Tag Archives: Twin

Jelly Power

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THANK HEAVEN. The brains are coming along nicely. By age three, kid brains have double the “synaptic density” (connections between brain cells) than they will as adult brains. This means one thing people…THINKING! Hooray for thinking! Lots of things happen around this age in the brain, but the best one is a developing understanding of cause and effect! Allow me to elaborate.

Twin 1 has a regular habit. Upon yelling for his dinner for many torturous minutes, Mr Almost 3 will be presented with said dinner. Upon making the stupefying discovery that dinner is not of the favoured kind, Mr Almost 3 will fling said dinner across the room, or tip said dinner onto the table. The result of this insubordinate action will either be a seething but silent mother, or a ranting like a mad thing mother, depending on the day. Either way, Mummy is mad. Twin 2, in concordant twin cunning, will also raise objection to the lovingly thawed and warmed dinner presented by pushing it away and stroppily shouting NO DINNER. Mummy is getting madder.

I have tried in the past to simply accept that some days they won’t eat. This is a position I find hard to hold without some level of feeling like a crap mum. Sending my kids to bed without dinner was never on my list of things to do when I accidentally had twins. In recent weeks though, I have seen emerging evidence of this brain development upon which I have waited with abated breath. My genius Mr 5 has hit upon a fool proof plan to get them to do what I want. Just pretend like I’m going to eat it Mummy. He said one day. The child is a wizard. Once the twins saw the offending dinner heading to their big brother they’d be all like I WANT MY DINNER!! OK, fine by me, here you go. PSYCH.

The other awesome tool of manipulation that has come under my power is jelly. Wonderful jelly. One month ago, if I tried the old if you don’t eat your dinner then you can’t have your jelly and forthwith made them watch their brother eat jelly while they missed out, it would result in an epic tanty. My theory is that the cause and effect bit of the brain wasn’t quite there yet. There was no ‘then’ and ‘now’, no well this or that happened last time so I better…..No. There was just now. And right now, I see jelly and I can’t have it. Utter. Catastrophe. What has happened in the past couple of weeks though is encouraging to say the least. Not only can I psych them out by using their big brother, I can now also successfully withhold the magic of jelly! In pretend don’t care flippancy, I calmly state after dinner refusal, oh well, no jelly for you. And then guess what? They eat. Mummy 1, Twins 0.

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All day, all the way

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I documented my day last Wednesday in a blow by messy blow account including photos. It was eye opening.

6am

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Awake before the kids. 11 hours in bed last night due to complete exhaustion. Feel better for it. Girding my loins for 13 hours with the kids by myself.

6:05am

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First kid wakes. It’s Dad’s birthday! Mr 5 always gives us some of his toys for our birthdays. So cute. This year Dad goes to the dark side.

6:30am

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Dressed for the day. Need my superpowers today.

6:55am

I have entered the irrational zone already. Threatening to throw out toys I find lying around. May scar children for life. Mr 5 reminds me that I should be happy on Daddy’s birthday.

7:10am

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TV is on. No other way to contain kids long enough so that I can eat breakfast. Heart beginning to sink. Already the house is a cacophony in my ears. Failing twin 2 at toilet training because I don’t want to chase him around in case of accidents while also chasing the other two around. Nappy goes on. Fail.

7:15am

A moment of quiet. Breakfast and a very quick coffee.

7:20am

Husband leaves for the day. Sinking feeling in my guts. We take a moment for a cuddle and apologies for the morning’s harsh words. The intensity makes us both irrational. Sadness when he closes the door behind him. Eating, quick.

8:05am

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Laundry in, more laundry on, kitchen cleaned up, teeth done, playroom sorted…sort of. TV off and play attempt begins.

8:20am

Another reminder from Mr 5. Have you got your smile on Mummy? Obviously not.

8:20am

Is it really only 8:20am? I am PRAYING that the trampoline gets delivered today.

8:25am

Twins locked me out of the house. Maybe I’ll just stay out here.

8:26am

Twins let me back in. Huh, who woulda thought. They learnt something.

8:32am

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Fights over how to build a zoo with blocks and plastic animals. Massive pile of laundry.

