Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

National Day Trials and Tribulations November 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 9:09 am
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There is one facial expression that only a child can pull.

The face of a child whose balloon has just popped.

There is the initial look of utter shock, followed swiftly by the bottom lip wobble and almost certain tears as realisation dawns. The balloon that was so round and so bouncy just a mere second ago, is now a flaccid piece of rubber lying on the ground.

This is the face that looked up at me in despair just  a few minutes ago as we prepared to head off to nursery for the twins’ National Day party.

The day hadn’t started all that well as the twins took one look at their miniature abayas (bought despite twinsdaddy’s utter horror that his two-year olds should be wearing them at all), and flatly refused to wear them. I’d tried to buy pretty ones that had sparkly detailing around the cuffs and collars but they simply weren’t good enough for my princesses-in-waiting.

I wasn’t going to force the issue. They’re just too young and frankly, I’m with twinsdaddy on this one. I’m not wild at the thought of my daughter’s wearing traditional Arabic dress.

So, abayas safely tucked away in a bag, my back up plan was balloons printed with ‘I LOVE UAE’ which I swiftly blew up and handed to both the blonde and the brunette. These were much more happily received and we headed to the car.

As the blonde walked around the back of my car to get to her door, the balloon brushed against the garage door, and against a rough piece of paintwork.


The echo in the garage seemed to continue for some time.

The blonde’s face said all.

Shock… fear… followed by utter devastation.

The tears flowed whilst the brunette helpfully summed up the situation.

“The balloon is broken mummy. My balloon is not broken mummy. My balloon is still big. I like my balloon.”

The balloon was swiftly replaced but the mood was set. By the time we reached nursery and the blonde heard the loud arabic music being piped around the building, she was firmly off the idea of celebrating anything.

“I don’t like that music it’s too noisy”, she complained as we got out of the car, two balloons still intact.

“I don’t like go to the party”

“I don’t like that black dress”

I handed the abayas to their teacher and whispered that there had been some resistance and that if she wanted to try later for the sake of the group photograph, then that was up to her and I wished her the best of luck.

Just don’t mention the balloon.


Seriously… white wool? November 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:50 pm
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Just when I thought l was getting back on top of things following eye surgery and a couple of weeks of blatantly ignoring every email and phone call that came my way, not to mention the near constant list of requests from school and nursery; I’ve been presented with a couple of tasks that almost defeated me.

I like to think that after 3 years living in Dubai, I’m pretty familiar with the place and more importantly, where I can get my hands on all my expat indulgences.

I know where I can buy proper Waitrose biscuits that are guaranteed nut-free; which shops carry British magazine titles, specifically those that satisfy my property-porn habit; and which cafes can produce a proper English fry up (complete with pork bacon!) when required.

For the children’s needs, I can now locate a decent shoe shop where the assistants are (almost) capable of measuring a child’s foot properly; where to find advent calendars and even, somewhere that sells Roman soldier costumes for 7 year olds.

However, when faced with the challenge of sourcing white wool; I drew a blank.

I started off with the fabulous Magrudy’s who have a stash of hobby and craft essentials. I quickly spotted the wool but was dismayed to discover they only had two colours in stock – the very un-white-like blue and equally un-white-like pink!

From Magrudy’s I trawled the department stores, full of hope that somehow, John Lewis’ well-stocked sewing and knitting department, had recently transported itself into Dubai’s Debenhams. For future reference, it hasn’t.

Then to the more lateral thought train… surely the ‘hyper’ markets would sell wool. I mean surely that’s the point of them. They’re supposed to sell everything aren’t they?

For those as old as me, it was reminiscent of the two Ronnie’s ‘four candles’ moment in terms of comprehension achieved.

Me: Do you stock wool?

Assistant: Huh?

Me: Wool! You know… wool. Fluffy. Wool. Coloured. Wool.

Assistant: Huh?

Me: Wool! For knitting (accompanying knitting hand gesture just for good measure)

Assistant: Huh?

Me: Wool. For making jumpers. You know. Cold. Brrrrr (shivering) Jumpers. Wool. Knitting.

