With Ez and Fonz both confident walkers now, I've realised that my days with twin babies are behind me, and my time as a mum of twin toddlers is beginning...
This way and that way
Obviously the biggest thing with them both walking is their increased mobility. I got them out of the pushchair in a cafe, and immediately they ran in opposite directions. We went to the playground with my friend and her twins (only a couple of months older), and all four of them ran in opposite directions! Think it will take me some time to get used to the added stress - it's so hard to keep track of where they both are all the time and I'm wondering if I may need to invest in some reins.
At home they're running around the living room, and we've taken the stairgate between the living room and kitchen down as they hate being penned in. There are three stairs, but they've learnt to negotiate them. I keep telling myself that if they fall, it's not a big drop.
One of the best of the recent developments is dancing! Both Ez and Fonz have always enjoyed music, but now they've started bopping along to it. Ez especially will grab my hands so we can dance together – she thinks it's hilarious and I'm just hoping she's not mocking my dancing skills.
Understood, over and out
The last couple of weeks have seen huge leaps in the twins' levels of understanding. If I ask Ez to bring me her shoes, she'll happily trot off and deliver them to me. Just before they go to bed, when I say it's time for milk, both Ez and Fonz will go and lie down on their sleeping bags, ready to be zipped in.
They know their routine, and they're getting to know various cues. If I put Fonz's coat on him, Ez will bring me her jacket and wait by the pushchair. They don't have many words ('dada', 'mama', 'cat' and 'maamaa' (banana) but the chat is constant, especially from Fonz.
Excuse me, this isn't what I ordered
Food is generally enjoyed, but new foods (unless given at nursery) are viewed with great suspicion. If what's put in front of Fonz at the dinner table isn't to his immediate liking, he'll swipe the whole plate off the table.
Ez is more considered, and she'll meticulously pick each offending bit of food off her plate, and leave it in a neat pile on the table next to her. Their sense of independence at the dinner table is clear and they want to use the spoon themselves – Fonz is still happy for me to load it for him, but Ez won't have help at all.
I guess it's all the energy they're expending running around, but their appetites seem insatiable! Morning milk bottles, breakfast, mid morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, bedtime bottle. I honestly don't know where they put it all.
Greater understanding means more interaction, and I'm loving spending time with the two of them. Their own, distinctive characters are clear to see – Fonz a cheeky, happy-go-lucky little monster most of the time, and Ez is sociable, engaging and full of good humour. They are getting to know their own likes and dislikes, and are enraged if things don't go their own way.
The slightest little thing can send Fonz into a fury. If I've passed him the wrong toy in mistake, or taken something he shouldn't have away from him, he'll throw himself to the floor and writhe around screaming, and if he's ignored the screaming will develop into ever-more-desperate sobs.
Ez is working out ways to wrap me and her daddy around her little finger – her approach is much cleverer as we don't realise we've given in and given her what she wants until it's too late. Mini manipulator in training I think.
I said NO BITING!
Watching them chase each other round the living room, in fits of giggles, is wonderful. You can't help but grin from ear-to-ear at the sound of two chuckling people. Ez and Fonz get on best when they don't have to have physical contact. The love being on opposite sides of a glass door, for example, or in their cots (pushed end to end).
The problems come when there aren't any physical barriers between them – then one can very quickly overstep the other's boundary mark, and there's pushing, shoving, biting (mostly from Ez) and shrieking. They are definitely beginning to enjoy each other's company, but they are a long way off learning to play with each other.
Jealousy is playing a bigger part in our day-to-day life, with Fonz particularly upset if I pick Ez up and not him.
Cut to me stood with two babies pulling at my legs and holding up their arms, whinging to be carried. My new life as mum of twin toddlers.
Even before becoming a mum, charities that support kids always drew me.
So when I was asked to post the video below to help launch the latest Fairy and Make-A-Wish Foundation campaign, I said yes without hesitation.
The Fairy and Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to make magical wishes come true for children across the country. According to their research, there are around 20,000 children and young people in the UK with a life-threatening illness right now, and Make-A-Wish has granted wishes for over 650 children and young people so far this year.
In my dream world, we can buy a bigger house when we move to Berkshire for Young Daddy's job in the new year. Something with more living space, an extra bedroom and a big garden.
