Monday, 11 June 2012

Double trouble

Ignore the hype, having two kids is awesome. Mainly because it makes looking after just one of them a walk in the playground. When you've got both of them hanging off your boob/demanding the Pooh Bear sippy cup or I'm-going-to-cry-so-loud-they'll-hear-me-in-Azerbaijan/pooping with such a force that they're practically propelled across the floor and out the door (delete as appropriate), then it can be a little tough. These days, I love it when it's just me and the poster girl for the Terrible Twos. We play quiet, constructive, age-appropriate educational games (or watch Peppa Pig on the sofa). Equally, when it's just me and the little man, we have long mother-son bonding sessions (while I sip cappuccinos in the bar) and I literally bask in the cooing compliments he gets from all the local grannies. Bliss.

When they're together, however, they're already conspiring to give me a nervous breakdown. Yesterday Isabel managed to fall down the stairs while Jack was howling on the sofa (if you're reading this mum, she's FINE). Not my finest parenting hour. No bones broken, although she nearly burst my ear drums with her crying afterwards (mum, stop panicking and get off the EasyJet website NOW, she's absolutely FINE). As for sibling rivalry, the worst of it so far has been Isabel informing me in no uncertain terms that no, Kacki (that's Jack in toddler-speak) doesn't want any milk and that mummy ought to put him in his bouncy chair please. As she can't form sentences yet and has a limited vocabulary of about 7 words*, this communication involves pulling my T-shirt down while shaking her head and doing her 'cross face', and pointing at the bouncy chair while repeating Kacki, Kacki, Kacki. Even the maximum cuteness moments have a worrisome sinister edge to them, like when she stuck her thumb in his mouth for him to suck and nearly choked him.

Anyway, the sun's come out so I'd better fire up the pushchair and get on down to Accessorize where there's a pair of earrings with my name on them. I strongly believe that surviving this double-motherhood lark is all about incentives. And if I'm going to have a nervous breakdown then I want to look good doing it.

By the way, I'm serious mum, she's FINE.

*Not counting animal noises. She has about 50 of those, all in Italian - not a 'woof woof' in sight, only 'bau bau'

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Mars and Venus

Having kids has made me twice the woman I used to be. According to the bathroom scales that is. Note to hormonal mothers of titchy tiny newborn babies: do NOT attempt to weigh yourself again EVER. Banish the scales to the bottom of the dirty washing basket or some other place you never see. As my not-so-titchy-tiny newborn is gaining weight at the monstrous rate of about 500g a week, I was hoping that I might have some kind of corresponding weight loss. He is after all, literally sucking the life out of me at 3-hourly intervals night and day. No such luck. Add to this the fact that my stomach muscles seem to have packed up and emigrated to opposite sides of the globe and it's not at all a pretty picture.

God was obviously playing a little game when he created woman to see how many different ways he (obviously 'he' if my theory is true) could make us suffer. Painful period cramps once a month - check. Morning sickness - check. Exhaustion and ugly weight gain throughout/after pregnancy - check. General searing agony of birth - check. Cracked/bleeding nipples and exploding boobs during breastfeeding - check. I can only imagine the joys the menopause will bring. Hot flashes and facial hair anyone? Men, on the other hand only have to deal with, ummm... shaving? Nb: grey-haired man = George Clooney. Grey-haired woman = warty Wicked Witch of the West. Humph.

Of course, men don't get to have the experience of bearing children so, ultimately, I wouldn't be a man for all the nipple lotion in China. Plus, I'd hate being incapable of doing more than one thing at a time (unless it involves the bathroom and an iPhone) and it must be awful having all those bits and pieces flopping around on the outside like that. Very messy.

I still can't quite believe that I've unwittingly unleashed another little man on the world. He's only five weeks old and his incapacity to multitask has already been certified as he stops everything (including, incredibly, feeding) to fart.

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