Choosing a double buggy has its own unique problems. You look at double buggies and suddenly the price rockets and you don’t get anything thrown in, you have to pay for ALL the extras. It’s like the “w” word – as in ‘Wedding’. When you buy anything under this category it shoots the price up. Same with the word ‘multiples’ or ‘twins’. Shops sell an all-in-one ‘travel system’ (pram to you or me) that can have an interchangeable seat / car seat / crib / bassionet to use from newborn until they are 18 years of age (or near enough), with rain cover, foot warmer, kitchen sink and bathroom all rolled in for a reasonable price of under £200. But do you get offered this fantastic package deal for twin buggies? No. Just a bog standard pram that sits 2 chairs side by side all for around £600 (!!!) AND then you have to buy the rain cover, foot warmer and every other bit extra. (Why????) Anyway, we chose the smallest side to side double buggy on the market.
Mr G and I didn’t want to choose who sat behind the other with no view but the back of a seat so decided side by side seats were for us. I do love it but it does cause getting around a bit of a challenge. My local shops are as you would expect, small and perfectly formed. Which means I cannot get in or out of them. I think I could get into most doorways but then I would be stuck and feel a bit like a cork in a bottle – can’t physically move and block everyone else coming or going. In the early days I was out walking and wanted a sandwich so headed for the nearest Cafe. I naively entered with gusto as I was glad to be out and about but ended up hitting and dragging so many chairs and tables with me that I gave up 4 foot in. I then didn’t want to look even more of an idiot (!) and just back out and leave as the grand entrance of chair legs screeching on the floor had caught everyone’s attention into staring at me open mouthed, so I shouted my order from the door as if that was my intention all along. At the time, in my head, I think I styled it out but looking back, I don’t think I did.
On another occasion when out and about I desperately needed some water but knew the local shops were not big enough for me to get the buggy through the door. So my creative side came out and I drank the left over water the girls had in their Tippee cups! Meeting up with people who choose and decide on the venue is another issue. No one thinks like me with a double buggy. I worry whether we can get through the door, whether we can manoeuvre when inside the venue then whether there be enough space beside the table we will be sitting at to park the buggy or will it be in everyone’s way? If I have to park the buggy in a different area to where we are sitting what do I do when the girls want to sleep? Do I stay with the pram when the girls sleep, therefore leaving our guests or try and get the girls to sleep in our arms – which is another challenge in itself. There are so many factors to think about it gets quite stressful before I have even left the house!
Don’t even get me started on the day the rubbish men arrive! It’s like running the gauntlet along the pavement. Not only do I have to contend with bags and bins but also trees, tree roots, cars overhanging their drive onto the pavement, and overgrown hedges. A day in the life of a double buggy is certainly eventful.
Watching the programme last night about the family with Quads was for me full of memories, joy and aspiration. There were similarities with mine as they were premature and they were both so tiny but that is where the similarities stopped. I had two, they had four.
I felt their exhaustion, stress, obsessing about their weight, relentlessness and days rolling into one all over again. I had complete empathy and awe for the parents.
Until you have more then one child you understand most but not all that multiple parents have to go through.
But a 3 day break abroad? I mean seriously?? I break out in a sweat trying to contemplate the logistics of a family of 4 but not 6?!? And to top it all off their bags were lost – every travellers nightmare! I would have had a meltdown – actually I would have had one in the beginning just trying to pack for the holiday (do you know how much “stuff” you have to take everywhere!) They are very brave and a perfect family with the perfect attitude for quads.
Ultimately It put things into perspective for me. No matter how tough a day I am having someone, somewhere is having just the same or tougher and it’s not how you deal with it (my preferred tonic at the end of the day is red wine) it’s how you embrace it and deal with every challenge thrown your way.
I love watching the girls really looking at each other and their surroundings. They are becoming more aware and curious of the world. I love seeing things through their eyes where everything is new and exciting and AMAZING. To be a baby again and find a piece of paper the best thing in the whole wide world spend hours happily turning it over and over, examining it, mouthing it and ripping it. Oh the joy!
Every day they are discovering a bit more about the existence of the other. First it was just staring from afar and now it is by touch. I lay them down together to change their clothes and nappy in the mornings and little hands reach out. Sometimes they stroke, sometimes they pat, sometimes they grab and pull clothes and on one occasion I caught Miss P with her finger up Miss C’s nose!
They have increased wanting to touch and feel our faces but what with their little nails and the last second of grabbing means all I seem to be saying lately is GENTLE in many tones (mainly as a yelp). It fascinates me that they grab at each other’s faces and neither of them cry out. I know it hurts but they do not say a word, yet as soon as they flop backwards and miss the pillow that was placed strategically behind them, onto the soft mat, out comes the wail!
Each day their exploration gets a little bit more bold. Clothes are now being pulled until the other falls over. Each others ears, noses and hair are fair game to them to yank and their latest game is to grab each other’s hand in the high chair and pull as hard as they can. This makes mealtimes an already time consuming feat.
One of our poor cats actually sits and allows them to grab at him. They go ecstatic when they see him! His tail and ears are pulled, his hair comes out in large tufts and yet he goes back for more! I try and show the girls what a gentle stroke is but they are so excited that this furry ginger thing with whiskers and tail goes near them that its all grabbing, excited cries and flailing hands.
The only time this cat kept a wide berth from them for a least a day was when he slowly approached one on my knee when,….’BURP‘, the girl brings up some milk and it cleverly lands all over the cats head. I’ve never seen the old cat move so fast.