Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

Tottie June 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:21 pm
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It will come as no great surprise to anyone that once more, we are fish-less.

Over the past 2 years we’ve tried, largely unsuccessfully, to keep a pair of goldfish alive. We’ve had big ones, small ones, orange ones, and most recently, black ones. All have come to a sad end, lolling on their sides at the bottom of the fish bowl.

At first we thought we were over-feeding them. So then we tried feeding them less. End result? They still died!

We cleaned their water regularly, we added the magic ‘goldfish drops’ to make them shiny, or golden, or something like that. We tried with pond weed… and without. Small coloured stones. Big coloured stones. We even tried talking to them. Frankly, they just weren’t interested.

We’d started to run out of names for all these damn fish, and even their demise was no longer a big deal. Whereas once we used to perform solemn burials in the garden, even the big brother is now content to wrap up the corpse in kitchen roll and stick it in the bin.

I hadn’t mentioned getting any more fish in the hope that no one would notice we were a pet-free household.

And then it was Father’s Day.

And the big brother became utterly convinced that what Daddy REALLY wanted was not a mug, or a pair of socks, or a lifetime supply of Wispa bars; but a tortoise.

And for reasons largely unknown to me at this moment, I gave in to him.

So now we have Tottie (!) the Tortoise.

And so far, she’s still breathing.

I’ll keep you posted.


May The Force Be With You June 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 11:35 am
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Every year we are presented with the same dilemma with regards the big brother’s birthday celebrations. His actual birthday is mid-July, but as the school year here in Dubai invariably ends in June, at which point every expat flees the city for a cooler climate; having a birthday party on or around his actual birthday isn’t practical.

For the past two years he’s had a joint birthday party with the lovely Talullah whose birthday falls in August. However, this year, Talullah has decided she will be celebrating post-summer.

So with this in mind, the big brother had the option of waiting until September (no chance), or having an early celebration of his own. It didn’t take him long to announce that a pre-holiday bash was required.

Not fancying the thought of managing the entire class on my own and taking into account the lack of free weekend days left before the end of term, I came up with what I thought was a fabulous solution. A small, select gathering of close friends at a sleepover party. We could theme it as a Star Wars Sleepover, let them stay up late to watch a movie, eat popcorn and then pack them off to bed exhausted.

How hard could it be?

Well as it turned out, absolute bloody torture.

I had 7 children in my house overnight. As my lovely friend B pointed out, that’s more than Angelina Jolie!

They were utterly hideous. A total of five, 6 and 7-year-old boys who screamed, shouted, burped and farted their way through the birthday tea before taking off all their clothes and running around the house playing ‘naked Batman’. Just don’t ask!

The girls were stunned into silence which was about the only upside of the entire proceedings. They sat open-mouthed in awe/horror/fear at the dining table as the chaos unfolded.

I sent the party boys out to the swimming pool for an hour in the hope of wearing them out before the movie but this just served to fuel their energy levels further.

By the time twinsdaddy got home from work (an hour earlier than normal… he’d correctly assumed I’d need back up), I’d poured myself a large drink and was hiding in the kitchen with the baby gate locked firmly in place in the hope that no one could get in.

Even the movie and a seemingly non-stop 2 hour light sabre battle slowed them all down. At 10.10pm they were still jumping from bed to bed pretending to be crocodiles.

Twinsdaddy gave a brilliantly terrifying, “GET INTO BED…. NOW!” speech and at around 10.30pm it finally went quiet.

Fearing an early start, we fell into bed soon afterwards, desperate for as much sleep as possible before the mayhem began again.

As the screams and shouts commenced, I glanced at the clock hoping it was at least 6am. No chance. 3.05am.

And that was the end of the sleeping.

All the parents had kindly offered to collect their offspring at ‘some point in the morning’ but there was no way we were lasting a minute longer than absolutely necessary. By 8.30am twinsdaddy had all the little sweethearts loaded into his car and began a 2 hour-long trek across the length and breadth of Dubai to get rid of them all.

