Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

Everyday experiences with twins. The ups, downs and downright unexpected.

Grin and bear it March 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:10 pm
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One of the most frustrating things about having twins isn’t the non-stop nappy changing, or the sound of two sets of tiny lungs yelling in unison, or even the sheer exhaustion that has become the normal state of being.

No, the thing that really grates is the volume of utterly stupid questions and comments that people throw at me on a daily basis.

Here are a few of my ‘favourites’ and the replies I wish I had the nerve to respond with.

1. You’ve got your hands full.

Reply. I have. Would you like to come over and make dinner for me? It would really help.

2. Are they identical?

Reply. What do you think? (One’s blonde, the other’s brunette. One’s olive-skinned, the other fair. They are different sizes and have completely different features).

3. Two boys?

Reply. Yes, I just dress them in drag for the fun of it.

4. I’m glad they’re yours and not mine.

Reply. So am I.

5. Did you know you were having twins?

Reply. No, I didn’t even know I was pregnant.

6. Were they natural / normal?

Reply. What the bloody hell has it got to do with you?

7. How do you tell them apart?

Reply. I have their names tattooed on their inner thighs.

8. Do twins run in your family?

Reply. We’ll have to wait and see, they’re only crawling at the moment.

9. Are they yours?

Reply. No, I just pinched them from a woman in the supermarket. Do you think she’ll notice?

And my all time, can’t beat it, have to hear it at least once a day…

10. Are they twins?

I’m afraid the answer is just too rude to put in writing…

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Secret Language March 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:16 pm
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I read a lot about twins in the build up to the birth of my girls, and one recurring topic was the ‘secret language’ that is apparently shared by multiples.

Blessed with a unique bond and an ability to feel and share emotions far more acutely than mere siblings, twins apparently often develop their own method of communicating that only they can understand.

I have been avidly watching my girls waiting for signs that they too share a special language but to date, there’s been no evidence that they share anything other than a need to cry, complain or whine when they are a) tired, b) hungry or c) need changing.

So far, so predictable.

Twin 1 uttered her first proper word about a week ago. Disappointingly (for me at least), that word was ‘Daddy’. I consoled myself with the fact that it’s easier to say than ‘Mummy’ apparently. Something to do with the ‘d’ sound being more natural and requiring less effort.

I could have let her off if it hadn’t been for the fact that her first word was followed pretty swiftly by her second word. Which was ‘bear’.

Twin 2 has yet to say anything that remotely resembles the English language but the pressure is on for her to grasp the tricky ‘m’ sound or else ‘Mmmmmummy’ may just get the hump.

But back to the point. Whilst neither of them has a firm grasp of conversational skills, over the last week there has been a very noticeable increase in communication between the two of them. One makes a noise; the other giggles. One burbles something incomprehensible; the other retorts. They actually look as though they are having a conversation. Now, I don’t want to be taken in by everything I read, but I’m starting to think these twins experts may have got it right.

 

School Play March 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 11:38 am
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This week’s great excitement has been the Year 1 performance. Entitled ‘Ballooning Around The World’ it starred every single child in Year 1 – a grand total of 116 children. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t in charge. 3 seem to defeat me most days.

My son had one of only a handful of speaking parts and was bursting with excitement days in advance. By the morning of the show we could hardly contain him. We all knew his line, could hum along to the song and had been fully briefed on where he had to sit on stage.

Proud grandparents in tow, we arrived at school for the 830 am performance. The stars get a little weary as the day wears on so apparently it’s best to catch them first thing to ensure a seamless performance. Leave it any later and there are tantrums, tears and hair-pulling. I’ve heard it’s just the same at the RSC.

The show was a knockout. Out of time singing, enthusiastic dance moves, a few hiccoughs from the cd player and much waving at the crowd of parents, grandparents and siblings.

As the children filed out of the school hall at the end of the show I felt like every proud mummy should. My son marched past the end of our row with a beaming grin as he clocked us all and just one thought crossed my mind.

It would have been nice if one of his teachers had realised he had his trousers on back to front!

 

Pets March 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:17 pm
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We had a fish. Well actually, we had two fish. Goldfish. Very basic, nothing fancy, just ordinary goldfish. They didn’t do much but because we had them, we ticked the ‘pet’ box. And when you have children, it seems you’re obliged to not only provide food, clothing, discipline and pocket-money, but also a pet.

The first fish died whilst we were in the UK at Christmas. Our helper texted to say it had gone to the great goldfish bowl in the sky so we told her to get down to the nearest pet shop and replace it with an identical cousin (how hard could this be after all?).

