Category Archives: Travelling

I will travel 500 miles…

To be perfectly honest, we did not travel 500 miles with the boys in the car. And probably not even The Pretenders would have managed! Our last long car journey was a mere 150 miles each way. It was all I could take, but I was very proud of getting to the end (and back) without the aid of technology.

Although an iPad or a smart phone would have helped a bit, I am a fan of old fashioned car journeys. There’s nothing wrong with singing a song together or spotting things around us. In fact it’s a prime time to work on their literacy. They have no distractions and they can listen… it is a very rare occasion!

I picked one of those songs that have no end. This song is about an elephant that swings on a web and than go to call another one… it can carry on as long as you can count. We counted many elephants!

On the way back T fell asleep, so B, daddy and I talked about all the planes we saw in the sky. When your journey takes you close to 3 out of the 5 London airports, you cannot be short of planes to spot… trust me!

It was an unforgettable hour spent talking to only one of the twins. It happens very rarely to have only one of them to talk to and it’s usually on a trip to the doctor or A&E. This was great to see him truly enjoying having both of his parents’ attention for once. We talked about the moon and the stars, when it became too dark to see any planes. A very precious time for us and B alike.

Despite this positive experience, a question remains. In September we have a much longer journey planned. Should we use technology to help us or shall we trust in our ability to count elephants?

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Another airport, another flight

If you have read anything about our previous flights, you will know we are experienced travellers and prepared for any occasion. Flying with 3 year olds twins is much easier than with toddlers and requires less equipment that with newborns. A (almost) quiet and calm flight thought, was not what I expected.

In a nutshell, we sat down in our lovely and comfy seats. We had some food and then the boys fell asleep till it was time to land. If only all flights could be like this.

At the start of the journey, when people were still taking their seats, a lovely flight attendant quietly approached me and told me they were trying really hard to move me to a better sit near my partner and I simply needed to be patient. In a moment of honesty, I informed him that I was already sitting with my family and I didn’t need a better place. He turned is head towards seats D, E and F to see two smiling boys and a utterly confused husband. He apologised for the confusion and left.

A moment later B started to moan cos he wanted food and I did think that maybe I should have accepted the offer of a better seat after all.

As I said the rest of the journey was great and I can’t really complain. But we know that the proof is in the pudding, so that’s why when we woke up T for landing (we needed to move the arm rest) he started to say “I’m tired” every 10 seconds. Then the landing gear came out. T raised the tone of his voice and kept on saying “I’m tired! I’m tired! I’m tired!” and finally… we landed.

And all T had to say about that was “I’m tired!!!”

Brief identity crisis

A few days ago we were in the car coming back from a friend’s house. Half way through the long journey, B surprised us with an announcement:

“Mummy, daddy… I am a girl

Mummy and daddy were silent for a few seconds.

We have to admit that we are not very open to this sort of conversations, but we were trying to be very politically correct and modern…

Daddy: “Why you think you are a girl?”

B: “Because I say so”

At this point T intervened with a very matter-of-fact tone: “No, you are not”.

Unbelievably my husband and I kept a straight face.

Despite T best effort though, the conversation was not over.

B “Yes, I am T. I am a girl”

Daddy: “Who said you are a girl?”

B: “I did”

T: “You are NOT a girl. Boys have willies, girls don’t. You are a boy!”

Daddy (still without laughing): “B, do you have a willy?”

B: “No, it fell off

We almost crashed the car!

Airport security mishap

Flying to Italy for our Christmas break, we had to go through “normal” security as the family lane was closed. When we arrived at the conveyer belt to let our belongings go through the x-ray machine, the security man told us to take a child each and go to two different positions. After I put my bag and coat on the belt, I took my twin and moved towards the metal detector. To be nice I also indicated to the other twin to come along and let daddy place his items on the belt without interruptions.

Once we arrived at the metal detector I explained to the lady there that I was going to go through followed by each child individually. “We have done it many times before” I said. I confidently stepped in the metal detector and out on the other side…

BEEEEEEEEP!!!!!

What?! I turned to the lady and asked politely if I could get the children through before having to go in the body scan machine. She agreed and I got the boys to come to me without any further alarms going off. At this point she asked me if I was travelling alone. I replied: “No, my husband is just putting his bag on the belt, I don’t know what is taking him so long”. She suggested for me to wait.

A second later, a man went through the metal detector and the security woman greeted him with a smile “Here are your children, sir” and half shoved him towards, half pointed at the twins. The man was left with no word. “I am… I actually…” I jumped in quickly: “This is NOT my husband! May I have my children back, please?”

Twins on holiday

As I’m planning the Christmas break, I am looking back at the summer holiday to Menorca…

Taking a toddler on holiday means a lot more than not being able to go out after dinner. It means lots of time spent in the pool (and less sunbathing), it brings the occasional fight at meal time, but also a generous amount of laughter and smiles. As everything in life, it has its pros and cons.

