Friday, December 18, 2009

A shituation

Two babies. Foaming nappies. I don't need this.
That's practically a haiku for diarrhea.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yuletide Cheers

It occurred to me recently that motherhood is a lot like my career in the law. When I was working as a junior lawyer in a large firm, my peers and I were entrusted with an even larger number of documents through which to trawl. We would find ourselves in a room with 200 boxes of paper to read and record. It was menial, it was tedious and regardless of how dreary the subject matter (the chemical components in freezer fluid, sale distribution of bricks) it required agonising attention to detail. Motherhood is much the same. Menial, sure; tedious, ditto, but turn your eye for one second and your child is eating a snail.

The hardest things about motherhood is that there are no weekends (like the law), late nights (like the law) but absolutely no chance of career progression -- unless you count grandparenthood which is no absolute for our generation and in any event, seems to entail minding the grandchildren anyway (in all families bar mine). But for all the downsides of a career in the law, there was always the annual Christmas Party. Sure, the smaller the firm the more likely it was to end with somebody dry-humping the receptionist on the dance floor, but there was much to love about those Christmas parties too. Dressing up, for one. Accessorising with Christine's rather than dusty documents (then) and pumpkin (now). A lovely drink; not too much, but just enough to make the evening fizzy fun.

And so, in the spirit of the Yule, a group of mothers and I are having our own Christmas party tonight. There won't be sex on the photocopier but there will be a chance to tinsel up, dissect our partners' psychological makeup (could be a law firm) and toast the end of a year hard worked. Can I suggest you and yours do the same.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Give me the boy at one..

I have found myself wondering about Hitler's mother over the last week as I have witnessed some particularly unsavoury behaviour in my young men. George sits at his highchair ignoring his own Vegemite toast but eating Edgar's while Edgar tries to bat him away (in much the same way Edgar expertly flicks all fruit onto the floor). Edgar reaches over and snatches George's Mega Blox car while George is in the middle of running it backwards and forwards over the lumpy rim of a basket; Edgar is seemingly oblivious to his brother's pained howls. George grabs the back of Edgar's nappy to prevent him from crawling away, Edgar bites George leaving great welts in which one can quite clearly decipher the imprint of each tooth. It goes on.
Whereas, I had a vision of twins as best friends, my boys seem to do little but bully and brawl. 'Share, share,' I call from across the sink as they are pushing and shoving the teddy-on-the-motorbike-toy and they both just peer at me and shake their heads in a very firm 'no no no no no, Mummy' and then give me a look which says Have you tried sharing a toy that's no bigger than your palm? You really want us to share? Buy us a Kiddietips Swingset.
There is no doubt that this is the coalface of human nature, a place where shoves and hits and biffs and bats are unveiled, brutal and deeply heartfelt, but what behaviour is just natural one-year-old behaviour and what is antisocially antisocial? At what point does a Mega Blox car become Poland?
Klara Hitler had six kids and a boorish husband who seemed to fail at whatever he turned his hand to. I don't. But other than an unhealthy fascination with Cowboys and Indians, it's hard to see the traits of the infant Hitler that showed the man he was to come. Does a child have to be killing kittens or hurling pea-hen eggs for a parent to be on red alert?
My anxiety was heightened when the Jesuit motto I had always believed was 'Give me the child at seven and I will give you the man', turned out to be 'Give me a child until he is seven...,' which, as you can appreciate, opens up a whole can of early-learning worms. Okay, sure I knew seven was going to be a big year for us, because let's face it, one slip up there and we end up back at the Bunnings' car park, but I'd planned the year and was going to fill it with positive mentors, educational toys, yoga and preservative-free food. But now I need to usher them through seven years of good behaviour? Good grief that's exhausting; the boys struggle to make it through ten minutes without chewing on the power cords or squabbling over train carriages; 2015 is suddenly looking as far as Australia looked to the spouses of early convicts.
Fortunately, I know plenty of beefy men who wore clips and tutus at kindergarten and plenty of girls in lipstick who fronted up to prep in y-fronts. Let's just hope that brutality goes the way of sexuality and that there's nothing of the smashing-crashing-bashing one-year-old in the man. Or I fear, dear Reader, the shame is not only Klara's.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back to basics

