Sunday, 2 September 2012

The bogeyman

G&T - 2 years, 9 months   M - 10-and-half months

With three children born in the space of two years, we've been through it all here. We've had tummy bugs and tantrums, divas and dramas, and more sleepless nights than I care to remember. But there's one thing with the power to ruin my life like no other. The common cold. No one has been sleeping, everyone has been whining, and I am shattered. This is the worst cold I can ever remember the girls having, and even though the worst mercifully seems to be over, they all still have horrid hacking coughs. It's such a pity, as we've otherwise had a pretty momentous week.
After nearly three years, I finally took the plunge and left the twins with someone they're not related to. Predictably on their first day of playgroup, I cried. Even more predictably, they didn't. After a bit of initial nervousness from G (T shot onto the nearest slide without a second glance), they absolutely loved it, and didn't mind me leaving them one bit. So, we decided to make a big girl week of it, and converted their cots into beds. To say they were delighted wouldn't even be coming close. G, with her fiercely independent streak, was utterly overjoyed to be able to get out whenever she pleased and kept stepping to the side and getting back in, whereas T loved the 360-degree legroom and immediately resolved to sleep sideways. But despite their enthusiasm, once the door was shut, they left M alone to drop off, and played happily (if a little loudly) without causing any real trouble until they eventually passed out. Can't believe we didn't do it sooner. And they're not the only ones knocking down the milestones. My little M has taken her first steps and said her first words! The other day, she managed an impressive six steps, and I'm hoping her newfound skills on the floor distract her from her more vertical obsession of climbing up on everything... At least I can always hear when she's up to something. She shocked us by suddenly moving from babbling to copying whatever we say, then quite clearly being able to say cat, chair and Charley Bear all by herself! The twins were always ahead with language but M is speaking months before they did. I can only assume she's getting an early start just so she can get a word in...
But just when we were revelling in how clever they all were, T started sniffling. She doubtless picked something up at playgroup, and I knew straight away we were in trouble. Within a day or so, all three were sniffing and sneezing and coughing. M, who still uses a dummy to sleep, had no choice but to learn to go without it, as she simply couldn't breathe, while the twins once-rare night-time cries became a constant alarm call. It was a nightmare snot relay. One night, I spent over an hour in the girls' room settling M and finally got her in her cot, only for T to instantly wake up, screaming in distress. It was hell. The house smelt of menthol and cough medicine, and on one morning sick as M decided to top it all off by vomiting her breakfast up over her high chair. The twins spend the days whinging about being tired or fighting about absolutely everything, while M just shrieked and sobbed constantly.Sometimes, I really understand why people look shocked when we say we have three children under three. Most days, it's just all I know, and I wouldn't change it for the world. I always wanted to have children close together, and I still believe it's best to get these toddler years over in one go. But no one said it was going to be easy. It's anything but. It's bloody hard work, and at times like these, I really earn my money. Not that I get any money. Or holidays. Or days off. Or nights off. Erm, why did I think this was a good idea again?!