It is 11:30 am and I just pulled a curly India or Dahli hair out of my freshly baked carrot and apple oat cookie. Of course I have. All I can do is sigh and laugh because today is one of those days where I just have no idea what the girls are going to throw at me next.
I have been planning to write a day in a life of twins for ages! Since they were born really, and it just hasn’t happened. I can’t really say, ‘but now I finally have time to sit down and write it’ because truely I don’t. There are many other things I should probably be doing. However, I think that so far, today has been crazy, chaotic and hilarious. I think if I was watching down upon us today, I would be laughing hysterically. I would like to have the opportunity in the future to look back and read about days like these. 2 year old twins is definitely the hardest stage for me to date.
Amid the Covid 19 outbreak I am on leave from work and the girls are no longer in family daycare (we did this 2 weeks ago now as Dahli and India are high risk). My husband is working mostly from home. Except for Tuesdays. Today is Tuesday. I should also mention that a few days ago the girls learnt to climb up the change table and Dahli started to climb out of her cot, so during isolation we have taken down the cot rails. So much fun! The first night went fairly well as did the following day. Then we had a couple of days that were pretty awful. Last night was a good night though (after we installed locks on their sliding wardrobe) and today’s nap the girls actually went down without a fuss! Oh wait, I can hear them now!…..so I just went in to check on them. Found them hiding behind the curtain cuddling Reuben bear and India looks up at me and smiles cheekily: ‘Hi’. How can I not smile and glow on the insides at that. So precious. But gosh I hope they sleep now.
Okay so a day in the life of 2 year old toddler twins…Here we go…
We woke to the girls calling out to us at about 6:20am. My husband and I agreed it was his turn to get up to them. Of course he waits until he receives a few nudges from me. The girls get increasingly louder so naturally I am wide awake now. I may as well get up. But I don’t. Hubby goes in eventually and changes their nappies. I hear them help by carrying their nappies out to the bin. I hope he gets them to wash their hands. India is whining constantly and I can’t make out what over but I know he has them on the kitchen bench and that making breakfast with a cranky toddler + her twin will be a challenge, so I get up. I relieve husband of India, settle her and then husband goes for a shower while I make the girls and my breakfast. They decide they want oats. First I put some sourdough in the toaster and then I start on their banana and cinnamon oats with their help (such good stirrers). Oats are still cooking but my toast is ready. I put Vegemite and avo on it and take a bite knowing that this toast is not really mine. I place it on the bench to continue with oats and they lick off the Vegemite and avo. Dahli asks for ‘more butter’ (she means Vegemite) three times. She becomes a Vegemite monster. India wants to help me with the oats. ‘Hot!’ she says. then as she stirs them in the bowl a bit drops on her foot so she screams (its not burning hot….she soon recovers). With oats cooling a little longer I make myself another batch of toast. The girls decide they want to eat outside so we go outside. I attempt to sit down with my breakfast but of course they want my ‘help’ to eat their oats. I help them whilst carefully watching Yogi (crazy, red-haired border collie) and rousing at him for going near my breakfast several times. This goes on for a while. India wants another helping. She has more and then she finishes her sisters. We tidy up and eventually ‘breakfast’ is over. By this time of the morning routine, daddy peeks his head out to say goodbye. He gets a very affectionate cuddle from two rude nudies. I can’t remember when they took their nappies off!?!
For the next hour and a half I am really wanting to get the girls in the pram to go for a run. But I know if I put them in the pram that they will scream and carry on. It has to be their decision or at least feel like it was their decision. I try asking them if they want to go for a walk multiple times. I bribe them with some sweet potato brownie. I start to think that mummy isn’t going to get her exercise this morning. In the meantime, they have dressed and undressed; taken nappies off twice; yelled at me to push them naked in their doll prams; pointed out a fresh dog poo, ‘yucky’ for me to pick up; decided one wants to be inside yet the other wants to be outside; used their helmets as cradles for their babies and constantly whined at me to open and close the buckle over and over..and so on. Eventually I decide to ‘mamma bear them’. I tell them to get into the pram. India actually does when I start to count down from 3. Dahli does not so I pick her up and put her in. Of course she whines and fusses but as soon as I give her the sweet potato brownie, she changes her tune. So I finally get my run. They are happy and giggling and singing and chatting and pointing things out. Woo hoo! Success!