9am

A text from a friend ‘you can do it’. Goodness, that’s timely. She’s been there and feels my pain.

9:20am

Wow, almost a whole hour of blocks, books and whinging. It’s like any one of them (us) is on the edge of emotional turmoil and could go feral at any given moment. No trampoline yet.

9:25am

Twenty minutes until reinforcements arrive. Time to get morning tea ready. This is one area I’ll claim as successful. My kids eat loads of fruit.

9:36am

Is it time yet? About 15 minutes to go and I’ll escape for an hour to do a weekly radio segment on parenting. This week’s topic – surviving holidays. Ha.

9:43am

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Morning tea. Food and TV. The only times they are quiet. I am about to go out looking feral. Red eyes from recovering conjunctivitis, dreadful hair and splotchy skin. Lucky it’s radio, I sure do have the face for it!

10:02am

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Escape!

10:24am

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Waiting in the Green Room for ABC612 segment. Feel like a human.

11:12am

Home again. Here we go for the long stretch.

11:56am

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We have made it to lunchtime. But not without several trips to time out for throwing colouring in pencils all over the yard, throwing one’s drink cup over the fence, tipping one’s drink into the pencil case and throwing one’s replacement drink cup over the fence. We have 2 out of 3 who have eaten lunch. Some kids live on air.

12:01pm

Only 6 hours and 29 minutes until bedtime.

12:04

Sandwich abandoned. Sandwich thrown on grass. Sandwich rescued. Sandwich now being eaten.

12:06pm

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Sandwich abandoned again.

12:10pm

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I have given up on sandwich enforcement. He is obsessed with watching the cleaner use the vacuum cleaner.

12:15pm

TV back on. Wind down for rest time in 30 minutes. I can make it! Temper is holding well.

12:50pm

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Rest time. The best time. Rest wins over laundry, online groceries and eating.

2:40pm

Twins still asleep. Why poke the bear? A few more quiet minutes for me and Mr 5.

2:43pm

Twins awake. Mental note: DO NOT flush toilet during rest time.

2:58pm

Home stretch. Off to a fenced park to blow off energy.

3:15pm

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Milton Train park. Fenced goodness. All that is missing is a dirty big flat white.

4:15pm

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Approaching storm ends park trip early. Damn, I was hoping to hang out here until 5 and then get stuck in traffic.

4:45pm

After a getting out of the car tantrum and ensuing shout fest from me, Mr 5 again reminds me to put my smile on. I do, along with the TV. That’s 1.5 hours of TV today. I thought it would be worse.

4:49pm

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Dinner prep time. Martha Stewart I am not. Time to warm some crap up. I am starving as I eat very little on days like this due to lack of time. I’ve thrown on a few chicken pops for myself too.

5:28pm

One hour until bed. I ache all over. Inside too. Need quiet. Need bed. Need to fold the laundry and finish online groceries.

5:30m

TV off. Time for the dinner fight. Dinner actually goes pretty well. Wonders never cease.

5:45pm

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Forgot about filing the bath and bubbles went WAY overboard. Kids loved it. I know I will be too tired to write this post up tonight. I feel grotty. smelly, greasy. Yuk.

6:03pm

Things turn on a dime around here. Or I do anyway. Putting on PJs tantrum led to more shouting from me. Now feeling extra-ultra crappy. I have zero tolerance left and my kids pay the price. Mr 5 tries the put on your smile thing and the I love you thing but both fail. My head, heart, body and mind all ache. I want a dark hole.

TV is back on for the Night Garden. Don’t ask me why they love it but they do. I have added up that they’ve seen 2 hours and 50 minutes of TV today and I am shocked and disgusted. Another thing to feel guilty about. Still, I suppose I could say that in a 12.5 hour day that’s 9 hours and 40 minutes that they didn’t watch TV.

6:30pm

Book time. Or rather, fight about books time. Mr 5 does his valiant best to ‘read’ to his brothers. He loves it. If only they were on board.

7pm

Kids in bed. Husband home. I am shattered.

Not at all ashamed to admit…

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I WANT MORE TV!!

