An empty house

Everyone needs a break at some point. My point is usually during the first school term. If you are not a teacher it is difficult to explain, but basically teachers work only a few weeks at the time because they work all the time in those few weeks. It’s not sustainable so God invented half-term. 

If on top of your full time job, you also have twins toddlers you will reduce yourself to a comatose state, your house to a rubbish tip and your fridge/cupboards to a wasteland. My half-term begun by sleeping 20 hours over a 36 hours period. I was exhausted!

The boys and daddy went to stay with the grandparents, so that mummy could recharge her batteries. She could also rebuild the house brick by brick, she could eliminate some interesting leftovers from the fridge and even empty all washing baskets. So a break for mum is not really the same as a holiday or a weekend at the spa, but it feels like the best time ever anyway. There’s no screaming and no waking up at 6AM on a Saturday. There is no eating dinner at 6.00 PM, because 6.03 is too late. The programmes on TV are not animated and there are no trains involved, but most importantly mummy can have a wee by herself!

This time I don’t even feel guilty. Maybe I am wiser or maybe even more exhausted, but I really believe I deserve a break. They are having a great time in the countryside, chasing toads, playing with model trains and riding the loan mower. I have an empty, silence and clean house for a few days, they get spoiled by grandpa and grandma… It’s a win-win situation.

Do I miss the cuddles? Yes. Do I miss the screaming? No. As I said to my husband on the phone, I look at their pictures and I miss them, but I also enjoy the silence in the house. He offered to take a video of them screaming tomorrow. What a generous husband I have!
Another thing I really missed is not having to plan dinner. Whatever is in the fridge/freezer will do. I worked from 3 till 6.30 today and then I adventured towards the kitchen looking for food. No time pressure, no hungry toddler at my feet and I could even use the oven without standing guard to avoid a trip to the burning unit! 

An empty house can really be a blessing… Once a year. 


The unspeakable name

My husband and I are really puzzled and we have been for a few weeks now. Our boys have learned many new words recently and obviously quiet a few names. Names of family members, names of pets and even names of cartoon characters, but they still can’t say T’s name!

It’s not a difficult name. It’s not that we usually call me with a nickname so they are not used to hear it. And it’s not even that it’s terribly uncommon or foreign (like mine!) and people pronunce it differently each time. No, it’s a very common name, in fact more than 20 boys in the school I work for are called like that! And yet it is apparently unpronounceable by the twins.

We tried everything! We simply asked them to repeat after us. Nothing. We tried to ask “who is he?” to B or “who are you?” to T. Nothing! We used pictures of them and point at each child asking for the name. Still nothing! 
The boys now know the difference between Henry and Percy in Thomas the tank engine cartoon. To me they are two indistinguishable green trains. They know many words in two languages. I didn’t speak a second language till the age of 6. And yet they still don’t know both of their names… it’s just puzzling! 

We are not worried they don’t have their own identities like some identical twins do, we are just curious to why T doesn’t use his name and B doesn’t call him either. It’s so strange we reached an unusual conclusion… it’s a game! They know they are driving us crazy and they are having a laugh a minute by carrying this on. IT MUST BE THAT! 

The Dark side of parenthood

Life as a parent is not easy. In fact people will tell you it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. They will also tell you it’s the best thing you’ll do, but it takes time to appreciate it. Sometimes I still wonder when I will appreciate it fully…

A couple of days ago I was talking to my husband about something that happened a few years ago and I said “yeah you know, that was something we used to do before our life stopped”. He knew exactly what I meant, but he corrected me “you mean, paused”. He looked at me as to say: it won’t be like this forever. His reaction made me wonder. Does your life pause or change when you have under 5s? Depending on your point of view you will certainly have a different ride as a parent. If you believe, like us, that your life pauses for 4 or 5 years when you have kids, you’ll probably struggle. You definitely won’t have any more children! Like us. 

I remember my life before children as perfect. Obviously it wasn’t, I’m not stupid, but I am too tired and busy to remember all of the details. I know I had entire phone conversations without a break. I know I used to sleep at night. I also remember distinctly being able to leave a room without hearing anybody screaming. It was a long time ago…

I don’t even remember last time I had breakfast without someone trying to steal it or asking me to change a dirty nappy! 

When your toddler screams for 70 minutes on a 75 minutes journey and then wakes up the other and they screamed together for the rest of the journey… can you really appreciate parenthood? 

Some days are really bad, some others start badly but end up great. What I still struggle with after 2 years is the crying. The long uninterrupted crying. Despite not being newborns, the boys still cry every single day. Twins cry much more than single children as they have more to “complain” about. For example they would cry “in stereo” when they both want mummy to take them upstairs or feed them breakfast. Or one would cry when the other twin steal his favorite toy. And most importantly one would scream when his twin is wearing something he want at all cost. This accumulate to a lot of crying… every… single… day! Some of those days all you need is a break… but do you know the hardest thing about being a parent? There are NO breaks! 

When all you need is a puddle…

Being a two-year-old boy has its negative aspects, such as HAVING to go to sleep in the afternoon, but it has immense rewards. For example, I haven’t found an adult yet who uses a PIRATES FRUITS toothpaste. I haven’t find many amongst my grown up friends who can spend 2 hours a day building train tracks. And that’s everyday! I also haven’t found many people who ask for cake at every meal, including breakfast. But as I said there are many disadvantages in being a toddler and one of those is being refused cake at every meal!

Yesterday mummy had to work, so daddy took the boys to a real farm. Not one of those nice and shiny with fancy animals and lots of rules to follow. They went to a farm with muddy horses, smelly sheeps and a lot of puddles. There was no petting session and no stickers for visitors. It was just a farm. And the boys loved it. When you are two and you are visiting a farm with your daddy and your best mate, you are bound to have a blast! They said hello to the horses, shouted baaaaaa at the sheeps, moved some muck and even jumped up and down in some puddles. What a way to spend your afternoon, uh?! So while mummy was stuck in a room marking controlled assessments, the rest of the family was out and about having fun. Shame we are not all two-years-old anymore!