After the run I say I want to jump in the pool and they both tell me no. I am so hot I tell them that they can’t boss me around so I go outside and lay in the pool. Now they think it’s funny. They get naked (again) and get in too. Lots of fun, lots of giggles. The girls play mostly happily and then I realise that I have oats in my hair. I ask if I can go have a shower. I can as long as they come in with me. So I finally get my shower, I think its around 10am, so not too bad.
The next scene…The girls sit at my feet in the shower, playing happily and I feel very accomplished and proud. Then I get out and dry off and take a photo of this precious moment. I think ‘it’ must have happened when I took the photo….because when I put my phone down Dahli stands up and I ask is she is ready to get out. Much to my disgust the word that comes out of her mouth is ‘poo’ and then India says ‘yucky.’ Yup, soggy wet poo. India sits obediently (in the midst of the muck) while I clean off her sister first. She then gets a good clean while Dahli stands very still on the bath mat, not wanting to move because the tiles are ‘slippwwwweeee’. We all manage to get dressed-ish. The girls in nappies, me in a dress. Today I am behind on laundry and I can’t for the life of me find a pair of comfy undies- currently going commando. After this the girls grab one another’s hands and start dancing and walking around the house for a bit. Heart melters.
Next, I ask the girls if they would like to make some cookies. Yes, they both decide. So up on the bench they go. It starts out well. But once the batter is mixed and its time to shape the cookies, things go pear shaped. I have never made such a mess in the kitchen before. They have handfuls of gunky cookie batter before I can stop them. They rub it on their legs and feet and all over the bench. All while smiling. I watch in horror as I simultaneously try to clean them. My efforts at cleaning the girls down with a wet washer are not enough, so I banish them both to the pool to clean off. I am surprised that they are both happy with this! I watch them play while I finish the cookies off and clean up. Another success! Wahoo! — unfortunately no time for photos here!!
The girls are still playing happily outside. They have turned their chairs over and are using them as slides for their mini dinosaurs. So I start making them a veggie omelette for lunch. Of course this is when the fighting starts. Both want to be in the same pram. I watch and hope they work it out. They don’t. India is trying to push Dahli out. I tell her not to push and to get her own pram. Next she hits Dahli in the head. I go and get India and tell her she needs to say sorry. She says no. After a short time in her room, India returns to the scene to apologise and then continue to bully Dahli to get of the pram. Dahli goes to the other pram with my suggestion and then gets over it and wants to come inside. By this time lunch is ready so they come inside and sit at the big table (dining table) to have their lunch. I try and clean up the kitchen but yet again, I have to sit next to them and ‘help’. They both eat well. India gets very upset that she can’t eat her’s and Dahli’s cookie. Then I realise that half of India’s cookie is on the floor. Happy India again, for a moment. When they are all done I head to the kitchen to get a washer and notice all the flies from the girls coming out and in all morning. I swap between wiping the girls down and trying to clean the kitchen. They have lost it now. They are tired. Its 11am and the flies are enjoying the mess on the bench but I have to put the girls down.
We change nappies, find dummies, bunny and lamby and I carry both girls to their room, one under each arm. Often they walk themselves but I know that is not happening today. I put on their sleep suits. India has found a random nappy and is screaming at me ‘nappy’ demanding that I change her nappy to the one she found. I don’t crack to her bullying me and she gets over it. I pick her up and rock her, then as I place her into her cot she bossily tells me that Dahli needs to be rocked too. I give Dahli a rock and put her down and tuck her in. They say ‘bye ,bye’ and I leave their room, wondering what mischief they will get up to. They are quiet. Time to clean and tidy and catch up on washing.
