'Everything Smells Like Poo': Mum Of Quints On The 'Hell' Of Toilet Training
Speak to any parent and they'll tell you the trials and tribulations of toilet training a child.
But what if you have five of them? And you had to toilet train them all at the same time? Well that's the harsh reality faced my Perth mum of quintuplets Kim Tucci.
"There's a new challenge every week," the 29-year-old mum told The Daily Mail of her hectic life. "The hardest thing right now is toilet training. Trying to train five toddlers is hell."
Kim said she's in need of a spa day because everything in her life smells like poo, from her nails to her skin to "her whole freaking life".
"Allison and Beatrix have been so easy going, Penny is getting there she really does try and for that, I could never be mad at her."
But then Kim said there is Keith and Tiffany who "are currently going through a stage of smearing poop EVERYWHERE!"
Kim said they have been 'painting' with their poo in the toilet and at daycare, they have been "smooshing it into their fingers, painting the floor or even the cubby house."
Kim added the worst part about it is the brother and sister laugh about it.
"They know better but they just don’t seem to care. I have wondered maybe it’s attention seeking because there is so many of them?" she asked.
"The issue with multiples is that they copy each other; if one gets undies the rest want undies! Try arguing with five three-year-olds at 7am in the morning."
One morning, Kim said she stood in a pile of poo and the incident made her cry.
"I spent 30 mins cleaning crap off the toilet with bleach and I have had a shower and I can still smell poop."
I’m ready to rock in the corner or run away to my best friend's house and drink a whole bottle of wine just so I don’t have to drive home and deal with more crap. I’m buying gloves because I swear it’s under my nails.
After recently facing a 'good week' of potty training, Kim took her children to McDonald's for a rare treat. Yet with so many mouths to feed, it cost her $90.
Kim became a mum of eight when she gave birth to quintuplets after having three children previously.
She was thrilled when she fell pregnant in 2015, but both Kim and her husband Vaughn, 35, were both shocked when they were told there were five heartbeats in the womb.
They welcomed one boy, Keith, and four girls, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany and Beatrix in 2016 via c-section, who joined Kim's son Kurt, 12, from a previous marriage, and daughters Ava, eight, and Indiana, six, who she shared with Vaughn before the quints.
And raising eight children hasn't been easy in any respect, but even more so when it comes to the cost. Kim said she spends $205 a week on groceries but mostly because she shops budget.
"My grocery bill is cheaper because I don't buy expensive brands. The kids don't know any better - no one ever complains as the kids don't know the difference," she said.
She stocks up on milk, bread, cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables when she can and looks out for whatever's on special, particularly when there's clearance on fresh produce.
The family of 10 go through 21 litres of milk and seven loaves of bread in just one week. And if that doesn't sound scary enough, they do 20 kilograms of washing per day.
With the quints being toilet trained, they also go through a lot of toilet paper so Kim makes sure to purchase 'cheap brands' as they use so much of it.
Given the huge amount of cooking Kim does, she has to prepare food in advance or meal times would be even more manic than they already are. She pre-preps food for the quints, usually spaghetti bolognese or risotto.
I make pasta dishes with hidden vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and carrots blended together and make a sauce out of that.
It's been stressful for Kim from the beginning, but one of the biggest difficulties has been making time for her husband, Vaughn. They have taken a break to stop the children from seeing "their mum and dad arguing and unhappy all the time".
While they are trying to work things out, she explained: "We need self-love and to look after our own mental health before we can start looking after being a marriage unit. It's just, there's so much stress."
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