Yes, they're twins. Both of them!

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

Home Sweet Home November 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 10:26 am
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After a fabulous week in Oman, we’re now back at home in Dubai and life is returning to normal. There were no smoked salmon and marscarpone omelettes this morning, and the fresh mango smoothies also thin on the ground. There was no butler to tend to our every whim and someone has swiped the in-villa dining menu.

I have to admit to missing the sea view when I opened the curtains this morning. We live on a very pleasant suburban street but it’s not a patch on the teal ocean and pristine white sand that greeted us in Zighy Bay.

On the upside, we all woke up in separate bedrooms. Groans from the girls’ room were ignored for at least half an hour, and big brother, delirious to be reunited with his entire Lego collection, played happily until we called him for breakfast.

It’s funny how quickly we all fall back into our normal routine. The girls are chuffed to be back in their own cots and performed their usual squealing and giggling routine as we turned out the light last night. In the past 7 days they have significantly increased their vocabulary so last night we all got proper “bye byes” as we left them, and this morning, “mummy, wow”, which was rather nice. I do hope I continue to hold such excitement for them for at least another 18 years.

We now talk about “shoes”, “socks”, “milk”, “pool” and “sand” (extremely useful when you live next to the desert!). They have also mastered “please” which is great as big brother seems to have temporarily forgotten that the word exists. Maybe they can teach him something after all?




Reality Bites… and it’s nut flavoured! November 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:25 pm
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I’m starting to think that I may never achieve a state of total relaxation ever again. We arrived at Zighy Bay yesterday and having been welcomed with freshly squeezed juices, refreshing face towels and an army of helpers to carry our excessive amount of luggage, we headed en masse to our villa.

It all looked so promising. We’d been met by one of the hosts in reception to confirm that yes, they were fully aware of and prepared for the blonde’s unfortunate allergy. We were silently impressed. We hadn’t even uttered the ‘nut’ word on arrival, but instead planned to accost the chefs later in the day to work out what we could and couldn’t order from the menus.

However, as we entered our villa, my other half dropped his bag and lurched at a plate of suspicious looking biscuits that had ‘we contain nuts’ written all over them. They were perched on the coffee table within perfect grabbing distance of a peckish toddler and if it weren’t for his quick thinking, we’d have been arguing over which end of the epi-pen contains the needle mere seconds later.

A fuller inspection of the villa revealed a frightening number of nut polluted snacks. Some more easy to spot than others. There was the chocolate in the minibar with a picture of hazelnuts on the front, and muesli bars in the snack box. One was even named ‘Brazilian Nut Surprise’ and we can only hedge our bets that the surprise isn’t that there are no nuts in it!

Cue utter panic from twinsmummy who had been convinced that this break would be a doddle and that someone else would have done the worrying for us. We had clearly requested that there be no nuts or nut products anywhere in our accommodation but somehow, the message hadn’t registered.

We spent much of the next hour reiterating just how much of a problem this allergy is. I visited the kitchens, I spoke at length with our dedicated host and between us we banished all traces of nut from the villa. It became clear that whilst the information had been taken on board, no one had fully grasped the severity of the situation.

I think that maybe I’d been put in the ‘over-protective Mummy’ category so we spelt it out very slowly and very clearly. If the blonde eats a peanut, or possibly any other type of nut, it is highly likely that her skin will swell, along with her tongue, lips and throat, and that she could find it difficult to continue breathing. We’re not being dramatic, we just need to make sure we can guarantee a safe, nut-free environment for her.

I’ve had more than the occasional lower-lip wobble as I’ve explained this to a whole army of now highly attentive chefs, waiters and waitresses. I don’t want it to be the defining feature of our family, but the past 24 hours have shown that there is no way we can live the way we used to.

With the best will in the world, the only people who can guarantee the blonde’s safety are her nearest and dearest who can be constantly on their guard.

It may not be relaxing, but at least that way, we’ll never need to argue over how to use the epi-pen!


Haven’t heard that one before November 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:39 pm
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I’ve often ranted about the frustration of being asked on a daily basis if my girls are in fact, twins. On these regular occasions, I do my best not to look exasperated and answer as politely as possible, but a hint of sarcasm has been known to be applied from time to time.

The questions are almost always the same…

“Are they twins?” (I think so!)

“Are they identical?” (One blonde and blue-eyed, one brunette and green-eyed…. what do you think?)

“Are they both girls?” (The fact they’re both wearing dresses really ought to answer that one)

“Did you know you were expecting twins?” (No, my husband thought I’d swallowed a bus)

“Do twins run in your family?” (Well, it’s more of a toddle than a run, but they do their best!)

And the all time favourite (hence the name of my blog) from an Emirates stewardess who asked after 7 hours of serving us on board, “Are they twins” to which I answered a rather weary “yes”, and she then went on to ask, “Both of them?”.

Shouldn’t be let out alone, that one.

So, I really thought that I’d already experienced most of the confused conversations possible when it comes to the tricky twin dilemma… until today that is.