It may be all the Baby Einstein I've been watching, but I realised tonight that things are getting better. I can now count the scoops of formula straight into the bottles rather than into a little divided formula cup first.
Well, let's put you up for a Nobel Prize, I hear you thinking. This however, is a marked improvement. When I was breastfeeding, I remember watching my mother scoop seven level spoons of formula straight into each bottle and thinking it was all a little too gung ho. What kind of cowboy grandmother are you? I hissed. Lips tight, I curtly suggested that she may prefer to try the special container just in case you lose count. It's easy to do [exclamation mark! exclamation mark! exclamation mark! (keeps threats jolly)].
Of course, I used to count scoops into the divided formula container and forget where I was sometimes around the fourth scoop, sometimes around the sixth, once between the first and second. Getting to seven seemed like a long hard road and too often I'd be pouring the formula back into the tin to start again. And then mucking it up and starting again again. I even counted on my fingers.
Well, tonight I stand before you, a new woman, a new mum. A mum who can count to seven with relish, a mum who can ladle straight into the bottles, a mum who in time, may even come to remember the names of her sons. Both of them.
We can only hope.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In defence of Baby Einstein

It has come to my attention that there has been much recent criticism of Baby Einstein. For those not in the know, Baby Einstein is a little off-shoot of Disney that sells a number of products including half hour DVDs for babies. These feature lots of beautiful images of water/animals/planets (depending on the theme) and star a few squeaky-clean animal puppets and a few squeaky-clean multi-racial children all going about their business to gloriously tinny classical music. There is also a language option which means that babies can watch the DVD in numerous languages. This means our household now knows that Molen is the Dutch word for windmill.

Last week my sister, (whose children are not television-watchers), forwarded an email by some group called Campaign For a Commercial Free Childhood Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers. Now there's a snappy title. Anyway, in a coup for CFCFCRCCM (which actually calls itself CCFC), the Walt Disney Company will offer a full refund to anyone who purchased a Baby Einstein DVD in the last five years.

CCFC states:

Our 2006 Federal Trade Commission complaint forced Disney to stop claiming that Baby Einstein videos were educational for infants, but the company made no move to compensate parents who purchased them.
We thought parents deserved better. So, with help from CCFC members like you, we kept the pressure on until Disney agreed to reimburse Baby Einstein customers.
The refund offer is a wonderful victory for families and anyone who cares about children. Recent research shows that screen time is not educational for babies. Now parents who purchased Baby Einstein DVDs, mistakenly believing the videos would make their babies smarter, can recoup their money
.

My sister asked me whether I was going to claim the refund. CLAIM THE REFUND? Is she kidding? Let it be stated that not only am I NOT going to claim the refund, I've budgeted for a Christmas bonus for the makers of Baby Einstein. I have even considered going one step further and changing Edgar's name to Edgar-Baby and George's to George-Einstein as a token of my on-going commitment to Baby Einstein and their products.

Do I think Baby Einstein is educational? Well it can't not be educational. It's certainly exposing my children to things they haven't seen before (like Dutch windmills) and, given that we never leave the suburb and are unlikely to do so for some time, this has to be advantageous. The fact that they have this exposure in numerous languages is super (although they could do with a few Asian languages as well).

More important than education, however (yes, gasp, you did read that correctly), Baby Einstein has made our evening times workable solo. I can sit my boys in front of the telly for 30 mins -- sometimes longer if I'm desperate -- while I sweep around the house getting their bottles, dummies and sleeping bags ready. I can soothe one child in the cot without having the other wail hysterically in the other room -- setting off his brother -- which used to happen in the deep dark pre-Baby Einstein times.

We use Baby Einstein for relaxation and it's a wonderful indicator that it's actually bed time. As a children's writer, I would probably prefer to read to them. As a mother of twin boys who are everywhere and into everything, I find this nigh impossible. There is substantial time in my children's lives for books (they're at 'library time' as I type) but this does not preclude a nightly DVD.

Have I tried something less "commercial" like Playschool? (I'm sure the Board of the ABC would be thrilled to read that). Yes I have, but Baby Einstein, with its steady flow of images set to muzak captures the attention of my babies for longer. Playschool is wonderful for slightly older children and would probably be fine for mine when their attention is not flagging at the end of the day, but when they're tired, Baby Einstein is just the succour they need.

So, to the makers of Baby Einstein, thank you. Please know that for every critic, there is at least one avid fan.

