Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

Back Seat Driver March 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 12:03 pm
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Last weekend the big brother went to a sleepover at E’s house. E is most definitely his new best friend, largely because for Christmas, Father Christmas brought E the Star Wars Lego Death Star.

For the uninitiated among us, this is a 6-year-old boy’s idea of heaven in a box. A very large box as it happens. And a very expensive box. And no, we won’t be getting one.

As both boys had different after school activities, it was agreed that I’d drive the big brother over to E’s in time for tea.

Half an hour before we were due to leave, he was packed, and impatiently sitting on the front door step encouraging me to hurry up.

I tried explaining that there was no way I was leaving the house without first ensuring his twin sisters had something for their tea, but he didn’t share my belief that this was a necessity.

As we got into the car, I was instructed to drive “super fast Mummy”, in order that he didn’t miss another minute of the Battle of Naboo.

It’s about a 30 minute drive to Arabian Ranches where E’s house is, and to reach it from our place you have to take the Emirates road; a six lane super highway full of raving idiots in their gas-guzzling tanks, who have no idea what  indicators are for, and have taken to the road leaving both their guide dog and white stick at home.

It’s a bit like stock car racing, for free, as you do the school run.

It’s not a journey I particularly enjoy.

Most cars in Dubai are fitted with a speed warning indicator; an annoying little beeping sound, that starts to ring out once you reach the legal speed limit of 120 km/h.

A few kilometres into the journey, the little beeper sounded.

“What’s that noise Mummy?”

I’m surprised I’ve never been asked before.

I explained it was just a warning and nothing to worry about.

“Does this mean you’re breaking the law Mummy?”

Hmmm… truth or half truth?

“Not breaking the law exactly, but we’re not allowed to go any faster.”

The beeping continues as I try… and fail, to keep to the bleep-free speed of 119 km/h.

“If the police see you, will you go to jail?”

“No of course not sweetie. It’s just to tell you that you’re driving at the speed limit. It’s really not that serious.”

The big brother thinks about this for a moment, clearly wondering whether or not he should believe me.

“Would you like me to keep it a secret from Daddy that you drive too fast?”



Christmas Cheer December 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 8:47 pm
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Jingle bells, travelling’s hell,

child meals gone astray.

Just no fun, can I go and hide

as the twins have run away? Eh?


Jingle bells, can’t you tell,

the end of a long day.

Long haul flight, into the night

another gin please if I may.



Normal Service Has Been Resumed August 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 4:57 pm
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So we’re back in the sandpit and just about coming up for air. The journey back was bearable. Obviously none of the children felt the urge to sleep during the first six and a half hours of the flight, but twin 1 and big brother nodded off as we came in to land. Power napping I think it’s called, though the ‘power’ was somewhat lacking when we woke them both up ten minutes later. Both lacked a degree of oomph and were less than impressed at swapping a plane for a bus as we’d landed so far out of Terminal 3, we may as well have flown to Abu Dhabi.

The ‘courtesy’ bus did about 56 laps of the airport before dropping us in Arrivals by which point we’d forgotten we’d been on a plane at all and had no idea where we were. Fortunately, someone at the front of the queue still had their marbles, so we shuffled sheep-like in convoy, hoping that our purpose would become clear shortly. There was the usual ‘grunt, shrug, grunt’ greeting waiting for us at passport control and a complete lack of loan buggies in any of the racks. So far, so predictable.

And then things looked up. As we approached the carousel, our suitcases were already circling for us and when we stepped outside the terminal, our car was ready with air con blasting. When you’ve left Birmingham at midday in torrential rain and 14 degrees, it’s something of a shock to the system to be greeted by 39 degrees at 2am. You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we still look like virginal tourists, dripping in sweat and diving into the nearest possible air conditioning at every opportunity.

I think the twins have actually completely wiped Dubai from their memories as they’ve spent the last 24 hours looking utterly dazed and confused. They’re happy to see all the toys they’ve forgotten about, and wreak havoc in a whole new home but there is no sign of any familiarity.

Twin 2 has finally decided that walking is in fact a good thing and is confidently tottering from room to room. The open plan spaces help hugely, as do the application of numerous stair gates by Daddy whilst we were gone, which prevent unauthorised adventures into the utility room and up and down the many stairs.

Other than that the only noticeable change is that I have developed the early onset of expat senility. Having spent the best part of two months away from my home, I seem to have completely forgotten where anything lives and how anything works. It took me at least ten minutes last night to locate mugs and teabags and then I had a serious dilemma as I couldn’t remember which water we used for drinks – tap or bottle? It’s at times like these that I seriously wonder if I’m safe to be left in charge of three small children.

I think the same thought may cross their minds from time to time too…


The business of flying May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:42 pm
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I used to really enjoy flying. Particularly if it was business class where the only taxing element was deciding whether to move to wine with the meal, or stick with the champagne.

For about five years we always travelled business. It became second nature that when we arrived at an airport, rather than mixing with the masses, we would spend the time before boarding in the comfort of the plush lounge, enjoying a drink, maybe a few canapés, and depending on the airline, possibly a relaxing neck massage or mini-facial.

And then we had children. In fairness, we continued with the front of plane bookings for some time whilst it was just the three of us. However, when the twins arrived, reality dawned and we accepted that there really was no point. Business class is designed to be a pleasurable experience. There is space to stretch out and relax. There is food devised by Michelin-starred chefs. There is delightful wine. There is (mostly) peace and quiet to be savoured. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the ambience is not conducive to travel with 15 month old twins.

When there was just one baby, we could take it in turns to hold him whilst the other parent enjoyed their meal, had a drink, or visited the bathroom. With two babies, it’s a whole new dynamic. Dynamically chaotic that is.

Meals onboard are now like some sort of Krypton Factor challenge. I can eat any meal using just a fork (steak included!), whilst my other hand holds a baby, steadies the wine glass, dangles a rice cake and adjusts the volume on my son’s headset. My husband simultaneously mirrors my balancing act but as he is left-handed and I’m right-handed, we really have to co-ordinate who sits in which chair early in the flight, else come meal time, we’re both wearing the stroganoff.

When my son was a baby and we made our annual trip back to the UK from Singapore, the stewardesses used to fall over themselves to help out. They’d walk him up and down the plane to give us a break, offer to hold him at opportune moments and whisk bottles off to be washed and sterilised in the galley.

And where are the stewardesses now we have twins and we travel cattle class? Very busy seemingly. If we’re lucky, we get a half-hearted smile accompanied by the painfully familiar question, “Are they twins?”, before they scuttle away to prod the chicken and beef and unscrew another bottle of warm chardonnay.

We are now the family that we used to look at pityingly as we shot through the priority boarding lane en route to a refreshing towel and a glass of chilled fizz as it became someone else’s challenge to make our hand luggage fit in the overhead lockers.

I really miss those lovely, relaxing flights that we enjoyed in LBC (Life Before Children) so I’ve come up with what I think is a really great idea to bring the enjoyment back to our air travel.

It won’t impact on the enjoyment of anyone else in business class.  And as for those in economy, frankly, if they’ve flown before they are completely used to being treated as second-rate citizens whose right is only to endure, not enjoy their flight so they won’t be bothered either.

I’m going to book my husband and I into business class, and stick the children back in economy. Genius.