Monday, 22 June 2015

How twins can bring out the stupid

Being a parent of twins is fun, I wouldn't change it for the world, no matter what you may read in the following post.

The first few years were insane. Trying to breastfeed two at a time, even trying to bottle feed two at a time. Two crying babies, two sets of diapers. Two babies to comfort at the doctors office after injections, two cranky kids when grocery shopping.  I can honestly say those first years were a blur, either that or I have blocked them from my mind completely.

It got easier as they got older, as did most of the questions people tend to ask when they realize they are twins. I thought I'd cover a few of the dumb questions and statements here so that maybe when faced with a parent of multiples someone somewhere will stop and think before asking.

Which one is the boy/girl?
I obviously don't get asked this any longer, but this was one of my biggest irritants when they were little.  If they were dressed in neutral colours sure, but stop and look. One is dressed in blue and the other in a cute white onsie with pink roses all over it. Now ask the question again, because I'm going to answer it and tell you the boy is the one in flowers, just to see your reaction.

Are they telepathic?
Why yes they are, right now they are telepathically discussing what a moron you are. I wish they were telepathic, just imagine they could fight without needing to scream at each other and I could ask the one to silently call their sibling for dinner without needing to block my ears at the resounding yell from right next to me.

Have they always been close?
No, they hated each other from the time of conception, it was a real fist fight in my uterus from day one and they came out not talking to each other, in fact it was only after about age 2 that they decided they loved each other.

Do twins run in your family?
Okay, I'll break this question down. Firstly this one is my pet peeve, the biggest reason for this is I find it intrusive.  Basically what you are asking is are they hereditary or did I use IFV or IUI. There are three ways I can answer it. I can take the easy route and say yes, (its not a lie, my brother in law has twins.) It provides a quick end to the conversation and stops someone from prying further. I can say no and simply refuse to elaborate, although I've had the "Wow, how freaky that you got twins" comment at that. Or I can be truthful and tell you what you are really asking. Yes, they are IVF babies, we had help getting pregnant as I have suffered from endometriosis all my life which made it near impossible to get pregnant. But really, think about it. Do I ask you how many times you fucked to get pregnant, what position you used or even if your kid was planned or a condom breakage. No, I don't. So stop prying. I would like to add here. I have no issue discussing or sharing my story if someone is going through infertility and needs help or to chat with me, I am in no way ashamed of needing to use IVF either. It's more the fact that complete strangers feel like they have the right to ask this question, sometimes in front of my kids that bugs me.

Are they identical?
I'm always tempted to answer this one with just a look, you know the one, it simply says you dumb-ass in one easy look. I started answering this by patiently saying "No, they're fraternal, you know, boy/girl, they can't be identical." But I'll admit to getting short on patience these days and having occasionally answered it with, "Well one has a penis..." and just leave it there.

Two for the price of one or million dollar family:
This one always makes me roll my eyes. Yes, they're going to cost me a million dollars I'm pretty sure of that. But two for the price of one. Well, how much did it cost you to get pregnant. I'm betting for most of you maybe a dinner out and a bottle of wine? I paid $25 000 by the time I got pregnant after multiple attempts and various ways. Then factor in that I couldn't reuse my cribs, car seats, high chairs for the siblings like you can, I needed two of everything right away and you'll see how ludicrous that statement is.

Lucky you, you got it all done at once:
Yes, lucky me. I got to juggle two babies, both at the same time with very little time to sit and bond with either one. I got to have a high risk pregnancy, multiple doctor visits never knowing if something was going to go wrong and be able to relish in the fact that I was pregnant.

Wow that must have been hard work:
I normally just smile sweetly and nod at this one, resisting the urge to thank them for being obvious.

So you had a C-Section?
Why would you assume this and even more perplexing, why would you think that I would want to discuss out in public what I pushed out my vagina with a complete stranger? The answer is no, I gave birth to my twins naturally, with the aid of lots and lots of drugs.

How did you cope when both babies cried at the same time?
I  did what any mother would do, I ignored them and poured myself a large glass of wine, then I looked at who needed me more urgently and attended to that kid first. Crying never killed anyone, you deal with it the same way you would if it were two different aged siblings.