To the members of CCFC? Thank you, too. Keep up your battle to get Pooh Bear off my nappies and Thomas and Dora off every article of clothing available in Target. I don't want to be paying to advertise those brands. And they're hideous. But please leave Baby Einstein in peace -- if only for the immeasurable peace it's brought this twin mum.

Monday, November 2, 2009

False starts

I understand that the twins don't comprehend that parents need weekends but surely they could try to understand the value of public holidays. Waking at 5.30am on Cup Day is inhumane.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One


It seems astonishing but exactly one year ago, I was lying in bed a nervous wreck screening phone calls (everybody calls the night before a Caesar) with a bag packed for hospital. The twin I thought was Beatrice (but was actually Edgar) was angry and kicked me in the ribs all night -- his father actually felt him from the other side of the mattress. The twin I thought was Cecelia (but was actually George) lay their quietly flicking my bladder and so I spent that evening, as I had spent so many evenings, in bed or on the loo or somewhere in between.

Time has done funny things over the last 12 months. The year has been an odd one -- a lost year, really. The days and nights have gone achingly slowly, but it only seems 6 weeks ago that I was wedging pillows between my legs and under my tummy trying to find sleep. To think I thought that that was as difficult as things could get.

It may be sentimental, and God knows this entry is, but I am wearing the same pyjamas I wore in the hospital -- white with a Russian doll motive -- fitting garb for a woman filled with babies.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful boys, Edgar and George. We made it.

Toys

I went to join the toy library the other day. With the boys tiring of new toys in something between 2 and 20 minutes and the kitchen cupboard empty but for a handful of choking hazards, it seemed like a fine way to entertain my sons without caving in and letting them play with the sewing scissors. After we got banned from Sunglass Hut (management doesn't like customers to come in and lick products without purchasing), it seemed critical.

Our local toy library, however, is a rort. While the annual fee of $100 for twins is manageable, a parent is expected to volunteer for four sessions each year. FOUR sessions? Hasn't indentured labour been a bit on the nose in this country since we rightfully repatriated the Pacific Islanders in 1906? Of course, I was merrily told that I could bring the boys along. Ho Ho. And what alot of work we'd all get done then. Even if they let me take them along to the first session, however, I doubt we'd be invited back for a second. We're rarely invited anywhere twice.

So the shrewed economist in me undertook an analysis, and to join the toy library, I'd be looking at $350 including childcare but excluding medical fees (my boys can't spy other people's toys without picking up croup). But for parents in a similar predicament, the solution may be school fêtes. How good are school fêtes? I thought people only went to them for decent jam and the Dunkin Dunny, but it transpires that school fêtes are the perfect way to keep one's toybox well stocked without overpaying on ebay (I'm competitive) before being hit with hefty postage (it's expensive to freight a slide from Toowoomba) or facing a drive to Bacchus Marsh.

At the Nelson Street Kindergarten fête, we spent $28 and came home with so many garish toys, the boys have been entertained for hours. This weekend we returned from the St Kilda Primary fête with an abacus, 15 board books (all in excellent condition), flash cards (because what if my children really are genii and I've spent so long convincing myself they're developmentally delayed they BECOME developmentally delayed) and a whole heap of plastic things that play Mendelssohn over flashing lights and animal noises. Ooh baby, it's toy Nirvana. Who cares about that pre-natal pledge to purchase nothing but wood or felt? Surely, second-hand plastic doesn't count.

Parents, ditch your toy library and hit the school fête circuit. We'll be there, licking the sunglasses, buying up big and still getting a laugh out of the Dunkin Dunny. On the house.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Lost Art of Sleep

My twins bought their father a book entitled The Lost Art of Sleep for Fathers Day. It is written by Michael McGirr -- who is, as chance would have it, also a father of twins.
In an interview earlier this year, McGirr said that many friends were critical of the fact that his entire family slept in the same bed -- McGirr, his wife, their toddler and their twins. This was, however, perfectly acceptable, so he reasoned, as there was not alot of sleep going on. It was at that point I knew Michael McGirr was a man we had to have in our family library.
McGirr relays the moment during the ultrasound when the obstetrician pointed out two heartbeats on the monitor and informed him that they were expecting twins.

There were lots of hearts beating in that little room, which was just as well because mine had stopped for a moment.

