Friday, 24 June 2016

#EnjoyMoreWater with Robinsons

I've written before about how I find it tricky to get my children to drink more, especially during the summer time when keeping hydrated is really important.  We had some fairly good results with the Infruition water bottles we reviewed last year however, now that the summer is here and we will be out and about a bit more, carrying five bottles filled with fruit and water requires a suitcase in itself!  So when I saw that BritMums were running a challenge with Robinsons to get children to drink more water I decided to sign up and give it a whirl!

Which one to choose first?

We received a selection of Robinsons Squash'd (six flavours in all) and a chart to track the kids' progress. We were all set!

Teeny, tiny little bottles for taking everywhere!


The little bottles of Squash'd are perfect for taking with you on the go so that you can add to any bottled water that you buy or to your existing drinks bottles too.  I like the fact that I can chuck a couple of the different flavours in a bag to take to the park, or to just have at home so that little hands can help themselves. So much less messy than a big bottle of squash and really convenient.

Easy for little hands and no mess!

A quick after school pit stop with Squash'd


My older children liked taking the squash'd to school with them so that they could add it to their water bottles and keep them topped up using the school water fountains throughout the day.  I have to also confess that I added a squirt of Squash'd to the water bottle I take when I'm running once or twice - it made a nice change from plain water.  Squash'd isn't just for children!

BritMums asked us to share some tips and tricks for keeping children refreshed with Squash'd and here are mine:

Keep drinks bottles made up with water and Squash'd outside where the kids are playing for quick access to a drink. The twins like playing on their bikes and scooters at the minute which is thirsty work, so over the past few weeks I've made up and left a couple of bottles of Squash'd on the doorstep for them to have while they are outside. It means they are less likely to forget to ask for a drink if it's already there.

Biking is thirsty work!


Decorated bottles and nice cups are a must for encouraging children to drink. Twin girl likes foxes and so we have a drinks bottle decorated with foxes which she prefers drinking over all the others we have (and let's face it we have hundreds of plastic cups - they seem to breed in my cupboards!).

The fox cup


Buy some straws! My children are obsessed with straws in cups. This always makes them want a drink - it must be the novelty I suppose.

Slurp!


Novelty ice cubes also go down well with my children. The idea of having Darth Vader's head floating in their drink is a real hit with them and has the added benefit of cooling them down too of course. They also like slices of lemon and orange added to their drinks. Making up their drinks on their own is also a lot of fun for them - they like making "potions" to try at the moment.  Hours of fun...

This is a Stormtrooper, honest.  It may look like a big blob of ice but
the kids think this is great.  May the force be with you...


I sometimes use fizzy water with our Squash'd as a "treat". I know it doesn't sound like much of a treat as it is just water, but the twins think it is the same as having cola or lemonade, except it's a lot better for them as you don't need all that much Squash'd in the glass to flavour it. A little goes a long way!


Making progress with Squash'd


On the whole we have really been impressed with Squash'd.  As you can see from our star chart, the twins have been drinking plenty of water.  Thank you Robinsons and BritMums for letting us try it!

Lunatic...



This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Number Practice

"Somebody's been writing on the shed!" grumbled DH a few weeks ago.

"It must have been one of the twins," I said, "they had chalks out there the other week."

"Oh no, this isn't chalk, it's pencil and it won't come off the wood."

"Ah, I'll ask them then..." 

*takes back everything I've said recently about them being old enough to stop vandalising our home*

"Twin Girl, did you write numbers on the shed?"

"Oh no, not me Mummy, I would never do that, it must be Twin Boy who wrote on the shed in pencil!"

"I never said that it was in pencil..."

"Um, but it still wasn't meeeeee!" *does innocent face*




No, of course.  Not you.  Well at least it wasn't inside on my furniture I suppose.


brummymummyof2

Friday, 17 June 2016

Six Unwritten Rules of Sports Day

It was sports day at school yesterday.  I reckon that this was about the thirteenth one I have attended since I've had school aged children and this in turn made me realise something else.  It made me realise that no matter how many sports days you go to, no matter if they are at the same school or different ones, they are all essentially the same.

So, here are my six unwritten rules of sports day.

1.  Weather

Not the usual sort of summer weather.  For some reason, the minute that sports day starts the weather will go one of two ways.  Freezing cold with a force ten gale and 25 cm of rain in ten minutes or the hottest day on record in the last twenty years.  Whichever it is you will of course be dressed for/have prepared for the opposite. Pack a sou'wester and sandals just to be safe.

