Category Archives: Twins

Superhero or sidekick?

When you are a twin, your brother (or sister) is always with you. ALWAYS. He was there when you were born, when you started eating solids and when you couldn’t sleep at night, but most importantly he is here now… When you wake up or go to sleep, eat or go to the toilet, play or watch TV. Whatever you do, your twin is there.

To me this sounds very oppressive and limiting, but if you, like my children, have never known anything different, you have probably grown accustom to this. What you have to ask yourself is “am I going to be the superhero or the sidekick today?”. I’m lucky that both of my children are confident enough to take either role with a smile.

If you have a wingman with you at all times, you can easily manipulate all games and activities offered by your parents or nursery staff alike.

When the ladies at nursery set up 12 little chairs into two neat rows as to resemble a plane, they didn’t know that T and B had a different plan in mind. T was put in front, as the pilot, but that didn’t last long… He went from pilot to train driver in no time. When he shouted to B that they were about to leave the station, B got straight into character and started checking tickets on the train.

The idea of the plane was a good one, but I guess that no one could have predicted the twins hijacking the plane!

Advertisements

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!

Introducing a new dinner time tradition

I have not been writing much recently as I started a new job in September. This new role is amazing and I never liked a job this much before. Unfortunately it has its drawbacks in the long hours I have to put in and the early mornings start.

As I leave the house before 7, I never get to see the kids before I leave. I don’t really know if it has been more difficult for me to adapt or for them. I never cried, as they did asking for mummy every morning, but I did miss them so much.

Ten weeks in, I’m getting used to it and they barely ask for me when they wake up. It has been a transitioning period but it has been worthy. Mummy now comes home with renewed energy and a smile on her face. She’s happy to play, build puzzles and hide in the castle tent. She is not just dragging herself on the couch to watch one more episode of Blaze The Monster Machine. But most importantly she has also found some time to start a new tea time routine…

To encourage two tired toddlers to eat all of their food in the evenings, we came up with a simple but effective idea: if they eat all their food they can ask (politely!) for a surprise.

The surprise is always edible, but not necessarily sweet. It can vary from olives to chocolate to babybel to slices of banana dusted with nesquick. It doesn’t require much time to prepare, but it did require a good level of imagination and creativity. Sometimes I think of idea ahead of time and I get so excited about them, I am eager for them to finish their food. Sometimes they catch me off guard… What shall I come up with now?!?

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

10 reasons why my toddlers wake up at night… at least one of them!

  1. He lost his dog soft toy (found!)
  2. Too hot/cold (easy, I can deal with this one)
  3. Teething (when does this end???)
  4. His brother is screaming (…and I’m going to strangle him!)
  5. He lost his train (later found just under his own bottom!)
  6. He needed a Duplo polar bear (no, I’m not kidding this actually happened)
  7. He wanted mummy/daddy (more daddy than mummy, right? Especially after 1AM please)
  8. His brother went to his bed and woke him up for no good reason (argh!!)
  9. There was a disturbance in the Force (he didn’t tell me that, but my Jedi instinct could feel it)
  10. He wanted to catch a flight to see his nonna in Italy (what?!)

    I have given up! It is obvious that I won’t have a full night sleep till they leave for university. 16 years and counting…

    The scary ghost

    A few weeks ago T came back from nursery talking about a ghost. It seemed a little strange, but we didn’t pay too much attention to it. T seemed fine once daddy made the ghost run away from the living room.

    A few weeks went by and everything seemed back to normal. One evening though, the ghost came back. This time he was found in the downstairs toilet. As a consequence T refused to use that toilet for days. Thank God we have another one upstairs!

    I contacted the nursery to enquire about this “scary ghost”, but no one seemed to know anything about it. In the main time the ghost had left the toilet (at least according to T), so we all moved on with our lives. Later on that week, a book with a “scary ghost” was found and removed from the nursery library. Surely we had seen the last of him! 

    Last night the ghost came back (again!). This time both boys were so scared they didn’t want to eat dinner. They wanted all the lights on and couldn’t be left alone. Strangely though, once we went upstairs to bed, they seemed to have forgotten about the ghost and were even happy to be in the dark. 

    Teaching the boys about “feelings” wasn’t the nursery best idea so far. The two main results are: B smiling while saying “I’m sad, mummy” and both boys terrified of a ghost. One thing is certain. I’m not looking forward to seeing the result of the lesson about being angry… They might destroy my living room!