2 year old b/g twins - advice please

(12 Posts)
LHM1 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:59:11

I have b/g twins who are approaching 2 years of age. Up until about 18 months I actually found this whole twins lark doable. I (we?!) had got them into a schedule/routine, they drank/ate well, crawled, started to walk. You get the picture. Things were manageable and dare I say it, even fun.

Now - not so much. Both are obviously independent walkers, so I find my self chasing my tail on a daily basis when we are out, trying to 'contain' them. They won't stay in their pram (have found a way to push up on the seat and lift legs out of harness (we have the Mountain Buggy Duet). They (in particular my son, not really my daughter) spend the majority of the day screaming/hitting each other/hitting other children/crying/throwing food/doing anything and everything I tell them not to/having meltdowns.

So my point is - what advice do you have to get me through these times? How can I even go out if its not literally driving somewhere, parking outside and taking them in to a place? Is this just terrible twos? What techniques worked for you to curb hitting/screaming etc? By what age does this all get better? Can your twins escape their pram? I need comforting words, go gently on me x

BrassicaBabe Thu 24-Oct-13 14:32:01

Hi

I didn't want to "read and run". My b/g twins are 2 years 4 months. Mostly grin things are getting easier (I found the first 18 months much harder than I find it now), but I do remember a large chunk of time where I would routinely be laid on the kitchen floor by 4pm while they played, cried or fought around me! I thought that was normal grin

Umm, other than that I have no advice. My two fight like cat and dog several times a day. Escaping the pram was dealt with by a firm re-seating, but I'm sure you've done that. (We've also got a mountain buggy). Then come the end of the day I drink gin! blush

Sorry you are having a tough time. Twins are hard work aren't they. (I'm tried of pretending it's "all in a days work" sometimes!)

I'm sure someone with wiser words will be along shortly smile

ThisIsMeNow Thu 24-Oct-13 14:41:59

Could you take them to the park, pack a little back pack with essentials (so no bag to carry) leave the pushchair at home (go by car? Walk with reins?) and let them run off a bit of steam. I know i struggle with bag pushchair and dd and I've only got one! Freeing up my hands makes me feel I can cope more and let her run wild whist still being able to catch her.

Scrounger Thu 24-Oct-13 14:52:31

Hi, I have 3.3 yo b/g twins and I sympathise. I am finding this part of their development quite challenging and in some ways harder than when they were newborns. I didn't have problems in the pram, I had a City Jogger double and a Silver Cross pop double, other than a bit of fighting. Shopping with the pram was very quick and I used packs of treats to keep them occupied.

They don't fight too much at home, keep focusing on taking it in turns, sharing and no fighting. They are doing what children of that age do, it is just that there are two of them and one of you. It is bloody difficult. Try to work out what triggers fights, screams etc and then how to stop it. I find that I have had to think more about how I manage the twins than I did my older son at that age as I cannot parent in the same way. I also try not to shout and talk quietly and in a low voice (easier said that done and I don't manage it all the time but it is better if I don't) as it just escalates the situation and the noise level goes up and up. Keep going it does get easier, a little bit at a time so that you don't even notice it until you look back and think, actually that is easier than 3 month ago.

Mealtimes were shit and are now getting better, I was tearing my hair out wondering if it was ever going to get better, not eating, getting down from the table and running off, screaming etc. and if one misbehaved the other would usually start and it snowballed. I try to nip anything in the bud now so that it doesn't escalate.

They have been walking for quite a while and I use backpacks with reins on plus I hold their hands when we are walking to and from school etc. The reins act as a back up if one child pulls away, I can still hold onto the rein and 'pull them up short'. If one legs it and it is somewhere unsafe you can't catch them in time as you can't leave the other one. I don't take them out somewhere and let them go by themselves unless it is safe e.g. fenced in play area. It will be that way until I can trust them to stop when asked.

Sorry that was long. Everyone assumes that it gets easier as they get older, as it usually does with a singleton but I haven't found that it does because you end up getting pulled in all directions and dealing with tantrums with one is hard never mind two.

LHM1 Thu 24-Oct-13 22:51:02

Thank you so much to you all for replying - really, really helpful.

Scrounger - I actually don't have those backpack/rein things but think I will get some now, they sound like a good idea and the only way I can ensure safety.

You're right , I am finding it is getting much harder, not easier as everyone had told me it would! I am also a but frustrated at myself I think from a discipline perspective as I can see if I had just one I could be much more rigorous in applying discipline - but as it is whilst I'm trying to discipline one twin the other is off ripping up the place! So I know I'm frustrated on this and end up 'losing it' which is not good for them or me. I've always been such a calm person too smile

I think you're also right - it's just a case of head down, get on with it and these times will pass......but yes, Brassicababe - twins are hard work. Time for a gin?