2.  Sportswear 

What colour is your child's team?  Red, blue, green, yellow?  These team colours seem straightforward enough and yet, you will never have the right coloured t-shirt to hand.  This in turn necessitates a thirty mile round trip at 9.00 pm the night before, to the largest supermarket you can find with a clothing section, to buy the most oversized and/or overpriced t-shirt in the correct colour.  If that wasn't bad enough some schools like to really test the parents by having a stripy team, a spotty team and a brown team or a combination of them all. Nobody in the history of forever owns a child sized brown spotty top.  Fact.  I know because it was our team one year.  FFS.



3.  Timings

The email says 9.30 am - 3.30 pm. The email says be there early to get a seat/good viewing spot.  What the email doesn't tell you is that this is based around a new unit of time called the primary school hour.  The thing about the primary school hour is that it can be as long or short as it needs to be.  In other words even if you think you are going to be on time you won't be.  Conversely if you have anywhere else to be afterwards then you may be waiting a while to get there.  I have no idea how it's all supposed to work but I do know that Harry Potter had the right idea at Hogwarts with that time-turner of his.

4.  Seating

It's an often forgotten fact that all available types of seating that lie within a primary school are the most uncomfortable thing known to man.  It's also a certainty that all of these options will be available for parents to use on sports day.  Lose the sensation in your bottom as you sit for three whole primary school hours on one of those low wooden benches in the gym, and then shuffle slowly outside (you can no longer walk) to sit on a ridiculously tiny plastic chair next to the running track for another two.  After which, you won't be able to feel your legs.  There are always a few parents who bring those foldable camping chairs with armrests and cup holders.  Smug sods.  Who the hell has time to remember these things anyway? #icantfeelmyfeet

5.  Parent's Races

Do you have a mum's race or a dad's race?  Oh you do?  Do you actually enjoy them?  The parent's races are usually at the end of the day, when everyone is a bit fed up and wants to go home.  How many people actually volunteer willingly for them though?  Hardly any.  There is always one sporty sort of mum who leaps up at the merest mention of a race (she is the mum who wears a running club shirt on the school run most days) and she desperately tries to get other mums to join in so that she can beat them and be the best.  The other mums always look a bit embarrassed when they agree and it's a forgone conclusion who will win before the whistle even blows.  But I think that schools are approaching this all wrong.  What we need is an incentive.  I bet if there was a trophy for the winner that would change things.  At the very least there should be a medal and a finishers shirt for all the participants.  In addition to your sou'wester if you want to be in the mum's race then a sports bra and trainers are essential attire.  Time to give sporty mum some serious competition.  #thismumcan 

6.  The Buzz

No matter whether you are looking forward to the sporting day ahead or not, when you arrive at school (wearing your sandal/sou'wester combo and feeling inadequate about not carrying a camping chair) you will feel the undeniable buzz in the air.  At this point you realise that all of the above doesn't matter.  What matters most is the excitement of the children, the sense of belonging and the enjoyment of seeing your children doing their best.  First, last, it doesn't really matter as you wait eagerly in the crowd and shout,

GO! BROWN SPOTTY TEAM GO!*

You've got to love sports day, it's the highlight of the school year!


* but, please can we be in the red team next year?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Half Marathon Training Begins

Today's run.  Just an average sort of run.  7 kilometers.  Not looking forward to this.  I never do.  The best bit is always the end.



I run down the street, out onto the main road.  Cheesy pop tunes in my ears.  I've done this route (or a variation of it) a hundred times or more.  Running past a neighbour who is walking her dog, I smile and wave.

S Club 7 blaring through my head, I speed up in time and mouth some of the lyrics to urge myself along.  My Garmin bleeps and looking at it I suddenly slow.  Because this isn't a normal run at all.  Today's run is a training run.  Pace and distance planned and dictated, to help me reach a goal.  A 13.1 mile goal.

Not unsurmountable but I do wonder why I have decided to run a half marathon in 18 weeks time. Possibly I am mad?

I think that a lot of it it's partly my age.  What most would describe as a midlife crisis, but it's just getting older really.  Realising that I'm running out of time for doing stuff.  Doing big things.  And this, to me at least, is a big thing.

