Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

Top 10 Conversations February 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:19 pm
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With the rapid expansion of their vocabulary, the twins are inevitably discovering a few challenges with their pronunciation.

My favourite phrases this week are as follows, with English interpretations included!

1. MUMMEEE CUGGLES (Mummy please can I have a cuddle)

2. COOARLA STRALIA NICKEEEEE (Koalas live in Australia as does Auntie Nicky)

3. SGETTI MOR MOR MOR (I’d like some more spaghetti bolognaise please)

4. CAKK OUT? (Any chance of some chocolate mummy?)

5. NORRTY MAN (Naughty man – directed at the handyman, we’re not sure why!)

6. MEEFFEE WEED? (Please read me another Miffy book)

7. AMMAL BEE KITS? (Can we have some of those lovely animal biscuits?)

8. TWEEN! (I’m a twin!)

9. WAR KING PACK? (Shall we go for a walk to the park?)

10. KEES BECKER (I’ve hurt myself, please kiss it better)


Hypochondria at 2? February 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 2:34 pm
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Is it possible that my 2 year olds could be hypochondriacs? Lately they’ve become incredibly fascinated with all things illness-related.

They can’t pass a box of tissues without grabbing a handful, shouting “bogies” and then vigorously scrubbing their faces.

Whenever they see a bottle of medicine they declare, “Calpol, yum” and suggest that they both need a dose.

As a result of the blonde’s allergies, we have to travel with 2 Epi-pens at all times, together with anti-histamine drops and syrup; all of which is bundled in a well-labelled bag that travels to and from nursery each day.

This emergency kit is fought over every time we leave the house. Both the blonde and the brunette want to carry the “medsin” but the blonde is at an advantage as she asserts that it is actually her “medsin”, snatches it off the brunette, who, if she doesn’t co-operate, gets a nasty bite from the blonde as punishment.

I live in fear of coming downstairs one day to find the blonde actually administering the epi-pen to the brunette in a fit of jealous frustration over who has carried it most in the past day.

This morning it was decided that teddy was ill and needed tissues and Calpol. Neither of the girls were very impressed when I told them there was no dosage information for stuffed animals and therefore teddy would have to continue suffering without the aid of paracetamol.

After around 3 minutes of protests, I gave in and let them both have a medicine spoon while I pretended to pour out the pink stuff for ted’s benefit.

I was tempted to take a shot myself.


Lost in Translation February 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:09 am
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Twinsdaddy and I decided it was our community duty to make our neighbours aware of the break in at our home over the weekend.

We drafted a letter explaining what had happened, and what recommendations the police had made to keep our home more secure in future.

We thought it might help prevent anyone else suffering the same experience as us, which can only be a good thing. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

There are around a dozen villas on our compound and we share a pool, garden and gym in the communal area at the rear of all our properties.

We are a small community, and having only recently moved in, we don’t really know any of our neighbours other than to shout ‘hi’ over the garden wall.

I knocked on doors, passed over our letter, and explained the situation to everyone I met. They were all very kind, very sympathetic and I think, very grateful that we’d informed them.

And then I met Mr Lebanese.

I’ve spotted him on many occasions as he doesn’t seem to go to work and is often pottering around his garden during the day. I’d say he’s in his mid 40s, and I think he is the father of two young children who I’ve spotted playing in the shared gardens.

His garden is beautifully turned out and as a family, they are forever having friends over for social gatherings. There are always at least 10 people in their garden enjoying barbecues, chattering and having fun, often into the early hours.

None of which bothers us in the slightest as we are on the opposite side of the swimming pool, so any noise just doesn’t reach us. But in a quiet development, they stand out as being the ‘sociable’ family.

Bear with me, there’s a point to all of this.

By the time I get to Mr Lebanese, I’ve already spoken to about 4 households, so my patter is pretty well honed. As he opens the front door, I launch straight into my opener, explaining how I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that our home was broken into at the weekend.

