Plans B

If you are pregnant with your first child, you may think you’ll do X and Y, and everything will be perfect. After the first 10 days with a newborn you may still think you’ll do X and Y, and everything will be fine. By the end of the first month you KNOW that you’ll do X and Y, but nothing will be alright.  Welcome to parenthood… The magic place where you will need a plan B (and C and D) for everything!

Lots of people being through the traditional mistakes:
“I’ll breastfeed my baby till he is 2!” and then having to give up after a month.
“I’ll meet you at 3” and then leaving the house no later than 4.
“My twins are going to be best friends” and then having to tell one off for sitting on his brother’s head (that happened to me last week!)

When the boys were born I planned to breastfeed them till at least Christmas, so on our trip back home I could feed them at the airport without bringing bottles. Life had different plans for the boys and me. As a consequence, Plan B was put in to place and each family member flying out with us was asked to take a box of formula milk with them to have enough for the entire vacation. A whopping 4kg of formula milk made its way to Italy for Christmas.

Then there are the little things which will surprise you. The bedtime bubble bath proved to help your baby sleeping, which will excite your little one, because of the extra bubbles in his bath! Only a sleep deprived new parent could fall for it as I did. Of course they going to go mad for the bubbles!

The boys’ bedroom was planned so the twins could sleep next to each other. We had this magical idea that if they could see each other while falling asleep, they would feel less alone and cry less. A few days after they learned to sit up, we had to move them apart as B bit T through the bars! Siblings love runs deep in my household.

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In my previous life, I could organise my weekends months in advance. What could stop me from carry on my plans? Now most weekends are planned on Saturday morning at 6.30AM based on B’s temperature. He has a fever so often that last week the lady from nursery noticed he hadn’t had a high temperature for 3 days in a row and felt like she had to point that out to me, as if it was a major milestone. On this week news: T had started to walk, but more importantly B hasn’t had a fever for 3 days!

The biggest thing I look back on and wonder how I ever believed it was going to work is “no screen till 2”. When I was pregnant with the boys, I read this campaign organised by Michelle Obama which is centred on keeping your children away from tv or tablets till they are 2 years old. I have seen convincing evidence of how damaging it can be and I have observed in first person how some children can be almost tv-dependant by the age of 2. So, armed with scientific proof and being unbelievably naive, I explained my new found belief to my husband and we agreed our children would not watch tv till they turned 2 years old. Then my idealism meet real life… and real life won! The twins now watch Strictly Come Dancing every Saturday night.

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The 13 hours night

If you asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said that half term for a teacher meant waking up late and do some planning. Unfortunately this year it meant waking up at the same time and chase B all day long!

On the last day of school I found out that the nursery was not going to keep the twins at half term. Despite them NOT doing term time only fees, they decided to do me a favour and leave them home so I wouldn’t have to pay for an extra week. Itself that is a great news and a lot of extra money saved, but they forgot to tell me, so it was an interesting surprise. I could not believe how a place that gives me a call to ask if T is allowed to drink orange juice instead of water, forgot to tell me about not keeping b the twins for an entire week!

I went from being happy about half term to be afraid of half term. I hadn’t spent a full day alone with the twins since they were 11 months old and DID NOT WALK. All of a sudden I was going to spend an entire week with two fully mobile toddlers. On top of that, I had no food as they normally eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at nursery. The week ahead needed a lot of planning…

Step one was deciding when to keep the boys with me and when to look for alternative childcare. Fortunately I have a small army of people who always offer to help, so I asked a couple of them and got some time for myself everyday I needed to work. Then we planned to go to see the grandparents for the rest of the week. To my surprise the plan worked. I don’t know if they behaved particularly well with other people or if because they were taken in small doses, but nobody complained about their babysitting experience with the twins. The neighbours actually brought them to the park two days in a row! I was amazed!

Step two was organising the trip to the grandparents  (3 hours journey). Despite the car got packed like we moved house, actually all I needed for the trip was a pair of ear plugs. When B started to scream at 50 miles from our destination, I was so glad I had a pair in my pocket.

Despite B screaming for hours in the car, despite T sitting on B and looking innocent and both of them having a high temperature, the week went pretty well. I almost feel relaxed now that I am at the end of it!

The best part of the week was Friday morning, as for the first time since they were born they slept 13 hours, from 7.30 PM to 8.30 AM. Both my husband and I could not believe it when we woke up after 8AM and realised the boys were still asleep. That extra 90 minutes in bed made my week! It is surprising how easy you can make twins parents happy… just let them sleep!

Not going out

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Both my husband and I never been very interested in going out to pubs and disco and getting drunk on a Saturday night. So the fact that we have to spend every night in now that we have kids, it’s not a big problem. It might become annoying in December when Star Wars will be out and we won’t be able to go to the cinema, but till then we have a packed schedule of exciting nights in.

The regular schedule for the evening is as follow: dinner at 6, bath at 7, bedtime at 7.30. Leaving mum and dad time to rebuild the living room after the twinado has past (see War Zone post) and watch some tv.

Occasionally we have a spare 10 minutes between bath and bedtime. Those are the 10 minutes I wait for all day.

Yesterday for example, the boys decided to spend their 10 minutes high fiving people. I’m not kidding, the two little monsters were giving high five to each other, daddy and me and then laughing their heads off. The most energising 10 minutes I had in months. Maybe I should try that in my classroom “Now let’s all stand up and give a high five to the person next to you!”. It might work.

A few days ago, we let them loose upstairs so they started chasing each other (crawling) between rooms. One would chase the other into a room, then got scared by his brother jumping out from behind the corner and started to craw away. So the role was reversed. And so on till we had to stop them to put them to bed. Hilarious!

For their birthday they received two Trunki (a sturdy plastic luggage for toddlers), which they now use as walkers to move faster between rooms. We happened to have a living room with two doors, one that goes to the kitchen and one to the corridor. The kitchen is also connected to the corridor by another door, so if all 3 doors are open you can go around and around the downstairs floor. Fortunately only T has worked out that you can do a loop yet. Although I don’t think it will take B much longer to follow in his brother’s steps. At the point we will have the perfect Trunki F1 circuit. Please subscribe to this blog if you are interested in future tickets sale!