I check myself and slow down and realise that I haven't run this slow in quite a few months now.  I like it though because it's easier, the only problem is that as one song ends and another begins I allow myself to focus on the music, the lyrics and I realise that I have all this time to think.

I think about why I'm doing this.  Who I'm doing it for.  I think about writing it all down when I get home.  I realise that if there's one thing that the people I know don't need, it's another rambling blog about how I've taken up running.  Nobody that I can think of has ever written an interesting or amusing blog about how they've taken up running*. Running blogs are inherently boring unless you are a fellow runner.  They even have their own humour which only appeals to other runners.

Runner humour


I'm running for charity, of course.  That's what people do when they decide to run a really long way isn't it? It's not my usual sort of thing, charity.  But this is a bit different.  I'm running to fundraise for a hospital.  The one which diagnosed my late father's cancer.  The one which attempted to treat him.  The one from which he was sent home to die.  I don't talk about this much, but it goes without saying that we all miss him.  I wish he could see me doing this.  He probably wouldn't approve.

I think about a friend of ours who lost his life to cancer two weeks before Christmas.  We didn't even know he was ill.  The first we knew about it was an invitation to his funeral.  He was the same age as my husband and like him had a wife and young family too.  We haven't heard from them since the funeral and I often wonder how they are.

I think about my blogging friend Becky and her very brave husband.  She is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  Always smiling.  Her family simply don't deserve this, but cancer doesn't choose.  It's a bastard like that.

As I run I think about making a difference, albeit a small one.  This is why I'm running this half marathon for The Christie.  A one off.

The other reason?

The booking page on the Manchester Half website promises all finishers a nice big medal.

And runners (for that is what I am now) are a bit like magpies.  We all love a nice shiny bit of bling (and a free finishers t-shirt).

I'm running up a country lane now.  Out of town, and instead of hearing Gary Barlow wailing "Cry" at me and feeling all lumpy throated, I find myself running faster, grinning like a fool.  Girls Aloud "Something Kinda Oooh" reaches the chorus and I wink at a passing tractor driver.  I have no shame...

The tunes** just keep coming after that.  My pace settles again and I realise that my run has begun properly now.  I'm no longer dreading the distance ahead but willing myself to beat it instead.  It goes like this:

Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake (Yeah, I love running!)
Hot Right Now - Rita Ora (yes, very.  I might be melting...)
Salute - Little Mix (I'm too old to be listening to this, aren't I?)
Shut Up and Drive - Rhianna (*resists temptation to wink again, this time at a lorry driver on the main road*)

Only 600 metres from the end now (I know this, I know how far everything is from my house these days since I got this running watch.  So much so that I'm even boring myself as I write about it. God, I'm so dull...).  "Larger Than Life" by The Backstreet Boys comes on and I treat a waiting queue of traffic to a sweaty faced performance, half running, half dancing, complete with jazz hands.  There are several people I recognise in their cars but I don't care.  I like to think that as well as all this serious training, I am also providing entertainment in the community.

I pause the watch and fall through the front door.  One run down, approximately 79 other runs or rest days to go AND a really long race.  Don't forget the race.

See, I told you all running blogs were dull.  Are you even still reading this?  And I haven't given anyone a running related laugh yet, so here you go...

Fartlek.***


*  and yet here I am attempting to hold your interest.  Keep reading there might even be a joke.

** I never said I had good musical taste but these are designed to keep me moving and anyway there really ain't no party like an S Club party.

***  I defy anyone, runner or not, not to laugh at this ridiculous word.  It's a running term by the way****.  It means "speed play" in Swedish although I strongly suspect that it doesn't and that hundreds of Swedish people are in fact laughing at us for believing that.

**** See, I told you runners have their own humour.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Teenager Taming

I've often pondered the question "when will my teenagers learn?", but yesterday it dawned on me that we've suddenly hit smoother waters with at least one of them.  A bit more helpfulness and a lot less arguing.  Which is good isn't it?  We must be doing something right.  The reason I know?  Because the teen girl brought me a cup of tea without me having to prompt her. It was bliss.  It almost makes up for all the grey hairs I've acquired since she was born in fact.

And so I wonder if there might be a way to speed up the process of teen learning, or to even make it begin as far as the teen boy is concerned.  And you know how I'm always writing helpful tips on family life so I thought I'd give you all some ideas...

