Sunday, 9 December 2012

Happy Christmas

A home made christmas card for you all.

Have a wonderful festive season.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Social Etiquette for playgroups

I think most parents can see the benefits of socializing children at a young age.  That’s why playgroups, play areas, baby classes and any safe enclosed area with soft flooring and tea making facilities are rammed with kids all learning to rub along together.  Socializing kids reportedly has many benefits; increased serotonin levels, decreased decibel levels, cleaner nappies….ok so I’m clearly just making it up but you don’t need me to convince you that your wee one making friends is a good idea.  Potential play dates away from home providing you with much needed free time will do that on it’s own.

I was a gun-ho new twin mum, high on hormones and low on sense sleep.  Taking my girls (Itchy & Scratchy) to classes from three months old and enthusiastically throwing myself into these environments for the benefit of my babies.  Embarrassingly it took me a whole 2 months to work out that a) I HATED these classes b)the girls HATED these classes and c) we just didn’t fit in like the other families did.  My twins were very shy and just screamed in groups of people.  In fact, they screamed whenever anyone came to visit us, or we visited anyone…and this minor phase latest for 15 MONTHS FFS.  I would occasionally try and dip my toe back into the world of playgroups only to be faced with screaming twins and singleton parents gaping at us with half sympathy and half morbid curiosity.  On more than a few occasions I’d have to scarper from a group/class half way through holding back my tears.  Maybe it’s a twin thing.  It’s bad enough them having to share me with each other, let alone adding a load of strangers to the mix.

But thankfully they have turned a corner and I’ve been able to take them to all sorts of toddler activities which is a relief.  They’re still very clingy so I’m there doing everything with them. 

There is one really annoying thing I find about it all which I want to get off my chest.  There I am playing with my kids, getting them interested and praising them for trying new stuff…and I suddenly become a magnet to other kids.  I find it challenging enough splitting my attention between twins, but there I am with about 3 other kids wanting to talk to me.  “Look what I can do”, “watch me do this”, “can you help me up the climbing frame”.  I smile sweetly because I want to show a good example, but what I really want to do is roll my eyes and tell them to go away.  I’m not Mary Poppins, or free babysitter at that. Invariably their mum/dad/childcarer is sitting drinking coffee reading the paper and I’m part irritated and part jealous.  I dream of them running off and leaving me in peace with a decaf coffee and my iphone.  But until them I’m the sucker stuck in a ball pit cornered by the snotty under fives.

And this got me thinking.  Lets all agree to Playgroup Social Etiquette Rules (for under 5’s).  I’ll start it off and you pitch in if there’s something you want added.

  1. Keep an eye on your kid and stop them annoying other parents, especially if they’re parents of twins
  2. If your kid hurts another, have a stern word with them and make them apologise if old enough.
  3. Be extra vigilant when your kids are around babies
  4. If your kid snatches a toy from another, make them give it back and wait until it’s free to play with.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

How my twins roll

Forget double prams, double trolleys or dragging them along by their hands. This is the new way to get my twins about in ToysRUs.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

An odd gift for a child?

Is it me or is this an odd gift to buy a child? 

I understand kids want to copy their parents with dust pans, irons and vacume cleaners...but an INDUSTRIAL cleaning station?  Really? 

"Mummy I want to be a professional cleaner when I grow up"

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How do you know you love your kids?

