Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

A Two Woman Parking Mission July 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 5:48 pm
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The other day we took the troops shopping for the day. In any instance, taking 3 small children shopping is ambitious; but this was an even more elaborate mission. We were going to use the Park and Ride!

I was a little nervous, but my mother assured me that the buggy would fit on the bus and that the bus stop was perfectly located near our targeted shops.

We arrived at the car park, parked in a Mother and Child space, and began the usual unloading routine – buggy, baby 1, baby 2, no. 1 son, bags various, cuddly toys, fondue set…

As we loaded up, I became aware of other cars parking up in the parent spaces and then leaping out and heading towards the bus. Not a child in sight.

A single woman in her 50s pulled up in the space next to us and we decided to take action. My mother politely informed her, in case she had somehow missed the flourescent yellow painted sign of a buggy on the ground; that the space she had parked in was reserved for parents of small children.

“Oh” she replied, and started to walk off.

Undeterred, my mother shouted after her. “It’s just, you could get fined”, she said. I think she was hoping to sound like a friendly, fellow park-ee, and not a militant civilian parking monitor about to make a citizen’s arrest.

“Thank you”, said our middle-aged offender.

And kept right on walking.

We debated how disgusted we were, then set upon everyone else that parked in our aisle. By the time we’d finished, we’d had a full on debate of the slightly warm variety with one man; accosted an elderly couple in a disabled bay; and pulled faces at a very sprightly woman who popped her VW Polo into a disabled space and then approached the bus with the nippy disposition of an Olympic hopeful. She was so fast, we couldn’t even catch her to give her the benefit of our by-now, well-practised speech.

We got on the bus and tried to ignore the glares of all the people we’d reprimanded.

I was happy to discover that my double buggy was just that bit too large and unwieldy for the bus, so that all our visually impaired parking numpties had to squeeze themselves around the twins at some inconvenience. I did nothing to help them.

I’m thinking of suggesting a new parking symbol to the council. The word “LAZY” painted in flourescent paint with flashing lights and a sound effect. Just so all the charming men and women I met in Cheltenham at the Park and Ride last week, know exactly where they should leave their vehicles.


It was only a matter of time… June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:55 pm
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The inevitable has happened. Yesterday, I had a little um, what shall I call it, incident in the car.

Since we sold my beloved Volvo XC90 a month ago, I’ve been driving my husband’s company car. Well, car isn’t strictly the correct description for it. If you imagine an army tank, kit it out with 8 seats, some plush leather upholstery and a computer that even Steve Jobs would struggle to use; then you’ve pretty much got the perfect mental image of the vehicle in question. In simple terms, it’s rather large.

I’d only nipped out to buy a birthday present for a 1-year-old so it wasn’t exactly a lengthy mission. Our nearest Early Learning Centre is at Wafi, an Egyptian themed (yes, really) shopping mall, about 10 minutes from home.

I pulled into the underground car park and as always, drove to a nice quiet lane with plenty of empty spaces. My husband is always telling me to park as far over in a space as possible, to try to minimise the chance of whoever ends up parking next to me, taking a chunk out of my door when opening theirs.

So, I duly found a space at the end of an aisle, next to a column (!), with an empty space next to it. I turned slowly into the space. I really was taking care. I’d actually feel more deserving of what happened next if I’d been applying lipstick, brushing my hair or answering an email on the BlackBerry; but no, I was fully concentrating on parking.

And then that awful noise. Metal, meeting concrete, meeting plastic. And none of them really enjoying the experience.

Oh hell.

There was a fat woman standing on the other side of the row of cars who flicked her head round in a nano-second in order to see which idiot had scraped their car in a near empty car park. I pretended I hadn’t noticed her.

I managed to get the car into the space without further incident and sat there willing her to walk off. I refused to make eye contact. She was still staring. “Oh just go away you big lump”, I thought, perhaps a little uncharitably.

Eventually she wobbled off, and after checking there was no one around to laugh at me, I ducked out of the car and dashed round to the passenger side to assess the damage.

It didn’t look pretty. And given that the car park was about as well-lit as the London Dungeons during a power cut, this wasn’t a good sign.

I decided rubbing the offending panel with a tissue might improve the situation but that served no purpose other than to loosen the (very) few remnants of remaining paintwork and send them fluttering to the floor.

Oh bugger.

There was nothing for it. Head into the mall. Buy the present. Get home. Start working on a really great excuse.

I walked into the shopping centre and had got as far as the first escalator when my phone started to ring. I pulled it from my handbag and in utter horror, saw that it was my husband calling.

How did he know? Who had seen me? Was the fat bird a paid stalker? Could he somehow sense that I’d just crunched his rather nice, super-luxurious, premium SUV?

I took a deep breath, and answered the call.

“Hi”, says he. “How’s your morning going?”