I may only be 21 pages in (I'm so dang tired I only read 4 sentences a night) but I commend Michael McGirr's The Lost Art of Sleep -- to you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You know you're a mother of twins...

when you're so upset by the spontaneous arrival of guests just before bedtime, that you forget to greet them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Double, double toil and trouble...

We attended our first 1st birthday party on the weekend and it was lovely -- chocolate crackles, cake, a jumping castle which was so big it filled every inch of the garden and dwarfed the house (more of a jumping Imperial Palace, really, but it was a hit, a Big hit).
I wasn't going to have a 1st birthday party for the boys, until, in a rare stroke of genius, I came up with this for a theme. It's going to be a bubble party -- a bubble machine for the boys, aerobars for the big kids and I'll be mainlining champagne. Heck, I'm almost thinking we might stick with the theme but ditch the children -- just get all the other twin parents over instead. Here's to toil and trouble, delicious boisterous toil and trouble.

Never Again

Three people have asked me in the last week whether I'm knocked up. OK, so sure I have been wearing my maternity gear a little longer than J.Lo, but the boys are still in their PJs and it's 3pm. For the avoidance of doubt, the "new tummy" referred to in an earlier blog is my post-twin pouch. The "maternity knickers" a post-Caesar essential recommended by the physio.

When it comes to me and pregnancy, it's like the second world war. Never Again. NEVER EVER AGAIN. No Bosnian or Rwandan carve-outs, here. Been there, done that and I can attest that it's the greatest propaganda ever propagated. That and the bit about children being necessary to complete one.

There was no glow about me whatsoever during my pregnancy. I vomited for 6 months, had 2 weeks respite and then started fainting before I got so vast that I just lolled on the bed scratching at my excema, panting from the exertion. My partner called me The Dugong (for those not in the know, the dugong -- also called the sea cow -- is the Joan Rivers of the Dolphin family). My father said to my mother "You really glowed during your first pregnancy. Kim, however, is not". When your own father thinks you look like a dog, things have to be dire.

Nope, as far as I'm concerned, twins have dealt with any maternal yearning in this household; I saw a newborn baby the other day and actually shuddered. Apart from the lady with the twins, the triplets and the mini bus, how often do you see parents of twins who went back for more? Very very rarely, is the answer.

In fact, twins could be the solution to so many of the world's problems. The UN wants to stem the population boom but appease the Catholic Church? Roll twins out to developing countries! Good God. You mean we could get that? Teenage pregnancy? Nothing to do with morality, my daughter, spend a day with us. Premature ejaculation? One word to keep you hanging on son, Multiple Birth.

And that's our sons: poster boys for abstinence.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Split Personality

It occurred to me yesterday that having twins requires a split personality. One needs to be rigidly organised in order to go anywhere or do anything and cope with the shere logistics of 18 bottles, 3 loads of washing, 4 changes of linen, 10 changes of clothes and 20 nappies per day. My partner used to say there was more planning involved in attending lunch at my mother's than there was in the invasion of Bagdhad. Okay, bad example, but you get my drift. However, one also needs to be spontaneous enough to be able to abandon said plans on 20 seconds' notice because everything's going to shit.
Come to think of it, George W. Bush has twins. Perhaps if he'd left Baghdad to Laura we might have had a very different result...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is this happening in your neighbourhood?