I’ll let you into a secret.  I’ve been preoccupied with the word Love recently, and I’m being completely open here when I say (deep breath), I don’t know if I love my kids. *wince*
Now, before you judge me or my situation I want to ask you a question.  What is love?  What would your reply be?  Whatever it is I bet it’s not a fully formed idea and you’re having to fully engage  your grey matter right now.  And you see, this is my issue.  I don’t know what love is.  I can’t define it in my mind, so how can I state that I love someone/something if I don’t know what it actually means?  It would be like saying I understood electricity when I don’t.  I just use it with no thought as to how it came to me.  I’m an analytical and practical person and it’s important to me to really understand meanings, in a real life way, before I feel comfortable using them in conversation.
My worry is that I’m not a particularly loving person.  I’m not maternal, I’m impatient and don’t often feel warm and fuzzy inside – the state of being that I unconsciously believe shows you’re experiencing love.
I mentioned this preoccupation to a friend, and she admitted to thinking along the same lines, which has given birth to this particular blog post.  And yes, Anonomum’s going to attempt to rugby tackle the subject that can’t even be caught.
(I’m not talking about love between two lovers.  This I understand and have (thankfully) experienced.  It’s more about plutonic love towards your fellow man, or a love of a hobby etc.)
Where to start –my up bringing.  I’m the fourth child from a happy(ish) marriage.  I was told that I was loved.  I guess proof of this is that I had a stable home where I was always fed, cleaned and clothed.  It was far from perfect by my parents often put us first, and still do.   It’s what parents do, but that can’t constitute Love.  Surely you can do all this and not Love someone.
What do I know about my thoughts and feelings towards my twins ?:
·         I’ll always be there for them
·         I’ll feed, clothe and clean them for as long as they need
·         I’ll give them the best of everything I can
·         Their healthy development is my top priority
·         I can’t stand to see them upset/unhappy
·         I’m fascinated by them
I’m pretty sure that these are symptoms of Love, and it’s safe to say I do Love my kids, but the pop psychologist wants to take it apart and understand the workings of Love.  How do I know for sure it’s Love and not duty for example.
So I asked some close friends and was surprised and amazed by the different answers I received.  All brilliant, and all different. 
Friend A – said that Love was a positive action towards someone or something that comes specifically as a result of a warm/positive emotion about them.  This has been along the lines of what I have thought, which worries me because I’m not an emotional person.
Friend B (and my wise mum) – said that everything is a particular degree of love.  Passion, trust, laughter, excitement – All high degrees of love.   But also, inertia, jealousy and angst – all low degrees of love.  You can look at all emotions and feelings as on a vertical scale of the amount of love it contains.  Hate having the least Love I guess.  And therefore everything that is created out of these mental and emotional states also hold varying degrees of love.  This explanation really appeals to me because if true, it means that I do love my children, and helps me to feel that no matter what high or low I’m experiencing, it’s always involves love. 
Friend C – said that he loved people and things which activated both sides of his brain, that produced a synergy between left and right hemispheres– and therefore Love was a unifying force that sparked a feeling of wholeness or oneness.  This really appeals to my obsession in how the mind and body are related.  It brings Love to a physical and biochemical level, and provides a practical way of trying to explain the unexplainable.
M Scott Peck (Author of A Road Less Travelled) – says that love is the force that propels you to do something that helps another better their life in some way with no regard for receiving something in return.  It’s a force that builds up and prevents natures instinct towards inertia.
You know I’m no philosophical, scientific or spiritual expert but I am obsessed with these big questions of life, and I think all of these are true.  We hear from Greek philosophers and great sages that Love is all there is, that love unities (“one Love”) and we can all relate to some degree with our own thoughts and feelings about it. 
As I put my friends on the spot, it’s only fair that I do the same.  So here are my thoughts, after much brain cramping and staring into space.
Me – There are moments when I look at my twins and I melt at how beautiful, clever and resourceful they are.  I have little moments of bliss that dawn on me and I guess this is Love.  What I’ve noticed is that I’m blessed with these “bliss pockets” when I stand back and just observe.  It’s like my ego takes a coffee break and I’m left with that part of my soul that it always there in the background being quiet – that is always loving – and I only connect with it when I (my ego) stops getting on with the daily grind.  Being an avid meditator, I’m used to putting myself in this Observing state – but I’ve never made the connection before that these are the moments I feel love.  This would mean that I am a loving person, and I do love my kids (genuinely a relief) but that I’m only strongly connected to it when I stand back, take myself out of the situation and just be.  This state is like walking under a powerful waterfall where all my cares are washed away and I’m just receiving an unending powerful flow of peace, bliss and love.  It’s when I see the big picture and I don’t care how much food they’ve thrown on the floor, or that they’ve tried to climb the table lamp again.  The second I bring myself into the “real world” (and there’s a massive debate to be had with what constitutes the real world) I pick up all those annoyances again and those warm feelings are pushed to the backburner.
This a big-kipper-like slap in the face to STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF, and to take time to see my life in context.  To connect with the sane part of me that really loves my girls and start applying this lesson to other areas of my life too.  For those of the spiritual amongst you – it’s connecting to the source of ALL THAT IS and resting there regularly.  (For those unspiritual of you, erase that last sentence and replace with your own funny joke about farts).
Peace out.
I would genuinely love to hear your thoughts of Love and how you know that you Love something/someone.  It’s not easy to put into words, but give it a go.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

