Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

A day in the life March 30, 2011

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I am hopeful that we are nearing the end of our vomitathon. We really need to be, I’m fast running out of clean clothes and bedding. Not to mention sofas.

With twinsdaddy and my helper struck down with the evil bug, I have had an eye-opening look at what ‘real’ motherhood might be like. You know, back in the real world we used to live in, before we were tempted by the smell of expat living.

On Monday morning, still feeling none too special myself, but in a much better state than twinsdaddy who was comatose; I was in sole charge of getting everyone out of the house.

Good grief it’s an operation!

The six year old is great at getting himself dressed and fed, but has no sense of urgency. To the question “are you ready for school?”, he optimistically replied “yes”, despite the fact he had no shoes on, no school bag, lunch box or swimming kit, and a 3 inch smear of toothpaste down his left cheek.

With the girls stampeding in their cots we left the house (732am!) for school. Numeracy homework was done en route before a kiss and run situation as I legged it back home for stage 2.

We threw some porridge around the dining room for a bit of fun then I piled the girls into the car for the nursery run.

Bag crisis number 2. We have to take snacks, water cups, change of clothes and of course, the critically important bag of “medsin”. Pyjamas count as a change of clothes right?

With both daddy and Joy out of action, it was critical that the girls passed the temperature test. I had a client meeting booked and the thought of taking the gruesome twosome to a 5 star hotel to recce for a press event, wasn’t top of my list of ‘fun things to do’.

I crossed my fingers and whispered a silent prayer as the thermometer’s went into the ears. Success. Kiss and run stage two.

Then back home to try and make myself look less like the bride of Frankenstein so as not to scare the locals.

With less than 10 minutes to leave the house it was a simple choice. Hair or make up? No time for both. I decided clothes were a pre-requisite so flung on the nearest dress I could find and pinned my hair up in what I hoped was a casual / chic bun. I fear messy / birds nest was more the result but something had to give.

At a time like this, valet parking applied more pressure to an already tense situation. The poor porter waited patiently at the driver’s door whilst I changed shoes, applied lipstick, smoothed down the bird’s nest and searched desperately for my business cards.

The Communications Manager who was meeting me was smart, sleek and coiffured, and wearing an elegant black suit. She was clearly familiar with a hair brush and undoubtedly had no children. (No sign of dribble on either shoulder).

A tray of cakes and biscuits were produced along with pots of coffee and my stomach did one of those worrying flips as I desperately prayed that the 2 gingers nuts that had sustained me for the past 24 hours, weren’t about to make a reappearance.

From meeting to home for a quick check on the invalids. Both still breathing. The best that could be hoped for.

And next? My son’s swimming gala. One and a half hour’s sitting poolside at school whilst 120 children thrash up and down in the sticky heat. I clung to my bottle of water and took solace from the thought that my public obligations for the day were almost over.

How on earth will I manage in the UK?




Mortified March 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 11:01 am
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To say this weekend has been something of a write-off would be an understatement. And it all started with such promise. A family day on Friday was to be followed by a birthday dinner for a good friend at my favourite restaurant. Then on Saturday we were due to attend the Dubai World Cup – the most lucrative date in the horse racing calendar with a mere $10,000,000 prize up for grabs.

Friday didn’t start all that well as the blonde was obviously feeling a little peaky. A request for “mummy cuggles” was actually code for “please hold me, I’m about to be violently sick”, and within seconds, I was sporting ‘eau de vomit’ from my hair to my toes.

Surprisingly, the rest of the day passed without incident, with the blonde perking up, and later, having packed them off to bed, we didn’t give a second thought to heading out to dinner.

It all started well enough. My dear friend L likes to do things properly so with a bird’s eye view of the spectacular Dubai fountains, ten of us drank champagne and tucked into the Rivington Grill’s finest food.

And then it went rapidly downhill.

I started feeling a little strange. You know the feeling when all is not quite right and you’re just trying to work out how ‘not quite right’ it might be. I did some mental calculations about how long it would take me to get to the ladies.

Unfortunately, we were out on the terrace at the far end of the restaurant; and the bathrooms are rather unhelpfully outside in the main mall.

I remember standing up and whispering to my husband that I might need to borrow him for a minute. And then the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor.

It gets worse.

I was lying on the floor, in front of the kitchen door being violently sick.

It was Friday night in one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai. At least, it was one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai until my little performance two nights ago.

I have vague recollections of waiters stepping over and around me in order to keep delivering food to those diners who hadn’t been put off their meals. They’re made of tough stuff these Dubaians.

At some point, a screen was erected around me as it became obvious that there was no chance of me going anywhere. Attempts to sit up and stand up proved futile.

And then they started talking about wheelchairs! Oh God, the humiliation.

L negotiated a back route so that I wouldn’t have to be wheeled through the main restaurant, and for that decision alone, I will be eternally grateful. I kept my head in my hands for the entire journey and muttered “sorry” to whoever we passed.

Everyone was extremely charming. They just wanted rid of me by whatever means necessary. I can’t say I blame them.

The taxi driver took one look at me and obviously feared for his velour. My husband did a great job of negotiating our way into his cab and then punctuated every gear change, brake or manoeuvre with a request to “go, easy” which probably did nothing to allay the poor driver’s fears.

So there was no World Cup, my fancy fascinator gets to stay in its box this year. I didn’t even get to tuck into my favourite Rivington dessert.