Taking twins on holiday, on the other hand, pushes this to a higher level. The amount of laughter is double, but there are also twice as many fights for food. There are longer queues for the shower at the end of the day, but there are double cuddles in the morning. You certainly need double the patience and half the appetite (they will NOT eat their food, but they WILL eat yours). The pictures you will take are priceless and see them queing to jump in the pool to daddy is simply unforgettable.

Is it worthy? Well, it depends on your expectations…

Did you want to relax? No way.

Recharge? Not at all.

Get tanned? Nah.

Make memories which will last a lifetime? Yes, you will.

It will be hard to forget the day with three poos in the swim nappy. Very hard!

An alternative bedtime routine

Our usual bedtime routine is very simple. At 7PM  we go upstairs for a bath, then the pyjamas go on, then teeth brushing and finally stories. At around 8 lights are out and the twins start their pyjamas party! There’s a lot of talking, someone will ask for a drink and someone else will want the toilet. After a very very long time, they will finally fall asleep. Usually around 9.

Yesterday we had to disrupt the routine as we were 150 miles away from home and ready for an almost 3 hours journey. 

At 7 as usual we went upstairs, but after brushing some teeth and putting the pyjamas on, we all went back downstairs and the boys played with grandad’s iPad while mummy and daddy loaded the car. By 7.40 we were all in the car with seat belts on and ready to go. The journey has started: 150 miles left. 

After an afternoon of playing in the garden and trampolining, we thought the boys were going to fall asleep in no time… How wrong we were! After 10 minutes of chatting and asking for food, we agreed that it was time to go to sleep and be quiet. The agreement was obviously unilateral as the silence lasted less than a mile. 

As per usual, B asked for something to drink, this time though he poured half of the content all over his pyjamas. Mmh… The next request was right on time. T needed the toilet. A stop by the side of the motorway had to do (no services for miles in East Anglia). Once we were all back in the car, I discussed the need for the boys to go to sleep. They agreed and CLOSED their eyes… The fake snoring and consequential giggling started. Only 100 miles to go. 

T asked for a story, after all I did say it was bedtime. So my husband, a man who barely remembers what he watched on TV the night before, recited by heart an entire Hairy Maclary book… Maybe he had read that one a few too many times! 

“Now it’s time to sleep” I announced at the end of the story. It was 9.10PM. The boys told me they were awake and not very tired. Another 70 miles to go… 

A little time later we arrived at a tunnel. On the other side a grey cloud made the sun disappeared almost instantaneously and the boys started to be scared. “Mummy, it is dark” they cried. “Mummy, there’s a ghost!” They were not going to sleep now, were they? The rain started to pour down and the grey cloud got even darker (and scarier). 

30 miles left in our journey. The rain had stopped (and the ghost had left). We had 2 minutes of constant silence. My husband asked “Are they asleep?”. I didn’t even had to check to know their were still awake. 

20 miles left and finally the eyes are starting to close. We had some hope… a huge police convoy with lights and motorbikes passed by! We simply could not believe it. The boys went wild at the sight of flashing blue lights!

At 9.51PM their beautiful little eyes were finally closed… It took 131 minutes for them to fall asleep, but we won! 

Only 15 miles left…

A letter to the boys…

Dear B and T,

We went to the lake last week and you were… amazing! You may not know this, but mum and dad struggle sometimes to take you out and about as you are a handful. You tend to run away in car parks, refuse food in restaurants and even pee on daddy (do you remember our last visit to the zoo?!?). Last week though, you behaved like perfect little boys. 

First of all, I’m proud to say that none of you peed on daddy or any other member of the family. Said this, you also enjoyed the picnic by the lake and you were extremely patient when all the adults responsible for finding a picnic area got so lost they ended up on a different lake! Obviously the olive bread your auntie brought with her was the reason you were absolutely silent in the back of the car, but still, only a few months ago you would have screamed the car down instead. Mum and daddy love your new attitude towards delay of your lunchtime. 

The weather was warm, the picnic was delicious and the company was excellent, but you were even better. You made every pictures we took a little funnier. You tried your best Italian by asking for “more Bea pane” and you definitely made your nonna very happy when you agreed to look at the camera for 2 seconds.

B, don’t worry about stepping on a plate and throwing food all over the picnic blanket and your mum. Everyone else thought it was funny!  

T, you made me run 100m faster than Hussein Bolt when you asked to go for a poo… when we were really far from a toilet. We made it and that’s all it matter! 
It was nice to see your auntie and uncle and we are happy to hear you calling Fabio with something that resembles his name this time. Pagu didn’t really sound right last Christmas! 

You made it possible for us to really enjoy the time we spent together and we had almost forgotten about the sleepless nights and the smelly nappies. Almost…

It was a perfect day.
Thank you. 

Love, 

Mamma and Daddy