When I had to face I was a terrible mum

This is a tale of gut dropping, guilt infecting fear.  My worst moment as a mum hands down.
I picked the girls up from nursery and during the “mad half hour” (as my mum calls it) when they run around like over tired crazed dirt balls, I noticed something odd in Itchy’s mouth.  After asking nicely to open her mouth, then being authoritative, pleading and then finally wrestling her and prising her jaw apart, I saw a horrific site – black dots at the top of her teeth and some more under her gums.
My mouth went dry, I felt physically sick and froze.  Could my daughter really have tooth decay at 18 months?  A whole load of images I’d once seen of tooth decay, and filed as “not likely”, were jumping up in my mind and mocking me.  They were saying “we warned you and you ignored us”, “you thought only neglected children got this way”, “you’re a terrible mum and everyone is going to know it”.
I couldn’t move.  The girls were full of beans, happily and innocently racing around and I couldn’t connect to them, or any positive feeling for that matter.  I wanted time to rewind to 2 minutes ago before this black fog had descended.
First came the shock, quickly followed by shame.  How could I have done this to them?  Oh God, they’ll have noticed at nursery, they’ll be talking about me.  I’ve neglected my daughter.  I’ve been so stupid.  What will my friends think?  My family?  What about when other kids notice?  They can be so cruel. My husband’s going to kill me.  Free falling.
I eventually pulled my led body off the floor and paced the room.  The first thing I did was call my sister who was a medic in the navy and who I use instead of NHS Direct (who I’ve found to be about as useful as a knitted nappy). She didn’t answer.  Shit, she’s usually my lifeline in these situations.  So I called the health visitor, then promptly hung up before they answered because well...knitted nappies comes to mind again.  My next call was to a dentist, who couldn’t fit us in for a few weeks.  Oh the shame of explaining the problem brought on crimson cheeks and that sick feeling again.  Booked the appointment.
How the hell did this happen?  Scratchy is fine and she eats/drinks the same stuff.  They have very watered down juice and hardly any sweets, but I do put them to bed with a bottle which you’re advised against...which they chuck out of the cot as soon as they’ve finished.  So I don’t really see the difference between that and drinking it down stairs.
I grab her tooth brush try brushing off the black marks in desperatation...surprisingly the stuff on the tooth does come off.  Weird.  But the black under the gum is still there.  Ok, maybe it’s not as bad as all that.  If it can come off that easily perhaps the dentist must be able to do something to help.
My sister calls me back.  Thank God.  I explain the problem with shaking hands and a wobbly voice.  She’s slipped into “Medic” mode and goes through all sensible scenarios.  She asks what drinks have I been giving them?  I tell her and even admit to that one carton of Ribena they had when we’d forgot their cups once. (Ok, two)  She then asked if perhaps Itchy had fallen at nursery.  I explain that it’s definitely not a bruise - it’s as black as my spiralling mood.  And this is why I both love my sister and why I call her for advice.  She sighed and asked in a manner only reserved for dealing with crazy people – “has Itchy been eating black crayons again”?
Um.  Oh.  Ahhhhh.  Yes I believe she has.  In fact I saw her with a black crayon the day before.  “You nutter” came her reply.  I may be a nutter, but I was the happiest, most relieved nutter in the world at that moment.  Like getting off from a prison sentence.
And sure enough, the black under the gums promptly disappear after a few days.  She’s been checked by the dentist and all is fine.  It was crayon.  Beautiful, tooth staining crayon.   I may be up for that Mediocre Mum Award after all.
I have used this experience to start introducing a sippy cup at bedtime instead, watering down their juice even more and making sure they brush their teeth twice every day.  It was a positive scare, and one I hope never returns for real.  Crisis averted.  I now watch through my fingers, waiting for the next one.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Thank God for girlfriends

There should be a Girlfriends Day, because I do believe they are the backbones of society.  Good fun, supportive and willing to help...even if you didn't know you needed helping.