Be interested in the things they like:

YouTube, Instagram and now Snapchat.  There's plenty of ways to show an interest in teenage subculture these days.  In fact, it makes perfect sense to make sure you register on all available social media platforms and then befriend your teen on them.  They will be overjoyed with your Snapchat pictures particularly, and in no way become annoyed when you continuously send them all evening (with added silly filters that make you look like an animal of some kind).  They will be so impressed at your grasp on social media that they will never block or unfriend you, ever.

Why don't you want to be my friend?... :(


Talk to them in a language they understand:

We all know that teenagers have their own language, and this forms a large part of understanding them.  To make yourself understood fully by your teenager though it's a really nice touch to not only learn their patois but to speak to them in it too.  If anything it helps you to grow a strong bond with your teen and makes you look swag and sick homeslice.  They love that.  Honest.



Make their home environment a friendly one:

Teenagers love the internet. In fact it can seriously damage their health* if they are removed from it for more time than it takes to eat a meal/go to the loo/blow their nose etc. and so you need to make sure that not only is there plenty of internet to go around (especially if you have more than one teenager) but that it never gets accidentally turned off or changed without first giving them the new password. Or, you could just change the password and not tell them until they do their homework. Either works.

Give them subtle hints instead of nagging:

Instead of constantly nagging your teen, a far more effective and gentle approach to getting them to do things is to leave subtle hints.  For example, when you've waited for them to come home before you go out (because they've forgotten their key) and they don't, just go out anyway.  This teaches them that not only is it a good idea to text to let you know they'll be late, but that mobile phones have clocks on them so that they can tell if they are going to be late in the first place.

Ohh look, it's got a clock!


Help them with their education:

Owing to the way that literacy is taught in school these days (I'm talking phonics here), any written work your teenager produces may sometimes get a bit lost in translation.  This of course isn't a reflection on them at all because there is always a valid reason.  You might like to try and help your teenager refine their spelling technique to avoid any further mix ups... via text message, naturally.  You can also use this time to practice your subtlety** as in the point above.



(The excuses for this appalling use of the English language included, is there more than one way to spell there?, I was distracted while typing, and it's quicker to type carnt than can't.  Reader, I despair...)

And so, from this you can probably tell that the cup of tea teen girl made me was probably a complete fluke, and as the majority of the above seems to have backfired on me spectacularly, it'll be a long time before my teenagers truly "get it".  Also I should probably start dying my hair, I've got three more children to go.

Teenagers.  Turns out you can't tame them after all.  What a shame.


*  It doesn't.  They just shout lots which makes their throats hurt a bit.  Awww.
** OK so I wasn't subtle.

Friday, 3 June 2016

The Five Ages of Outings with Children

Oh my god, it's been half term here this week and I had forgotten just how dull and annoying that can be when a) you are the one stuck at home entertaining the children and b) the nice weather has decided to do one.

Anyway, it wasn't raining yesterday and so I thought we'd go to the park.  I mean, it isn't as if we've spent a lot of time there already this week - it was only our third visit (and probably not the last) *sigh*

The funny thing about spending two hours in a freezing cold, windy children's playground is that you spend a lot of time people watching.  And you realise that everyone at the park is either doing, or has probably done the same kind of things with their children as you have with yours.  It's like some kind of magic formula, or if you prefer, the awful truth that there is no escaping each one of the different stages of getting out and about with your kids.

And as I've nothing better to do, I have decided to immortalise it all in a blog post for future reference.

1.  The baby years

Have you got the pram, the matching changing bag, a parasol and a footmuff just in case?  Make sure that you load everything into the car boot (you may not be able to fit anything else in but who cares?).  Then, realise that you haven't packed the changing bag with essentials and get the whole lot out again.  Pack changing bag with enough changes of clothes, bottles of formula and baby wipes to survive a nuclear apocalypse.  Play a quick game of car boot tetris while you try to fit everything back into the boot.  Squeeze door shut by leaning against it. Is your infant carrier compatible with your pram?  Forget the fact that you have paid a small fortune for a pushchair that does it all (and all in style and complete ergonomic comfort) because when you get to wherever you are going, we all know that putting the infant car seat on the chassis is the only way anybody is going to get any peace and quiet.  Get in the car.  Realise that compared to you, Lawrence of Arabia packed less for his journey across the desert, but that doesn't matter.  You are going to ace this quick trip to Tesco Express which is only five minutes away from your actual home.  The baby?  You did put the baby in the car seat didn't you?  Go back into your house and get the baby.  Right.  You are ready. And yet, somewhat exhausted.

