Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

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.




Feeling My Age June 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 4:43 pm
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My son has a friend over to play. Given that it is blisteringly hot outside I have caved in and permitted a movie afternoon. Foolishly, on the drive home from school, I asked the two five-year old boys who were swooshing imaginary lightsabres, which movie they might like to watch?

“STAR WARS”, came the cries from the back.

Of course. I really shouldn’t have bothered asking.

When we got back to the house the two boys wasted no time in finding the six movie box set and began to debate which movie they should watch. It falls fairly simply into two categories. New movies versus old movies. It’s a strange concept for a small boy to grasp. Someone makes six movies but films the first three, almost 20 years after the second three. It’s not the most logical scenario and he’s too young to appreciate the epic money-making franchise opportunities and sheer commercial weight of the Star Wars brand. He just thinks someone made a load of films the wrong way round.

So, there they were, sitting on the floor, comparing boxes and re-living key sequences from the major intergalactic battles. It all sounded quite complex.

Finally, they chose which film they would like to watch.The decision?  The fourth in the franchise which to me is the ‘real’ and ‘proper’ Star Wars, but which is now known as the fourth installment and ‘A New Hope’. Harrison Ford, lots of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader with his funny voice. Brilliant.

As they settled down on the sofa, my son decided to educate his friend on the timeline of the filming process.

“You see”, he said convincingly, “they made the new movies which are the first three stories, but the other three were made a really long time ago. Do you know those movies are SO old that my Mummy was only a little girl when they were at the cinema.”

And the sad thing is, it’s true.


Note to Self June 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:16 pm
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Never again agree to bath four children.

I manage to bath three of them on a nightly basis with little drama but four… no.

My son had a friend over to play. A really lovely little girl from his class whom he has been friends with for about 18 months, which in the life of a 5-year-old is an eternity. We’d spent the morning at Aqua Play and then the afternoon at home and they had played beautifully together. There had been no falling out and even the twins had remained good-humoured in the presence of two rowdy 5 year olds wielding lightsabres.

Things started to deteriorate a little at tea time. Twin 1 has decided that this week she won’t be eating spaghetti bolognaise so there was some drama and much hilarity from the 5 year olds as she got to grips with throwing it around the kitchen and massaging it into her hair.

It pretty much went downhill from there. Twin 1 was tired and hungry. Twin 2 was tired and wriggly and my son and his friend Tallulah (she’s not actually called that, but it really suits her) were beginning to rub each other up the wrong way.

Once I had them all in the bath the older ones started falling out over the bath toys whilst the younger ones became increasingly uptight over the lack of space. Four children in a standard sized bath is perhaps pushing things that bit too far.

It all culminated in Tallulah retracting her offer of marriage to my son, with the situation exacerbated further when my son said he didn’t care.

Some snatching of the plastic ducks ensued and the twins began bickering over the Winnie-the-Pooh bath book. We have two bath books but for reasons I really don’t understand, only the Pooh bear book is ever desirable.

I decided enough was enough and the girls were dried, dressed and fed in the time it took my son and his ex-betrothed to start fighting over who got to use the towel with the boats on.

Thankfully Tallulah’s father appeared during the short cease-fire agreement and as soon as the gate had shut behind them, my Stormtrooper was whisked upstairs and tucked up before he had time to discuss the demise of Darth Maul any further.

And twinsmummy? She came downstairs and poured herself a rather large gin and tonic. If there was even the tiniest thought that another child might be nice, it was well and truly dashed last night.


The Birthday Party May 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:50 pm
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My son’s birthday falls during the summer holidays which from his point of view displays exceptionally bad planning. Not only are his pals not at school with him on the ‘big day’, but they are generally not even in the same country.

That’s the problem with being an expat in Dubai. As soon as term ends, the trend is for Mummy and the kids to decamp back to the mother country faster than you can say “it’s 45 degrees in the shade and Ramadan starts shortly”.

So, to appease the 5-year-old, we arrange an early birthday celebration in term time so that he can celebrate with his friends and then we have a quieter family affair on his real birthday. If it’s good enough for the Queen…

The tricky decision is always what sort of party to go for. When I was a child, my parents hired the village hall, filled it with balloons and we spent a couple of hours playing traditional party games before stuffing ourselves with jelly and ice cream. It was brilliant.

My Dad championed an absurd game which involved dressing up in a hat, scarf and woolly gloves and then using a knife and fork to scoff as much Cadbury’s Dairy Milk as you could before the music stopped. My parties were renowned for the chocolate game. They were also remembered as being the ones where you went home with a balloon with “I’ve been to see my dentist” printed on it. No prizes for guessing my father’s profession!