We’re going on holiday on Friday to a lovely hotel in Oman. We’ve been a few times before and it is the perfect solution for a hassle free holiday. No flights, private villa and pool, wonderful setting in a bay flanked by stunning mountains and a really quiet and relaxing atmosphere.

However, this will be our first trip away since the blonde was found to have a peanut allergy and as such, we’ve been advised to forewarn the hotel and find out what help they can give us while we’re staying there.

The lady in Reservations was extremely helpful. They are big on detail at Zighy Bay and keep a comprehensive file of your family’s likes and dislikes. The villa is always stocked with our favourite drinks and snacks, cds and dvds, and even the scent of the complimentary toiletries can be specified.

They know which of the activities my son took part in the last time we visited, and even what vegetables he prefers to accompany his locally caught fish strips. I have confidence that the nut issue will be handled with the same care and attention, and that we’ll have no problems during our stay.

However, when I came to offer up the blonde’s name, so that they knew which child it was with the allergy, the helpful lady seemed a tad bemused. “But I thought they were twins?”, she said.

“They are”, I replied.

“So don’t they both have the allergy?”



Haven’t heard that one before November 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 11:16 am
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Yesterday, we ventured out to a water park with four children in tow. Three of our own and a borrowed one – a friend of my son’s so that he wouldn’t be left out when we inevitably spent most of the day chasing two toddlers around, trying to convince them that head first into the wave pool isn’t the greatest idea.

My husband and I were also nursing ‘hint of hangover’ as a result of a 2am bedtime and the school parent’s ball. As combinations go; sun,water rides, four children, loud music and an hour’s drive from home, isn’t the best and we won’t be rushing to do it again. However, we managed to wear out the children so much that they were all in bed and asleep before 7pm and we weren’t far behind.

The chosen water park is in Umm Al Quwain which is about an hour from home. There are water parks in Dubai – some very good ones in fact. There is Wild Wadi down in Jumeirah and a brilliant one at Atlantis on the Palm. So why trek out to Umm Al Quwain? The optimistically named ‘Dreamland’ just happens to be next to the booze shop, and alcohol supplies chez twinsmummy are desperately low.

As Dreamland is a bit off the tourist trail, it’s populated mainly by locals and hotel workers on their days off. The mix of nationalities is broad ranging but there is normally a large number of Arabic families enjoying the facilities. And yesterday they were also appreciating my blonde daughter.

To say the girls stand out is an understatement. Both are very fair-skinned by comparison with Arabic children but the brunette stands out less as her hair and eyes are dark.

The blonde however, is very distinctive among a population of dark-skinned, dark-haired children. Her blonde hair and blue eyes make her look positively angelic and this doesn’t go unnoticed. As we wandered through the crowds, trailing big brother in his mission to find high-adrenaline thrills, it was like accompanying a celebrity.

Children stopped to pat the blonde’s head. Women stopped and kissed her and men tried to scoop her up in their arms for a cuddle.

The blonde went from bemused to unamused and started trying to shove them away. For some reason, her admirers took this as an endearing trait and pursued her further.

People try to take her photograph believing it will bring them luck, but we try to resist this whenever possible. There’s something slightly unnerving about a complete stranger having photos of my girls. Maybe in this day and age we’ve become over-cautious and fearful of strangers and their intentions, but I’m afraid, it’s the one thing we stand firm on. It just doesn’t feel right.

So, the girls wandered around, gathering fans wherever they walked. And whilst the attention was a little frustrating at times for both the blonde and for us, it was nice that for once, the girls were treated as individuals and not simply ‘the twins’.


Packing April 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — twinsmummy @ 7:10 pm
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Yesterday, I spent the best part of 3 hours packing.

No, we’re not moving house again. Well, at least, not that I’m aware of. These things have a habit of creeping up on me and are almost always connected to my husband’s job.

He is not to be trusted where house and job moves are concerned. It usually goes something like this. His job is going well. He’s enjoying work. He thinks he has a rewarding role and is achieving great things (this is all relative…).

Then maybe a few mutterings about needing a new challenge. The notions of ‘promotion’ and wanting to ‘broaden his experience’ are often mentioned in quick succession. Then normally we move continents. We used to just move counties but that became too easy so now we just leap from one cultural abyss to another.

However, on this occasion, we are not upping sticks and shifting for what would be the eleventh time in twelve years. We are going away for the weekend.

Yes, that’s right. Not a month, not a fortnight. Not even a week.

We are going away for 3 nights en famille.

We’re not even flying! Having said that, if we were flying, surely I’d have packed less? Now there’s a thought.

We are staying at the divine Six Senses Zighy Bay. I’m not entirely sure I believe in the concept of heaven but if it does exist, it will surely bear a strong resemblance to Zighy Bay.

For once, the three hours spent planning every medical, clothing, food, drink and amusement eventuality, has been worth it.

For the next three days I’ll be writing this blog and listening to the waves crash on the beach in front of me.

And despite the three hours of packing, you just know I’ll have forgotten to take that one key thing that we really shouldn’t have left behind.

I think I should count the children again eh?