2.  The toddler workout

Stepping anywhere outside your front door with a toddler or two is essentially crowd control.  Prepare for this first by watching an episode or two of One Man and his Dog to give yourself an idea of how to approach the task at hand.  Once out, watch enviously as other toddler-free people walk in straight lines while looking utterly calm at all times.  You, on the other hand will be zig-zagging across everyone's path at top speed while yelling at the top of your lungs for the toddler to STOP!  Just when it feels like this might never end, the toddler will stop, suddenly and lie face down on the ground refusing to move.  You will be forced to carry their dead-weight body home.  This isn't anything like the relaxing, fun quality time you thought it would be, but it is good exercise.

3.  Pre-schoolers rule

Going out with a pre-schooler is a bit like going everywhere with a very large and vocal magnifying glass in hand as they have to examine in minute detail absolutely everything they come across (and then tell everybody they meet within a 10 metre radius about it).  This is blood-boilingly annoying quite time consuming if you happen to be in a hurry to actually get to your destination.  That is if you even set foot outside your own home of course.  Don't forget that pre-schoolers are also masters of subterfuge when it comes to such tasks as finding their shoes, putting on their shoes, wearing coats and very often wearing any clothes at all. Joy.

I will give you sweets/an ice-cream/a kitten if you just let us leave this freezing cold tsunami-fest...

4.  The kids are alright

They get their shoes when asked, they put their coats on, they seem genuinely happy about going anywhere with you.  It's like a blissful dream after the initial years of torture and despair.  Bigger kids really are alright, aren't they?  Or, is this just another of their Jedi-like mind tricks?  Well, kinda.  You see, you may be able to get them to where you are going, the supermarket, the park, wherever.  But, just you try and leave before they want to.  It's nearly impossible.  I say nearly because there is always one thing guaranteed to make them agree.  Bribery.  The park seemed like a really good idea, until you've been there for longer than everyone else (and the sun has been replaced by, ooh, maybe a small tsunami or other typical British weather).  Don't they know you're missing Judge Rinder for this???  And as you look at your watch with an overwhelming feeling of despondency, you know there is only one thing for it... "Does anyone want some sweets?"  This ensures that any request to leave is met with unbridled enthusiasm.  It may cost you in monetary terms but it's still been cheaper than a trip to the dreaded soft play (and you can watch the Judge on catch up...). Win/Win.

Enjoying your day out?  I know you are freezing cold but at least you aren't eating the contents of the fridge
(but oh, the guilt!)

5.  Teenage dreams

Ahh, teenagers.  So thoughtful, so responsible, such a pleasure to be around, especially on family outings.  In your dreams...  Teenagers don't like being seen with their nearest and dearest for some reason.  Which is odd, seeing as they rely on us for so many things (such as endless quantities of food and Wifi).  You'd think they would be more enthusiastic about spending time with their generous benefactors, wouldn't you?  If however, you do manage to prize them away from their XBox/Snapchat for a trip outside you will probably find that you have similar issues to the Pre-School years in that they refuse point blank to wear any form of coat.  Even if the temperature is approaching minus figures.  So you have two choices.  Watch them freeze or leave them at home (I'm sure this is a clever ruse so that they don't have to be parted from the Wifi).  Choose the former and you feel like a terrible parent, the latter and you will have no food left in the house on your return.  Buy a padlock for the fridge.  It's the only way.

I am so looking forward to Monday morning, when I can leave the house on my own (at least during the six hours the children are all at school).  For one thing, I need to re-stock the fridge and buy a padlock.  There's not long now until the Summer holidays...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Milestones in twin parenting - the "toilet duck moment"

A few years back, when my twins were still tiny, I often relied upon the wisdom of the Mumsnet Talk boards to guide me (as in, How the f**k am I supposed to feed two babies at once, while simultaneously making school lunches, testing at least two other children's spellings for the week and not managing to look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards and haven't slept for a week?*).

I was remember a story that another twin mum told about how she had turned her back for one moment, and her twins got hold of a brand new bottle of Toilet Duck from the bathroom and proceeded to liberally cover the carpets and furnishings with it.  I can't really remember how she ended the story particularly, probably something to do with not knowing whether to laugh/cry/sell her children to the gypsies, only that she maintained that every parent of twins has their "toilet duck moment".  Eventually.

