Tuesday, as we sat savoring our Chic-Fil-A nuggets in the Food Court, a somewhat harried young mom approached us, "Is your daughter still in diapers?"
Judging from her thinly-veiled expresssion of panic, I could tell this wasn't just a curious inquiry from a mother wondering when to start potty-training her child. A quick glance to her stroller-bound daughter revealed the gleeful countenance of a girl who in all likelihood was joyfully, but precariously, wearing no undergarments.
With sincere regret, but not-very-subtly-tinged pride I responded, "Oh, I am so sorry! They are both potty-trained." In efforts to offer the limited assistance I could, considering my twins' joint triumph over diaper-manufacturing magnates, I directed her to the in-mall, soft playground, where surely, a mother of a similarly-sized child could provide the necessary nappy.
I then returned my attentions to my twosome, "Didn't that make you feel good to know you don't need diapers anymore?"
"Yes, Mommy," chirped my son, providing the the answer he clearly knew was expected.
The waffle fries had my daughter's total attention. She emitted a half-hearted, "Mmm-hmm."
That night, as we tucked everyone in and said our prayers, we (mostly me) voiced our thankfulness for all we've learned (namely, how to use the potty) and the example we can set for other kids preparing to tread the same path.
Upon entering the lava-lamp lit nursery, I could see Sarah standing in the very corner of her tented crib. Training panties, Tinkerbell nightgown, sheet and fleecy blanket all drenched in a daughter-described (and dramatically minimized), "Little accident."
Knowing she is in the latter stages of the potty-training process, these late-night, deep-sleep accidents are not totally unexpected, or overly corrected.
As I groggily stripped the bed and restocked it with sleep-inducing supplies, I made a mental note to purchase a new vinyl protective cover the next day, as hers had a mattress jeopardizing rip.
Babies-R-Us (the only location in town that stocks vinyl crib mattress covers) continues to be an entertaining destination, despite the fact our twosome can hardly be considered "babies" anymore. Of course the fifty-cent Big Bird jet plane ride at the store's entrance serves as a great motivator for appropriate in-store behavior.
We hadn't been shopping ten minutes when Darren erupted with an urgent, "POTTY, MOMMY!!!"
Pushing the in-line double stroller pottyward, with the adrenaline-charged speed of an Olympian luge-launcher, I raced against the biology of boy parts.
Stroller seat? Saturated.
Mom's patience? Over-taxed.
Wedging the stroller so that it kept the stall door ajar, allowing me arms-length access and sightline to the strapped-in and highly-amused Sarah, off came Darren's shoes, socks, pants and wringable Thomas the Tank Engine undies.
Wisely, I continue to carry dry clothes for instances such as these.
Woefully, I neglected to pack a plastic bag in which to place any urine-dripping duds.
Into our thermal waterproof lunchbag they went. Delicious.
Twenty-four hours had yet to elapse since my pride-inflated declaration of the diaper's demise in our twin-blessed household. Alas, our journey to plural potty prowess continues...
Suppose the moral of this story is, if you see the three of us out eating Food Court cuisine, please... no personal questions. Just ask us how to get to the mall playground.
The author, Cheryl Lage, is a full-time, fully-mobile mom to three-year-old twins, Darren and Sarah. During naptimes, Cheryl is the webhost of www.Twinsights.com, a web support site for new and expecting twin parents. Her book-in-progress, Twinspiration: A Double Dose of Motivation and Encouragement From a Mom Who's Been There, is represented by Erin Reel of The Erin Reel Literary Agency, and is currently in publishing house circulation.