We returned from our Christmas break to discover that Shrek was alive and well…and twice the size he’d been before we went on holiday. Amazingly, my son put this down to over indulgence during the Christmas season and naturally, we didn’t correct him.

The replacement fish only lasted until the pest control came for their annual visit and were perhaps a little over zealous with the chemicals near Shrek 2’s bowl. We had a burial in the garden. We’re hoping the neighbourhood cats didn’t notice.

We replaced Shrek 2 with two goldfish thinking that at least one of them might go the distance (a month maybe?). We called them Tom and Jerry as even my son realised that Shrek 3 and 4 was perhaps a little unimaginative… Sadly, Jerry barely made it into his new home before he snuffed it. I think he managed three hours.

My Dad is staying with us at the moment and he managed to keep my goldfish Albert alive for years. He recommended pond weed, so this afternoon off we trooped back to the pet shop.  We got a good deal on a particularly pretty variety of weed on the basis that one of the fish that was supposed to swim amongst it, was no longer with us.

It was a hot afternoon and we were all glad to get home. My son, filled with excitement rushed into the kitchen and we placed the weed carefully in the goldfish bowl. Tom didn’t seem all that impressed. In fact, he didn’t even move. He didn’t move when we prodded him, when we waved the weed in his little face or when my Dad gave him a shot of brandy (kept Albert going for ages apparently).  Tom was dead. Cue much sobbing.

As I put my son to bed tonight he told me not to worry as he has had enough of fish as they keep dying. How mature I thought. What a grown up attitude. I should have known there was a catch.

“Can you ask Daddy if we can get a guinea pig?”

 

Great Excitement

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 11:41 am
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One of the great benefits of being an expat is that people come to stay with you and invariably, you end up enjoying real quality time with friends and family as they tend to stay with you for far longer than they would back at home.

Coupled with that, the fact that you’re living in a hot country means most people really feel as if they’re on holiday when they come to visit. We have become very used to the guaranteed daily sunshine, but for anyone who’s been in the UK for the last 6 months, sunshine is something of an alien concept.

Landing in Dubai to anything less than 30 degree heat is a rarity so by the time people walk through the arrivals hall, a broad grin is normally in place.

In our household there is great excitement as ‘the grandparents’ are staying with us.  For my son this means 10 days of stories on demand, help with key Lego construction projects and much unauthorised chocolate consumption.

For me, this means two extra pairs of hands to help with the twins. The novelty of feeding them, taking them for walks and playing with them will almost certainly last for the duration of their stay meaning I should have a relaxing few days with my feet up. Well, perhaps not, but surely it won’t be quite as manic as normal.

 

Twinkle, twinkle March 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 1:38 pm
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Twinkle, twinkle, cocktail bar,

Now I wonder where you are,

Caipirinha, pink gin fizz,

Mojito would do the biz,

Toddler twins will run amok,

But Mummy needs a pick-me-up!

 

Food Glorious Food March 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:03 pm
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The twins are now at the stage where in theory at least, they can eat pretty much anything. I think foie gras, oysters and sushi are still some way off but in general, I can now whip up a meal for them from the staple ingredients found in our fridge.

We have passed the stage where everything has to be pulped until it resembles wallpaper paste (albeit rainbow coloured wallpaper paste). Now we are at the ridiculously messy point where all meals must be handled, squashed, squeezed and rolled across the high chair tray before they can be consumed. 

Twin 2 is definitely the more adventurous when it comes to eating. She will actually try something to decide whether or not she likes it. Twin 1 however goes through a series of  tests that would put the Volkswagen engineers to shame. These results alone can determine whether it’s worth taking the next step and moving the food into her mouth.

She is very particular about texture and elasticity. Each bite-sized chunk is rigorously examined and if it doesn’t conform to her high standards, it is simply dropped over the edge of the high chair. Rejected.

Once something makes it into her mouth, it is way too much to ask for it to stay there. She sucks, she chews and then her fingers creep up to retrieve the saliva-coated mush so that she can take another good look at it. Surprisingly, it almost always goes back in her mouth. If we’re really lucky, she may even swallow it.

It’s fair to say that right now, we’re not really very polite company at a dinner table. With one baby, you can almost get away with it by sandwiching the highchair between two parents. With both adults on the look out for mobile foodstuffs, many disasters are averted.

With two high chairs, there is nothing discreet about the presence of twins at any table. But we can’t avoid eating out forever. Today one of my dearest friends invited us to join her family for brunch at a smart hotel in the Marina. We happily accepted, mainly because the brunch in question involves free-flowing champagne.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this brunch may just call for a further mention in my blog.

Easter weekend in case you’re wondering…