Toddler olympics 

Watching the Rio Olympic Games with the twins around has been a very unusual experience. Another first, as in 2012 I was so baby-free I managed to actually go and see some events. This time all I could watch was only anything past their bedtime.

As Rio is 5 hours behind where I am, it was possible to watch most finals in the evening or at night, but the fencing semifinals at 6PM proved very tricky to watch. My mum was very understanding so she would try to keep the boys away (or under control) for the 15 minutes required for a fencing match. Playing with play dough was always a good idea as it meant for them to be seated down and it’s usually not a very noisy game.

To put them in the Olympic spirit we also made some Olympics rings with homemade dough, cook them and paint them with the 5 colours. They obviously didn’t appreciate what we were doing, but they really enjoyed painting objects instead of paper.

As you can see below, T in particular liked the challenge of painting a 3D object… very tricky!

The diving competition was a real hit. The boys loved watching people throwing themselves off a 10m platform over and over again, but most importantly they really enjoy shouting “shower, shower, shower…” at the end of each dive. They just learned this new word, so they wanted to use it as many time as possible. I have to admit that T did get a little upset when the divers went  straight in the hot tub instead of having a shower!
Clapping after every arrow during the Archery quater finals was also very funny to watch. They even clapped a 3 points arrow!

I’m hoping that the next Olympics in 2020 will really give them a chance to enjoy and understand the importance of the Games. They will be 6 years old then and it will be too soon to take them (and too far, in Tokyo!), but I’m keeping my eyes open for the tickets of the 2024 Diving 10m platform final!


The daddy effect

After 3 long weeks without daddy, he had finally reached us on holiday in Italy. The effect on the boys has been astonishing… 

Obviously they took daddy’s return into their lives very well and jumped around, run and screamed when they saw him for the first time. What is surprising though is that now anything is good as long as daddy is there. 

They don’t want to go for a shower? “Daddy is giving you a shower” I reply. They almost killed themselves by running towards the bathroom. 

B didn’t want to eat breakfast this morning, but as soon as daddy offered him a spoonful… aaaaaah… I have never seen him open his mouth so wide before!

This picture was taken today… even eating a breadstick is better if daddy is around!

I’m not stupid, I know it won’t last forever. Probably it will be gone by tomorrow morning, but today was a breeze and if you are a mum of twins you learn to take anything good that comes your way. Even if it means not getting a goodnight kiss for once, as the boys are too happy daddy is back to even notice you have left the room.

Can you survive parenthood without Calpol?

Although the twins are pretty healthy little boys and they never had anything major, we occasionally have a fever (or two) to deal with. In my household we follow a very simple plan:

Cool – take all clothes off and see if it works

Cuddles – we have reached 10 episodes of Thomas & Friends in a row once!

Calpol – when it all fails, there’s always paracetamol 

A few weeks ago one of my colleagues was telling me about feeling his son kicking for the first time. That brought me right back! He confessed how what worries him the most is the fact that he won’t know what to do if (or when) the baby becomes ill. On the spot I told him not to worry and that lots of help and support is always available, but the more I think about it, the more I found that I was wrong. He will worry about it and that will make him take the right decisions. Do I need to call a doctor? Do I need to give him some more milk? Babies cannot talk and they cannot tell you if it hurts or where it hurts, they can only cry. It’s very frustrating of course, but it’s also empowering. You are in charge. You make the decision! 

You also make the mistakes…
1) Driving to the doctor with a very unhappy, sick and feverish boy… and seeing him improve and cool down in the waiting room. The doctor told me he had never seen such a healthy toddler in his life!

2) Wake up in the middle of the night with a crying child and after 20 minutes of uninterrupted scream, give him some medicine (just in case)… to then find out all he wanted was food and proceed to feed him 8 biscuits and a cup of milk.

3) Be absolutely convinced that those small spots on my feverish child were mosquito bites… to then find out he had had Chicken Pox and we didn’t notice!

4) Sending one child to nursery despite being sick at breakfast and hoping for the best… and being called 2 hours later to pick up the other one for being sick!

5) Rushing B indoors after falling in the garden, to wash his leg and clean his wound. Worrying about bacteria and infections… to then find out that all you need is a plaster. Of course, he is a toddler he forgets anything within 3 seconds and loves plasters!

Despite all the mistakes, the most important thing is that they survived 23 months and they will survive 23 more. After that I hope they will be able to tell me where it hurts or at least if it hurts.

Splish splash splosh

The twins and I are on holiday in Italy to see nonna. The weather is as usually sunny and that inspired me to organise some water play at last.

On the first day, I didn’t have time to inflate the paddling pool, but with a temperature of 30°C I had to think outside the box. I collected some old washing up bowls from the laundry room, I found some measuring cups and I even froze some water and food colouring to form coloured ice cubes (my Pinterest addition is out of control). The result was a fun hour of water play. The boys loved transferring water from cups to jars to bowls and back again. On the other hand, they couldn’t care less about the coloured ice cubes! Good to know so that I can save some time in the future. 

I think that the best part of it all was seeing the boys playing together and not fighting. Maybe it was the lack of trains, which are usually the source of many arguments, or maybe it was the availability of more bowls and cups than they could possibily use. Whatever helped, it provided mum with a much deserved break. After all what is difficult about being with the boys is not playing with them, it’s not watching cartoons, it’s not cooking for them… it’s breaking the fights! The interminable fights!

Water is an excellent toy. It doesn’t stain, it cools you down and there’s plenty to go around. Thank God we are on holiday in a very hot country, so yesterday we took the boys to a water park with slides, sprays, bubbles and an amazing pool. They didn’t fight once! I love a day spent without toys, as it means a day without arguments. Parents of single children can’t understand this, they love toys! Their lonely child doesn’t have anybody to play with, but also doesn’t have a brother ready to steal his toys as soon as he turns. The single child doesn’t know what it means to fight to be able to get one more piece of Duplo. He doesn’t know that sometimes screaming is not enough… biting is a much more powerful weapon. 

It must be so easy having only one child… I can only imagine!