Children, Twins, Triplets etc …. do you have a favourite? Ok, ok …. I SAID IT. Do Parents have favourites? Are we even allowed to say that OUT LOUD?! Now… before you all start saying “Oh no, never”, I have to ask as recently, I’ve been struggling to understand how you can’t have a favourite, from time to time anyhow.
In my own life, before I had children, I noted in almost every family, that one child was always preferred over the other. Ok, not always openly…. but you could definitely see it. To be fair, it didn’t really seem to bother the boys as much as the girls. The Captain for example is the favourite in his family. He claims he’s not, but he sooo is (plus his Grandma recently told me). I on the other hand, was never the favourite. For starters, I was causing havoc in my parents house, getting expelled from school, raiding their Drinks cabinet, smoking spliff out the bedroom window, having boyfriends climbing up drain pipes and sleeping in my cupboard until my Mum found him the next day reeking of Cider (true). All of this before I was 15 years old…. it’s no wonder they wanted to kill me. As a baby though…. i was apparently an independent angel. But, still not the favourite.
I’m now torn from time to time with my own kids. Despite all resolutions to never have favourites, things aren’t panning out that way. Now, according to some books on Twins (and I read a shit load before Itchy & Scratchy turned up), Parents get confused as to how they react and feel towards their kids. Some days they have a favourite child, and on other days, well, lets just say you want to run away and hide under a tree (or in a Bar, which is clearly my personal preference).
Anyhow, my question is this …. Do you have a favourite? If so, do you feel as guilty as I do when those moments occur? Now, before you all start going mad at me, the truth is this…. my favourite child is the one who behaves themselves on THAT particular day. I don’t love the other child any less but if they are misbehaving, well, you know… you’re only human.
Take my Son for example. He loves to SCREAM (& I mean SCREAM!!!!) and, in fact, screamed the whole way to Bali (4.5 hour flight from Hong Kong), that even his own Grandparents wanted to throw him off the plane. This child knows when he has an audience and therefore, kicks off with this whole screaming business just as everyone around us is starting to relax/enjoy a book/snooze on the plane. What did I do to keep myself calm and not lose it? I put ear plugs in, plastered a smile on my face at all the passengers who looked like they wanted to kill me for having given birth to Satan, and ordered myself a glass of white wine. The bloody Air Stewards wouldn’t give me another glass after I downed the first one like it was a shot of tequila…. so I stole The Captains while he hid in the loo…. for most of the flight. Apparently he had a dodgy tummy but I know a liar when I see one. Hell, I would have hidden in there with him if someone would have taken my son off my hands.
Yes, kids cry and yes, they also get jealous of their siblings. My son keeps trying to poke his sisters eyes out and she has now started biting anything and everything, including The Captains legs (which made me laugh so much the other day, I actually peed on the floor). But, by having a favourite every so often, doesn’t negate how much I love them both, equally. I just have less tolerance for the annoying one from time to time. Yes, I just said that out loud. But, all mothers experience this surely?!?
Please don’t turn up with burning torches outside my apartment until you have experienced Twins screaming, biting and blatantly trying to kill their mother through lack of sleep.
I also know all about the issues that arise when favouritism occurs in a household. Having come from a family where I have (a) Middle child syndrome, (b) Am the only girl, which is a minus in my books and never led to “Little Princess syndrome” – a damn shame as everyone else in the house got bought a car on their 18th birthday, save for me.
In fact, I was sooo NOT the favourite, that my parents took their first photos of me when I was about 6 months old, and even then, they only took TWO photos until I turned ONE. My Mum claims its because I was bald and didn’t look great in photos. I’m like“errr…. I was a BABY?!” She also claims not to have had a camera. What a crap reason is that?! No camera?! I wasn’t born during the 1920’s for fucks sake!! Plus, to add insult to injury, my older brother had hundreds of photos of him from the minute he was born, including video footage actually exiting the womb and hes 5 years older than me. Speaking of which, my not-so-Saintly older brother, who had a whole shrine dedicated to his birth, first hair curl, first tooth, endless photos of him on the potty … bla bla bla, tried to convince me (even to this day) that I was, in fact, adopted. I would believe this ordinarily, considering I am soooo different to my family in almost every way, but I look exactly like both my parents (minus my Dad’s beard). I have to admit, that there were many a moment as I child, when I dreamt (and prayed) for my real parents to show up and whisk me away to their mansion in Miami (where I was the only child, accidentally switched at birth by some gross accident made by the Hospital).