As I say, I relied upon Mumsnet's advice a lot, but for some reason I didn't believe this particular nugget.  I mean, everyone has a moment like this?  Really??

I had at that point, a 9 year old, a 7 year old and a 4 year old.  I was pretty sure that all my toilet duck moments had been and gone.  Surely twins could not outwit me?

With quite a big family by most people's standards I have had to endure a fair few of these kind of incidents already.  Since I've been a parent, some of the stand out ones include:

  • The time that my eldest two, aged 3 and 1, dismantled the front of the TV cabinet - I had no idea how to fix it
  • A few weeks later, they pulled a curtain pole off the wall, leaving a huge hole in the plaster where the bracket had been - husband had to replaster it
  • Aged 2, my eldest had emptied half a bottle of Johnson's baby bedtime bath over the hall carpet.  Man, that stuff foams up, it took ages to clean it off, although the hall had a lovely aroma for a while
  • My 8 month old third child unscrewing a bottle of Whiskey that had been on a low shelf in the kitchen and pouring it over his shoes, (which had to be binned because they smelled like a speak easy) just a few minutes before going on the school run.  I got a lot of funny looks from people standing close by on that day
  • The time they all coloured the leg of my dining table in with blue marker pen - it stains
  • My eldest child putting my new credit card through the shredder - Fortunately no fingers lost
  • Again, the eldest two (then 9 and 11) snapping the door of one of the kitchen cabinets in half while fighting over breakfast cereal (the cupboards were a discontinued design naturally).  It took three weeks to track down a replacement

None of them life threatening, all of them pretty annoying.  And, I swear that each time, I hardly took my eyes off the kids for a second, after which our house would become a little more child proofed so that it wouldn't happen again (see, you can't outwit me).

But, those days are long gone.  Although they are the youngest, the twins are six now.  Pretty responsible most of the time.  I can walk with them down a pavement without fear of them running off into the road, they know for example, that pens only go on paper rather than on my sodding dining table and more importantly that toilet cleaner isn't supposed to be played with.  They are always reminding me that they are not babies any more.  I had avoided the "toilet duck moment"...

A few weeks ago we were enjoying a typical midweek evening at home.  The kids were all doing their homework in their rooms, or in the twins case, tucked up in bed.  The house was relatively quiet for a change.

One of those beautiful moments in parenting where you maybe just allow yourself to begin to relaaaaaaxxxxx...

Then, from upstairs, a loud, sudden, CRASH!  (Pretty sure it measured highly on the Richter scale tbh.)

It was still briefly quite silent.  And then, screaming, from the twins' room.

Upstairs we rushed, half worried, half ready to bollock one of the older children for waking the twins up.

But no, we were instead greeted by the aftermath of what I can only describe as a late night twin base jumping session, which the pair of them had decided was an essential, yet stupidly dangerous, prelude to restful sleep.

The very heavy chest of drawers between their beds lay on its face.  Belongings scattered everywhere, some broken.  I wasn't lost for words.  The ones I chose are just unprintable.

Between tears, one twin explained that the other (why is it always the other one, eh?) had thought it a good idea to climb on top of the drawers and jump into one of the open drawers to see what would happen (bloody Stampy and Minecraft has a lot to answer for).  Well, they had their answer, and were both very lucky to still have their legs intact.

The chest of drawers was broken (I've had to temporarily parcel tape a drawer front back on until we can muster up enough energy to visit that well known Swedish furniture Mecca for a replacement), the twins shaken, apologetic and a bit bruised and one of the lights in the kitchen now doesn't work.  Ace.

Look at my highly desirable and fantastic furniture repairs...


This could have been so much worse (and I'm jolly grateful that it wasn't) but it had undoubtedly been the most destructive and memorable parenting fail yet.  That's twins for you.

And I was of course, wrong. The collective wisdom of Mumsnet was right**, I should have known.

But, as well as feeling completely stupid for underestimating the level of chaos that two children the same age can inflict on their parents at once, I also feel a little bit relieved.

Relieved because I've finally reached another milestone in twin parenting.  Like a badge of (weary) honour I've finally had my "toilet duck moment".

What a scary initiation though.

*Polishes badge*


*  The answer, if you are interested, is that you can't, something's got to give, or (more wisely) you need to get some help.

** They are usually right about most things although I'm drawing the line at green plastic beakers.  I won't be buying one on our trip to IKEA, rest assured.
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