Showing posts with label Life with multiples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life with multiples. Show all posts

Friday, 13 June 2014

A Konfession...

There comes a point in the evening when I don't want to get another glass of water or break up another fight.  I don't want to pick up a fallen blanket and I definitely don't want to start looking for a headless toy pirate that could be absolutely anywhere in the little shoe box we call home. 
There comes a point in the evening when I don't want to hear the word, 'mummy'.  I know.  What a horrible thing to say.  There comes a point when I've simply had enough.
Sometimes the tiredness is so great that it clouds and smothers all of the beautiful moments.  Sometimes the responsibility of lone parenting, of being the one who holds it all together is just too much to bear.  And so, my solution? Another early night.  But not til I've spent an hour or so lost in the world of Kim Kardashian and her band of K-something sisters.  The programme has become my drug of choice.  My moment to exhale at the end of the day when all I can do is sit, slack jawed and empty headed.  I have nothing left to give and Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and momma Kris are kind enough to ask nothing of me.  One, two, three episodes back to back are all it takes to calm my frazzled nerves, regulate my breathing and sedate my over stimulated mind.
There.  I've said it.  My name is Emma and I'm struggling to Keep Up.   Night, night.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Love you, Ella Bella xxx

It had been a bit of a morning.  There were tears (mine) and tantrums (all of ours) but as we parked up outside nursery I was determined to turn things around and try a parenting technique I'd been reading about. 
Love Bombing it's called - an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. I really did have the best of intentions but instead fear I've damaged Ella irreparably and think I'd better start saving right now for the therapy she will no doubt need in approximately thirteen years time.
All in a row, they sat - Ella and her two sidekicks looking like butter wouldn't melt after two and a half hours of carnage.  My nerves were jangling,  run ragged doesn't come close.  I took a deep breath and turned to look at their snotty little faces. 
'Right, you lot,' I began in my best stern voice. They only bothered to flick their eyes towards me because they were still tightly buckled in their car seats, otherwise I would have been wasting my breath.
'Now, listen to me,' I continued without the merest flicker of softness and turned first to Theo sitting next to the window behind the passenger seat.
'I love you!' I pointed at my (youngest by a minute) little one and broke into what I felt must have been the warmest of smiles before turning to Louis and continuing, 'and I  love you and..'
At that moment Theo leant over and whacked me crossly on the arm which wasn't the response I was expecting.  It threw me off course and that's all I can say in my defence because mid way through yet another broken 'moment' and as I took my keys from the ignition and went to open the car door there was a plaintive whisper from the least plaintive little girl I've ever met.
Big, fat, silent Bambi tears slid down Ella's cheeks.
'But what about me?' she whispered and my heart quite simply broke a little. 
Confusion quickly turned to shame as I realised I hadn't bombed my one and only girl with the same declaration of love as her brothers.  I'd been interrupted, distracted, side tracked as happens so frequently and now, there she sat, feeling fundamentally unloved.
It was the whisper that did it. And the glistening eyes.  That's not the Ella I know.  The tough, fierce, scary girl that seems to be the boss of not only me but everyone she meets.  She cuddles less and so somehow I find myself cuddling her less.  She is sparing with her kisses so I have to remind myself to
kiss her as many times as the boys.  She doesn't seem needy and she doesn't seem insecure.  She isn't needy or insecure but she still needs to be told that she's loved.
Oh God, just shoot me now.
I'm not giving up on this love bombing idea.  As we walked into nursery and I gave them all their goodbye cuddles I don't think I've ever squeezed Ella so tight.  I muttered to myself as I walked away, head hung in shame.  Bad, bad triplet mummy.  This job is hard.
I'm sorry, gorgeous girl. Promise I'll make it up to you. You'd better watch out - there are more love bombs coming your way this afternoon than you can shake your stinky blanket at...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Meet the Fockers...

