The twins’ ability to find an excuse for a tantrum amazes even me sometimes. Picture this scene. We are playing with the Big Boy (he’s 3) next door in his Wendy House. The merry trio are sat in a row sipping imaginary tea. All very civilised. I then offer them a plate with cake to share. Again – and this is important – the CAKE IS NOT ACTUALLY THERE. IT IS IMAGINARY. IT IS CONCEPT CAKE. They each put their hand out and then Charlotte’s lip begins to quiver, she screams ‘More! More! My go!’ and then bashes the plate away in what their giant brother tells me gamers call ‘RageQuit’.
It’s IMAGINARY Charlotte, my sweet love. You can have as much cake as you want, as many times. But no, she is literally spitting at her own brain’s decision as to how much imaginary cake she was presented with.
Ah the terrible twos time two. I don’t know whether it’s my advanced age, or having been through this before with Joe, or whether it’s another case of twin pragmatics (it is simply impossible to wrestle two writhing bodies, so no point even trying), but I am (famous last words) finding it relatively easy to detach from tantrums at the moment. In fact the main thing that is hard is not to laugh. As in CakeGate.
But there are other areas of difficulty. As predicted, after fretting for months about their lack of walking I now wish they’d never bloody learned. They’ve gone from 0-60 in the blink of an eye. It’s getting very difficult to go anywhere on my own with them unless they’re strapped into the buggy or on reins. I’m not convinced even straitjackets would help that much. At soft play I had to make a split second decision about whether to save the one who was screaming for her life frozen halfway up a ladder, or the one who was screaming for her life who’d caught her ankle in the netting and was suspended above the ballpit. RageQuit was not an option. Or at the local duck pond, do you dash to the child toddling at speed towards the water, or the child who’s laughing at a very large, very angry and very close swan?
Language is coming on apace. Charlotte has mastered the possessive. There’s a surprise. We have ‘mice’ for my/mine. ‘My go’ gets trotted out frequently; strangely, ‘your go’ is yet to be uttered. Romilly shouts ‘you’ and points, slightly accusatorily. It’s fascinating though because they’re moving from simple mimicking and nouns to the basics of grammar, and prepositions and adjectives, and the putting together of words, with obvious understanding of what they mean. On the whole (and that’s a very generous ‘on the whole’) they can accept logic. If I explain something to them, for example that seeing who can do the loudest impression of a squealing pig outside their brother’s bedroom isn’t very kind when he’s trying to sleep (tough life being a student on your summer hols), they usually nod and I get ‘okay’ in unison.
Okay is by far their favourite word. Along with bagel, der (for spider) teddy bear, ‘mulk’, MUMMMMEEEEEE now, there you go, here you go, bump, crash, o-oh (strikes dread into me whenever I hear this), Dave (they’re very attached to our builder), knees (they may well have early onset arthritis the amount they moan about them, I’ve pointed out that if they concentrated on not falling over more then they wouldn’t get sore), snooze, Joe, miaow, DADDEEEEEEEE, pear (this is for their hair detangler spray), bobble, baby, no-MY-do-it, bath, toast, juice, poo and wee (more of that anon), more, kiki (for kiwi) and nice, said much the same way as Ray Winstone might say ‘sweet’. This is used especially when they are given pork pie. Oh and ‘label’. Charlotte has developed an obsession with satin labels on cuddly toys, clothes, blankets, anything. She strokes them between thumb and forefinger against her cheek whilst sucking the other thumb. It has miraculous de-tantrumming properties, so I now carry a stock of emergency unattached labels in my bag.
We love music and dancing. Romilly sings to herself as she plays, which is adorable. She’s got rather uncannily good rhythm, and will correctly beat the time, even doing it conductor-style in the air. Her memory for a tune is strong too and we get perfect renditions of ‘ee-i-ee-i-o’ and ‘baa, baa’. Just we can’t go quite beyond that yet. A bit like ‘two’ stands in for all numbers, so 1-2-3 becomes 2-2-2, although with the right inflections, and the rainbow is entirely blue.
Jon wanted me to find him a weekend activity that he could do with the girls on his own, so I jumped at the opportunity to exploit this for comic purposes. He has therefore just started taking them to Flamenco lessons. Olé! They do Diddi Dance which is a national franchise with a branch in Chester. Highly recommended. The girls took a while to settle in but love ‘Daddy Dancing Club’. They do short 3 minute bursts of activities like dancing with ribbons, or galloping, or pretending to be bulls, or Flamenco stamping and twirling, which is really well designed because that’s about the maximum of the two year old attention span. And they get stickers. Gotta love a sticker. Next term is Country and Western. The mind boggles…
So, yes, poo and wee. We are very interested. We are going longer periods dry. We know what we’ve done, and when, and will announce it, especially when we’re on the bus. We are very curious about what our twin has produced. And the adults in the house. If I dare to leave them for a microsecond to go to the loo myself I get bombarded with questions when I return. Poo? Wee? Loo roll? Well, thank you for asking.
What all this spells is Potty Time draws nigh, but so far I am successfully procrastinating. When I eventually get round to it the sun will probably have disappeared so I won’t be able just to let them run naked round the garden. Still, looking on the bright side, at least I’ve ripped out all the downstairs carpet…
Ah, the joys of property renovation with twin toddlers for whom a drill left out must be a new musical instrument and the builder’s ladder obviously leads to a new slide. Seriously though, they have been angelic. It could have been an absolute nightmare, and it was only a severe one. They amazed me by being able to have a lunchtime nap whilst walls were being demolished above them. But I would add this to my increasingly long list of don’t-do-what-we-did for expectant parents of multiples, along with moving roughly ten million times.
Right, I had best sign off now. Hopefully now that the move and (most of the) renovation is out the way I’ll be back on here more, work permitting. For, yes, I have my feet under various desks now. I have a placement in the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at the Countess of Chester, another with drugs charity Addaction in Liverpool, and with HIP (Head Injured People in Cheshire). I am on cloud nine, to be frank. It is a complete joy to be learning again, though I am deeply disturbed by some of the Neuroanatomy I’m studying, especially the ‘Circle of Willis’* below. That THING, that little freaky man thing, IS IN MY BRAIN!
*there are some seriously cosmic names for stuff in our heads: the Acqueduct of Sylvius, the Island of Reil, the Foramen of Monro and the Sulcus of Rolando being but a few. Maybe one day I’ll reach the dizzy heights of naming the Fissure of Bichard, which is where twin Mums’ brains have literally been ripped apart trying to decide which child to prevent from shoving a fork up their nose first.