16. "You deserve a medal"
Oh yes I do. Indeed I do. For a long time I tried very hard to deny the fact that my life was different to any other parent who is blessed with (or decides to have, or ends up with) 3 children. The fact that two of them were born on the same day was neither here nor there.
Just a detail really.
Oh more fool me. I even ranted about it on facebook at times. It wasn't always an agreed with position. I think I know now why.
Having twins is blooming hard work. Don't get me wrong, kids are hard. I am not taking anything away from the daily battles that many of my comrades (other mothers) enter into, and at times even win. Babies, children, offspring, irrespective of how many you have, are somewhat a challenge.
However, there is something about having two of them, going through all of those stages together, that renders you, the parents, worthy of a gold medal!
Here are just some of the reasons why me, and any other parent of twins (and most certainly of triplets) deserves to take home the gold...
1.) newborn twins don't understand the simple concept of 'taking it in turns', especially when it comes to feeding. They both think they are the single most important need around, and boy they don't mind telling you about it either.
2.) twins tend to teeth either (a) at the same time, or (b) one after the other. Either way, ouch. You either have twice the screaming going on simultaneously, or you have a prolonged period of sleepless nights and grouchy miserable babies for company.
3.) nappies. Lots of them. Day in. Day out. Nappies. I am so done with changing poo bottoms. At least if you have 3 children one after the other, you'd hope that one would be on his or her way out of nappies around the time the second or third child arrives. I know that toilet training isn't without its challenges (my daughter has recently accomplished this) as you need to be within arms length of a toilet (or a vestibule that could act as a toilet) at all times.
4.) wipes. Lots of them. See above. You seriously need to take out another mortgage.
5.) you can't even pop out for a pint of milk without being stopped and asked a silly question, or being reminded that you do indeed have your hands full.
6.) going to playgroup requires the ability to be in two places at one time (that is unless you are of course blessed with those really rare lesser spotted twins who stick to each other). Whilst one of my darling boys is not satisfied with playing nicely at the water station but rather is trying really hard to climb into the water station, the other has climbed up the climbing frame and of course instantly gravitated to the 'dangerous end' (you know, the end that has that drop with a metal pole in front of it just in case at some point a child might like to pretend to be a fireman but actually it just serves as a constant source of fear for anyone with children under 2 years of age). If you're sensible and have children at different ages you'll (hopefully) find that your new one doesn't come along until your first one has just about grasped a basic sense of danger.
7.) bathing them becomes a bit of a logistical nightmare. Do you opt for bathing them together which basically involves getting really very wet and most of the shampoo ending up all over you rather than their hair, or opt for bathing them one at a time which means leaving one unsupervised or at the very best loosely supervised by his bigger sister, which ultimately leaves to finding the unbathed twin sitting on the dining table having taken a bite out of every apple. Neither is great. I tend to go for the double bathe and just accept I am going to get wet. If you, unlike me, had your children one at a time, you could probably (hopefully) bathe the eldest, pop them in front of the tv and then safely bathe the second. (Ok, that one might be a bit optimistic, but hey...)
8.) dinner time becomes a daily battle. Rather than my younger child being positively influenced by my older child, and wanting desperately to emulate their older sibling being in a hurry to master the art of cutlery, instead my older child has regressed and returned to using only her fingers as instruments with which to eat, and throwing any unwanted food onto the floor, because why be in the minority? If two are doing it, I'm not going to be the only one who doesn't.
9.) buggy buying becomes a nightmare... because the one question all parents expecting twins want the answer to is 'what buggy do I need?' In fact this was one of the first things I became fixated on following the news... I guess it was almost like, if I can solve the problem of the buggy then everything else will fall into place. The truth is a little more disappointing - there is no perfect solution to transporting twins about, especially if you have an older sibling to consider. We are now on double buggy 3 and have probably spent close to £2,000 pursuing the perfect solution. It is an expensive business. I've only met one couple so far who have bought and stuck to one buggy...
10.) this one is simple - twins is a little bit like running a marathon each and every day... every day, come the children's bedtime, I am spent. I am physically exhausted, I am emotionally exhausted, even my clothes look tired by bedtime. So I don't know about you, but since I run a marathon each and every day, I think I deserve a medal for that. For perseverance, for stamina, for commitment, for dedication, and just for getting up each day, brushing my teeth, and doing it again.
(So far my gold medals have included a few pairs of shoes, a fair few boxes of praline chocolate, and the odd bunch of flowers).
If you, like me, run that marathon each and every day, you too deserve a medal or two. Make sure you get some... it gives you a little more motivation to just run that little bit harder, knowing at the end of the race is a wonderful pair of shoes you've lusted over, or the perfect box of chocolates to indulge in.
If you know someone like me, someone who's running that marathon each and every day, pop in a medal next time you're passing. It doesn't have to be sparkly or expensive, it can be simple, but whatever medal you chose, I bet they will wear it with pride.