Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

The Purge October 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:27 pm
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One thing that came out of our recent move, was the realisation that as a family, we have far too much ‘stuff’. When I read about people giving up all their material belongings and living a simple and pure life, I admit, it definitely doesn’t appeal; but I have to be honest and say we could really do with getting rid of a few dozen boxes from our lives. I doubt we’d even notice they’d gone.

The new house is a relatively spacious villa, with plenty of built-in storage, so there is no reason why a week on from the move, we should still be desperately trying to shove things into cupboards and shut the doors really quickly, to prevent tennis racquets, box files and winter boots from giving us a concussion.

Last night I stumbled on, quite literally, a previously unseen box and asked my other half what it contained as it looked as if it had never been opened.

“A vacuum cleaner”, he answered.

“But we already have a vacuum”, I said, “Where did it come from?”.

He informed me it was a free gift from the electrical store when we bought the appliances for our first villa when we arrived in Dubai. We already had a vacuum but they were insistent that we should have another. So, for the past 2 years, it’s been sitting in its box, unopened, waiting for the day when it will finally be christened.

So, in a villa that has only marble floors where vacuuming is a fairly pointless task, we have one perfectly good vacuum that gets used twice a week to clean the one small rug in the lounge, and another, brand new vacuum in a box.

Add to that the all-singing, all-dancing, allergy beating, dust-mite defying Dyson that we left in the UK, and the Hoover that lived in the garage (for reasons I never fully understood), and it becomes clear we are a 4- vacuumed family. Surely this isn’t necessary?

Let’s face it, I don’t have a secret vacuuming fetish – I can remember plenty of heated discussions over whose turn it was to throw the Dyson around the house in the UK when we didn’t have a cleaner, so why on earth do we need 4 of the damn things? One for each of us maybe? Oh heck, we’ll have to go and buy another! Or maybe not.

So, the brand new vacuum has joined an ever-growing pile of ‘stuff’ that is now being flogged on Dubizzle, the Dubai equivalent of Ebay.

I have taken to my new role of pseudo market trader with great enthusiasm and my sales patter is improving by the day. Most of my prospective customers are looking for a bargain so there is plenty of haggling to be done. Add to that, the fact that English is for most of my customers, a second language; I’ve had to adapt my closing arguments to words of one syllable that can be conveyed by sms. I’m doing a blinding trade.

It’s also worryingly addictive. I’m just concerned that once I run out of ‘stuff’, I may move onto everything else. That pure and simple, non-materialistic life could be ours before we know it.

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Mayhem October 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:57 pm
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Well the good news is that the broadband connection in the new house is up and running. The bad news is it’s become painfully clear over the past few days that I must be seriously crackers to have agreed to yet another house move. My friends have suggested I may have some sort of syndrome, some clinical dependence on moving home. My other half and I have now clocked up a fairly ridiculous 13 moves in 13 years. Too damn right it’s an unlucky number.

This particular move didn’t start well as the packers arrived an hour early. Under normal circumstances this could have been considered a good thing, but my husband had just got off an overnight flight from Japan and was banking on those precious 2 hours of sleep in his own bed before launching into move-day madness.

As the team of slightly smelly Indian men took over our home, we resigned ourselves to a day of disruption and plenty of frantic gesticulation – mostly between my husband and I. The packers just grinned. Constantly.

It was actually fairly farcical. We’d clearly been allocated the B team. Communication was utterly lacking between them and us, and seemingly among themselves too. We’d asked that they prioritize moving the twins’ cots and belongings first, along with lunchtime essentials so we could feed them and put them down for their afternoon nap as usual.

As midday approached, the cots were at the old house, the high chairs at the new house, and no one had any clue where the contents of the fridge had been taken to.

By mid afternoon, with all the garden toys in my son’s room together with my husband’s ties, and Christmas decorations on every surface, I started to lose my sense of humour.

“You did say you’d be finished in a day”, I reminded the supervisor.

Lots of head jiggling and grinning. Not the most reassuring of responses.

And then the helpful comments started. “Madam needs a bigger kitchen” – head jiggle jiggle, grin grin grin.

My husband, beset by jet lag was seen wearily stalking around the house, looking for any empty surface to lie down on. He was out of luck. The surfaces were long gone.

The blonde and the brunette took to the floor to offer entertainment that mostly involved making animal noises and shouting “bum” at anyone that would listen. It later turned out that they were trying to say “tum”, but I think the subtlety was lost on the workers either way.

By 7pm the chaos had spread to every room and spilled out into the garden. The champagne flutes were arranged perfectly in the dining room cabinet, but not one bedroom contained a bed fit to sleep in.

By 9pm I wanted them out. It felt as though unpacking and unwrapping had become an Olympic sport and these guys were going for gold. They found the fondue set, the Easter bunnies and my maternity pyjamas. But could they locate the cutlery or my son’s school uniform? No chance!

We staggered to bed some time after 11pm and the fact that there were no curtains just didn’t seem to matter any more.

The realisation that I’d be doing the school run in either a bikini or a cocktail dress weighed heavily on my mind but as I drifted off to sleep, I vowed once more that we will not be moving house again anytime soon.

Famous last words…

 

Hand Me Downs October 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:43 pm
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I’ve been having a clear out in preparation for our house move on Saturday and discovered that I am guilty of some serious hoarding. There are cupboards full to bursting with cast offs from both big brother and the twins that I can’t bear to part with.

I decided to try to put sentimentality aside, and arrange them into piles. Firstly the nice stuff – in good condition, that can be passed on to friends without embarrassment.

Secondly, the not so nice stuff that was given as gifts. T-shirts with things like, “If you think I’m bad, you should meet my Dad” and such like. Or, the stuff that was worn so much, it has faded / worn through / been irreparably stained by bolognaise. That pile is heading for the charity shop. It’s the thought that counts remember.

And then there’s the third pile of pure nostalgia. The baby gros I can’t get rid of because I can still picture my girls in them, curled up together in a shared Moses basket. Big brother’s tiny Ferrari shirt, optimistically bought by Daddy on one of his many overseas work trips, that took a full year for him to grow into. And the outfit he wore on his first ever trip to the UK – brown and cream striped leggings with matching jumper, hat and gloves. All three of them wore that at some point. I can’t just let it go. It’s practically a family heirloom.

Pile 1 is a reasonable size, pile 2 fairly negligible, but pile 3 is a whopper. So much so that I’ve started justifying keeping practically all big brother’s clothes from the age of 2 upwards, in the misguided belief that the girls will one day wear them.

Now I know deep down that this is never going to happen. For one thing, having twin girls means regular, generous gifts of clothing from doting grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents. It also means that however much I might have thought that they’d wear the “Fix It” tool covered t-shirt and the cute little shorts with cars all over them, it just won’t ever happen, because the twins are smaller, and well, more girly.

I can just about put the blonde and the brunette in big brother’s old pj’s without feeling remorse. They are all blue and have either trains, cars or trucks on them. From age 2 they’ll be sporting pirates and aeroplanes, and from age 3 there are robots and spaceships. Age 4 is trains and buses.

As if it’s not bad enough that you’ve got a sibling of the same age to contend with, my twins don’t even get their own sleepwear. Do you think they might call social services?