So I clean my shower, hang, fold and pack away washing. I prep a new load (which can’t go on yet because it will wake the girls). I clean the dining table, the kitchen, and sweep and mop the floor. I take the bins out and tidy toys and random shit that ends up in random places. I place cookies in a container and tidy the kitchen again. I wash my hands a million times. I do all this worrying that the house is still not tidy enough and then I remember I haven’t had a sip of water since after my run. So I scull half a bottle, make a cup of coffee (never drank this stuff until I had twins) and sit down with one of the cookies. My first moment of relaxation and silence for the day. First bite…I think it is maybe a stringy bit of carrot but no, definitely a toddler hair. I eat it anyway!
Whilst eating my cookie, sipping my coffee and writing this post, I have been in and out of the girls room three times. I have changed Dahli’s pooey nappy and had India tell me she has done one too. She hasn’t. I’ve popped them back in their bed over and over but they still get out. They are crying and tired and clearly not ready to get up. I guess I will try one more time but I don’t like my chances… I imagine that this cookie is my lunch for now.
I was right. The girls are banging on their door so I open it and I am greeted with a very happy ‘Hello, hello hello’. No sleep today, it is going to be an early night. I make the girls a cup of tea and they have it with a cookie at the dining table. Dahli pulls a straw sippy cup from nowhere and demands I put her tea in it. I do this and then India starts crying because she wants the same so I find her one and make that happen. They sit nicely for a while, but of course before long someone makes a mess. India tips her cup upside down and shakes it all out on the chair, her lap and the table. I tell her that we don’t spill our tea on purpose and that she may have to go in her room. She signs and says, ‘sorry, sorry, sorry, mummy’ and hugs me tight. Heart melted. I clean it up and we move on to the next thing.
This afternoon we use homemade watercolours (ice, water, food dye) to paint. The girls have fun painting paper for a bit, then themselves. They also try to eat it like ice-blocks. It doesn’t take long before India is distracted by other things and wanders off while Dahli and I paint for a little longer.
Soon it is 2pm and we are surprised by daddy coming home! He says hello and then heads for a shower (because Covid19). The girls climb up on their toy box (I moved it out of their room after today’s unsuccessful nap). It is outside the bathroom window and so they yell out to daddy over and over, ‘hello, hello, hello!’ Of course they are super excited and all over daddy when he comes outside. India especially….as if she is saying ‘I have been an angel all day’….
The rest of the afternoon is spent having a family paddle in the pool; helping daddy weed the garden and then taking their bubbas for a walk out the front of the house with daddy while I clean up, again. When I finally go out to join in, India is banging on Daddy’s car demanding to get in. We think maybe we could go for a drive but no, India screams and screams because she wants to sit in the driver’s seat. When this tantrum subsides they continue playing with their bubbas and prams and have a little explore with us in the edge of the bush.
Finally it is dinner time. The girls eat this outside and want daddy to help this time so I go and tidy up and turn on the bath. After a little play, Dahli comes up to me and says, ‘baby, baby’. I pick her up and rock her like a baby and sing the lullaby, making up new words about going for a bath. Hubby does the same to India and they both enter the bath happily. Bath-time is lovely today. Just me and the girls. They lay down on their tummies, both saying, “I swim, I swim” and when I suggest they have a little kiss…they comply. Gah sooooo gorgeous.
The rest of the night goes something like this: get nappies and PJs on -making sure we put on lots of crim (cream); bottle; teeth (after I catch them); fighting over a baby hat (see video below of a very happy Dahli and a devastated India scream in the background); vacuuming the house with daddy; the beginning of bed time (5:40pm- 20 minutes earlier than usual); multiple resettles (including soothing India after she has fallen out); and now, finally quiet….for the time being.
It is now 9:45pm and that was a day in the life of twin toddlers in the Greenhalgh house.
Wow that was a long one. Well done and thank you if you stuck with it until the end. Apologies for any grammar or spelling mistakes. I was writing in past and present tense as I kept coming back to this piece and my brain got confused! Hopefully I fixed most of it.
I have realised writing a day in the life post is extremely hard….this is sooooo long, yet so much more happened in our day. I also found it impossible to write creatively when I am trying to fit so much in. Life isn’t about being perfect though, so here it is 🙂
Sending out lots of love,