Now…. during arguments with my Mother, never my Father who (a) never had any favourites and (b) resembles a squidgy, kind Teddy bear so you can’t really argue with him in any event, I will throw the whole “You always favoured that ungrateful git (my older brother) over me!!!” Mum would respond, “Dont be stupid…. I hate you all the same” (I’m one of four). Bloody lovely (and clearly mindful of all our feelings). Now my Mum says she doesnt and never did have favourites, but you know what, my brothers have all screwed up soo much lately, my Dad (bless him), keeps banging on about how“great” I am. Its pissing my brothers off soo much and FINALLY, I am the favourite.
It only took moving to another country to make them see that.
So girls, I have a question for you? Or those of you who’ve had IVF treatment or suffered years of infertility treatment, which include dozens of Doctors, in every shape & size, taking a peek inside your vagina (undignified, even if you do arrive stoned and giggling). When you finally fell pregnant, did you then tell people it was “all natural bla bla” (like J. Lo) or do you fess up and be honest (like Julia Roberts with her twins), saying it was because you had fertility treatment?
The reason I ask is that I got told, politely of course, by a family member, not to tell people I had IVF when asked if Twins run in my family (actually, Triplets naturally do). “Why?” I asked innocently. “Because they don’t really need to know, if they don’t know you that well”. Well, I have a couple of issues that caught in my throat over this particular discussion.
I spent nearly TWO years trying everything to fall pregnant. I mean, bloody hell, I saw Princess Diana’s nutritionist on Harley Street as someone said he helped them. If someone told me to sleep with a wooden penis under my pillow as it would pass on good vibes (or is that a vibrator?!), I would have done it to speed the mind-blowing, heart rendering process up. That kind of strain is horrible on any relationship, but when you spend soooo many years trying not to get knocked up, it kinda feels like a cruel bull-shit joke, when you want to, and yet, cant.
Especially when EVERYONE and their dog (ok, it felt like everyone) was falling pregnant around me and those really annoying ones who had JUST got married, well they were pregnant right away (bastards). We had TWO years of different treatments until the Doctors said “its unexplained”.
I’m sorry, but, WHAT THE FUCK DOES “UNEXPLAINED” MEAN???! I need hard-core facts, not “ooh sorry, you fall into that 20% group of people who just don’t know why they can’t fall pregnant”. FUCK OFF!!! You’re a bloody Doctor. You’re really telling me that you can’t get me pregnant any quicker?! Yeh right. It’s all about money. I was told to change my diet, no sugar (no fucking alcohol or drugs, the bastards), try Clomid first, then Metformin, Progesterone (orally or anal…joyous both ways), smiley annoying faces on ovulation sticks, then I got the expensive machine from Boots to make sure it really worked with an extra big smile and temperature valve, then injections to make you ovulate, the test with dye through your tubes to make sure there are no blockages, IUI (absolutely pointless and fucking expensive if you ask me), and then finally when all else failed and screaming at my husband to “pound away as I’m ovulating!!” didn’t work, we did IVF.
Now, I dreaded IVF, but I have to admit, it was fine. I used THE most amazing clinic in London (The London Women’s Clinic on Harley Street) and they were fabulous from the minute I got there. I was pregnant within a month.
WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T I GO THERE AT THE BEGINNING?!?! Ok, so the Captain had to chase me around our house with a needle every night to administer various drugs … and considering he’s terrified of needles ie, before a jab for Hep B he infamously said, “Dr, I have a fobia of needles, can I have a Valium first!?”, I was a little worried. He had to give me 3 injections daily, FOR NINETY MOTHER FUCKING HARDCORE BASTARD DAYS. NINETY DAYS. During the period before this, he was due to go on a boys weekend to Spain and on announcing this, I threw, yes threw, an ashtray at his head (it was when we were still allowed to smoke spliff). Yes, that’s right. I’m a determined gal. I wanted babies and then, boom, allllll those injections (which involved freezing my arse and then warming various body parts to get maximum effect), TWO arrived! What can I say? I’m an overachiever… plus The Captain has a fab sperm count, which massively helps his ego (& his daily attempt to frame his count results).