I met a close girlfriend today and although it started off just another chat over coffee, I just did not see it coming.
So there I was getting on with the usual grind this morning; getting kids up, cleaned, dress, fed.  Off to play group where everything was so hard.  Girls crying at everything, both needing to be hugged at the same time, me trying to get them interested in various toys to no avail.  Bigger kids running around and knocking them over making the situation worse.  Mums staring at the wailing twins and the mum trying to hold it all together.  Thankfully my closest friend was there with her boy and we decided to ditch the group and steam off to a coffee shop to try and hold a meaningful conversation.  Not always guaranteed these days, when we’re at the age where kids are everywhere you look multiplying like bacteria.
So there we were discussing the usual stuff.  How the girls can be such hardwork sometimes and do my husband and I move somewhere nearer to London where my his commute would be less, mortgage more expensive and where we have no friends.  Or do we stay where we can easily afford the mortgage, I have friends but my husband is unhappy with the area?    It’s been a recurring issue for about 3 years now, and one thing for sure is it’s not going away.  There I was going through the same possible solutions and getting nowhere when my good friend says lets off the D bomb.  She thinks I may be depressed.
It was like receiving an electric shock.  Totally stopped me in my tracks.  My immediate knee jerk reaction was to deny it, but I could hear distant alarm bells ringing somewhere in the archives of my mind.  Could I be depressed and not be aware of it?  I had been thinking that our issues are the normal stuff that people with young kids have.  Money, no time, tiredness, needing a bigger house.  But maybe my friend is right.  Maybe my problem isn’t the housing issue or how hard I’m finding the twins, the problem is that I can’t think my way to any solutions.  As someone whose experienced depression herself, she had a wonderful analogy of depression.  Like having only one small room in your brain that you just keep going round and round in, getting nowhere.  That’s exactly how I feel.  I can’t seem to think myself out to a happier place.
I have been depressed before, and it certainly runs in my family, So I know what the warning signs are.  If I’m completely honest, It did take me four weeks to book a doctors appointment, and I have been putting off looking at the finances.  I dread the post coming through the door and my ideal day would be spent sleeping.  Now that I think of it these are all classic depression symptoms.  I’ve also taken an online depression test and let’s just say she may be right.  How could I have missed it?
I guess it makes sense that if I can’t see my way out of a problem, it may take a person looking in to help.  But how surprising that the same problem can look completely different depending on who’s looking at it.  However pessimistic I am, I’m so thankful to my friend for her honestly and willingness to listen to me.  You can’t beat a good girlfriend.  Maybe I should make a doctors appointment...and not in four weeks time either.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

But Why? Get your own back and ask lots of questions

I was tagged by the must follow lilandreal over at Five's a Fellowship to join in with "But Why"?  It was started by Mummy Central and is an opportunity to ask a load of questions back to our kids after how in-exhaustible their questions can be.  

My Questions
Why do you slap your food repeatedly like its a basketball?

Why are you still waking up at night?

Why when I come to you at night do you think it's play time, when we've NEVER played at night?

Why are you ill on a Wednesday when it's your day to go to nursery?

Why do you always try and pick my mole?

Why do you take your shoes and socks off in the car?

Why were such incredible children given to me?

Why do I give myself such a hard time?

Why do I dedicate so much time to worry?

Why am I addicted to biscuits?

Why do you LOVE broccoli?

Why do you like cheese and pasta but refuse to eat macaroni cheese?

