Friday, June 24, 2011

The twin mum guilts

The twin mum guilts are something that every mum of multiples will understand.

I remember when I was pregnant with the boys, I was so worried that I wouldn't have enough love for two babies. That I wouldn't have enough capacity for snuggles with two babies. That I wouldn't be able to equally share my time between two babies.

The instant they were born, those anxieties faded away. Mothers have a remarkable ability to create maternal love from nowhere. It roars to life like nothing I've ever experienced. Since the second I first laid eyes on them, I have had more capacity to love than I ever knew was possible.

It's only been on the very rare occasion that one has been super needy or ill that that little doubt about not sharing my love equally has popped its head up. But I'm extremely pragmatic most of the time. Even if there is a day when one baby needs more attention than the other, I know it will even out in the end. They'll go through phases. Life is swings and roundabouts.

But recently, I have had some serious bouts of twin mum guilt. I was driving home from the shops the other day - a sparkly gorgeous perfect winter day - and saw lots of very chic mamas out and about pushing their (single) babies. Designer prams. Swishy shiny ponytails. Designer gym gear. Designer sunnies.

I drove past a playground, and there they all were again. Pushing their (single) babies on the swings, catching them at the bottom of the slide, chasing them through the fields.

And it hit me like a bulldozer. I can't do this with my boys. I used to be able to - back when they were lighter and didn't move as much. But it's just not possible anymore. Firstly, I live in an old inner city suburb that is very hilly. I literally cannot push twins and the twin pram up and down them. Not without doing myself significant harm, at least.

Secondly, I can't take them to the park on my own. It's two against one. It seems that at the exact same time one tries to play frogger with the traffic, the other thinks it's an awesome idea to superman off the top of the jungle gym.

And I know - I could drive somewhere flatter to walk. I could ask someone to come to the park with me. But all of that takes so much coordination. Well in advance. And I do. But on those days when we just want to get out on a whim - that's when it stings. And that's when I feel the most guilt.

But my pragmatic side says at least they always have a playmate - even if it is at home; that it won't be long until they understand not to run onto the road or jump off the slide; and we're lucky we have a lovely big back garden that we have just filled with lots of lovely toys and play equipment.

And then I look at photos like these ones and I am pretty sure everything is going to be ok.

On a semi-related note - they totally love each other. They've started giving each other a kiss and a cuddle goodnight. It is the most heart-warming beautiful thing I have ever had the privilege of witnessing. My babies are divine.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wash, dry, fold, repeat

I hate doing laundry. Hate it. Pathologically. If I didn't prefer wearing clean clothes to dirty ones (or for the health hazards that might eventually accompany such a lifestyle choice), I think I'd find reasons to never do it ever again.

I have actually offically given up the iron. I refuse to do it. I'm useless at it, I hate doing it, and I don't see why I should have to do something I really really don't want to do when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives. T's work shirts go to the drycleaner. They all have french cuffs, so there's no way I can be trusted with those.

I also buy clothes that don't need ironing. Unfortunately this means I tend to wear a lot of Bonds yoga pants.... but whatever works, right?

I've become an excellent excellent pegger. Whenever I'm hanging out the washing and wishing it would be over, I just remind myself how much I hate ironing (waaay more than I hate pegging) and remember that good pegging can practically eliminate the need to ever get that iron out.

And if I really really really have to iron something, then I either try to arrange it for when my mum is visiting (ha!), or I take it to the dry cleaners. If it's an absolute emergency and there is truly nothing I can do about it, I bribe T :)

So why am I finding myself googling 'laundry design'??? I must be mad. Or not. Regardless of how much I hate doing it, it must be done. So why not make it as streamlined as possible. I'm sure that part of the reason I find it so tiresome currently is because nothing has a home. I have piles of clean and dirty washing on the floor. The baskets are never where I need them. I don't realise when I've run out of powder. I can never put my hand on a coathanger and have to run up and down the stairs until I finally have everything I need.

A little bit of organisation can't hurt, right?

Enter the Ikea Antonius Wall Upright. It's not going to win any beauty contests, but it's inoffensive. It has hanging space, and folding space, and storage space and basket space.

Off to Ikea I go!

The weight game

The boys need to put on weight. They are tiny little dots- not surprising given their birth sizes - but they've fallen off the bottom of the percentile chart.

Part of me wants to say chart shmart. The other part of me desperately wants to get them up there on it.

They've never been well and truly on it. You can't when you are born at only a couple of pounds. But they have managed to reach about the 5th percentile at various points in the past nearly two years.

But now that they're running around, you can see that they're little. They still haven't reached 10kg, which is apparently average for a one year old. They still wear size 0 clothes or 9-12 months.

Their GP has me adding butter and cream to food. We're attempting to add avocado with varying levels of success, and we're also supplementing their diet with sustagen, which isn't going down that well. I can't seem to hide it well enough, and they sniff it out before it gets anywhere near their mouths!

I know they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to grow. But nonetheless it's still stressful. I think so much of it is to do with them being premature and VLBW. They had intrauterine growth restriction and were born at the size of a baby at about 28-29 weeks gestation. So much of their first year - and particularly the first few months - was focused on how much weight they were gaining. It's hard to break the habit of constantly keeping a watchful eye on it.

I'm sure that if I had delivered full term twins with no size concerns I wouldn't have the slightest idea what they currently weigh.

But I'm working on it. They're happy and they're healthy. Surely that's as good an indicator as anything :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lessons learned from travelling long-haul with twin toddlers #1

DVDs are of no use if your children don't understand what headphones are for

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Big boy bed

My baby Hamish has graduated from his cot and into his junior bed *sob*. What happened to my baby???? He looks so grown up lying there. Overnight he's 3/4 the length of his cot. How did I not see that before now?

I had no intention of transitioning them into beds any time soon. Nuh uh. No way. I need sleep, and they are fabbo sleepers (6pm - 7am without fail, every night!!). I have been way too worried that they wouldn't be able to resist the midnight play-together. And until this week, they hadn't really shown any definite signs of being ready.

But then Hamish scaled the side of his cot and fell out onto his head. So the decision was no longer mine. And in one fell swoop my baby became a little boy.

It's been remarkably easy so far with no issues yet: no falls; no getting up and down all night; and no being frightened of his new environment. I'm sure it helps that it's actually still his cot - just with the side off and the toddler rail on. I've also kept him in his sleeping bag because he has such a strong sleep association with it. In fact, when he isn't in his bag, he is up and down all over his bed, but the minute his bag is zipped up, he snuggles in with his blankie and his elmo and he's off!

Rocky is still in his cot, and I think we'll keep it that way for a while. He's definitely a 'get-up-er all-night-er' - I can sense it!

Oh, my baby!!! He'll always be my baby.