Nobody Told Me How Hard It Is


I have changed the first pair of pants and underwear for each child as soon as we left the kindergarten. We left the place

dry. But then Michael and Daniel clung to the kindergarten's fence from outside, watching the gardener and his assistant, when they cut the jacaranda, which is planted in the middle of the yard of their kindergarten class from last year.

I also watched it with sorrow. He was standing on a ladder and used a saw with an arm extension. It fascinated them, no less disturbed whenever a major branch fell to the ground, on a pile of trunks and branches that was already there.

"It is very sad that they cut down this tree," I said.

"Why does he do it?" Michael asked.

"He is cutting the tree so that the branches will not fall on the children," I replied.  Every season of passed year this wonderful tree gave his magnificent shed for the children to play underneath.  He also showed them its green beauty and grace. But for the caretakers it has always been a burden. They had to rake every morning the twigs and branches that dropped down, and sweep the yard, before letting the children go out there. Actually, this is where my sons learned the craft of raking and sweeping.

Michael and Daniel have heard that the chopping of the tree saddens me and immediately started to scream on the gardener and his apprentice. They did not understand what the children want.

Then the two of them, within a minute, said, "Dad, Fifi." And I looked at them and saw that they peed in their pants.

I hesitated for a moment, whether I should take them back to the kindergarten, where I have prepared replacement pants and underwear, for their toilet training week. But then I decided – what turned out to be a bad decision – to replace their clothes with the ones I have brought in the car. I brought it with me because I decided to surprise them with a visit to their favorite Gymboree, at The City Garden mall, where they like to play at the Gymboree and with the small pedal cars.

I replaced their pants and underwear and went to The City Garden.  I went over to the bathroom, and they follow me, and then we went to the Gymboree. They played a bit, until Daniel said, "Dad, I have to pee."

He was wet again.

I took him out of the Gymboree, replaced his pants and underwear and sent him back to play.

Ten minutes later Michael came to me.

"Dad, I pissed."

I replaced him pants and underwear, feeling the first signs of impatience and exhaustion. And then I have realized that I have just used the two sets of clothes I brought for each.

And of course, after another ten minutes Daniel came up to me and said, "Dad, poo."

"Daniel, why are you doing poop in your pants?" I asked, "You know you need to tell me that that what you want and then run to the bathroom."

I dug desperately in my beg, maybe I'll find him another pair of pants. But there were no more pants in there.

I took both kids to the gents bathroom. Inside, I have carefully removed Daniel's shoes, pants and underwear. Fortunately he was contributing solid droppings. So I picked up the poop with a wet towel, then wiped his butt and I dressed him with clean underwear.

Since I did not have a plastic beg to put it inside, I simply dropped the dirty underwear to the garbage. But alas, no more pants to wear.

Daniel wanted to go straight back to the Gymboree, dressed only in his underwear, with three layers – a T-shirt, long shirt and a sweatshirt. But it seems to me inappropriate. Then, without thinking twice, I invited them to go with me into the nearest children's store, and  asked the seller for a pair of pants for a child of three.

She pulled out a pair of three-quarters of the shelf.

"Don't you have winter pants?" I asked.

"No, sir, the season is over," she replied. "This is what we have."

The pants cost 49.90 NIS. I told myself that this is not such a terrible price to pay, for my kids to continue to enjoy. So I put it on Daniel and went up to the cashier to pay. The seller looked at me and said: "It is a shame that you buy only one pair, because now you can buy four for only twice the price of one pair."

"All right," I replied, "so I will buy four pairs." I knew I need summer pants for both kids.

We bought the pants and went outside. We went back to play. A few minutes later, Michael came to me and told me he went pee again.

It was then that I have lost my patient. I realized I made a mistake. I should not have taken them to play in a public place during their first training.

So I put Daniel, despite his protests, in his seat at the twins cart, harnessed him to it, something I did not do for a long time, and while he was expressing his anger in his seat I have changed Michael's pants and underpants.

"Dad, are you mad?" Michael asked.

"No, I'm tired."

"I do not want to go home."

"There is no other choice, I do not have more energy to change your clothes today," I replied, and took them to the car.

We went home. The kids took out my tool box and went to play in the yard. I went home, sitting and eating four slices of bread with hummus, because I skipped lunch today, and was already starved.

"Dad, pee!" I have suddenly heard Daniel's voice from the staircase in our yard.

"Dad, Me too!" Michael said.

"Well, in that case we will go home and take a bath," I told them, "I have no more energy for that."

"Never mind," replied Michael, and continued to play.

I was astonished by his reply, by his readiness to endure the wet clothes, so that he will be able to stay outside. So I let them play in the yard, wearing three-quarter thin pants, and barefoot, until it was already dark outside.

Then I took them home, into the bathroom, where they had a fight whose turn it is to prepare the evening bath foam, and whose turn it is to clean it after they finish bathing. And in the end we watched few chapters of 'Fireman Sam,' read poems from some children's books and went to sleep.

I laid between them, each child on one of my arms – this is the way they love to sleep – and had a 15 minutes meditation, just to get back some strength.

Nobody told me how difficult it is, toilet training for twins. I am not going to break now. Not a chance. I have already made half the way from Saturday to today. We will continue it until they will realize that, unlike in the past, they can't release the intestines, while they are engaged in play, because there is nothing to stop it under, except their clothes, which become dirty and wet.

For tonight I am a single father, who ran after two boys with wipes and toilet paper, and has a second washing machine working, do that I will have enough underwear for the coming days

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