Category Archives: Twins

A short reflection on parenthood

Last week I read a comment on an article from The Guardian. It said: “if you raise your kids sort of ok, they shouldn’t complot to kill you”. Except for the poor choice of words, I took the message at heart. It was referred to a couple of Californian brothers who killed their parents 30 years ago and now have been put in the same prison. Most of the comments sympathized with the brothers saying that they were abused, that’s why they killed their parents. I don’t actually know anything about this story and I don’t want to express an opinion on this, but the comment I quoted before really made me think…

Earlier in the year I was zapping through the hundreds of tv channels available, when the word “twins” caught my eye. I had to stop and investigate. Was it going to be a useful program? Did I even read the correct word? Well, I did and I’m sorry I stopped to watch it. It was a program about twins who became murderers. What a lovely thing to watch!

These two recent episodes made me reflect on my way of parenting. I always strive to be the best mum I can be. I would like my boys to grow as emotionally strong and happy children. To achieve my objective I always think of ways to improve their understanding of the world around them, activities to improve their motor skills, literacy and maths and I expose them to as many different environments as I can. Some days I succeed, some day I barely keep them (and myself) alive.

From now my aim on a good day will be absolutely the same, but on a bad day it will be: don’t give them any reason to complot to murder me!

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Mums on Facebook

I will be controversial and I’m sorry about it…

In school this term we talked a lot about internet safety and how people on Facebook often create a different image of themselves. I know about it, you know about it, but it’s a useful thing to teach to 12 year old girls. This sparked a conversation at lunch amongst me and my colleagues and one of them told us how she has an account, but she never posts, only reads what other people are up to.

I thought about all of this later that day. What do I post? Only the good things? Well, I do. But the question is, why wouldn’t I? I do not think anyone believes Facebook is a true representation of someone’s life. Of my life! People who reads my profile are not teenagers, they should be aware that no life is perfect and only made up by amazing pictures and unique moments to share. So, why would I even consider sharing boring or sad stuff? No, I will carry on sharing lovely pictures of B smiling or T being proud about his latest Duplo built.

I will moan about a long night awake with a feverish child. I will also vent about bad traffic, but I won’t share every single time I am tired or low. Why would I? Just to remind you that my life is not perfect? Well, here’s your reminder: I have twins, my life is upside down on the best of days.

When Facebook shows me “memories you shared”, I don’t want to look back at lots of boring entries. I want to see the funny pictures that put a smile on my face! I want to see how young and chubby the boys used to look at 18 months or how cute was the first time they had solid food. I’m sorry if I create a false image of my own life, but those are the memories I want to share. Why wouldn’t I?

All those mums that share lots of pictures of their children and where they have been at the weekend… please carry on, you have just reminded me that I want to go there to. And by the way, I don’t believe for a second that your weekend was as perfect as it looks in the pictures you shared. I know there was a fight for a toy or a smelly poo or a spilt drink all over your favourite carpet. I am a mum… I know!

I parlo due languages

As the vocabulary improves in both languages, the confusion gets exponentially greater… here’s a short collections of examples.

B: “Guarda mummy, I’m a dottore! (Look mummy, I’m a doctor)

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T: “Mamma, I parlo (speak) due”

Me (in Italian): ” Yes, well done. What languages do you speak?”

T: “Inglese and Italian”

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T: “Just the food, mummy”.

Me: “In Italian, please?”

T: “Just the cibo

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Me: “How do pirates speak?”

B hesitantly: “In English?”

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Talking about T’s crow (corvo) soft toy which he just threw off the couch: “mamma guarda, corvo fell in the acqua” (mum look, my crow fell in the water).

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Talking about pizza toppings…

T: “I don’t like funghi (mushroom), I like olive (olives)”.

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B runs to me and says: “Mummy, T hurt me!”

Me (in Italian): “What did YOU do to him?” (Che cosa gli hai fatto?)

B: “I didn’t fatto (done) anything!”

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T commenting on one of B’s mischieves: “I don’t do that, because I’m a bimbo bravo (good boy)”

Many more of these to come… I’m sure!

What does it all mean?

If you believe that there’s no reason to have a parents-teacher meeting in preschool, you are wrong! The targets set at these events are elaborate and inspiring… An Oxbridge application will soon follow a target such as “recognising shapes in everyday objects”. Doesn’t it???

Don’t get me wrong, it is a pleasure to hear about how B and T are progressing, but I struggle to keep a straight face when I read some of the reports. I am also fluent in teacher’s speak, so I can translate the report into English.

T is very confident = T is a little know-it-all

T is curious about the world around him and often asks adults when he wants help in his learning = T keeps on asking WHY? every three seconds

B is able to focus when playing with jigsaws = B never sits down unless there’s a jigsaw to play with

T is learning to share with others = T only snatches toys from other children, but he doesn’t bite or shove them on the floor anymore

B enjoys sharing his knowledge of Italian with his key person = B is cheeky and speaks whatever language he fancies and his key person struggles to understand him

At the end of an evening like this, I go home with the knowledge that both of my boys are growing up well and have a lot of fun with their friends.

That’s all one can ask for.

May I leave the table, please?

As a parent I always have to choose between convenience and discipline. For example, going on holiday at an All Inclusive resort means going to a restaurant 3 times a day and last year it meant dealing with two very naughty toddlers. My husband suggested the infallible use of a tablet. It does work, but at what price. Surely every meal is a chance to learn how to behave at the table. It’s a chance for mum and dad to give the good example. Or maybe it isn’t…. Maybe every meal becomes a test. Maybe it’s not worthy.

We recently had guests coming to our house for lunch and T’s behaviour at the table was impeccable. He ate all his food and then asked for permission to leave. B on the other hand clearly felt that the pressure to entertain was solely on his shoulders…

Never mind the fact that he refused to eat anything but olives. Never mind him sliding under the table. Never mind when he started chanting like if he was at a football game. The problem actually started when he left the table and started to remove all his clothes! All I can say is that I’m happy we weren’t in a restaurant, as he could have been charged with public indecency.

Half term is coming up, this means spending 24 hours a day with the boys and occasionally eating out… Will I bring a tablet or some crayons? Will I go high tech or old school? But most importantly, will B show his bottom to any other innocent bystanders?

Car wash

Have you ever taken a toddler thorough a car wash? Well, if you have not tried it yet, put down your phone and go right now… If your life is half a busy as mine, I’m sure your car needs a wash anyway!

B loved it from start to finish… The water, the bubbles, the big big brushes! Almost better than a ride on a roller coaster.

T was ok with the water, concerned about the foam wash and terrified of the brushes. On the other hand being the super tidy toddler he is, he was extremely pleased to see the clean car at the end of it.

Can’t wait for the next wash!

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?”