I know I'm not alone in being asked these questions, it's a recurring theme, ask any parent of multiples, they will tell you word for word they have been asked the same things. Yes, we do have a club and yes we do sit around and compare notes and judge the stupidity out there.

I'm sure some of you are reading this and know you are guilty of asking someone these questions, perhaps even me. Please know, you're my friends I don't mind answering questions from friends, but I reserve the right to silently mock you if you say something stupid.





Friday, 24 April 2015

Pussy? Really Siri, you hate me that much?

Yesterday while marking the kids spelling homework I accidentally pressed down on my phone lying under the book. Siri beeped her questioning beep. I muttered, "Sorry, Siri" as I moved the book to the side. Siri springs to life with her, "Here's what I found on the web for..." and Diggle grabs my phone. He loves to ask Siri silly questions and tell her she's dumb.

The next words out his mouth were not what I was expecting. Keep in mind, to Siri I have an accent and half the time she doesn't understand me. 

An incredulous, "Mom, you said pussy?"

Now I'd like it to be known that while he does know that's a bad thing to call someone, he hasn't yet figured out why. Dick, he does know, only because he asked me after hearing someone use it so, since I believe in honesty and not ducking questions if they're asked, I explained.
I look up in alarm, stammering, denying I said anything of the sort and wondering just what he's seeing on my phone. The next words out his mouth had me nearly vaulting the kitchen counter to get my phone back. 

"Siri says for pussy you can go to Big Al's..." He starts to laugh saying pussy really loudly over and over because now he can sense my panic. Am I going to have to give an impromptu sex ed lesson while cooking pulled pork? (it's amazing how the most innocuous things can seem dirty if you think about it, I promise I really was cooking that.) My mom this whole time is standing behind me, very quietly, head down, concentrating on the onions in the frying pan. 

I grab my phone and wrestle it from his hands to see what I have to explain.  Scanning the screen I find yes, Siri does think I said Pussy, she thinks I'm in the market to go pet shopping and is directing me to the closest pet store, Big Al's Aquarium. 


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

I need a life...or perhaps an intervention


My WTF moment came this morning driving the kids to school. Let me set the scene. It's just after 8am, Diggle has yelled his customary, "it's time to leave." I've yelled, "have you brushed your hair? Get your sweaters and shoes on," back at him. 

After some panic over not finding his sweater and the fact that he cannot undo the knots his shoe laces are tied in, we are ready. Princess in this time has brushed her hair and is quietly waiting by the door. We rush out to the car and as I walk down the front path I realize I'm wearing sock type fuzzy slippers. I haven't even put on shoes. This is a first. Should I turn back and change, then we'll be late. I drove to school, prayed for no reason for me to need to climb out the car and raced back home. Once back in the house, I took a look at myself in the mirror. It wasn't a pretty sight.

Unbrushed hair, well I ran my fingers through it, does that count? My cute nightshirt with a sleepy owl on it tucked into a pair of baggy sweatpants. No underwear to be seen. My mind flashes over those motherly words about not leaving the house without clean underwear in case you get in an accident. I guess this would circumvent that issue. But then again last time the nurses had to cut my clothes off me in hospital I don't remember anyone commenting on my pretty undies as they tossed my jeans and underwear in the garbage. Back to my state of attire. I had completed today's stylish ensemble with a sweater of DH's thrown over the top and zipped up, and of course let's not forget my multicoloured slipper socks. 

Who is this woman and what is she doing in my body? 

You'd think from the above description there's no place to go but up right? You'd be wrong. Shortly after this I seriously considered using the dog shampoo for my hair. What? It says it leaves the coat shiny, tangle free and moisturizers the skin...that's more than mine promises. I was soaking in a hot bath when I realized I'd left my shampoo in the shower. No I didn't use the dogs, I mentally took control and decided not to sink that far.

They say you have to hit bottom before you claw your way back up. I might be there. Time to get my life back in order and get some stuff done. Once I have the taxes in, which I can't finish yet until I get some paperwork emailed to me from South Africa, I have some major projects I need to start here. I will get busy, I will get organized...I will not promise to get out of my pyjamas before driving the kids to school though.






Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Running Away From Home


Firstly no, it’s not what you think, as much as I threaten and bitch, this time I’m not the one who is planning on fleeing.
 
The past few days have been interesting. Let me start at the beginning.
The kids as they are getting older are getting more responsibility and being allowed to roam further and do more with their friends.
Well Diggle broke some rules and I was mad...like furious mad. He has been grounded, well not kept inside grounded, I’m not crazy. But he is limited to playing on our street for the next little while (I told him a year). He is not impressed. He has threatened to run away a few times. Here is our conversation yesterday.


Diggle: Comes storming in from outside and plonks himself down forcefully in the chair next to me. “Thanks a lot, mom!”

Me: “You’re welcome” Goes nonchalantly back to Twitter.

Diggle: “I was being sarcastic you know.”

Me: “Uh huh. Your friends go to the park without you?”

Diggle: “Yes and it’s your fault ‘cause you won’t let me.”

Diggle: “You don’t love me! No-one loves me. No, wait, Granny and Smudge (Monster Dog) love me. They’re the only ones who don’t yell at me.”

Me: “Really. Because I don’t want you dead or hurt ,I don’t love you?”

***
The conversation carried on for a while about why I don’t want him dead or hurt and what could happen to him if he doesn’t listen to the rules. Why rules are in place etc. Then he got frustrated.

Diggle: “I should just run away.”

Me: “Okay, well just remember it’s dark at night and you’d have to sleep in the forest. Your sister wouldn’t be there to wake up to go to the washroom with you...oh and you’d have to use leaves as toilet paper.”

Diggle: Squinting and glaring at me. I wouldn’t sleep in the forest. I’m not telling you where I would sleep.” Glares at me some more.

Me: “You’ll miss your sister.”

Diggle: “I’d see her at school. I’d still go to school you know.”

Me: “Who would make your lunches for school?”

Diggle squints at me some more while he processes this.

Me: “Also who would get your breakfast and dinner? I guess you could catch bugs for breakfast. They’re high in protein, but you’d better get up early to get enough so you don’t get hungry at snack time.”

Diggle: Squinting really hard now as he tries not to laugh too much. He gets up and walks off now rather than admit defeat.

Me: “I love you...can I have a hug?”

Diggle: “No!”
***
It took him about 5 minutes before he was back, sitting on my lap squeezing his arms around me tightly. He put his mouth really close to my ear and very softly whispered. “I love you too mommy.”

I think he’s planning on staying.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

91

91, that's what my dad would've been turning today. Happy Birthday Dad.

It's been just over two years since he passed away.

My dad was not a hands on dad who did a lot of stuff with me, maybe it was different for my brothers, I should ask them. I was a late addition to the family, an after thought if you will. My mom always wanted a girl and at the last minute decided to try one more time. (I joke that she's regretted it ever since, but truthfully it's probably only during the teenage years from 14-18 that she had her doubts). I was the only girl with three older brothers. Maybe he just wasn't the sort of dad that got down on the floor and did stuff with you and that's okay, I'm not exactly that sort of parent either. He was however an incredible man and I never grew up wanting for much. We never had a lot of money for extravagances, but we always went on our camping trip holidays and were well taken care of. He taught me the value of being outdoors, doing family hikes in the mountains, trips to the dam to go sailing and I like to think gave me his gift of lateral thinking to make a plan when necessary. 

My dad was an exceptional man for his wealth of knowledge, I like to think if I inherited a fraction of his intelligence I will get by just fine. If we needed to know anything from chemical compounds to how to weld, he was our go to guy. He played a variety of sports through his years, from cricket, rugby, table tennis, hockey, ball room dancing to lawn bowls by the time he was elderly. He hiked the mountains, he was an avid amateur astronomer and a fantastic slight of hand magician, always entertaining our friends at birthday parties (while we cringed in case he made a mistake). He built us our first fold up caravan (camping trailer for you North Americans) before the collapsible models were on the market, it was a feat of engineering genius, with all the luxuries we could want. This was one of the reasons we were able to go on all those camping holidays. He welded security gates and fences for our home when things reached a point that we needed them. He also glued my burglar bars onto my bedroom window so I could no longer do nightly disappearing tricks when I was a teenager, but perhaps the less said about that the better.