He looks confused.

I repeat myself. “At the weekend, on Saturday, we had a break in”.

He tells me that yes, he’s free on Saturday.


“No, no. At our house, on Saturday, someone broke in”

He then tells me that he’d love to come to my house on Saturday and which number villa am I? Can he bring something?

By this point, I’ve started with the hand gestures.

“While we were sleeping, someone came into the house”

I’m making head on pillow gestures.

He’s now looking worried.

Terrific. He thinks I want him to come to my house and sleep with me.

This is not going well.

It is Valentine’s Day. Maybe he thinks this is how the British celebrate?

I will not be beaten. I resort to words of one syllable.

“A thief. He came in the house. At night. He broke the doors. He want to take things.”


“My husband chased him away.”

Relief as the word ‘husband’ is mentioned.

“We called the police.”

Finally, he understands me and looks horrified.  But by now I have the giggles. And I can’t stop.

I shove the letter in his hand and literally run away from his front door.

I don’t think we’ll be invited round for a barbecue any time soon.


A Bit of a Steal February 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:14 pm
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Our week of birthday fun and frivolities came to a grinding halt in the early hours of Saturday morning as we fell victim to a break in at our home.

In all of the many homes we’ve lived in, we’ve been fortunate to have never been burgled before. This may have something to do with the fact that we don’t tend to live in any of our homes for very long before fate decides it’s time for us to move on!

Any would-be thieves are probably only just finishing their assessment of our suitability as targets when the removals lorries arrive and they’ve lost their opportunity.

Unfortunately, our run of good luck in this area has run out.

At around 4am on Saturday my husband was woken by the sound of what he thought was a balloon popping. There are around two dozen balloons in our lounge that we’d given the girls to play with on their birthday, so it wasn’t an unreasonable assumption. But then he heard the sound of someone walking around downstairs, and that definitely wasn’t part of the party pack.

I was woken by the glare of the landing lights and thought it strange that twinsdaddy would have risked waking the children at such an early hour. He hasn’t been sleeping very well so I padded downstairs expecting to find him waiting for the kettle to boil, Classic & Sports Car in hand.

Instead, as I made my way downstairs, I was greeted by a visibly shaken twinsdaddy brandishing a huge Maglite torch, holding my jewellery box.

In all honesty I was completely bemused.

The french doors were wide open, every light was on and my husband looked demonic. He hissed at me to call the police at which point the penny dropped and I started to feel quite scared.

It also highlighted the point that we didn’t actually know the number for the police in Dubai!

It transpired someone had forced open the locked french doors, crept upstairs to our bedroom and helped themselves to all my jewellery while we slept just a few feet away. They’d then gone back downstairs and left the jewellery box on the edge of the table next to the french doors, while they presumably started to check around the lounge for other easily flog-able, valuable items.

They had quite a choice. My lovely Macbook, a couple of Blackberries and an iPhone, two rather nice cameras, not to mention the keys to two luxury cars, were all lying around downstairs within easy grasp of an intruder.

It seems that twinsdaddy had illuminated the entire house at just the right moment as the culprit fled without managing to grab anything further or even stopping to collect the jewellery as he exited. He must be kicking himself this morning!

We spent the next few hours talking to police officers, all the while hoping that none of the children would wake and discover what was going on.

I can honestly say I’ve never felt more scared or more relieved as I have done in the past 24 hours. Scared witless of what ‘could have been’. And more relieved than I ever thought possible at the realisation that we are all safe and free from harm.

And I’ll be honest, more than just a little bit grateful that I haven’t lost my entire jewellery collection!

I now understand the victims of burglary who say they feel violated that someone has been in their house, uninvited. I feel a strange mix of vulnerability and sheer bloody anger that someone has dared come into our home whilst we were there.

And as for twinsdaddy, well frankly, we think he’s a bit of a hero.



Pre-Flight Nerves February 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:09 pm
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Four weeks today my best friend is getting married and I’m going to be her bridesmaid.