Why is giggle-time always 5 o'clock

Why are you shy with people you know well?

Why don't you like McDonalds?

Why do you like In the Night Garden so much?  

Why do I like In The Night Garden?

Why do you poke each other in the eye?  

Why when you've had me up several times in the night, I instantly forgive you when I see your cheeky faces in the morning?

The Rules
1. Post your whys – as few or as many as you like
2. Link up your post with Mummy Central and post a comment if you can
3. Tag 5 bloggers to keep this going
4. If you’re not a blogger, leave your whys as a comment below. We’d love to read them
5. Show your support by reading a few others and commenting on them

Who I'm tagging

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A complaint on behalf of the masses

To whom it may concern
I’m writing to inform you of the confusion your guidelines have made in my everyday life.  I find your system completely baffling and my brain fuses when trying to work simple things out like distance or measures in cooking – and I don’t think I’m the only one.  Let me explain.
I was taught to use cm’s and mm’s when growing up.  The metric system is a solid way to determine distances and I knew where I was with a meter stick, or a 30cm ruler.  But why when I’m using the TomTom in my car does it refer to distances in Yards?  I thought that was an old Imperial system that went out with the ark?  But TomTom is a relatively new product.  Is it making a comeback like shoulder pads?
To make things more confusing, it seems to me that cm’s and mm’s are only used in distances along the ground because when I measure my height it’s in feet and inches.  So was your intention for us to use cm’s horizontally, and feet and inches vertically.  This seems far too complicated to me.
Then the confusion extends to the kitchen.  I was taught to cook with pounds and ounces.  I understand what yummy goodness comes from 4oz flour, 2oz of sugar, 2oz of butter and 2 eggs.  Lovely cake.  But can you explain why some recipes are given in grams and kilos?  What kind of cakey mess would I produce if I followed this?  Is it trustworthy?  And why is it we buy milk and alcohol in pints, but all other fluids in millilitres?  I know where I am with a pint.  But when we had children and  had to start measuring out their formula in millilitres, it threw me for six.  Do you know how cruel it is to confuse a new mum with her whirling hormones and sleep deprivation?  I was a walking nurturer, not a flipping converter.
And WTF are cups?  I saw it in a recipe the other day.  Like pounds, ounces, grams and kilos aren’t enough choice for you, there’s now BLOODY CUPS!  Are you talking about a small cup?  Big cup?  Is it relative?  It is a special cup?  Egg cup?  I mean come on!  Give me a chance.
And then some knob jockey from your association has decided to introduce us to kilometres.  Are you serious?  I can remember that one is slightly less than the other...but I can’t remember which one. 
I’m not even going to start complaining about why you ensured we learnt our weights in stones and pounds and then just changed it to kilos on a whim one day.  Was that day April fools by any chance? 
Do you think your association is suffering from an identity crisis?  Or are just firing off new forms of measuring without communicating to one another?  Or is it secret option number three – you’re all on drugs, and just messing with us. 
Whatever it is, you need to sort this mess out soon before me head explodes.  And a word of warning, If you change the pound sterling, I swear I’ll come down there and kick your arse.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Do birth order traits apply to twins?

It’s always amazes me that when I met my newborn twins, they came pre-packaged with distinct individual personalities.  I always assumed that a child’s behavioural tendencies were formed mostly by nurture.  But it wasn’t until I had my own babies that I understood the enormous role nature plays in forming little people.

I find personalities fascinating.  Why are people the way they are?  Why do some have very similar personality traits to other people?  I’m not someone who reads my daily horoscope to seek  guidance from the stars, but I do think there is something in star signs.  I’m a Virgo who are typically perfectionists, practical and analytical – which describes me well.  My twins (Itchy & Scratchy) were born in January, which makes them Capricorns.  Does this help understand their personalities?  Capricorns are serious, independent and strong willed.  This certainly describes the eldest twin. 

But here is where it comes unstuck... although my twin girls are identical (so have the same genetic make up), were born 2 minutes apart, were obviously born on the same day, and have the same parents...they are so very different.  Why?  I’ve been looking for theories to explain this difference.  Could  Sibling Order be it?

