All I want for Christmas is olives

Exactly as it happened this summer, the twins appetite had double since we landed on the land of the pizza. The amount of bread they can have for a small mid morning snack could fill Homer Simpson’s stomach! The latest crave is olives. Their nonna (grandma) bought some Sicilian olives marinated in chilli, garlic and olive oil. I had the bad idea to let them try one…

The following two days were spent eating olives. I tried to stop them, but if the box was taken out of the fridge they could smell it a mile away! Their healthy afternoon snack usually consists in a yogurt or some fruit, but after their discovered olives, everything changed. Bread and olives became the standard. Obviously I couldn’t let them eat as many as they wanted as they were salted and spicy, but taking them away resulted in screams and cries like I have never seen before (not even for biscuits). We resorted to eat them only after they went to bed!

Now that they believe olives taste that good, it’s going to be hard on them when they’ll go back to England and have a “Tesco olive”; but that’s part of being Italian and growing up knowing that Italian food is after all the best!

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Take me to church

Yes, it is the title of the BBC song of year, but it is also what I did with the twins on Sunday morning. Nothing new to be honest, we have been to mass before, but for a reason or another we took a few months break. While mummy was still going to mass every Wednesday, taking the twins by myself on Sunday morning was an impossible task.

In those early months in which they used to nap at 11 AM, the family service on Sunday morning was the perfect occasion for some quiet time for mummy, a snooze for the boys and a free house for daddy. Since they dropped their morning nap, taking them to a place where they are required to be silent was a little too challenging by myself. What changed? They can finally walk!

If you have only one baby and he/she wakes up and ask (or pretend) to be picked up from the pushchair, there’s no problem, but if you have two… It starts to get complicated and a bit of a work out.

Now that both boys are confident in their walking abilities, I felt happier about taking them to church by myself and I was right. I had to use the oldest trick in the book to keep them happy all the way through (food!), but I was so pleased with their behaviour today. They didn’t cry or fight or run away. They obviously demanded a lot of my attention, but I didn’t mind. I was happy they didn’t throw themselves on the floor crying, like some other toddler. I’m sure this will change when they grow older, but I enjoyed the moment of parental triumph anyway.

I couldn’t follow the mass at all, so half way through I started to wonder why did I put myself through it. Then the time for the communion arrived and the three of us walked together all the way to the altar. When the boys received their blessing I knew exactly why we were there.

The “toddler” meaning of Christmas

I asked a co-worker, who has a 4 and a 5 year old, when will my boys get interested in Christmas and she told me her kids started to really enjoy Christmas at the age of 3. A day later she came back and said that actually despite the fact that they won’t realise what it is all about, at about 18 months they will understand the “magic”. This made me really observe the twins this weekend…

The twins are 15 months this December, so I didn’t expect them to understand the true meaning of Christmas this year, but what they can join in with? Obviously they will be able to open their presents this year. A true step forward from last year, when they couldn’t even hold their heads up!

I’m also assuming that they won’t get the idea of Santa and, as they can’t talk, they won’t be able to ask for a specific present. So why even buying them a present? I don’t wanna sound evil or something along that line, but any present that you buy for a 15 month old would be more for your enjoyment than anything else. You will undoubtedly enjoy playing with them or watching them play with the toy you bought. So how much should you really spend on a toy that they won’t remember and they might not even like? Well, my answer is “not much”. This year I really didn’t spend much on a present for the boys and I spent more in decorations. Why? Well if you could see B’s face while watching the Christmas lights you will know I was right. No present I can think of will ever paint that expression on a toddler’s face: pure amazement.

I have a lifetime in front of me to spoil them rotten with presents, so this year I won’t do it… but I will take them travelling, make them try new and exciting food, I’ll make them “smell” Christmas, we will spend time with our huge Italian-English family and, with a little luck, show them their first snow. I will show them some Christmas magic.

Isn’t 2 AM the perfect time for a family snuggle?

The thing with twins is that if one wakes up… The other one follows! Not EVERY time, but certainly at the most awkward times.

Last night B woke up with a fever (as every week), so we needed to check his temperature. Then he needed some medicine, then he needed some milk, then… T needed exactly the same! Obviously T didn’t have a fever, so he only got some water of the Calpol syringe, and he didn’t really want any milk, a sip was more than enough. The important thing was not to miss out on something!

Twins often copy each other and that is part of their unique learning process. No singleton will ever have the same upbringing as a twin, because they will not have the constant comparison and company of their brother/sister. It is a magical bond, one which I envy on a daily basis. It must be so nice to never be alone. I’m sure this will change when they’ll grow up, but I haven’t met a 1 year old who craves solitude: “No mum,  don’t pick me up, I prefer to stay here by myself!”. For the time being they are loving being half of a pair and I am so grateful they constantly learn off each other. They have the concept of friendship and sharing imprinted in their brain even before they are born. We are still working on it, but we have a wealth of  opportunities everyday!