He was a very quiet man, not very vocal unless shouting about injustices of the referee in the latest rugby match. I sometimes wish I'd got to know more of him as an adult, or sat down with him and asked him about his younger years, his time in the army and his family life as a kid. The only bit I know about his army days was during the war he broke his jaw while playing rugby for the army and spent most of his time recuperating at the Oppenheimer house in Johannesburg that had been turned into a convalescent hospital.

He did leave with me the extensive family tree, he did this in his younger years and traced it all the way back to Germany starting with relatives born before 1540. I have tried to continue it on and put all the information into digital copy along with the photos he left. He has left a legacy of 4 kids and 8 grandkids and I hope we have made him proud.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Murderous Tendencies

It's a wonder my kids are still alive, but that being said, I'l admit they have learnt to feed themselves and are pretty self sufficient, even the dog has learnt to bark at me when she wants dinner, and paw incessantly at her empty water bowl for a refill. However, before anyone calls child services, in this case it's okay, I'm referring to plants. Let's start two days ago. DH went to the store for a few items and came back with a potted hydrangea. I love hydrangeas they remind me of my moms garden back home, she always had an abundance of them in the flower beds, a testament to how easy they are to maintain and grow as like me, she was never a gardener. The plan I formed in my head was to keep it indoors for the next week or two then, when it's a bit warmer plant it in the garden for summer. We had the family over for Easter Dinner on Saturday night and my one sister in law commented on how hardy they are. I think she was insinuating I wouldn't kill it in the next two weeks. I laughed and said, "Give me time."

Honestly I have no ability to keep plants alive, but I did expect it to last longer than two days. I woke up this morning to a limp, flaccid (those are never good words in any context) plant. I have no idea what I did wrong. I gave it a glass of water yesterday, I didn't want to over water it. 

I'm attempting plant CPR as you read this, I'll let you know. 



... (update) it's responding to being drenched in the sink. I guess the poor thing was parched.


Sunday, 29 March 2015

Remember me?

My mom asked me yesterday if I'd been writing my blog recently, which as you all know is a no. I replied that I hadn't been inspired by anything. It was at this point that DH pointed out a crucial fact. He's been happy.

Hmmmm, a happy DH, one who doesn't come home complaining about his job everyday and suddenly I have nothing to write about? I guess I'm one of those tormented writers who needs to be miserable for inspiration. I really hope that's not the case as I have no desire to be miserable.

Anyway since its been a few months so I'll post a quick catch up. I had my surgery, it went well. Recovery was more frustrating than anything else. I felt good and wanted to do more but wasn't allowed. I have however gained around 6 lbs from sitting on my ass doing nothing and at some point I need to get back to exercise. I could regale you with the countless shows I watched on Netflix but I'll save you from that unbearable level of excitement. I bet you're getting the picture as to the lack of blog posts now.

On the bright side, the hot flushes of medically induced menopause are a thing of the past. Now I can wait for them to come back naturally later in life, the joy of having to go through it more than once in your life is only reserved for very special people. On the other side, I still have my ovaries, so I still go through PMS, just without the M. I now never know if I'm hormonal or just being a bitch. It's very confusing, I found myself staring at the scale the other day unable to answer the question, "Am I bloated today or just fat?" Well sure the answer was probably both, but that's not the point, a girl likes to know when she can blame those extra 2 lbs on water retention. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I feel better than I have in years, I'll take a bit of confusion any day!

Anyway spring is nearly here...well officially spring is here, but someone hasn't  told that Mother Nature yet because it's still freezing outside. Once it warms up we can get out camping and doing more exciting things, maybe I'll get my inspiration back then.

On the children front, I'll leave you with this gem I overheard from my kids bathroom the other night.

Princess: "Did you just fart while brushing your teeth?"

Diggle: "I'm multitasking."