I heard a mother moaning the other day that she finds it really difficult to get her baby and the shopping inside and that, like most people, she'd rather carry the baby and ten bags than do two trips. I'm glad she hasn't spied me packing or unpacking the car because while it used to be easier (if heavy) as I waddled with two capsules, it now goes something like this...
Leave Twin 2 in the playpen with an interesting toy while I grab the nappy bag and Twin 1. Put down the nappy bag and unsnib the front door so I don't accidently lock Twin 2 inside and have to break a heritage window with a wheel of the wheelie bin (learnt the hard way). Double check the front door and juggle Twin 1 on my hip (who is ringing the doorbell) while I try to find the car key. Locate the car key and run Twin 1 out to the car listening to Twin 2 shriek as he realises he's been abandoned. Buckle in Twin 1 and bury him under a pyramid of toys. Turn on the car, undo the window a few inches. Turn off the car, lock the car, run inside to collect Twin 2. Listen to Twin 1 shriek as he also realises he's been abandoned. Tuck the car key into my bra (my mum's tip which is spastic but I'm too tired to think of another regular place I won't lose it -- flawless as long as I remember to put on underwear). Collect shoes, socks, and blankets that Twin 1 has strewn on the way to the car. Do this slowly as I am in the geographic mid-point between Twin 1 and Twin 2and can hear neither. Manage to convince myself that this is getting easier and the boys are adjusting to the system. Take another step and hear Twin 2 bellowing. Start to jog as he sounds just like somebody is extracting limbs from his body one by one. Trip over the nappy bag I left at the front door. Collect Twin 2 who, it transpires, has all limbs intact but won't look at me he's so angry. Worry about the emotional damage Twin 2 is suffering and whether, as a result of this neglect, he will drop out of school and end up an angry junkie in gaol. Wipe Twin 2's face, pick up the handbag and nappy bag and limp down the hall with Twin 2 still sniffling but tearing out the pages from Twin 1's favourite book "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas". Hear Twin 1 bellowing from the car. Confirm that neighbours have now gathered around the car and are assessing the temperature (17'C) and whether they should break into the car for fear Twin 1 could be suffering from hypothermia/heat exhaustion. Twin 1 cries louder to assure them that indeed he is suffering from both and that they really should consider calling the Department. If they could understand baby sign language they would realise that he's even providing the name and number of his preferred case officer. Fortunately, they can't.
Grope inside my bra for the car key. Miss it. Feel it slide down the front of my dress until it is jammed between my new tummy and the maternity knickers. Wriggle while trying to hold onto Twin 2 (hamming up his neglected face for the crowd). Shimmy until the key slips out from under my dress, and slides under the car. Holding Twin 2, grope around under the car until I find the key. Scoop moss out of Twin 2's mouth. Stand up and then break up the crowd (literally) when I bend to open the car door and my handbag (which Qantas made me store in the hold on our last flight) and the nappy bag (which could, if pushed, transport a tiger), swing down off my shoulder, batting a nosy neighbour into the gutter. Struggle with Twin 2 who reminds me and the neighbours how much he loathes the car seat by standing in it and refusing to bend. Snap him in half, possibly breaking both his legs. He certainly yells as if I have. Shut the car doors, jump in, wave merrily and try to act really together as I drive off, pages from "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas" fluttering in my wake. Look in the baby mirror and realise Twin 2 is wearing neither shoes nor socks. Return home to collect them from the pavement and find they are now sitting on the fence, smugly placed by the conferee of whispering neighbours who have also gathered up "A Guide to Roast Pork and Ham this Christmas" and put it in the recycle bin. Make a joke about it all being a bit like a crazy Egg and Spoon race. No one laughs.
I wonder how that woman with the cricket team and the minibus does it? My tip is that the minibus has never had to have its 5,000km service as she never leaves home. And that, dear Follower, is perhaps the only solution.

Good times (between brawls)

The fat lady

Every twin mother is that person at mothers' group who makes all the other mothers feel great about their lot. Of course the twin mother can't take the singleton mother's complaints seriously (you're whinging because you've got one child with mild reflux when the parent to child ratio is 6: 1 allowing for anxious grandparents? Come on. Give me twins -- one with gastro and the other with croup but developing gastro, a partner with manflu, two step children with various demands and several key household appliances with various demands and I'll give you feeling sorry for yourself. Stick your kid with mild reflux in a baby bjorn and do a shift every 6 hours...). You get the picture. However, it occurred to me today that I am to mothers' group what a fat friend is to her friendship group. I'm the one who makes every other woman feel trim and terrific on the beach. And not just because of the size of my thighs.
Today, however, I found my own fat lady -- the woman to make my chaos look ordered, the woman with a brood to silence my screaming children, the mother of all multiple births. I'm talking a woman who has two sets of twin boys under 5 and infant triplets. Natural. No emulating Angelina Jolie with this poor damn thing.
So the next time you catch me complaining, remind me of this poor sod, her cricket team and her mini bus and I'll walk tall and trim with a smile on my face: nothing but love for my boys.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We broke the brute

Finally. But the little brute broke us.
One all. Too shattered to type.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tension

