If having infant twins is like a battle, then having 2-year-old twins is like negotiating an extreme hostage situation. In some ways it’s easier. You aren’t physically doing as much work. They can walk, they can (messily) feed themselves, they can follow simple directions (sometimes).
But, at 2, they’ve really begun to develop their own little personalities complete with wants and needs. They’re testing boundaries and testing your patience. As a twin parent, you need to be smart because you are dealing with two tiny dictators who assess the fairness of everything.
You really know you have 2-year-old twins when...
You instinctively grab two of everything. If one kid wants a piece of cheese, the other will. If one kid wants more water on their toothbrush, the other will, too. Unless they don’t. And then they cry.
Your kids will start to run from you when they need a diaper change. 2-year-olds are FAST. And strong. Not only do you have to change disgusting poopy diapers but you will also have to fight a child in order to change that diaper. If only I could figure out a way to convince them that I don’t actually LIKE changing diapers...hm...
When potty training, you will find poop on the floor. The OTHER twin will accidentally step in said poop. The poop will then be tracked around your house on that foot while you yell at the child to stop running. That child will laugh at you and make you chase them.
Your twins will fight about who gets to pour their pee from the potty into the toilet. It will be a struggle that ends in warm pee being poured on at least one child (and probably your foot as well).
Your twins will fight about who gets to flush the toilet. And then they will cry about who didn’t do it.
They will cry about everything.
You dream about someday going to the bathroom alone again.
You dream about doing anything alone.
All you do is look at their pictures and think about them when they aren’t there.
They start preschool and for the first time, you feel like you’re succeeding as a parent. You finally have a bit of time for yourself and they come back happy and exhausted.
Preschool germs invade your home. When one is home sick from school, you’ll still need to do pickup and drop-off for the other kid.
It’s only a matter of time before one twin passes their germs onto the other. At this point you’ve learned that it’s pointless to try to contain any sickness. The more snacks and water cups they share, the better. You know they’ll both be sick anyway.
They learn how to climb out of their cribs earlier than any of their singleton friends. Monkey see, monkey do.
You switch them to toddler beds and NEVER. SLEEP. AGAIN. If they share a room, they’ll take every article of clothing out of drawers and every toy off the shelf during nap. Their room will look like a hurricane hit it.
You suddenly go from buying 2 plane tickets for you and your partner to buying 4!
They fight over who gets to sing in the car. It doesn’t matter how many times you say, “Everyone can sing!!”
They fight about everything.
They start to play independently for short blocks of time. Yes, this is what I dreamed of my first two years of twin parenting. For (very) short periods of time, my kids will play alone in their rooms. This will finally give you a moment to focus on one adorable little kid at a time. You’ll have a couple uninterrupted moments of bliss having one on one conversations with ONE toddler at a time.
When you have one toddler at a time, it’s a DREAM.
Out of nowhere, they’ll do something super sweet for their twin. Whether it’s bringing them home a sticker or lollipop from the doctor or asking about them when they’re separated, it’ll be totally unexpected and very cute.
Silence is scary. As I mentioned before, at two, you are no longer physically doing as much work as when they were infants. You may have a moment to throw in a load of laundry or wash the dishes now. However, RUN DON’T WALK if all of a sudden their chatter goes silent. Chances are they’re playing with something they know they aren’t supposed to :)
They pull off an entire roll of toilet paper.
They want ANYTHING that the other twin has. This includes you and your partner. As infants you probably had a nice 1:1 ratio. This is not the case anymore. They will develop a favorite parent and BOTH want to be held, changed, and sit next to the favorite parents. Currently I am NOT the favorite parent when my husband is around. Instead of sulk, soak it in! If they don’t want you to change their diaper when your other half is home, enjoy that moment :)
They think it’s funny to run in opposite directions when out in public. Malls, playgrounds, etc.
You will only go to fenced-in playgrounds or one-room museums/play spaces.
You are finally able to go on family outings without 10 million things. They can drink from normal cups, eat people food and walk without a stroller. You will start to feel human again.
In between the fighting, you catch your twosome having adorable, sweet conversations.
Suddenly you have two little people living in your house. It’s such a gift to see two totally different people growing up at the exact same time. It’s absolutely chaotic and most days I don’t think I’m going to make it to bedtime, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.