Tonight, during toxic hour, we had Twin Trouble standing a few feet away from the TV, utterly entranced for a full ten minutes. Husband and I looked at each other unashamedly delighted. The TV has been a saviour during that time of the day that we parents just love. You know what I’m talking about. Dinner, play, bath, play, books, bed with a goodly amount of tanty throwing, thrown in. When I am on my own during this time (I mostly am seeing I am the sucker who gets home first), I have not yet figured out a way to feed the food throwing, plate banging, mess masters while at the same time keeping Mr 4 happy, busy and fed. Furthermore, if I leave the twins alone in the backyard with their dinner one of two things will happen. Their food will end up buried in the sand pit, or, the local birds will fight them for it, and win. The only way is to set the big one up in front of the TV while I wrangle the other two. Thank goodness for Mike the Knight is all I can say. So far the twins have not given the TV even so much as a passing glance. In a perfect world, if I was the perfect mother, I’d encourage this non-interest by engaging them in other, more worthy activities. Like, um…other stuff….but alas I have but two arms, two legs and only one shred of sanity remaining, so TV it is. With a sheepish grin I tell you, I can’t wait for the day when I can have all three entranced for just a little while. I pinkie promise that once we can all sit round a table for dinner, we will. We just need to ditch the food throwing and master the art of putting food in our mouths and not in Teddy’s mouth (or lack thereof). Oh, and be able to like, sit down. For at least 10 minutes.

Given my liberal attitude to TV, it is funny that my lofty ideals about gaming are totalitarian. The boys I work with have heads so full of gaming violence and the lack of sleep from 12 hour gaming binges, that I have become more resolute than ever before that no boy of mine will sit inside all day and play a playstation. This came up at work the other day, that I am a mother of boys and will have to face the whole nintendo-playstation-whatever dilemma at some point. Over my dead body I was heard to declare. This was met with head shaking chuckles from my older colleagues of bigger kids. Is this a generational thing? Am I going to be like one of those I’ll never have a mobile phone types from the early 90s (of which I was one for about 5 minutes)? Are my boys going to fight me on this tooth and nail? Because boys, I have bad news, I feel the same about pay TV. I can see it coming, I’m going to be one of those old fashioned parents whose kids eye roll at their infuriating refusal to move with the times. Let the games begin!

Brutal or Bust!

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Well, I said to myself when I started this blog that it was going to be brutally honest or nothing. I can’t write polished up half truths about parenting. I won’t insult the other parents out there who struggle by pretending it’s all sunshine and light. It is with a chuckle and a mild blush of embarrassment that I read last night’s post this morning. Whoa. That was honest. Sorry kids, still love ya.

I write to get it out and not hold it in. I write in the hope that someone else will read it and feel a little better about themselves. I write because it feels good. I write because it’s hard and I want to get better at it. I write because I like to read what others write too. The best thing to come out of the blog is that I have connected with other twin mummies from around the world and couple of friends, who have become keen readers, have kept encouraging me to write:

The lovely Stephanie, writer of the equally lovely Twodaloo, mother of twins, Texan and supportive commenter on my most brutal posts.

The wise and pragmatic Aussie Gnu, going through hell, but still there to say I hear you, sometimes it sucks, and keep on truckin. Also not afraid to throw in a bit of brutal truth himself.

The thoughtful Musedemuzz, himself a blogger (Musedemuzz) and constant champion of my parenting skills.

The inspiring Travel with Twins, a family who don’t let a little thing like twins stop them from travelling the world. I love their attitude to life!

The super cool Look Around You Now, who’s mantra, “I am here and this is now”, is the best advice anyone can give. Check out the shirt she is wearing in the ‘Me’ link on her blog. I want one! Her twins are 10 days older than mine!

Welcome to the jungle

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The twins have entered a new phase. This might be the worst one so far. Worse than night feeding, worse than Trouble’s screeching, possibly even worse than toilet training, but I reserve the right to review that statement in 8-12 months. Yes folks, it’s the terrible twos. We have hit it and we have hit it hard. Times two. Oh mother of mary, buckle up.