Swearing.  It's a funny old thing.  We all do it (don't we?) Okay, maybe some more than others but we've all got a favourite expletive.  Mine happens to be bollocks.  It can be a satisfying and necessary release when you bang your funny bone or a barely audible expression of irriation when you realise you're out of loo roll. 
But I had no reason to swear whilst on the school run the other morning.  We were on track.  It had been a remarkably peaceful morning and I felt cool, calm and in control.  This mothering malarky I thought to myself,  I think I've finally nailed it.
So, big boy in the front seat and the trio behind me. Just your average Wednesday morning.  Lots of chit. Quite a bit of chat and then, after a perfectly timed pause and delivered with impeccable intonation from the rosebud mouth of a certain little lady in the back -
 'For fuck's sake'. 
A beat. I gasped.  Jake gawped.  Louis and Theo swivled their heads to stare in admiration at their sister and comrade.  Something big had just happened. They had no idea what, but they knew it was huge.  And then again, this time preceded by a big, weighty sigh. 'Oh, for fuck's sake!'
Jake looked at me with eyes wide, my face no doubt a picture, his full of absolute glee.  His day was already made and it was only five to nine.
'Don't react, don't react!'  I whispered manically to my eldest but it was too late. They knew, the three of them knew they were onto something and they were going to make it good.
It was like The Frog Chorus for the duration of the journey to school slash nursery. Diversion tactics failed miserably and once Jake was safely in the playground and no doubt already relaying the morning's little incident to a captive audience of ten year olds, I put my foot down and we made our way to nursery.  That's Ella, Louis and Theo's new nursery by the way. Did I mention they'd started a new nursery?  This was day three.  First impressions and all that.  Coats on pegs, I kissed them goodbye and scuttled out with barely a backwards glance, got back in the car and slammed the door.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Turn up the volume...

This is it.  I've got what I wanted.  Ella, Louis and Theo are in full time nursery and my days are now my own.  It's great.  For all of us.  They are ready for it and so am I.  Or at least I thought I was. Didn't expect to feel my heart breaking just a little bit.  Didn't expect to suddenly be feeling extreme panic at the realisation that I've blinked and missed the last four years of their beautiful little lives. 
Suddenly, all I can think of is how much I've moaned.  And complained.  And whinged on and on about how hard it is and how I just need some time for me.  Well, I've got it now -  hours of it.  And I'm pleased and excited and know that I need it, but I just have to work through this mild grief first.
I don't normally listen when well meaning strangers tell me to enjoy them while they're young becuase 'it all goes so fast'.  I normally feel a little irritated.  'It's not going fast!' I want to shout. The days are long and repetitive and I haven't had an unbroken nights sleep or a lie in for years and I feel like I'm aging by the day and my back is going and I'm drowning in laundry and all they do is fight and cry and whinge and grizzle and they don't eat the food I cook or go to bed when I say and I dread the weekend because Saturdays and Sundays are the hardest days of the week and sometimes I feel lonely and like my best years are behind me and sometimes, no, most of the time, I just don't see what's right in front of me.  Three little people wanting just a little bit more of my attention.  Just wanting me to put down my iphone, to stop mindlessly checking Facebook and instead actually listen to what they're saying. They just want a reponse.
Sometimes, all I hear is noise.  From first thing in the morning until well into the evening, noise.  I get jumpy and edgy and yell for the telly to be turned down and for Ella to stop grizzling and for Theo to stop shouting and for Jakey to stop pestering.  It all just seems like noise. But it isn't.  It's life.  It's my gorgeous four, alive and vital doing excatly what they be should be doing - asking for what they want, letting the world know when they're happy, sad or downright furious.  Letting the world know and expecting, quite rightly, for their mum to listen. 
This is a new chapter for all of us. They're going to thrive and blossom with each passing day.  I'm going to get my little pockets of peace. It's a win-win situation.  And come half past three?  Bring on the noise.  Lots of noise.  I can't wait...

Thursday, 11 July 2013


A mini miracle occured today.  For at least fifteen minutes this morning Ella, Louis and Theo played together.  Properly.  Imaginary stuff...proper playing!  The TV was off, I had crept upstairs to have my daily world's fastest shower and as I made the bed and did the usual faffing it slowly dawned on me that the sounds coming from downstairs were pleasant, chirpy ones. Nobody was crying. Or grizzling. Or screeching for me, repeatedly. It was a little unnerving.  Pillows plumped and make up hastily applied I paused at the top of the stairs knowing full well that if I went down the magic would immedietly be broken and chaos and conflict would reign again. It really was such a novelty to hear them and one of those, still rare, moments when I caught a glimpse of the future and decided that it didn't actually look too bad.
Maybe it won't always feel like I'm refereeing a Saturday afternoon wrestling match between Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks circa 1976. Maybe I won't always be on red alert - poised for the next attack, melt down, ready to dive in and restore some kind of order, whatever that means.
Three and a half is a gorgeous age.  Still your babies but full of ideas and questions about the world and in Ella's case, ready to take it on. Single handedly . You tell yourself you'll remember every cute thing they say. That every back to front, upside down sentence will be carefully cataloged and filed away. I've forgotten a lot of them already...
Still in the thick of it, still staggering through each day feeling like a rather useless contestant on Total Wipeout but the moments are there. Lots of them.  And they don't all draw blood. Which is nice...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My Piglet and Pooh...