Tonight is the night we break Edgar. Enough is enough. No 10 month old baby needs to drink 4 bottles during the night, especially one with 95th percentile thighs. He's stuffed full of solids, we've got a night nurse on board and this blog has some narrative tension. Will he or won't he? For how many hours will he scream? Controlled crying? I am under no illusions that crying is ever controlled. I am also under no illusions that Edgar has a system which has suited him very well and it goes like this: I scream, Mum comes running, Mum gives me a bottle, I go back to sleep until I wake, I scream, Mum comes running, Mum gives me a bottle, I go back to sleep until I wake...
The tension is mounting. I have ear plugs and I'm having a glass of wine and if that fails, Valium. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 17, 2009

(Another) Multiple Birth

Not mine (to assure my partner who probably just fainted).
This morning I saw a knocked-up mouse frolicking about the kitchen. OMG. Now the rest of you have probably just fainted. I cannot believe that we not only have to contend with viral conjunctivitis and teething this week, but also vermin. I feel defeated; this is the mouse that broke the mother's back. But have those babies anywhere near my babies Mouse, and I'm bringing in the big guns. Oh yeah, it will be stick pads, pest control and Pumpkin the cat. Why respond with a water pistol when you can engage nuclear arsenal? I'm not called Kim for nothing. Hell, I might change my surname to Jong-il and order in some Korean BBQ just to show that mouse I mean business. Dear Leader.
Must get back to filling every gap in the house with steel wool. Some of those gaps are so big, I bet that mouse just strolled in on her hind legs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Behind the Pack

A well informed source informs me that statistically the children least ready to start school are premature twin boys. Tick. Tick. Tick. My lot will be commencing school at 12 at this rate. Anyway, I now preempt any discussion with other mothers about my children with "well, of course they're developmentally delayed" which seems to quash everybody's competitive spirit. People want to fight warriors, not chiwawas.
Just as I was resigned to a life lived 3 months behind the pack, however, two things happened. Firstly, George undid his seatbelt. I double checked it before we left Mum's birthday party and got home to find him climbing out of his carseat. Then I found Edgar, who is still on pureed food, with cake crumbs around his mouth. Carpe diem my son. There's no birthday cake at home, that's for sure.
I know I should be appalled that the only thing my children excel at is escapism and binge eating, but secretly I feel overjoyed. There's hope yet; I was sure they were going to struggle to land jobs in the Bunnings' carpark.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Joke

Maternal Instinct

The sleep school comment seems to have caused concern with my reader. My reader is worried that in sleep school I will be separated from my babies by force, therefore thwarting my maternal instinct. I need to assure her that this is a good thing. After 10 nights without sleep, my maternal instinct was telling me to throw the boys out the window; my rational side suggested this might not be such a great outcome. It may not be politic to admit it, but sometimes I think the line between abusive parenting and normal loving parenting is terrifyingly thin.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hostile Takeover

The Photo Take II

I posted this earlier this evening but seem to have lost it. So, here it goes again...

After looking at this blog, an acquaintance commented that I was looking great. We haven't caught up. WE CAN NEVER CATCH UP.
Did she really think that photo was recent? Does she really think a person could look like that after 18 months without sleep? After putting down a family block of white chocolate and a box of white chocolate magnums per day while breastfeeding (true story)? Does she really think I will ever use a recent photo again? No way Jose. My days of happy snaps are well and truly over. From here on in, it's all about old shots, airbrushing, and heck, if it hurts less than my ceasar, plastic surgery.

The comment actually reminded me of a school visit I did last year 7 months pregnant. Although the photo was well under a year old at that stage, one of the girls in the audience put up her hand and said "You know. You don't look anything like your picture." Bless. That's why people send their kids to private schools. I felt like holding her thick glossy plaits and dunking her poreless skin in a vat of oil. You'll be relieved to know I didn't.

Must sign off. Boys sleeping and I don't want the typing to wake them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sleep School

Last night the boys were awake on the hour -- their own personal worst. So, I did what any sensible desperate mother does and booked them into sleep school, only to be told there's a three month wait. THREE MONTHS.

Informing an exhausted mother of twins that, is like giving a child a Christmas present and telling her to open it the following year.

My friend booked her triplets in when they were still in utero. They went at 5 weeks and had no sleep issues. Any expectant mothers of multiples take note: that's the way to do it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Double Trouble" and other tiresome exchanges

As a mother of twins, I was hard pushed to get off the couch for the first 6 months of my boys' existence. Now I have, however, ventured off the couch, I'm not sure how appealing life extra-living room is.

