Category Archives: Early Days

Back from a break

I’ve been off the radar for quite a while due to the girls being constantly sick.  I have also had writers block. But today I realised that I shouldn’t just be recording the big milestones or the funny ones but everything – from the meltdowns, to the mundane, the days where I can’t wait till bedtime and everything in between. They grow up fast and being a parent is a journey and everything should be recorded and remembered.

So what’s been happening with the girls?

We are now in week 7 of being ill. The girls have been well for a few days in between each illness and things have gotten back to normal but then they’ve picked up another cold/cough. Usually the girls need comforting to get to sleep so you have to hold them most of the evening and through the night.  Which means we lose “our time” and time to recharge.  It’s exhausting. We try and co-sleep with them through the night as it’s the quickest way of comforting them and its more convenient for us as we don’t have to get up and out of bed each time. But they were ill for so long this time that they stopped wanting to sleep in their own beds. So it came to a head one Monday morning after yet another night of constant waking and comforting on minimal sleep that I decided enough was enough. They had their appetite back, they were behaving their normal selves and were not showing any signs of feeling unwell so I decided tough love was needed and did sleep training. This took 2 days and 2 nights but it worked and the girls were happily back to sleeping in their own cots all night. We got our sanity and “our time” back.  A week later and they were back to being ill….!!

A few months ago they turned a triumphant 1. We had a little party with family and then we got an entertainer and a small function room with other NCT couples and celebrated with their babies. At first I wasn’t interested and just went along with the plans as the other couples seemed so keen. I just thought that as they were only 1 they wouldn’t remember. It turned into a successful party, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I then realised it wasn’t really for the babies at all, it was for the adults. We had all survived the first year and it was an occasion to mark and celebrate. So pats on the back to everyone – well done, it was quite a year and definitely not one to forget.

The girls are now walking. I read somewhere describing a toddler walking – they look like a 70’s stuntman on fire! I think that is a very good description! Miss P did her first steps a day before Miss C but Miss C is more confident and likes to walk around the house and shrugs off a helping hand whilst Miss P is reliant on holding my hand wherever we go.  We went to Clark’s shoe shop and got their first pair of shoes – in the shop they tried them out and it looked like a monty python sketch with the silly walk. They were lifting their feet so high trying to shake off these funny things on the end of their legs. Miss P cried the whole time – it was like she was being tortured!

The word “up” is used a lot by the girls which helps with communication. They can also shake or nod their head for yes and no, although I don’t think they completely understand what we are saying. For example we asked them if they wanted a milkshake made of poo and they enthusiastically nodded their head! It’s a step in the right direction; it just needs a bit more practice.

Miss P seems to be the bossy one. She stands on the wooden tray with wheels that holds the wooden blocks and rocks the handle back and forth, yelling and looking at her sister until Miss C pushes her around the house. If Miss C happens to be the one wanting to be pushed around, Miss P just ignores her!

One morning I had a lie in and Mr G was looking after the girls. I got up and saw them in the hallway playing with something I didn’t recognise and asked Mr G what it was. He didn’t know either so went closer to investigate and realised that Miss C had undone her nappy, pulled out her poo and they were playing with it! Eugh.

I never realised how many times you get hit by a child. Not intentionally but it’s either a toy shoved in the face or a pinch, punch, slap, anything really on most parts of the body as they are too young to realise what they are doing.  The hardest times for me are in the middle of the night and you are comforting them in your arms back to sleep due to illness and they thrash about and head butt the bridge of your nose. It hurts a lot.  Both physically and emotionally as you are trying to help them and comfort them. Once my face was near Miss C and she hit me on the cheek bone with her tippee cup full of water. I put my face back to where it was and asked Miss C for an apology. She found it hilarious and did it again. I had a black bruise on my cheek for the rest of the week. I learnt not to put my face so close to the girls when they have items in their hands.

The girls still do not have any teeth! Strange I know, but it’s not uncommon. I don’t mind and am not worried at the moment as they like to make themselves laugh by biting me on my nose. If teeth were involved I think I would be in hospital.

Disciplining them is fruitless. They look at me knowing they are doing something naughty and smile the biggest smile and carry on doing it. I have to keep trying as I believe (I hope) that one day they might just understand me!

We had a weekend in Bristol visiting friends and we went to a lovely country pub for lunch. The girls sat opposite each other and were not in a particularly good mood. We managed to find a child’s book in the pub that they could look through. Miss C opened this large book and knocked my glass of red wine all over Miss P and Mr G on the other side of the table. I didn’t have a change of clothes for them so Miss P had to go about the rest of the day with large red stain all over her clothes strongly smelling of alcohol. I felt Mother of the Year that day.

