Snacking

Once I read somewhere on a twin mums forum that all you need to go out of the house is a beaker of water and a snack. No nappies?! No, now they are old enough to “almost” predict if you are going to need a nappy and they are not potty trained yet to need extra clothes for possible accidents; so all you need is a snack!

The other amazing thing is that any snack will do. Cracker, breadsticks, rice cakes, fruit, yogurt, but even something a little unusual like dry brawn flakes. Every night when they come back from nursery I’m there to greet them and B asks for brawn flakes. He never gets them, as dinner is usually ready, but he tries every night: comes in, walk into the kitchen, smiles and points at the cereal box.

Daddy thought he was Superman when on the way back from the swimming pool on Saturday morning, I finished all of the crackers I brought with me and the twins were screaming for more food. Daddy realised that he had a packet of rice cakes in his pocket from the day before and took it out with the most accomplished smile on his face: “look at me, I saved the day!”. For the rest of the weekend, he managed to bring that up so many times I lost count.

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I have just spent an entire week on my own and “snacking” is what saved my sanity. When you are truly 1 against 2, you are allowed to use all the tricks in the book. Bribing kids with brawn flakes was just the beginning. By the end of the week, both boys were allowed to eat holding their favourite soft toys, Chewy and Mu, a bad habit which I have started to regret already. On the other hand when I took them away we had a proper meltdown including 2 full bowls of soup on the floor, clothes, highchairs and walls. I couldn’t have coped with another change of clothes, so the following meal both boys were holding proudly Chewy and Mu and everything went swimmingly.

Another routinely snack are the crackers of the 9 AM Sunday service. Without those crackers we would have a pair of extremely loud toddlers running around the church. I didn’t even consider bringing food to a mass, till I saw another parent arriving with 3 bread rolls, a few breadsticks and a croissant. And he didn’t have twins! I thought, if that boy can have all of that, mine can eat a couple of crackers without guilt. I still maintain that there’s no food allowed when we cross the church door to go and get the communion. B wasn’t very pleased about it on Sunday, but he reluctantly started to walk with me and T without a cracker in his hand. He looked confused though. I bet he was wondering why all these people were queuing up for food and yet he wasn’t allowed any!

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Can you make mummy smile?

If you had a bad day at work or you’re simply very tired, a smile from your son or a hug from your daughter are all you need. Sometimes though you need a little bit more to make you smile.

Being able to sit down in front of the TV for about 10 minutes can make or break your day. I often watch TV after the kids are in bed, but watching a pre-dinner show, like I used to do in my previous life, seems very strange and so unusual.

There are things in life which will make you smile no matter how hard your day has been. Watching the boys coping each other at dinner, by bashing a spoon on the tray, is simply hilarious. That made me smile.

If you are a mum of more than one baby still in nappies, an offer on Pampers from your supermarket could really change your day!

The latest cutest thing I’ve seen is T bringing B his teddy when he cries. That made me smile (with pride).

I know it shouldn’t make me smile, but some of the accidents a toddler can get involved in are just too funny not to laugh! Slipping, tripping, crashing or simply falling, but the most spectacular is always the bumping of the head. Sometimes I wonder how humans survive their first few years without wearing an helmet!

My favourite part of the day by far is storytime before going to bed. B and T will fight, hit each other, try to bite and even scratch you. So why is my favourite part of the day? Watching B hugging T before going to sleep is heart melting. That would make anyone smile.

Why mums can’t ever drink a hot cup of tea

Here in the UK, when someone asks you if you would like a cup of tea, they mean so much more than a hot drink. They are asking if you would like to take a break, to sit down, maybe have a biscuit and possibly even a quick chat. They are simply trying to help you slow down.

I know this, not because I’m English (as I’m not), but because I’m a teacher and I get offered a lot of cups of tea during my usual week. I also have a lovely husband who does the same at the weekend. So why do I feel like I NEVER slow down? The answer is simple: I’m a mum.

I don’t recall the last time I had a hot cup of tea. Maybe I was at work a couple of years ago or maybe it was sometime in the 90’s. Since I became a mum I drink cold tea… If I’m lucky.

I’m not sure why, probably just to look at their reaction, but months ago I let the twins try my tea (it’s decaf anyway). That was a serious mistake. Since then I can only drink tea alone and quickly standing up in the kitchen or I have to share it with both of them! I guess they like drinking from a big cup or the fact that my tea is sweet, but whatever the reason, I haven’t drunk a cup of tea by myself for months.

Although back wash and sticky fingerprints are not my favourites, tea really is the solution to all problems. If one of the boys is upset, the sudden appearance of a cup of tea makes everyone happy. To drink from the big cup he had to stop crying so the problem is immediately solved!

Every parent has a secret to keep their children happy and calm. I saw parents at the supermarket offering a snack to stop a toddler crying. I saw the classical, but never out of fashion teddy bear appearing from a mother’s handbag. I even saw some parents desperately trying to bribe their child with their car keys (and then ended up locked out of their own car). I must confess I have never seen a parent stopping a child tantrum with a cup from Starbucks, but I am volunteering to be the first to try.

Wish me luck!