There’s growing evidence that depending on where you’re placed in the family, greatly determines the sort of person you are, your strengths and weaknesses.  The first born are typically leaders, confident, and want to manage others.   They want to be in control and consequently aren’t  big fans of surprises or like feeling out of their depth.  They are perfectionists and seek approval from authority figures.  They are high achievers and studies show that they have slightly higher IQ’s than their siblings.  The majority of CEO’s will be first borns.

The second born will have opposite characteristics to their older siblings.  They’ll be easier to get along will, be more flexible and can compromise.  They may have less drive than their older sibling but they will be the one to hold a group together and can keep the peace.  They put others first and they can feel left out in the family.

Fine out more about younger children. 

The reason for these changes are put down to a) the differing ways parents treat their children, and b) the way a child reacts to their other siblings.  It makes sense that a younger sibling will want to be different to their older brother/sister and have to develop better negotiating skills to get round their bigger more experienced sibling.  It also makes sense that an older child gets more attention from their parents and be relied upon to set a good example –pushing them to be high achievers. 

But what is interesting is my 19 month old twins (my only children) definitely conform to these personality traits and it’s not down to one having more attention than the other, or the younger one having to work around an older/more experienced sister.  They get the same attention and treatment and were born 2 minutes apart – but still show the differences listed above.

Scratchy (the eldest) is more physically dominant, reaches physical milestones first and is quite serious.  She is hard on herself if she can’t do something and dominates Itchy in every way, regularly stealing her toys.  She herds her like a sheep and will just push her (or sit on her) to stop her from having attention from me.  But she responds best to discipline and just loves to help me with chores.  Itchy (second born) is much more relaxed and playful.  She’ll let Scratchy be dominant and bide her time for attention.  She’ll happily hand over her toys and wait until Scratchy has cast aside before picking it up again.  She’ll try and cheer Scratchy up and make her laugh.  But discipline isn’t working as well with her, she just laughs it off and sees the fun.

There are parents of twins who keep the sibling order a secret until they are much older and I can understand why they might – to avoid rivalry and prevent them from falling into the typical birth order hierarchy.  But my twins are already showing these traits, and they’re far too young to comprehend ages.   I think honesty is the best policy and will just continue to try and give them the same attention, love and discipline as possible...and hope it’s not an issue.  There may well be parents of older twins who would recommend otherwise, in which case I’d love to hear from you. 

Do you fit into these birth order traits?  Do your kids follow this rule of thumb?  Do you put the differing personalities down to something else?  It’s a fascinating subject and if you have a view, I’d love to hear it.

Monday, 27 August 2012

The problem with toddling twins

This is the problem with toddling twins and why reigns are essential. They're like magnets repelling. I can't complain, there was were triplets at the park, I'm officially humbled.

Monday, 20 August 2012

10 Things You're Not Told About Having Kids Under Two (Part 1)

1.       Although you already know that hair loss is common during pregnancy, or just after birth, what you’ll fail to think about is when it grows back you’ll have large sections of 3cm long hair sticking up and making you look like Mr Majeika.  Don’t panic, wear a hat for 3 months and ride it out, or do a Sinead O’Conner.

Post Pregnancy Mr Majeka Syndrome
2.       You’ll develop a new super power – being able to hear a pin drop while your little one/s  are asleep.  This is a curse because you’ll pick up on sounds you’ve never noticed before, and will attack the neighbours if they so much as cough when your kids are asleep.
3.       You’ll need to wear high necked tops because from about a year on, they’ll just pull your baps right out in public.  Protect yourself, but do enjoy when they do it to someone else, it’s hilarious.   
4.       You can fart freely  in public and blame it on the kids. 
5.       You can use them as an excuse to get out of anything.  “We’d love to come but that’s Itchy & Scratchy’s nap time”, “I was going to contact you but they’ve been so ill”, “of course I still find you attractive darling, but they’ve just worn me out today”.
6.       You’ll grow a temporary toddler hump because you’re constantly bending over.
7.       Take up lifting weights after your kids are too heavy to pick up.  Otherwise those muscular mammas will turn into bingo wings as fast as you can say “corrective surgery please”.
8.       You won’t be using a small size handbag for quite some time.  You’ll envy others with cute tiny purses, while you drag your house on wheels along behind you.
9.       You’ll love them with all your heart, but just not enough to give them your biscuits/chocolate/sweets/cheese/crisps (Delete as appropriate).  You share everything with them, so need something that is just for you.
10.   You’ll need to put aside some parenting trousers – much like you may have done with some decorating trousers - because you’ll only get through a day crud-free once in a blue moon...when they are with someone else.
 The list could go on forever I'm betting.  What would you add to this?

