A so-called guide to surviving the toddler years and beyond with twins. Elizabeth Lyons and her ‘sorority’ of twin mums have apparently seen and done it all and have got you covered on what to expect and how to get through it.
Trying to navigate parenting toddlers is hard yo, twins or singletons or whatever. These tiny little basically drunk people who can’t tell you what’s up and are hard-wired to throw themselves into danger at every possible moment are amazing but exhausting. So I’m on the look out for anything that will help me figure it all out. This isn’t it.
Published in 2006, it’s definitely a bit dated, with Friends and Brad and Angie references, and a whole chunk about Desperate Housewives. It’s also quite American, down to the jarring reference to gun safety in the child proofing section. But it feels even more old fashioned than that in its ideas. There’s a chapter called marriage and it assumes everyone with twins is in said relationship. I am not. Many others aren’t either. I’m sure it’s an easy default but you could actually just head it ‘relationships’ instead.
There are some parts that I relate to. The difficulty in taking a break and trusting other caretakers (other than my partner) is an issue for me and one she touched on. Just how important it is to get away and make time for yourself. I’m working on it. But it also assumes people have the means to pay for babysitters if they don’t have family around, and can afford trips to day spas or similar. That’s just not a reality for many people.
And oof, she thinks leashes are inhumane. This seems to be more of an American thing I think. Back home in the UK I don’t remember people batting an eye at you trying to keep your children safe, but I’ve come across a fair few Americans who feel this way. Mate, I’ve got twins, if it’s a leash (we call them reins I think) or letting them run under a car I know what I’m choosing. She judges those who use them at the park or in malls. But if you’re solo parenting and you have kids who are runners they might be the only thing keeping you sane. (Right now we don’t have to use them cos mine don’t seem to be runners but I’m sure that can change in an instant.) There is a level of anxiety that comes with having twins and going out with them alone that I would think the author could relate to, so how about we don’t use the judgey tone in our parenting book, yeah?
And for a book on parenting toddlers there’s a huge chunk dedicated to relationships (aka marriage). And while it is in fact incredibly important to make sure you make time for each other and that your relationship is strong that’s not what I signed up for here. Tell me how to get my toddlers’ frickin coats on already.
‘Of course there are times when you’ll use the N-word.’ I’m possibly being a bit cruel here to use this out of context when she’s referring to the word ‘no’. But maybe just don’t do that when there’s a much more hurtful N-word in existence.
Sometimes it feels like an excuse to talk about herself: her marriage, her third pregnancy. And that’s her prerogative, it’s her book, but again, not what I’m here for. It actually feels more like a memoir at times than a parenting guide. The actual advice would probably take up about a third of this book, if that.
There’s little that seems twin specific, expect potty training maybe, and so I could be reading any general parenting book. Basically I am still looking for a helpful guide to toddler twins, and perhaps it doesn’t exist.