On Saturday we went to a lovely engagement party. And the boys ticked over to eighteen months old. One and a half years. It feels like they’ve been here a great deal longer. I like that when people ask ‘are they twins?’ and then ‘how old are they?’ I can now say ‘one and a half’. Because I really don’t want to be one of those people who refer to their children as ’54 months old’. I suppose I’ll keep calling them 1.5 until they’re nearly and 2 and then switch to that.
In the approximately 547 days that they have been on this planet, we have had the best of times and the worst of times. I could compile a fairly comprehensive list of all the things I cannot do, absolutely suck at and eff up on a regular basis. I’m struggling to think of one thing that I do well other than vacuum – I’m pretty useful with the Dyson which is lucky when you see the carnage I have to get rid of every day. And I must credit the boys with improving my ability to clean the house in record timing. I used to swan about on a Saturday, drinking bubbly after completing a room, watching “Midsomer Murders” as I went and generally feeling like it was the most time consuming arduous job on the planet. And we have a tiny house. But now, I can whip it into shape in under an hour. Here’s a few more things they’ve taught me –
- it doesn’t matter how cute the clothes are, it won’t help them sleep. But at least they will look cute while they’re awake for hours on end.
- it doesn’t matter how good your pram is, you’ll always find ways it could be improved. I should know, I’ve had a few.
- it doesn’t matter if you don’t get out of your pyjamas until midday or even at all. Even when they’re one and a half.
- nothing really matters except that you got through the day. As my dear nan would say ‘the world will go around just the same’. It really will. And before you know it, you’ll be missing the days when you could put them on the floor and they’d stay there.
- every age and stage will have its challenges, but they will pass. I sometimes look back and think ‘oh gee that was hard’ or ‘this is harder than it was then’ but really, it’s always hard to some degree, it’s just the challenge is different. It used to be that they couldn’t do anything for themselves, now it’s that they want to do everything for themselves – including pulling the oven apart.
- that blowflies are the best toys.
- that flowers are the most beautiful, amazing things ever invented and need to be smelt, picked and pointed at.
- that outside is better than inside.
- that the world is full of wonder and delight and I should just slow down and ‘be’ in every moment.
- that there really is nothing better than watching your baby sleep. Even if it has taken the best part of the day to achieve and they refuse to sleep anywhere else but on you. Even when they’re one and a half.
On Sunday morning we had brunch (how very cosmopolitan of us?) with a dear friend. She cooked up a feast and it was delicious. After we’d wrangled the boys back in the car and apologised profusely for the mess they’d made and the bother we’d been (she assured us we weren’t and I believed her, because that’s the thing about good friends) we were stopped at the traffic lights trying to read the map and remember where to go despite me having lived just off that road for nigh on two years when we spied a man pushing a twin pram which, incidentally, was the same brand as (one of) ours – a Bugaboo Donkey – apparently the Rolls Royce of prams (I could suggest a few improvements). They must have been tiny babies because they were still in the bassinet contraption and I was little bit jealous. I’d like to have my babies that age again armed with what I know now so that I could just ‘be’ a bit more and worry a lot less. I reckon that bloke had it all in hand though – he was really well dressed (clean clothes that actually matched and looked like a well put together outfit), looked cool, calm and collected and was even walking his dog off the lead. That only happens on our good days. Even one and half years in.