Double Dizzy Daleks

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The straw that broke the mamma's back

I reckon I’m generally a calm parent.  I don’t get angry when they wake me up repeatedly at night and then just laugh in my face when I go into check on them.  I don’t get too stressed when they play up in public and I can feel people’s eyes boring through my back.  Tantrums from both the twins at the same time doesn’t ever phase me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Mother Teresa.  My internal dialogue can be full of the f word but I manage to remain calm on the surface, which is what counts.  But I’ve realised recently that I have my own personal kryptonite...and it comes in the shape of Weetabix.
I give them Weetabix in the morning and what they do with it makes my blood boil.  They both throw their spoons away, get a big handful and then smear it all in their hair.  Such a small thing, and something a lot of parents would laugh at and enjoy.  But I lose my rag every time.  It’s like they know it’s my weak point, and they just want to see my head explode for fun.  We’ve usually planned to see someone in the day and what pisses me off is that they always look so dirty and scruffy when we go out.  It looks like I neglect them.  Why not just put them back in the bath I hear you say?  If you’ve never tried before, bathing twins on your own is NOT easy.  When you’re drying one, the other one in variably falling over, running away, slipping on the wet and chipping their teeth.  It’s hell, and there’s no way I’m visiting the fiery depths twice in one day.
So I started to wonder if I was alone, or if other parents have an Achilles' heel.  A weak spot that if hit, they are reduce to spitting, stuttering and shouting.  I’m relieved to report that thanks to the reply I got from Twitter and Facebook, I’m not alone and I’ve included below what those kind individuals shared with me.  Thank you to all of them.

Janie Panie @ –Says what drives her nuts is her kids talking to her while she’s on the phone.  “EVERYTIME.  It’s like the phone is a beacon alerting the children to come and say mum mum mum”.
Twinstiaras&tantrums @twinstiarasblog – Hates it when she says her kids names about 20 times and they still ignore her. “ So bloody frustrating”
Clare (anon) – Clare told me that her twins now copy each other.  “If one tips their food out of their bowl and sticks it on their head, the other will do exactly the same thing.  It’s a Nightmare.  Two lots of dinner to clean up”.
S Bourne @LuckyTwinMumSam – “Mine is when they twist their body just as you go to stick the nappy tabs down.  I know what happens when nappies aren’t on right?  And that’s after I catch them first as they both scarper as soon as they see nappies and wipes.  Dirty Monkeys”.
Rachel (anon) – Finds the hardest thing is “just them physically hanging off me all the time.  GET OFF.”
Clare gray @clarebearswift – Can’t stand children clinging to her and “them not telling me what they want and just making a whining noise instead”
Anonoman – Feels like losing it “when they smack the keys on the laptop and mange to fuck something up.  Our wireless stopped working for weeks and they managed to turn Google upside down once”.
T (anon) – “I get really frustrated when the kids feed food into the video machine”.
Lucy Lattimore @loopnem – Found this whole process therapeutic I think because she kept coming back with more examples, which was great.  Here are hers.
“Mine is when they brush their teeth.  If they play up when foamy white goo is mid dribble I will throw the toothbrush in the sink in a fit of pure fury”
Swiftly followed by  - They need a comment after everything they say.  “I’m just going for a wee...I saaaid I’m just going for a wee... mum mum mum.  I SAID I’m just going for a wee”.  Me “Ok!”  Off they finally go”.
Her husbands weakest moment is when “the kids spill drinks when having dinner.  He jumps up from the table like someone just let out a wild animal.  When the fluid makes its way to the edge of the table, that’s it.  Nobody is friends.  We eat in silence not looking at each other.”

