Friday, 8 July 2011

Counting my blessings

It’s been a good week all in all.  Itchy no longer has to attend any out patients appointments, the girls are now giggling with each other and I’m currently making my way through a large bar of chocolate.  And it’s Friday night, which means no night feeds as husband steps in at the weekend.  I can go crazy and have a few glasses of wine...but I won’t as my bed is looking seductively at me (For sleep people!  I’m in serious energy replenishing mode and THAT is that last thing on my mind).
Saw my friend who has twins the same age as mine this week.  I do love meeting up with her as any little worries are usually dissolved after an hour or two of comparing our mini circus shows.  Do yours have green poo?  Yeap.  Have yours developed the crazy lizard tongue look?  Yeap.  Do you want to run away a lot?  Yeap?  Oh thank God I’m normal.  I remember when mine started teething at 3 months and I’d seen my friend after “the month when they just cried” (which it is now officially called) and was so relieved that her twins had started teething too.  Not that I’d wish crying babies on anyone, but it’s nice to know you’re not alone.  We had a lovely lunch (minus the demanding babies), a leisurely mooch round the shops (minus the demanding babies) and a relaxing ice-cream where my entrepreneurial friend tried to persuade Mr Ice-Cream Vendor Man to turn his skills to baby sitting while he had no customers.  You gotta love a twin mums ability to see babysitters all possible situations...and willingness to look past any lack of child care credentials.  I was almost parking up the tank (buggy) when his reply “Er no, you’re all right” killed the moment.
It’s such a relief that Itchy doesn’t have to be checked over by a paediatrician anymore.  Not just because it means she’s doing well but because I don’t have to remember to de-smeg her.  There I was frantically cutting her nails, clearing out her ears and wiping down her sticky hands 30 mins beforehand.  She needed a bath to be honest but I figured the doctor wasn’t going to sniff her.  And isn’t it annoying when doctors take off the nappy and then mention that “there’s a little bit of wee in there” so you feel as though you’ve got to change it even though it’s only been on 1 hour and nappies don’t grow on trees.  Almost as annoying when someone (usually a healthcare person) points out that your child’s clothes are a little bit wet where they’ve slobbered, and perhaps they should be changed.  It makes me want to say “Nah, it’s fine...the socks are still dry”.
My girls are 6 months next week and they’re definitely going into a much more active stage now.  Trying to roll over, giggling and babbling loads.  I having to separate them a little bit as they’re pulling each others hair and there’s been a few occasions where I’ve found Scratchy exploring Itchy's nostrils...or Itchy's foot in Scratchy's mouth.  Very funny for me, but not so for them.  Today they were looking at each other and just laughing for no reason.  It was my first glimpse into how lovely it’s going to be and how close they’ll become.  I remember when they smiled at each other for the first time and it was like I was witnessing something really special and I felt privileged just to be there.  I know twins is hard work (or hardcore as my friend rightly says) but I am really lucky.   Yes I spend most of my day either feeding/changing/playing/soothing/sterilising/yawning etc but there are just those little moments – like when I pick them up out of their car seats when they’re asleep and their legs stay in the foetal position for ages  - that I want to freeze and never forget.  Itchy is still not sleeping well and likes to have a very loud chat at 3am, and I just can’t be annoyed because it sounds so cute...and thankfully didn’t wake Scratchy.  Must keep reminding myself of these lovely moments because it’s too easy to slip into “poor me” or “why me” frame of mind.  All that said I’m still going to put them into nursery for a much needed day a week to myself.  Seeing a few places next week, not sure what I’m looking for but will report back!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

normality resumed

I’m happy to report that Itchy has started to sleep better and can go 8 hours again.  I can cancel my appointment with the local witch doctor, and breath a sigh of relief.  I worked out that the problem was the weaning.  I’d started to give them breakfast and dinner but it meant that Itchy was stuffed in the day so wouldn’t take as much milk…so had it through the night instead.  Found out by happy accident after a few consecutive days of forgetting their dinners on holiday.  Baby brain 1, attempt-at-organisation 0.  I’d been working on the premise that more food meant fuller bellies and so longer sleeps, but it went back to feeding every 4 hours, was exhausted, had a dirtier house and an extra 4 nappy changes a day.  So, much like moving yourself into your boyfriends house without him fully realising…I’m doing little bits at a time, taking it slow and not disturbing the routine. 

It is messy though and I’ve now got suspect food stains to accompany the glue-like milk formula rings on our furniture.  Because they’re not too happy with the high chairs yet I’ve been stupidly feeding them breakfast in our bed…on our crisp white linen.  Baby brain 1, attempt-at-organisation 0.  Cant quite understand how you get 3 spoons back to every 1 you give them, but as I’ve said before maths post-baby isn’t my strong point.  I’ve been giving them lots of fruit which I’ve pureed myself and they love it.  What a proud moment when the bowl gets finished.  I find that if I talk in my most upbeat happy voice (which even I find nauseating) then they assume it’s good stuff and woof it down.  I’m now introducing veg and they’re not having it.  Wish I’d have fed them veg first now…do’h.

I’m going to confess that I have been bathing our babies once a week.  Something I feel quite guilty about because out of everyone I’ve asked it’s the longest time between washes.  I’d like to play my twin card and say it’s much harder with two but to be honest it’s a palava and I want an easy life.  But what with the weaning and my sisters freakishly good attention to detail where my babies are concerned I concede they need more regular baths.  I was shamed the other day when she pulled a huge lump of ear wax out of Scratchy's ear…that and jealous that I didn’t get their first.  Another confession while we’re here is my biggest guilty pleasure is picking their noses.  Pre-baby I’d be disgusted with any mum fishing around in their baby’s noses, but I can’t help myself.  I even think twice when cutting my nails short cause I know I’ll be less effective.  You’re grossed out aren’t you?  Too much detail?

I know my sister doesn’t judge my parenting (or lack of cleaning) skills but I can’t seem to help feeling like I am generally being judged as a new mum.  And I don’t think I’m alone.  I went to the park with some close friends and their children the other day and one friend unprompted mentioned several times that she’d applied sunscreen to her daughter.  I first couldn’t see why she was mentioning it as it had nothing to do with the conversation, but then realised she was worried that she might be being judged…even by best fiends she’d know 20 plus years.  And I do the same.  For example I’ll be talking about how I let my girls cry but then have to caveat it with “but only for a minute or two”.  Where does that come from?  I’m ashamed to say I’ve done my fair share of judgement pre-baby (and therefore unfairly) and have heard people doing the same.  But what I’ve realised is a) mum’s know what’s best for their child, b) all children are different, c) therefore all parenting skills will be different.  I have been on the receiving end of someone I know very well judging me.  It makes me so mad even now that every time I think of it I puff up like a prized turkey. It makes me determined not to do it to anyone else.

Anyway, less of the serious stuff.  I find that I need to escape from the girls quite a lot now, and I’m considering putting them into nursery for half a day a week just so I can do some housework/sleep/chisel those formula ring stains off my furniture.  Generally have some time where I’m not responsible for them.  Who am I kidding?  I can’t pop to the shops without getting sweaty and uneasy that I’m not with them.  I practically sprint back to the car and get shaky and frustrated feeding the parking machine with coins that just keep being returned back to me.  It’s just like feeding my girls breakfast all over again.