Some days can be so boring and repetitive. Days when we spend all day, every day indoors due to illness can really drag. I feel bad thinking I’m bored but I can’t really put my heart and soul into reading the same 5 page book for the thousandth time in the day or punching the same button on a toy to watch the mouse appear over and over again.  It’s these days that I must also write about as they are as much a part of bringing up children than any other. I must also mention the amount of cleaning that is never mentioned but never ends. The cleaning of the highchairs and floors is constant. I cannot describe with enough words how utterly boring and continuous this chore is.

Being a mother makes you fall into a black hole. If your friendship is not a strong one and cannot be picked up every time you meet after a long period of radio silence then your circle of friends get smaller. There is no time to keep in contact with people. If you have time in the evening whilst the kids are sleeping all you want to do is zone out at the tv and go to bed.  Social media has made it easier to connect with people but not interact. Facebook for example has made me lazy. I see people’s photos and status’s and by “liking” them you think you are keeping in contact with them but you’re not. You actually then don’t bother to follow it up with a text, phone call or email to find out how their trip was like in the old days, you instead just assume that ‘thumbs up’ will keep your friendships alive.  I have learnt this lesson but I have realised this too late for some friends.

I’d like to end this post on a good vibe. The girls definitely have a twin connection. They are not so good at sharing a lot of the time but they do like to look at each other and laugh and I have no idea what the joke was! They have also started to sit in their high chairs and shake their heads side to side vigorously to make each other and us laugh. I’m sure it must hurt their brain as I get dizzy very quickly trying to copy them. They also try and cheer each other up if one is upset. This could either be by giving the other a kiss, or searching for, then giving the other’s favourite cuddly toy. They also have tantrums with each other if toys are snatched from their hands and some slapping hands in faces, pretend biting, pulling of clothes till they fall over and my favourite – Miss C once rugby tackled Miss P to the ground because she didn’t like being hit on top of her head. Miss P soon stopped!

In the beginning…

Looking back, it was quite simply hell.  Yup, I’m putting my hands up and admitting that I went into being a parent with my eyes completely closed. It’s seriously hard work. I completely under estimated what it would be like and it is relentless.

The first 6 weeks were the worst.  Mr G and I felt we were in a war zone and we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only were we experiencing being parents for the first time and finding our feet but we also had 2 babies to deal with. We would get through the day in a complete blur. We didn’t shower or change out of our PJs for days. Eating was a luxury and it was done quickly, one handed most of the time, and whenever we remembered.

At the beginning,  I thought OK we can put them to bed and we can all get some rest and start the next day fresh……uh, no!  Babies do not know the difference from day or night, they have to be taught. So on went the zombie feeling from lack of sleep, exhaustion and repetition through the night and into the next day, and the day after that and the day after that…….

On one particularly tough day, Mr G and I decided some colic medicine would be worth a try. It was 9pm and Mr G and I were still in our PJs and covered in milky vomit. Mr G put on some flip flops and went to walk out of the door. I asked him if he was going to change into other clothes before going to the late night chemist and he just turned to me with an exhausted look on his face and said, “Erin, I just don’t care any more”.  Priorities in life definitely change after having children. And in my opinion colic medicine doesn’t work. I think it’s meant to placate the parent and make them feel that they are doing something to help their child.

I found the days when Mr G went back to work leaving me outnumbered with two screaming babies extremely exhausting. I didn’t know who had spent the day crying more – me or the girls. The hardest bit was hearing one cry whilst I was dealing with the other with a nappy change or something. I told them over and over I wasn’t ignoring them, I just had their sister to deal with first. Of course they didn’t understand or know what was going on – all they knew was that they were not being comforted or made to feel secure. I felt awful, I felt a bad mum. I was not able to provide and comfort both my babies at the same time. But logistically you can’t, so it took a long while but I hardened up and you realise you just have to deal with the most important thing at the time and let the other one cry. It sounds awful I know, but I went through it and there is never any lasting damage and no baby has died from crying. Horrible to say but it’s the truth. I got to them as fast as I could but when one has more important needs, then the other takes a back seat. I think from this experience I can confidently say that I can change a nappy with lightening speed!

But in all honesty there was light at the end of the tunnel at 6 weeks. Things changed. They became more aware of you and their environment and then things changed again at the 12 week mark and its been getting better and better every day since.