Thank you to all who shared.  I’d love to hear if you have anything to add to this list.  See it as therapy, we’re all friends here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Stairgate Gate

Dear Kiddiecare.
You may have bedazzled me by your bargain price Baby Dan Stair Gates.   I may have scooped up 3 in a gluttonous rage and raced them to the car before anyone could stop me.  I bet you even laughed at my innocence that I believed the rock bottom prices were because they weren’t in the original packaging, and not because they had pieces missing, IMPORTANT pieces missing.  I should have put two and two together, or asked - I grant you.  But I want you to know that it didn’t defeat me, and that I stand victorious like a warrior at the end of a battle - Bloody, sweaty and tired...but proud, stronger and in need of a good cuppa.
Your first move in this fight was to withhold the instructions.  Yes I stumbled I admit it, and I bet you thought you had the advantage.  But I kept going, using what raw DIY skill I could remember from my design and technology GCSE.  Another blow from you – a missing screw.  But in a gravity defying Neo (from the Matrix) move, I replaced it with one from my tool box.  Yes you heard me right.  MY tool box.  I bet you didn’t expect me to come so prepared.   I have a drill too, THAT’S NOT MY HUSBANDS. 
And then you left your most lethal move to last.  How could you?  You didn’t provide the screw template.  I could have fallen at this news, I almost vomited with despair.  In this hard and messy battle you fought your hardest, but no matter how many balls you threw at me I just kept throwing them back in your face. But I’m here to tell you Kiddiecare, that (despite the odd left over plastic bits I have)  I STAND TALL.  I AM VICTORIOUS.  I AM DIY MUM, HEAR ME ROAR.
*beats chest*.

Kiddiecare really is a wonderful company, and an amazing store (no really - it has a whole floor dedicated to prams and even has test tracks...awesome).  It was my fault for buying the one off's and not checking the bits.  But this post was just too much fun to write, and I had to post.

Monday, 6 August 2012

I've won an award!

Liebster Blog Award

Emotional moment. I got my first blog award. I received this award from Twinmumanddad ( Well chuffed, I hope no-one else is wearing the same dress for this acceptance speech.

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. It is for blogs with 200 or less followers, so it’s also a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs and get them more readers and followers! 

When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person(s) who nominated you. You pass the Award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions. You’re not allowed to nominate the blog(s) who nominated you! (To get the button, right click the picture on my page and save the picture to your computer. You can then upload to your blog.)

11 Random Facts about me
1.   I’d never date a man with long finger nails
2.   I sweat more on my left side then my right
3.   I dislike people touching my face
4.   I want to be a yogi
5.   The most beautiful person I've seen in real life is Julian Clary
6.   If I ate Beef, it would kill me
7.   If I could be arsed, my chosen stalker obsession would be Beyonce
8.   I've been in one fight (when I was 10), and it was because I called someone a "turd”
9.   I lost the fight because I laughed all the way through it.  Fancy calling someone a turd!
10.            I cried once at Baywatch when someone got stung by a jellyfish...I was pregnant.
11.            I see the number 11 everywhere!

11 Questions from Twinmumanddad
1.   What is your favourite animal?
2.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
A singer
3.   What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Expressing my own way of seeing things
4.   Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter.  Facebook is like a closed gate community, Twitter is a big party and everyones welcome.
5.   Are you right or left handed?
6.   What was the name of your first pet?
Had a fish called Tumour-head.
7.   Do you have any hobbies?
Meditating, Reading, Singing, Photography
8.   Can you play a musical instrument?
Yes, Violin – Grade 6
9.   If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your one luxury item?
10.           Do you have any pets?
No, just a husband
11.           What's the healthiest thing in your fridge?

I’m now going to think of 11 other bloggers who I think deserve this award too.