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

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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.


Showing Kindness to Others May 20, 2011

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Every fortnight, we receive an email update from nursery on the ‘topics’ of the week.

There is normally a letter and number of the week, and a theme. Last week was ‘growing things’ which was brilliant. The girls arrived home with beansprouts in plastic cups that they had planted, and talked at length about their experience of digging for potatoes.

I explained to them their practice session will come in extremely handy when we’re back in the UK and twinsdaddy has them out in the garden in all-weather, doing it for real. They just giggled. Little do they know!

So this week the focus has been on ‘Showing Kindness to Others’. I’d hoped this might cover things such as, not pulling your sister’s hair out in large clumps, just because she’s got the red shopping trolley. Or maybe, biting is not an acceptable negotiation tactic.

I’ve tried asking what they’ve learnt, but they’ve been unusually coy. However, all has now become clear.

On our nursery-free morning, we enjoyed play dough and Maisy jigsaws before deciding it was time for a snack. I duly chopped banana and headed towards the dining table.

“Snack on stairs?” came the chorus from below.

I tried explaining it was less messy if we ate at the table, but they were having none of it.

It’s been a long week so I duly agreed on the proviso that we all sat on the step and didn’t move until the banana was finished.

So we sat on the steps and within seconds, the first slice of banana had predictably leapt out of the brunette’s bowl onto the step below.

“Don’t worry, you’re ok”, she said as she reached down for the banana.

And then, “I kiss it better”, as she bent over to kiss the injured banana slice.

And finally, before popping it in her mouth. “Don’t worry, I got you” and a little stroke.

It’s nice to know they’ve got it in them. We now just need to work on applying our new learning to humans rather than fruit!


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!


Sports Day January 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:00 pm
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The twins have been at nursery for precisely two weeks. Well, when I say they’ve been at nursery for two weeks, what I mean is, two weeks have passed since they started. They’ve actually only attended 4 days so far, as they are only registered for Monday’s and Tuesday’s. So I was a little surprised to learn from their  teacher that they’d been ‘entered’ for Sports Day. It sounded selective, and surely after just four days, my girls haven’t yet managed to demonstrate any great sporting prowess?

Aside from the obvious lack of training time, is the fact that no one in our family is remotely talented at sports. My son has bags of enthusiasm, but sadly very little co-ordination. Twinsmummy is just the same, only without the enthusiasm.

I questioned Luisa at to what exactly my daughters had been entered for. She said that the brunette had shown great enthusiasm for the crawling race. The crawling race? Apparently they ask her to pretend to be a cat and she happily crawls along the track. It explains why she has blackened knees each afternoon at pick up and has taken to moving around on all fours at home saying “ow”. I now realise she is aiming for “meow”, but lacking a syllable.

The brunette has also shown interest in the running race, though sadly, she won’t stick to her lane and instead prefers to run towards the back door of the kitchen and try to force her way in. I think she shares my suspicion that the porridge is artificially sweetened and she’s hoping for seconds.

She is also participating in the skipping race. And for this, I am informed, she likes to be carried!

I stifled a giggle then enquired what the blonde would be doing and which races she had shown a natural aptitude for. I’m happy to report that she is following in the family tradition. She refuses to take part in anything and instead stands on the sidelines and blows raspberries. I’m such a proud Mummy.