I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Having twins is an absolute blessing. It’s also an incredible challenge, especially if your twins happen to be the rambunctious, strong-willed type, like my 2.5-year-old daughters are.
But while I try to be patient on many levels, nothing makes me want to lock myself in the bathroom for five hours straight more than a good old-fashioned hissy fit. And often, in my world, that’s a hissy fit times two.
Of course, my daughters don’t always throw simultaneous tantrums, but when they do, they do it well. And lately, it seems like their list of tantrum-worthy offenses is growing larger and larger by the day. Here, in no particular order, are the top five things that tend to set those little ladies off.
1. Getting their diapers changed
I understand that being whisked off a play mat and onto a changing table can be very inconvenient when you’re deep in the throes of a six-piece puzzle, but when the odor emanating from your tush is strong enough for me to smell it from across the room, you’re getting a diaper change. Period.
Yet both of my daughters have a tendency to scream their heads off every time I dare attempt to bedeck them with a clean diaper. Sometimes, they’ll kick so fiercely on the changing table it’ll knock me off balance and cause said dirty diapers to go flying.
That’s always fun.
2. Getting into their clothes
If nakedness were more accepted in society, I’d save a bundle on clothes. But it’s not, alas and so most mornings, I’m forced to ensure the struggle that is changing my daughters into outfits so that people don’t look at them strangely when I take them out in public.
Of course, part of the reason this process is so harrowing is that my girls insist on choosing their own outfits, which also means fighting over the same articles of clothing. When this happens, I’m generally forced to mandate that no one, in fact, will be wearing the owl shirt or the purple skirt, which tends to enrage them further. And now I know why parents of twins dress their kids alike–it’s not to take away their sense of individuality, but to prevent daily battles.
3. Getting out of their clothes
As much as getting dressed in the morning is certainly no picnic, it often pales in comparison to the ordeal that is undressing my daughters for their nightly shower. I used to try reasoning with them (“remember how much you wanted to be naked this morning—well, here’s your chance”), but now I just do my best to hold them down, get the clothing off without ripping it, and wrangle them into the bathroom. Thankfully, our loud fan, coupled with the sound of running water, helps drown out the screams.
4. Getting sunscreen put on for camp
Look, I totally get this one. I wouldn’t want to have icky, gloppy sunscreen rubbed all over my body on a daily basis either. The problem, however, is that my girls wriggle and squirm so much during the application process that they manage to get the stuff not only all over their clothes, but in their hair and sometimes, their eyes.
And that’s when I freak out and have to start flushing it out like crazy, which, in turn, sets them off yet again. If only they could invent some sort of magic sunscreen that self-applies. I’d pay extra for it. A lot extra.
5. Washing their hands
Given that my daughters tend to love taking showers, playing in sprinklers, and swimming in pools, I find it somewhat baffling that they’re so opposed to washing their hands when they come from camp, birthday parties, or wherever it is we go. Yet the second the soap hits their fingertips, it’s shriek central. I’ve tried letting them pump the soap themselves (big mistake) and letting them put soap on my hands in an effort to show them how inoffensive the process actually is. I’ve even tried buying different hand soaps in fun colors to make a game out of it. But no dice.
Yes, managing my twins’ tantrums isn’t easy, especially given the everyday, unavoidable things that set them off.
On the other hand, for every scream, kick, or howl that comes out of them, there’s a hug, kiss, or giggle that makes the tough moments seem more than worth it. And that’s precisely what allows me to retain my sanity, hissy fits notwithstnding