Thankfully when we have been caught short A&E actually delight in being held out and enjoy weeing in the open! This backfired somewhat in the early toilet training days where they thought it was acceptable to wee in the garden because it was outdoors and then there was the one occasion where boy in the middle watched toddler A crouch down and do a number 2 in the grass. Lots of dog related references and explaining later and thankfully I don't think anyone will be using the garden as a toilet again!

Now that I have succeeded in toilet training I can look back on the last month and realise that it was extremely hard work but a clear indication that they are really growing up and becoming independent and fun little girls.  On the plus side I have had some great conversations with both girls when they are sitting on the toilet and the smiles that I get from them each time they go are just priceless.

I have now mentioned the word toilet far too many times for a bog posting so must sign off.