As I type this from the sanctuary of my bed, there is only one upside. I’ve managed to lose the Sydney kilo!




Mine All Mine March 22, 2011

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The brunette has a new favourite word. “Mine”. It gets applied liberally to anything she believes to be her property, and she directs her claims at her sister just so that there is no misunderstanding.

Generally, she talks about toys and clothes that are rightfully hers, but every now and again we get into a little tussle over something contentious.

Yesterday it was a pot of fromage frais. The brunette had inhaled hers, so reached out for the blonde’s pot, shouted “mine”, and before any of us could say “Petits Filous”, she’d started eating it.

The blonde was not amused. Much screaming followed as I wrestled the pot from the brunette and handed it back to the blonde. In the altercation, most of the contents had ended up on the table so there wasn’t a lot for her to reclaim, but it was a matter of principle by that stage.

This morning, the brunette decided it was time to lay claim to twinsmummy. We sat on the sofa together as the girls drank their milk and I tried to enjoy a cup of tea.

No sooner had the milk cups been slammed down and declared, “emty”, then the brunette made her move.

“Mine”, she declared, as she climbed up onto my lap. “Mine Mummy”, just to be clear.

The look on the blonde’s face said all. You must be joking!

The blonde scrambled over to me and started trying to climb onto my already occupied knee, whilst declaring “Mine Mummy”. Just so there was no misunderstanding, she gave the brunette a brutal shove in the hope of overthrowing her.

War was declared. There was shoving, and pushing, and hair pulling. Screams of “MINE” filled the air.

I desperately tried to separate them as screams turned to sobs.

The brunette had her arms around my neck and her legs wrapped around my waist, as the blonde manoeuvred herself onto my knee and began to stage a sit-in.

The brunette tried to kick the blonde off-balance, but being the smaller and weaker of the two, the brunette had no chance.

Eventually, we settled for a girl on each knee, with an arm around their tummy having a “mummee cuggle” as I explained that I was to be shared, rather than split.

I’m not entirely sure they were in agreement with me, but were weakened from fighting and in need of a quiet moment.

I’m so glad they weren’t triplets.


History Lesson March 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 3:08 pm
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This week, my son’s class were looking for volunteers to be interviewed about their childhood holidays. Parents were invited to join the class for 15 minutes to take questions from 24 budding travel writers.

I happily signed up, knowing it would make the big brother happy that Mummy had ‘done her bit’. It will also ease my guilt on ‘Snack Day’ when the list goes up on the classroom door asking for parents to sign up to contribute food for the end of term.

The list always has what I call the ‘working Mummy’ options of juice cartons and crisps – requiring no effort and can be bought well in advance.

Then there are the more involved plates of egg sandwiches, sausage rolls (homemade, due to pork restrictions) and fruit plates. None of which are overly tricky, but when you’re making them for 20+ children, the low-effort options are so much more appealing.

So, in search of brownie points, I arrived in class and was greeted by 24 clipboard-wielding 6 and 7 year olds.

Perched on one of their tiny-bottom chairs at an unflattering half-on, half-off angle and more than an ounce of concern that the chair may not make it through the experience; I turned my attention to the questions.

The first few were simple enough.

“Where did I go on holiday as a child?”

“What toys did I take on holiday with me?”

“Who did I go on holiday with”

And then things started to take a slightly more bizarre turn.

“Was there electricity when you were a child?”

“Had the aeroplane been invented when you were young?”

“How did you survive?”

If my son’s classmates are to be believed, twinsmummy is a throwback from the 18th century.


What a difference a week makes March 15, 2011

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So I’m back in the sandpit.

Back on Mummy duty.

Back to the normal routine and responsibility for my 3 little people.

I can’t tell you how great it is!

Don’t get me wrong. I had a truly fabulous time in Sydney. The wedding was lovely. It was great to spend some quality time with my best friend and have a proper catch up. Our once a year meet-ups just aren’t enough.

But as I walked through the front door at 5am yesterday morning, I felt a wave of familiarity and a huge surge of relief that I was back at home. My son hugged me within an inch of my life and then we cuddled in his bed and read Horrid Henry together.

The twins were beside themselves shouting simultaneously for “mummeee cuggles” and then promptly turned into little limpets who refused to leave my side all day.

There were no cross words, no bad behaviour and I must have been kissed a thousand times.

I think I should go away more often.


Twinsmummy goes to Australia March 10, 2011

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The reason I’ve been a bit quiet lately is due to the fact that I’m currently on holiday in Australia.

No husband, no children. It’s a strange experience.

I optimistically packed my trusty Macbook thinking I’d be writing witty little blogs every day, given I’d have loads of free time with no children to look after.

But a funny thing has happened. We’ve got no wireless broadband in our beach house, which definitely limits the writing opportunities; but I also haven’t had much in the way of free time.

My best friend is getting married, and as her ‘right hand woman’, my role is to be on hand to help with all the last minute preparations. And there have been quite a few.

It’s over 10 years since I got married, so I’ve forgotten just how much needs organising. We’ve had outings to deliver cake ribbon, to make nail appointments, to book restaurants, and taxis.

We’ve talked about timings, and the weather, and the timing of the weather.

We’ve thought of Plans A, B and C.

It’s all been rather exhausting.

I’m starting to think that maybe bringing up three children isn’t such hard work after all.



Twinsmummy is on holiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 3:24 am