Mummy’s special cabin luggage

Flying with twins is not as bad as it sounds. You need more patient than if you had only one child as you can’t have a break, but it’s not that bad. On the other hand, travelling with B is the hardest experience ever.

The flight back from Italy in December was our 6th flight with B, we were prepared! The other kids around us all had their own iPad, but in my rucksack I had something better: snacks! Once you get through security and boarding,  you have to convince a very active 15 months old that sitting down is a great idea. Where do you start? The answer is simple, with a snack. Not any snack, but the current favourite one. Is it not the healthiest option? He will survive for once and the people next to you will be extremely thankful. Once the stomach is full, you have a happier toddler to entertain, so your job is half way there.
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The first thing I took out was a lift-the-flaps book which B had never seen before. It worked for a minute or two, after which he got bored. So I had to take out the heavy weapons: clothes pegs. If you have children you know that they prefer to play with anything but toys, so I used my knowledge wisely. If you have a peg, you’ll be surprised but how much you can do with it. From chewing on it to use it on daddy’s clothes while he is not looking, the possibilities are endless, especially with the mind of a toddler. Now think what you could do with 3 pegs? 4 pegs? 5 pegs? It was a very entertaining flight!

After a lot of fun with pegs, we had to change tactics and moved to a straw. Yes, a plastic straw. You can chew that as well, which apparently is a bonus if you are teething, but you can also bend it, twist it, throw it, place it in various alternative places and finally… you can even forget it on the plane without mum being annoyed as, at the contrary of an iPad, it doesn’t cost much!

Bedside table

A lot of things have changed in the past 16 months, but nothing has changed as much as my bedside table.

I know it sounds strange but 17 months ago I had a lamp, a picture of me at 10 months with my dad, baby books, pregnancy vitamins and a box of tissue. Then the twins arrived and with them a lot of new things to dump on my bedside table just before collapsing on my bed.

When I was still breastfeeding, I had a breastfeeding pump on it, lots of water and a collection of muslin squares. The baby books were quickly substituted by “how to breastfeed multiples” and “what to do when you are having two”. Another important change was the numerous ear plugs. 2 should be enough usually, but in the dark you definitely need more!

After Christmas 2014, the boys switched to formula, so I had lots of empty milk bottles at the end of every night. I also had an alarm clock set at 3AM to go and switch places with my husband and let him sleep from 3 to 7. 4 hours each seemed a lot at the time then. My dad’s picture was there to remind me of an easier time.

At 6 months, T finally decided to sleep more than 1 hour at the time, so my husband and I could finally go back to sleep in our own bed without shifts! The bedside table started a revolution. No more bottles, but a book to read at bedtime. For a brief period I thought everything was going back to normal…

Then the teething started. The bottles came back accompanied by various syringes for Calpol. The nights were long again, the bedtime reading book ended up in the drawer not to be seen again.

After a long long summer, we reached the time for mum to go back to work and the boys to start nursery. My bedside table still had a bit of room for the occasional bottle of antibiotics to fight ear infections or a red pen to mark some last minute homework. My dad’s picture was still there to guard over me.

When Christmas got closer, a tablet appeared on the dusty bedside table. Last minute presents have to be bought online as the only time available to a twins mum is after bedtime! Some more medicines started to be deposited as well, with winter come sore throats, colds and pleuratis. Closely followed by codeine, throat sprays and Sudafed. My dad’s picture was sadly lost behind a pile of used tissues.

A new year a new bedside table, a bigger one to hold more things. One ready for the life ahead, but also an empty one as the boys can now walk and grab everything. Drugs cannot be left out, a tablet would go toward certain death, even a book cannot be seen on the table without being dragged somewhere else in the house. The only thing that is still there is that picture of a 10 months old baby trying to steal her father’s hat. Somehow the boys look at it, but don’t pick it up. It’s almost as if it was untouchable. It will stay there to guide us through the next phase, through more sleepless nights and hopefully towards some lazy Sunday mornings in the future.

The holiday are definitely over

Somehow we managed to survive week 3 of the after holiday period and I barely noticed the past weeks have gone, but now the holidays are definitely over.

Our morning routine has changed so much after being away in Italy for 2 weeks. The twins had no idea at what time to wake up, so they tried 5.30 one day and 7 the day after. Now we seemed to have reached a good compromise with 6.45AM, which is as late as we can let them sleep, but also as late as we want them to sleep to. You don’t want two screaming hungry little boys when you wake up, you need a minute to compose yourself, another minute to prepare their breakfast and finally a minute to inhale your breakfast (yes, mums of twins don’t eat breakfast, they don’t have time).

At the weekend, we are trying to make them believe that they can wake up later. There’s no extra breakfast if they wake up earlier! Unfortunately it doesn’t work all the time and it may just work for one and not the other. For example last Sunday T woke up at 6.50 and while having breakfast he kept on pointing at B’s highchair as to say “where is he?”. Daddy’s response was simple and to the point “B is still sleeping. He’s good!!”. An understandable although regrettable response!

T soon realised that he was an only child for the time being and it was time to take advantage. In fact he managed to eat most of the breakfast (prepared for both) and some of daddy’s cereal. He loved the extra attention! When B finally woke up, T asked to join him at breakfast for a second round! He wouldn’t want to miss out, would he? Sometimes I don’t really know where they keep all this food…

Another sign that the holidays are over is the mess. If you work part time or you are on holiday, you have the time to clean and keep your house tidy. When you have twins and a full time job… If you have the time to pee it will be a miracle! Tonight for example, I arrived home at 5.45PM to find a half drunk cup of milk on the dining room table and simply realise I never got to finish my breakfast this morning. Oops!

Althought the holidays are over and the house is a mess, I’m not disheartened… I’m a teacher and half term is behind the corner!