In my dream world, I'm planning a holiday abroad next summer. Nothing extravagant, just a camping holiday in France or sharing a gite with some friends. The cost of the ferry isn't a problem at all.
In my dream world, I'm considering a weekend away with the girls in the new year. Maybe back to that hilarious place in Gran Canaria we went to a couple of weeks before my wedding. There are some amazing deals up for grabs at the moment.
In my dream world, the time I spend with Ez and Fonz is full of fun activities, laughter and smiles. We meet up with friends, go on outings and enjoy spending time together.
In my dream world, Christmas is going to be incredible. I've been looking forward to it for months, and can't wait to enjoy it with the babies now they're older. I'll make them a stocking each, craft an advent calendar, and decorate the house to the nines.
In reality, I'm working myself into the ground trying to make enough money to pay the mortgage, the bills and the nursery fees.
In reality, I need to take a serious look at alternative childcare options to see if there's any way we can find a cheaper option.
In reality, we'll be lucky if I can afford to stop working for a week to go on holiday. And that ferry ticket? Not a chance.
In reality, a meal out with friends is a rare luxury. The chance of a holiday is zero.
In reality, my days with Ez and Fonz come round so quickly I'm caught on the hop. I have no time to make any plans, and I spend my days rushing them through, so that I can work through their lunchtime nap.
In reality, Christmas will be upon us before I've had a chance to say 'stocking' let alone make one. We'll have a lastminute rush to scrabble presents together, and I'll probably have to work right up to the day. Then there's all the added pressure of the social events you're supposed to attend. I feel exhausted just thinking about it.
Sorry for the moaning post, but life feels pretty damn tough at the moment.
This post was written for Josie's Writing Workshop. I chose the prompt 'red' because that seems to be the permanent state of my bank account.
Ez is so busy, busy, busy, always bustling around. She loves to tidy up, and and is forever emptying boxes or bags, only to refill them again. If she finds something she brings it over to give to me as a little gift.
She's been walking for a couple of months, and is pretty confident now, though her pigeon steps make me laugh. Her strides haven't got any bigger since she started walking, she just does more of her teeny tiny steps to get where she wants to go faster.
Ez thinks her shoes are the best thing ever. She carries them around, or brings them to me to put them on her. She tries to put them on herself, but can't manage it yet. She likes everyone else's shoes too, and will happily pass Fonz's shoes to me when we're getting ready to go out, or she'll grab my boots for me. She's definitely inherited my love of footwear!
She loves cuddles and hugs, and will regularly come over to say hi while she's playing, then go back to get on with whatever she was doing. Her tummy's really tickly, and I can have her in hysterics when I tickle her.
Her favourite book is Sweet Dreams Maisy, and every evening she picks up her book, brings it over to daddy and settles herself in his lap for him to read it to her. She chats along as he reads, though she prefers the first page to any other!
She loves sardines, she loves climbing stairs, she loves playing "Where's your...?"
She hates being buckled in a pushchair or car seat, and she hates having her teeth cleaned.
Fonz is so much happier now he's walking. The frustration and anger that kept spilling over comes out less often and I'm loving all the belly laughs and cheeky grins he gives me now. He's busy cutting what seems like a whole mouthful of teeth at once but on the whole he's managing it pretty well.
He's chatting all the time now, with a few recognisable words as well as 'dada' and 'mama'. He'll pick up my mobile and answer "hiya". He says "gat" (translation: "cat") and delights in chasing the cat around the living room. When she lets him stroke her ("Gentle please Fonz!") he beams with pleasure and lets out a gurgly chuckle.
Ask him "where's your head/nose/tummy" and he'll grin and show you, and if he's hungry he's just started making the sign for 'eat' (he's added smacking his lips to really bring the message home). Bathtime is mostly a big hit and he careers up and down the bath, splashing vigorously (something Ez detests).
He's spent his first days away from Ez when she was home poorly and he went to nursery and he managed brilliantly and enjoyed all the extra fuss he got from the staff.
He loves being chased, he loves making loud banging sounds, he loves anything with wheels and he loves watching the washing machine go round and round and round.
I used to be an interiors editor on a glossy mag, and I swapped nosing round beautiful homes for dirty nappies and baby talk when twins Ez and Fonz were born in September 2009. Now I've joined the ranks of the Work At Home Mums, striving to find that perfect work/life balance....