We have had probably two months of respite between phases which has been just lovely, rejuvenating and happy. I guess we are due for our next instalment of I’m a toddler, get me out of here! Here’s how we roll at the moment. We want something, we don’t get it, we freak out. We had something, someone took it off us, we freak out. We are hungry, food does not materialise within 1.5 seconds, WE FREAK OUT. We think we may or may not be hungry, may or may not want that bike, or that car, or a cuddle, or to be left alone, or to play with the bin, or to climb on the table, or to kick our brothers, or to cuddle our brothers, WE FREAKING FREAK THE FREAK OUT!!!

Twin 1 has a very special brand of the freak out. I know he’s hungry and so I present him with food. Reasonable enough I would have thought. He runs, screaming, in the opposite direction and throws himself on the ground in a fit. He does the same thing when I pick him up at the end of the day at day care. So excited to see me that he freaks out and runs around literally like a headless chook. I can’t imagine what the day care teachers are thinking. The other day he wanted to go in the pool at his grandparents’ house. So he freaked out. We got him ready as fast as we could, swim nappy, sunscreen etc, but he was in such a state that he was about to drown himself so we had to take him out. Freak out. It went on for over an hour and he could hardly breathe he was so emotional. It is literally an emotional short circuit.

So here we go. I look forward to the post that observes in hindsight that we seem to have made it through the phase of the terrible twos. In the mean time, maybe I’ll have some war stores to share.

Secret twin language?

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I had to post this. I came across it while reading another twin blog Look around you now! I completely killed myself laughing and you will too. It’s also a great blog.

Watching this got me to wondering about the whole twin thing and whether there really is a secret language or special way of communicating. I would have to say with my boys it seems more like a brothers thing in general as our older boy has his own special way with his younger twin brothers also. I have this great video of the twins when they were 4 months old, which, if it’s true, is my greatest evidence of twin language in action. Since then, I could only say that they do seem to understand each other’s gibberish better than we do, and that 90% of the time they are very compassionate toward each other. That’s when they are not trying to rip a toy of of the other’s hands.

I think my twins are really, really different and so most of the time they are playing separately or doing their own thing. Little R likes to sit quietly and ‘read’ books, Mr S likes to throw and bang stuff. But there are lots of times when all is quiet in the play room, much too quiet, and I peek in there to find the two of  them sitting close side by side sharing some little project or looking at a book together. One will often hand the other his favourite teddy if he’s upset, or offer a kiss and a cuddle (which is sometimes met with a solid backhand). I love it when I find them going nuts in unison on the rocking horses.

So is it a twin thing? You decide!

Are we there yet?

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Sometimes I feel like it’s one step forward and three steps back in the up and down life of parenting three under 5. I have had a great run where I have felt more on top of things than I have since the twins were born. Then I have today, where I feel like the crankiest of cranky pants are mine all mine.

It’s my husband’s uni day. So I am alone with three kids from 7am until about 7:30pm. Oh the joy. If it were just one toddler, I’d be out and about, but I’ve house-bounded myself out of fear of attempting to take all three out somewhere. If one twins runs off, what will I do? We took a walk to the shops, which was OK, but I am too battle scarred to take them anywhere that allows the twins out of the pram. Poor Mr 4 gets the usual rough end of the pineapple. And the twins are having a particularly cranky day too. Although, I hear you, yes I did get time to blog today. Twice. This is only thanks to children’s TV (Mr 4) and a very child friendly back yard (twins).

I still get caught in that cycle of thinking that creates nothing but a cycle of guilt. Why am I not mother of the year yet? Why do I not love every moment of staying at home with my little ones? Why aren’t I dreaming up fabulous and educational art/music/cooking/building activities to expand their little minds and shudder with motherly accomplishment? Why am I feeding my kids frozen vegetables? The humanity.

In other news, I got my lazy feet up and into my running shoes this morning and STARTED my training. I’m saying it publicly so that I’ll be really embarrassed if I don’t make it. I’m thinking of a certain Mrs Gnu, who can be so strong in the worst of circumstances. If she can, I can. So I’ll be running this year and I’ll be raising some serious money (that means you friends!) for a charity close to her heart.