Oh god I give up! Utterly pointless.

Needless to say, I found none in Carrefour!

Eventually, someone in the know disclosed that white wool had been spotted in Jumeirah. She went off in search of it on Thursday last week. I haven’t seen her since but trust this has nothing to do with the wool search, though anything is possible.

The wool is needed for the Oompah Loompah costumes for this week’s year 3 performance of Roald Dahl’s finest so it will soon be apparent if the wool mission was successful.

And my second challenge of the week?

Traditional Arabic dress for 2 x 2 yr olds…. Don’t get me started.


I can see (almost) clearly now November 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:58 pm
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There are a number of reasons why I’ve been quiet over the past couple of weeks. Firstly, the motor show and associated 17 hour shifts on the stand left little time for blogging, or anything else for that matter. Food, sleep and seeing the small people all took a back seat (poor automotive pun I’m sorry), whilst I grinned my most inane grin and said 47 times an hour, “no, I’m sorry it’s a concept car, there are no current plans for production in this region”.

Then, after 6 days of grinning, I went from the sublime to the ridiculous. I could barely walk, such was the pain from my L K Bennett Shilo’s (and I don’t care how many members of the Middleton family wear them, they’ve clearly never stood on a motor show stand for 6 days).

From non-stop standing and grinning, I moved to non-stop lying and grimacing.

I underwent laser eye surgery.

It’s something I’ve been half-heartedly considering for around 10 years but my squeamish self has always prevented me from following through.

However, after reading somewhere that the optimum age to guarantee a successful outcome is between the ages of 25 and 40; and the realisation that I was most definitely not too young to undergo the operation; I booked myself into Moorfields Eye hospital quicker than you can say ‘twinsmummy abandons white stick’.

And so for the past 6 days, I’ve been in varying degrees of discomfort, all the while trying to decide if my current visual haze is greater or less than my previous visual haze.

However, today the contact lense bandages have been removed. This procedure was actually more unnerving than the surgery itself as there was no lovely numbing anaesthetic involved; I didn’t have the benefit of lying down, and I was fully aware that a man with an (albeit tiny) pair of forceps, was aiming straight for my eye-ball.

Glossing over my momentary panic (sweaty palms, trying to recite the Welsh national anthem in my head… don’t ask); I walked from my surgeon’s consulting rooms with a most definite feeling of clarity. Not from my eyes I hasten to add, they’re still pretty blurry and confused; but instead from the realisation that I most definitely should have done this many years ago.

And for anyone in Dubai who’s interested in just how successful the procedure has been, I’ll be back on the road from Monday so  you can judge for yourselves… my commute to work involves a fair chunk of the Sheikh Zayed Road so best avoid that if you’ve got any concerns!



Double Life November 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 6:10 pm

I feel like I’m living a double life. At home, I’m twinsmummy. I supervise homework, cook meals, break up fights and act as chief chauffeur to my socially in-demand offspring.

And then I head to work, which for the past few weeks has been the build up to the Dubai International Motor Show. As we’ve crept closer to the opening day, the workload has gradually increased and my couple of hours of work a day has doubled, then trebled and is now fast heading towards a 15 hour shift pattern.

Tomorrow is Press Day and as stand manager, it falls to me to make sure that everything is smooth-running, timely and highly professional. I’ve spent a long day on the stand negotiating everything from the wrapping of 10kgs of individual chocolates to where best to stick the Global Marketing Director. Tonight there’s a dress rehearsal for the grand ‘reveal’ of the cars, and at some point, I’m hoping to maybe eat.

The twins are fascinated by the thought that mummy is at the motor show, as they somehow think this involves motor bike racing! I fear they’ll be sorely disappointed when they visit the stand over the weekend.

The big brother lost interest when I confirmed to him that sadly no, there will be no F1 drivers around, just a replica F1 car that no, he can’t go for a spin with daddy in.

It’s on days like these that I wish I had a really cool job that would make the troops proud, but unless I get recruited as either a Jedi knight, or Angelina Ballerina’s dance mistress any time soon, I’ve a feeling they’re going to be stuck with motor show mummy for the foreseeable instead!