I think it’s fair to say that for his 8th birthday celebration, we’ll be stocking up on Valium before even thinking about sending the invites.




Overrun with babies June 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:56 pm
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I feel like I’m living in a Romanian orphanage. Father Christmas kindly brought the girls a baby doll each, complete with buggy; and since then the blonde and brunette have been busily perfecting their mothering skills.

This mostly involves pushing the babies at breakneck speed around the lounge, only coming to a halt when apprehended by the front door.

When the weather was still cool enough to allow for daily park visits, we would collapse the buggies flat (just like the real thing!) and take them with us. The babies would be treated to walks around the playground and the occasional race across the grass. They weren’t allowed on the swings however, as the brunette advised it was “too scary”.

When we had just the two babies, this was all rather sweet and cute. And manageable. However all that has now changed. A friend of mine has just moved house and in the clearing out process, found a stack of toys that she kindly thought the girls might like.

We collected the boxes of cast-offs and at the time, I did think it was far more than I was expecting.  When we opened the booty at home, the full-scale of the inheritance became clear. Baby, after baby, after baby just kept appearing. There is one that crawls. And one that cries. And one that has a hole in its nether regions which I assume must mean it wees, but we’re definitely not investigating that further at this stage.

We now have a baby bouncing chair. And a Moses basket. And a pram. And another buggy.

We have bags of clothing, and bottles and bibs and hats.

In fact, there doesn’t seem to be much that we don’t have in the imitation baby line.

And with the arrival of the instant orphanage, the twins mothering skills have gone into overdrive. They can’t go anywhere or do anything without it involving a baby.

The babies have to sit at the table at tea time. They come in the car to nursery. And they go to bed in the girls’ cots each night.

The girls like to change their clothes. And feed them their milk. And rock them to sleep.

They also like to get out the changing mat, wet wipes, and age 2 nappies at regular intervals, and perform full nappy changes on the little plastic bottoms.

There are babies everywhere. And as of tonight, they seem to have gained a voice.

As I gave the 5 minute pre-bath warning to the troops who were happily parked in front of Charlie and Lola, I was informed by the brunette, “No bath time, baby not dirty. Baby like telly”.

Um, no actually. It’s bath time. And then it’s bed time.

“No bed time. Baby not sleeping. My baby not tired.”

How can I put this nicely?

Baby may not be tired, but Mummy most definitely is, so frankly, baby is overruled!


Mummy’s feeling the pressure June 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 6:09 pm
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This week, the big brother has taken his SATS. These are the tests that British school children sit at the end of Year 2, and are supposed to be a measure of a school’s teaching abilities, rather than the capability of its students. Allegedly.

I’ll be honest and say both twinsdaddy and I are rather glad it’s the weekend. Every morning I’ve dropped big brother off and tried to give a little pep talk of key facts to remember. Capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Read the question carefully. If you’re stuck on a question, move on and come back to it later.

The classroom has been set out in exam room configuration. All the desks have been separated and are ominously facing the whiteboard.

Apparently Miss M, his lovely class teacher, has been plying her students with ‘brain biscuits’ before the start of each test, and writing things like “you’re fabulously clever”, on the board as encouragement.

I don’t remember any of my teachers being anywhere near as lovely.

Anyway, the point is, the big brother has completely taken the week in his stride, whilst twinsdaddy and I have been nervous wrecks. I have no idea why. The big brother is completely capable and gives us no cause for concern. His reports are glowing and we normally look at each other in utter confusion at parent’s evening as the child his teacher refers to (bordering on the angelic), seems only distantly related to the one that lives with us.

And it’s not as if these first assessments will have a huge bearing on his future. I know they’re trying to make it tougher to get into Oxbridge, but it’s doubtful they’ll start introducing a minimum grade attainment at aged 6 into the selection process.

We need to get used to the pressure though. By my calculations, we’ll have the twins doing their first SATS at right about the same time that the big brother is taking entrance exams for secondary school.