Frankly, I think I’m a little too old for the whole bridesmaid shenanigans, but she assures me it’s just a dated title and my only duties will be escorting her to the spa the day before, opening the champagne on the morning of the big “I do”, and remembering to pack her lipstick in my clutch bag.

I refuse to even consider being labelled ‘matron of honour’, so if anyone asks, I’m the ‘best woman’.

At least she’s chosen a good location for it. She’s getting married on the beach in Sydney with a small, select group of friends and family in attendance. There will be great food, good wine and hopefully, fabulous weather. And no children!

Yes, I am attending the wedding without my ‘plus 4’.

The original idea was to take the entire family down under and make a holiday of it. But that plan was ruined by dull issues such as my son’s impending SATs, the fact that it’s term time, and the minor problem that to fly all 5 of us over to Sydney is only marginally less expensive than NASA’s space programme.

In a moment of weakness, my husband said that I should take the opportunity for a break from parenting duties, and head to Australia alone. I think as the moment draws ever closer, he may be regretting that decision, but I keep assuring him he’ll love the experience of holding down a full-time, incredibly demanding job whilst juggling the parenting of 3 equally demanding children.

Meantime, I’m having a few concerns of my own. I have no worries that the children will be absolutely fine. Grandma is flying out for the week to help out.

Big brother will be at school for 5 days, and the girls at nursery . I have written list after list detailing feeding, clothing, homework and play routines.

The freezer will be pre-stocked with stocks of low-resistance meals for all and I’m ready to take a more relaxed view of television and chocolate consumption for the week.

No, the thing that’s concerning me is how I’m going to cope. I have never been away from the girls, and only away from the big brother on a handful of occasions. Usually for 1 or 2 nights at most.

This trip is a rather epic 7 days mostly because it takes a full day to get there and back, meaning I’m only in Sydney for a mere 5 days.

I remember the first time I left the big brother it was for a work event on the Gold Coast. We were living in Singapore so it was a reasonably long flight that took most of a day. When we landed, I remember thinking that it would be my little one’s bedtime and having an overwhelming urge to just sit on the plane and fly back to Singapore to be with him.

As it was, I was staying at the Versace hotel for 4 days, so as soon as I arrived and checked into my rather decadent suite, my yearnings somewhat subsided!

So, I’ve got just over 3 weeks until I leave Dubai on my big trip east and the pre-flight nerves are setting in. I suppose the thing that worries me more than anything. What if they don’t even notice I’ve gone?


Girl’s Day February 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 12:57 pm
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So this weekend we had a girls only day. And no, sadly that didn’t mean a spot of brunch, a mani – pedi and some retail therapy. I had a day on my own with the twins. Just the three of us. Me hopelessly outnumbered by some (very nearly) two-year olds.

Twins Daddy had taken the Big Brother on an organised desert drive. They left around 7am and weren’t due back until at least 9pm. So how best to fill the day?

I started with an optimistic telly in bed session. We watched Mr Benn together with cups of milk; they demanded seconds, then moved onto a chant for “porritch”. I suggested that maybe we could watch a full episode (all 13 minutes of it), before breakfast; therefore giving twinsmummy time to drink her tea and read at least 4 pages of the newspaper, but no, they were insistent. Porritch is was.

My next cunning plan was to create an appetite whilst simultaneously exhausting them with a trip to the soft play area in Magic Planet. It worked a treat. We ran, we climbed, we fell over… a lot, and I denied all knowledge of ‘snacks’ in the hope they’d be ravenous by 11.30.

We trooped into Carluccio’s and for a moment, as I grappled the two of them into high chairs and watched helplessly as one emptied the salt bowl, and the other started flinging the sugar sachets onto the next table; whether it might have been simpler to just take them home for lunch.

But then I remembered that it would be me on the floor clearing the debris afterwards, and decided that at least this way, someone who was getting paid had the pleasure instead.