It's happened.  Three and a half years in and the 'twin thing' seems to have taken a hold between my very own Thing One and Thing Two, Louis and Theo.  Having spent the last couple of years largely ignoring each other it seems that they have fallen in love for the very first time and it's a beautiful sight. Cuddles, kisses, feotal like spooning and heart melting moments where noses rub, eyelashes flutter and fingers entwine.  Theo wiped away Louis's dribble this afternoon.  Dummy addicts both of them, splutter, saliva and all round sogginess is standard.  Curled up on the sofa, grubby knees knocking and smelly feet touching, Theo glanced over at his twin and leaning over,caught the offending droplet just before it fell from his chin and onto his sodden dinosaur t- shirt.
No one else would have noticed. It was hardly a picture book moment just a sweet, tender little exchange which had my insides melting like warm chocolate fondant. My miracle, never would have imagined I could be this lucky, boys...

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.” 

Of course they'll be knocking seven bells out of each other by morning. I wonder if  Ronnie used to wipe the dribble from Reggie's chin?

Monday, 4 March 2013

It's never too late to try...

There has to be a way to make bedtime less torturous.  Ella, Louis and Theo's that is - not mine.  I can be upstairs, in my pyjamas with nice, clean teeth, an empty bladder and the light off in minutes.  I don't mess around and I rarely need a bedtime story.  Even getting Jake settled is plain sailing these days.
To say that my three three year olds mess around is the understatement of the year.  And I do not deal with it very well at all. It's a horrible way to end the day.  None of the picture book moments you'd imagine.  Just an old shrew screeching, threatening and occasionally weeping as she falls for the same tricks night after night and finds herself dancing to the merry little tune of three monkeys who are having an absolute bloody blast. I simply don't have the energy to stand up to them.  Theo refuses to clean his teeth? I let it go.  Louis wants to sleep in his t-shirt and vest?  Whatever.  Twelve long hours after the day began I am spent and would probably give them a Chunky Kit- Kat and a can of Coke each if I thought it would speed things up a bit. 
And they always save the best for last.  All finally in their beds, stories read, pull-ups on, dummies at hand and for Mr Louis his duvet postitioned just so, I kiss them goodnight, turn the light off and shut the door.
And then it's last orders. Milk and water. Despite having spent the last hour refusing repeated offers of both they now all seem to have suddenly developed an unquenchable thirst.  I dutifully bring up a cup of each and walk around the room back and forth between their beds. Back and forth. In circles. For ages. A sip of milk for Ella and then some water for Louis.  Oh and now Ella would like some water and Louis some milk.  What's that you say, Theo?  Milk and water?  It's the part of the evening that very nearly breaks me.  And don't they know it. 
I must look so unpleasant to the three of them.  Scowling and pinched.  Even the very last kisses and cuddles aren't given with much genuine warmth by this point.
We're learning 'Proud' at choir this term. It's a great song to sing. Truly uplifting.  (Even if it is virtually impossible to get Miranda's version out of my head)  But as I gave it my all at last week's rehearsal and attempted to put some real emotion into the words I felt a bit sick as we all hit the chorus. 'What have you done today to make you feel proud?'  Er, not much.  Just moaned and nagged and didn't appreciate for a single minute how incredibly bloody lucky I am to share my world with these three.  I just wish they'd cut me the tiniest bit of slack at bedtime...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Can I be in your gang?