As an extrovert, it is delicious and highly rewarding experience to traipse the town with the boys. I am completely eclipsed (What? With this greasy hair and these trackies? C'est n'est pas vrais...) while the boys are treated like celebrities. This may explain why real paparazzi-avoiding celebrities with twins are so loathe to show them in public.

Although the attention is fun, however, the comments people proffer drive me mad. To this end, I have devised a series of retorts for all the standard exchanges. If you have twins, feel free to borrow them. If you don't have twins and you are about to say one of the following things, STOP. It does not matter how well intentioned it is, just smile and nod to the mother. She is a true Olympian and deserves respect. She is also exhausted and not culpable for her behaviour: she may bite.

Inane passerby comment (IBPC): "You've got your hands full."
Bitter Mother of Twins (BMOT): "I'm not sure about that, but I've certainly got the pram full."


IPBC: "Do you have a licence to drive that thing?"
BMOT: "No. I lost it for drink pushing."

IPBC: "Are they identical?"
BMOT: "Yes. Although they don't share a father."
[Umm, ask a dumb question...Actually, this one always stumps me. My son George looks like his father and grandfather but Edgar looks more like Knox and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt than us. In fact, he's so pretty we sometimes wonder he's the result of a stray frosty.]

IPBC: "Double Trouble"
BMOT: Silence. Stony silence. This is so hackneyed it does not warrant a response.
[NB. The perky MOT says "Twice the fun" or something equally cheerleader and upbeat. The perky MOT probably has a housekeeper, a full time nanny, a night nurse, a cleaner and a mother of her own with no life. Or she's retarded. ]

Our wonderful pram is an "Easy Walker" which also provokes comment as it's about the width of Julia Robert's grin and the length of a semitrailer.

IPBC: "Oh, the Easy Walker."
BMOT: "Yes, you should see the Awkward Walker"

Then there's always the angry passer by who decides to take out their frustration on the pram.
Eg. APBC: "The size of that pram is ridiculous."

BMOT: "I sometimes cut it in half and leave one of the boys at home."

OR

"It's the same width as a wheelchair. It must be terrible to be handicapped."
[Thanks Lisa...]

Must go. Edgar is chewing the iron cord and George is hurling highchairs around the kitchen.

Over and out.

BMOT

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Photo

After looking at this blog, an acquaintance commented that I was looking great. We haven't caught up. WE CAN NEVER CATCH UP.
Did she really think that photo was recent? Does she really think a person could look like that after 18 months without sleep? After putting down a family block of white chocolate and a box of white chocolate magnums per day while breastfeeding (true story)? Does she really think I will ever use a recent photo again? No way Jose. My days of happy snaps are well and truly over. From here on in, it's all about old shots, airbrushing, and heck, if it hurts less than my ceasar, plastic surgery.

The comment actually reminded me of a school visit I did last year 7 months pregnant. Although the photo was well under a year old at that stage, one of the girls in the audience put up her hand and said "You know. You don't look anything like your picture." Bless. That's why people send their kids to private schools. I felt like holding her thick glossy plaits and dunking her poreless skin in a vat of oil. You'll be relieved to know I didn't.

Must sign off. Boys sleeping and I don't want the typing to wake them.

Mother of Twins

I am a mother of nine month old twin boys and this is my maiden blog. Or course it's probably best referred to as an Old Maid blog because that's how I feel: exhausted and elderly -- the sort of exhaustion one can only know when one hasn't slept for 19 months. That, for anyone who has experienced the joys of a multiple birth pregnancy, includes the time I didn't sleep while the boys were brewing.

As I am technically a writer, everyone assumed that I was dutifully recording every detail of my sons' lives over the last nine months. As I didn't manage to find time to have a shower until last week, recording the details of the chaos was unimaginable; I was up to my armpits in breast milk and pureed prune.

The nine months have passed in a sort of blur, however, and if the next nine pass in a similar blur, I'll be left holding two 00000 onesies at the boys 21st wondering where it all went. So, here it is, my first attempt to put finger to keypad and let my readers (Hi Mum, Hi Peter) know how we're progressing. Two boys, two readers: for a mother of twins there is Noah's Ark symmetry in every aspect of life.