I optimistically ordered lasagna for them. Not something we’ve tried before. The brunette approved. The blonde was unimpressed. So, the brunette enjoyed seconds, whilst the blonde ate crayons and bread sticks.

I chose finger food only, hopeful that I’d be getting at least some of the lasagna (no chance!); and a hot drink that I had to leave on the other side of the table to avoid the temptation of small hands. I did such a good job of removing it from their consciousness that I consequently forgot all about it, realising only once it was stone cold.

Note to self, when dining alone with toddlers, order cold drinks only. Preferably large and alcoholic.

The ice cream was much more of a success. So much so that there was much screaming when the bowl was emptied. I’d been synchronised-spooning it into both mouths at the same time so it hadn’t taken us long to clear the lot. Fortunately, there was a woman at the next table doing face painting which provided enough of a distraction for me to pack up our belongings and down the cold coffee.

I glanced briefly down at the floor and was pleased to see that it wasn’t our worst effort. Sure, they’ll still be chiseling the pasta off the tiles in a week’s time, but at least the granulated sugar can be hoovered up quite quickly, right?

The excitement of the morning proved too much for my two who both zonked out during the 10 minute drive home.

I delicately laid them both in their cots and crept downstairs to enjoy the first peace of the day and an unaccompanied trip to the toilet.

It was 1.07 pm.

What on earth to do for the next 6 hours?




One Without the Other February 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:16 am
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Every morning at nursery, the girls have their temperatures checked by the school nurse who greets all the children and parents at the door. With a building full of 300 children, it’s not a bad idea to try to keep the bugs at bay.

Anyone with children at school or nursery knows that once one child in the class is poorly, it’s just a matter of time before your offspring comes home feeling a little peaky, then proceeds to infect the rest of the family; normally, just in time for the weekend.

The girls have a cough and slightly runny noses, but other than that, I thought they were both ok. The blonde has been slightly off her food in the past 24 hours, but frankly, we’ve become used to her food fads and view this as simply her exercising her right to be picky… again.

So, we went to nursery fully expecting both to be admitted, and for me to then dash home, grab the laptop and head to the office.

Oh no.

The brunette was with me and was given the all clear immediately.

Then it was the blonde’s turn. “Oh dear”, said the nurse. “She has the fever”.

She showed me the thermometer in case I doubted her. I expect she gets grilled often by other working mummies who are desperately relying on nursery to take care of their little people.

So this throws up something of a dilemma for me. Should I leave the brunette at nursery and just take the blonde home? Or should I take them both with me?

Is it fair to leave one without the other? Will they be emotionally scarred for life?

I decided to try to leave the brunette, fully expecting a tantrum of epic proportions once she realised the blonde wasn’t joining her; and for me to then extract her and take them both home.

We walked into the classroom and I quietly explained the situation to Luisa. She looked horrified. “She will stay without her sister?”, she hissed at me, looking frankly, rather disapproving.

I managed a shrug.

Is it bad to leave one without the other?

There was blue play dough this morning and heart-shaped cutters. The brunette clambered onto a chair and grabbed a ball of plab and started jabbing it with her finger.

It’s normally at this stage that I say a quick goodbye and head for the door at which point she lunges at me and glues herself to my leg whilst sobbing.

“Mummy’s off to work now. I’ll come back and collect you soon sweetie.”

“Ok, bye”, says the brunette.

I’m stunned. Almost disappointed.

Does she not realise that her twin is NOT WITH HER?

I give her a kiss and head out of the classroom.

At the door I glance back, thinking by now she’ll have twigged and will be chasing after me. But no. She has found the star-shaped cutter and is busy making a play dough constellation.

I peak around the wall, the last visual point of contact.

Still nothing.

Right then.

I take the blonde home, administer the Calpol and head to the office.

Separation anxiety? Well it’s fair to say I still suffer from it acutely, but it seems my girls are way more independent than I gave them credit for!