Ella, Louis and Theo appeared to quite like one another today.  This is not the norm.  Despite the fact that they grew inside me as one for thirty two weeks and five days, were born just minutes apart and must surely have as close a bond as is possible to have, they generally seem to go out of their way to torment, tease and torture.  It's tough to watch and painful to listen to.  Where's the love?  The sibling support and sweetness?  That magical connection that multiples are supposed to share? Not much sign of it around here on a daily basis.
Until today.  Today there were cuddles, kisses even.  Not to mention the gorgeous sound of  belly laughs and giddy giggles coming from every corner of the house.
This gives me hope for a couple of reasons.  The obvious one being that it's much nicer to spend time in the company of three incredibly lively toddlers when they are happy and in harmony with one another and not drawing blood and wailing but also and forgive me for bringing down the mood, I don't mean to...the other reason is that it shows that they do have their own relationship, their own incredible bond completely independent of me.  That if, god forbid, I disappeared in a puff of smoke they would still have each other and well, life would go on.
Right now they are at the absolute peak of clinginess and so it's hard to imagine the day when I'm not the sole object of their focus and attention. 
A trip to the loo without six beady eyes watching my every move and attempting to flush the chain BEFORE I'M READY?  What a lovely thought...
A shower without three noses pressed up against the perspex? Yes, Ella, you'll have boobies like mummy one day.  No, Louis darling that's right, mummy doesn't have a willy.
It's a tad suffocating at times.  No, really it is. Don't tell anybody but sometimes I simply want to climb out of the bathroom window, shimmy down the drain pipe and just sit somewhere, anywhere, in absolute silence.
But where was I?
I hope they grow up not just loving but really liking each other.  How amazing to go through life with a best friend to your left and another to your right.
I wish I was a triplet.  Okay, so it gets a little messy at times but god, I bet it's fun. Today it really looked like fun.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A lap of honour and a piece of cake.

So my babies are nearly three. The teeny, tiny bundles that I held in my arms in the special care baby unit back in  December 2009 are now upright, vocal, two feet on the ground, don't mess with me little warriors. 
And dare I say it - suddenly, it doesn't feel quite so hard. The nappies and bottles have gone.  The cots have been dismantled and delivered to the local charity shop.  No more fiddling with buttons on a baby gro. Sentences are beginning to take shape and the intense frustration at not being understood seems a little diluted.  I have three extra people in my life now.  Three, couldn't be more different, don't you dare bunch us together, human beings who want to smother and squash me with love and who think I'm just the best thing ever.  Even when I'm being the worst.
"It's my mummy," says Theo flinging his arms around me as though his life depended on it.
"Not your mummy, mine."  Says Miss Ella ferociously yanking her brother by the hair as she tries to jostle in and take prime postion on my lap.
"He's all our mummys," says Louis wide eyed and anxious -  a little mixed up but with the most adorable of intentions.
Yes, my darling.  I'm all your mummys and right now, I can't quite believe we've come this far.
We did it.  We're three years in.
High fives all round.  I've got a feeling the best is yet to come.
And they're sleeping through.  Did I mention that they're sleeping through?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Just watch and learn Mummy....

Today was spent watching Ella scribble on a freshly painted wall in a gorgeous house in north west London and be applauded and rewarded for doing so. All in the name of cancer research. We were filming a short clip for CRUK's forthcoming Stand Up To Cancer telethon and well, Ella took to her part like a duck to water. A simple, heartwarming little scene - Mum (er, that's me) finds daughter scribbling on the kitchen wall, looks momentarily cross then breaks into a loving smile and reaching for a chubby crayola of her own, joins in.
Let's be honest- it was never going to be much of a stretch for my very own little Banksy.  The walls of our house have long since resembled something you might see under the arches at Waterloo station and so I really wasn't too worried about my darling girl not embracing the role of pint sized grafitti artist with great gusto.  A tad more acting was required from me I have to say. I just kept thinking about how often I yell at her and her brothers as they run towards my magnolia walls brandishing a chunky felt tip and how I now keep every single crayon, marker, biro and blunt Ikea pencil so far out of reach that when it comes to writing a shopping list or jotting down a phone number you can just forget it.
She stole the show off camera too.  Obviously.  We joined the crew for lunch on the catering bus and all tucked into crumble and custard.  Standing up on her seat and bouncing up and down, Miss Ella prodded the cameraman sitting behind us on the shoulder. Repeatedly.
'I NOT SHY!' she shrieked at him emphatically as the entire bus turned their heads to see where the noise was coming from. He smiled politely, not daring to disagree and doing his best not to choke on a piece of rhubarb.
Filming finished, she swept out of the house flicking her hair,waving an aloof farewell to her team of lackeys and once safely harnessed in the back of the car fell instantly into a deep slumber. 
Not shy?  Where the hell was I when they were dishing out the kind of confidence that my little madam exudes?  Whatever it is you've got Ella Bella, can I have some?