It was all so much simpler (read, cheaper) in my day. My son’s generation want a party at Ski Dubai, Sega Republic or Fun City. I should be thankful he’s not at one of the more ‘showy’ schools here in Dubai. I have friends whose children have gone to parties on private yachts, private beaches, or in suites at the uber-expensive Atlantis resort.

On the up side, at least by booking a party at an organised venue, everything is taken care of. There’s no catering to be done, goody bags are provided and there is always an enthusiastic team of Filipina’s ready to take the lead in the party games.

So now I just need to find a venue that provides Stormtroopers and Wookiees.


The Lie-In May 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 2:40 pm
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It’s official. My  children are amazing. This weekend they have mastered the art of ‘the lie-in’. Oh thank you.

Normally, my son and the twins wake up at around 6am. My son creeps into the girls’ room and entertains them with battle sequences and tactical manoeuvres necessary for destroying the Death Star until I crawl out of bed and negotiate the wearing of school uniform.

I then give him his breakfast, pack his school bag and make sure he has his lunch box, and once he is safely packed off to school with Daddy, I go and get the girls up.

This routine works well as the girls have each other for company so they only become really grizzly once hunger takes hold. By the time I get to them at around 745am they are generally looking pretty keen to be rescued and given a large dose of the white stuff, but they haven’t yet started rattling the cot bars and howling.

At weekends, we bribe our son with anything we consider necessary in order that he stays with the girls until, say 730am. In reality, this means the girls don’t have their first feed any later than normal but it does give us an extra three-quarters of an hour in bed.

However, something strange has happened this weekend. On Thursday night we went round to have dinner with some friends. We got home around 1am and having enjoyed a few ‘start of the weekend’ drinks, were more than ready to fall into bed. (‘Fall’, being the key word in this instance!)

On Friday morning, the unthinkable happened. My son and the girls talked, played and generally entertained each other from about 630am onwards. But then, my son disappeared back to his room and the girls…. fell asleep. We didn’t hear from ANY of them again until almost 9am!

As anyone with young children knows, occasions like these are only ever achieved when offspring have been despatched to the grandparents for the night and we are indulging ourselves with a night at a hotel. And before you think we enjoy this decadence on a regular basis, we’ve done it once! And that was before the girls were born and before we really understood the meaning of tiredness.

Obviously we thought that yesterday was a fluke but no, the same thing happened again this morning.

My husband swears he didn’t lace the last bottles of the day with brandy and even my son looks guilt-free for once.

So, I am rejoicing in the aftermath of having had almost 9 hours sleep last night and just hoping that this new weekend routine is here to stay.


Fish Update April 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 2:53 pm
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Good news to report. The fish made it through the night.

I read somewhere that the biggest trauma for a domestic fish is the move from the shop tank into the new surroundings of a common fish bowl.

Seemingly the new fish are hardy creatures, able to cope with the move to unfamiliar surroundings and adapt to a new environment of pebbles and um, well just pebbles actually.

My son would like them to have some props to swim through as he says it will make their days more interesting. Not wanting to be responsible for bored goldfish, next week I will be searching out a retailer who specialises in small plastic castles and shipwrecks.

And as for their names?

Not great actually. As there are 3 of them, my son thinks they should be called the Sugababes. I’m beginning to think Jedi Knights might have been preferable.


The saga of the fish Part II April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 1:33 pm
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Regular followers will be aware that we don’t have the best of luck with our goldfish. If such a thing as a Goldfish Protection League existed, we’d be banned from owning them.

I really don’t know where we go wrong. I thought goldfish were fool-proof pets. You just sprinkle in the dubious looking flakes every morning, clean out the bowl every few days  and they reward you by swimming round and round pulling funny faces. Or in our case, they reward you by taking on a somewhat glazed expression and floating to the surface on their side.

I will not be beaten. Despite the growing number of goldfish graves in our garden, I’ve taken the plunge again and invested in 3 new fish. I’ve bought them from a different pet shop this time as I’m sure the last place was responsible for the rapid demise of Tom and Jerry.

And surely by going for 3 this time, at least one of them will survive. At least until May. Please.

The fish are, as yet, unnamed as my son is at a friend’s house this afternoon. I’ve tried to think of good triple acts but none really spring to mind. I’ve got a nasty feeling they could end up named after Jedi Knights but I’m trying to stay open-minded.

It’s ten weeks until we fly back to the UK for the summer. Place your bets now.. will any of them make it?