ThisIsMeNow Thu 24-Oct-13 23:51:28

If you wanted to try reins without it costing you a fortune and having a little backpack each for taking their own supplies with them (plus no fighting over them!) what about these to start off with?

ladybirds

QueenofKelsingra Fri 25-Oct-13 08:46:01

my b/g twins are younger, 17m but I have a nearly 4yo DS too. I usually find that if their behaviour suddenly seems much worse it will be traced back to me spending too much time on MN doing housework/chores and not spending enough time with them. they are much nicer if I make sure to spend some quality play time with them - building towers, passing a ball, singing songs/dancing etc. this also usually means they are happier to be left alone without fighting for a bit for me to do other bits and bobs get back on MN

my guys are in a sidebyside pushchair (nipper 360) and they do have times where they fight/lean over each other's side etc. for the most part I try and distract with snacks! not ideal but it tends to occupy them while I get the shopping done! are you able to tighten the harness up a bit more to stop them escaping?

re:disapline I am so aware of how much harder it is with two than when I just had DS however I really try to make an effort to not let them get away with things for an easier life. do you have a travel cot/playpen? I use one of these for timeout/naughty step for the twins as its quicker than battling them to stay on a step. pick them up, explain and put them in and then you are back to corral the chaos of the other before they've had time to do much damage!

Mandy21 Sat 26-Oct-13 20:19:41

I think at 2, they're old enough to understsnd 'no' and we started using time out. Its exhausting, there is no getting away from it, but its worth it.

I found the whole going out thing really hard when they got fed up in the pram. I remember trying reins (it didnt work for me) in the park. They both went in opposite directions, I just stood there in the middle, holding the reins, arms outstretched, sobbing, because it just seemed too hard.

I think you just have to remember its a phase which WILL come to an end. If you're consistent most days will the discipline even if you just pick a couple of things at a time (throwing food or hitting for example), they'll get the message.

Good luck!

Cerubina Mon 28-Oct-13 14:07:38

I agree with Mandy, the reins thing can be difficult unless they naturally want to go the same way at the same speed. If one is a more wobbly walker than the other it can be tricky. I had many instances of one dropping to the ground and howling while the other tried to make off in the way we weren't meant to be going, and the reins get tangled round each other worse than if you had puppies attached.

Might not be a massively helpful contribution to your problem, but for a period of time I just found it easier only to take them to friends' houses, where they could be contained. Cafes, parks etc were quite stressful as they could move fast and would not stop if I was calling them. Suddenly it got easier and now they are reliable outdoors (2.8 yo).

Are they any good with soft play? It took ages before mine would even countenance leaving my side when we went anywhere like playgroup etc so it was always a really draining experience taking them and I was always envious of those with a singleton! Again suddenly they got good at climbing/sliding etc and being a bit more independent, and soft play is now a good option for days when I want to go out but need them contained.

I completely agree with you that the time before they are mobile is soooo much easier and personally never agreed with the adage that the first 12 months are the hardest!

LHM1 Tue 19-Nov-13 01:43:27

Sorry for the delay - we were on holiday! Thank you again ladies for your help, thoughts, advice and support. Really appreciated x x x

MersyMersy Wed 20-Nov-13 21:21:23

Hi, just wanted to say 'I feel your pain'! Mine are approaching 2 and I definitely feel things are getting harder, not easier. I think that in comparison the first year was a walk in the park! I don't take mine out the pram when I'm on my own. I do take them to playgroups and activity classes which they arent fully participant in but they do like running around and I can let them knowing that they can't escape. I have the littlelife reins and they are good I would recommend them for peace of mind, mine still hold my hand its just insurance for me. Mine go through phases of fighting but not so much after months of me repeating the mantra, its not nice to hit be nice to each other etc etc. If anything mine are majorly competitive for my attention. It is so draining, especially since they don't really like doing the same thing. I just try to do as many new things as I can with them. Messy stuff is their fav, baking, painting, playing wash up with bowls of water. That kind of thing. Also, I do lots of activity games, running, chasing, hide and seek, throwing balls all wear them out and channels their competitiveness more constructively. Have no advice regarding the buggy, sounds like a nightmare. I do give lots of healthy snacks and drinks when on the move to keep their minds off their captivity and each other. Something that I haven't really gotten around to yet but I think is a great idea is one on one time. I think they need a break from each other at times. Not always possible but if it is its worth considering. Good luck! I hope things get better soon.

ladybirdm Wed 08-Jan-14 01:17:52

Hey, reading your post really brought back some memories...

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/multiple_births/1659050-Its-really-hard-work-just-now

I was only thinking today what a difference to now... I was at my wits end. It got to me when all the time people would just say it gets easier... I wanted to know how and when!! They are now 32 months old. Today I made dinner whilst they did play dough, they shared, watched tv together, played together and helped each other. How ever we had two fights, a meltdown in tescos and drawing on the wall.... And still when my heart beats faster and I get all hot I just try and breath and think at least I'm getting a bit of sleep smile May the force be with you x

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