Food stay­ing down, sleep­ing for 12 hours... is the hard work fi­nally be­hind us?


Ashbourne News Telegraph - - FAMILY MATTERS - Richard IRVINE

THE twins were en­joy­ing a meal of spiced lentils and rice.

To oc­cupy their minds, I was singing Snoop Doggy Dogg’s

Gin and Juice in the style of a nurs­ery rhyme, mi­nus the fruity lan­guage. In the back­ground, Vic­to­ria was pre­par­ing forkcrushed ba­nana with a creamy full fat Greek yo­ghurt.

This was how I imag­ined child care might be. Un­for­tu­nately, there wasn’t a nanny, but it was a so­phis­ti­cated evening of song, good food and bab­bling with no cry­ing or vomit. Dessert was met with a gen­tle ap­proval and I pre­pared a swift aper­i­tif (cow’s milk).

It was get­ting late and no sooner had they fin­ished their fi­nal course then they were dis­patched to bed. We changed them into sleep­suits, packed them into their body bags, wished them good night and they were fast asleep.

It was 7pm and free­dom was ours, within the con­fines of the house.

Life is for liv­ing so we chose to watch tele­vi­sion in a semi-co­matose state, while eat­ing Qual­ity Street, the tra­di­tional Christ­mas choco­late – a fes­tive treat that will be a year-round phe­nom­e­non by the time the twins are teenagers.

It was a full 12 hours be­fore we heard from Thomas and Emma again. They’d both slept through the night and wo­ken up at a rea­son­able 7am.

Break­fast was steel-cut

por­ridge oats with an or­ganic blue­berry jus fol­lowed by a toasted sour­dough loaf and salt-free but­ter. They ate the lot and passed their com­pli­ments onto the kitchen team.

As we sat and dis­cussed the many chal­lenges of or­ches­trat­ing chil­dren, work, food, shop­ping and an MOT, I thought ‘we’re do­ing al­right, we might make it’. It’s taken 12 months to mas­ter the gen­tle art of rear­ing chil­dren but have we cracked it?

There’ve been a few stum­bling blocks, but life is all about learn­ing.

I’ve learned not to leave the chil­dren with drunk, po­ten­tially home­less men be­cause they’ve got a nice-look­ing dog, while you go into a shop that can’t fit a dou­ble buggy.

I’ve also learned not to leave a baby unat­tended on a chang­ing mat, while you get some wipes, in case it falls onto the floor.

And I’ve learned to dou­ble check the car seat straps in case you ar­rive at a des­ti­na­tion and no­tice you’ve for­got­ten to se­cure them.

Ob­vi­ously, these things never hap­pened di­rectly to me but are worth­while lessons for any par­ent.

It feels like the hard work is be­hind us and they’re grow­ing into proper lit­tle peo­ple. Be­fore we know it, they’ll be in their own houses, earn­ing money and chang­ing my soiled nap­pies.

Sleep­ing peace­fully... at last

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