So, you see, when someone says “Don’t mention IVF”, like its you or your Hubby that’s a failure, I don’t see it that way. I wear it with a badge of honour, as I know how hard that time was, and I also know that we have helped lots of friends who have been, and are, going through the same thing because of it.
Why hide it?! I didn’t have fucking herpes, although at times, we would probably have preferred that so we could treat it! I’m annoyed that anyone tells me “not to mention it“, like that makes me, or The Captain… well, “less perfect”. It’s life!! When you get older, it gets harder to conceive and not just that. Its like I’ve got my own version of war medals for all the shit I went through to get to where I am now…. and I feel proud of myself, every single time I look at my gorgeous, screaming, moaning, laughing, now walking (& teething… WOT?!), Twins. I did ALL of that work, and put my own body through all of that (yes, The Captain was great & wonderful too) because I wanted to love these babies that much.
In my personal opinion, and of course, it’s just mine, the IVF generation need to stand proud, and say it loud!! There is no shame in IVF.
So far, the holiday has gone a little better than expected, (a) Mum-in-law thinks we are actually mum n daughter which makes life loads easier and to be fair… I’m fucking easy peasy to get on with (b) I keep getting Mum-in-law drunk…. something I forgot I kept doing when we were back in London.
It turns out… I’m a friggin genius at turning people into drinkers…. even for the night. I’m like the cheeky female Devil on your shoulder that says “Go on, just one more…bottle!” Works like a Gem every time!
Plus, I hate drinking alone and I LOVE banter with women. We have soo much fun when blokes/men leave us alone to have a giggle. This is a FACT and a reason why, up until I turned 30 yrs old (yes, 30.. a couple or so years ago…), I never had boys, save for my best male friends who are pretty much gay anyway, even if they are in denial and chasing tits ‘n arse everywhere, at any birthdays. I recall one friend of mine saying she never, ever laughs, like she does with the girls.
Its true. My Best friend made me laugh soooo much once. We were 14 years old and had just been to some dingy, feet sticking to the carpet, basement, back street “Disco” in Ealing, South London. We ended up in a random flat (d0nt ask) but she made me laugh sooooooo much, I wet myself. We woke the following morning with my stupidly long socks (they covered my Fk-me-boots) drying on a radiator of some half-way house for ex-convicts (I lie not!!!). This made me laugh again. I was greeted at 6am by a big black guy called “Jim” in the loo, smoking a massive spliff. I was soo unsure whether to run or stop for a chat (he seemed interesting and actually quite funny…. probably trying to decided whethere to kill me or not). I ask her (my best gal that is), even to this day, what the hell were we doing there?!!? She and I have a place, where stories can only be told where the participants are present are the only ones who know what happened. We laugh so much, even now. I love that.
Ok… thats me for now. Will I be this kind of cool/chilled/go out & shag ’em parent? When Itchy (my daughter) comes home from “Space” in Ibiza and says she got so pissed /fuckedshe woke up in a Monastary surrounded by wanking locals who are meditating while smoking giant spliffs full of mind spanking skunk (I love it, sorry but I do) … what do I do?!
I’ll tell you exactly what I would do (aside from confiscate the drugs for my own personal enjoyment… yes, I’m gonna be a kill-joy Mum too. Shoot me but I dont give a shit). Firstly, find this place and secondly, go live there forvever. Thats when The Captain takes over as our staff will have long gone by then (unless I have another 2 which I keep threating at the moment…. I think I’ve got mild amnesia from the 2 epi’s the Dr’s administered when I gave birth!)
Hope you are all well out there girls!
Ladies, ladies, ladies….. now before I sound like a right old, ungrateful, spoilt, ex-pat cow… please listen to the evidence below and then pass your own judgements. I stand by everything I say though.
Am I the ONLY woman in the world who finds it the MOST stressful thing to do, when I have to pack for a long holiday with 15 month old Twins?! I mean, Itchy & Scratchy are STILL not eating solids properly (well…unless you count those Organix Carrot sticks which cover anything/everything in orange. Or those Hard Teething biscuits which have potential for choking). Therefore, what do I have to do EVERY bloody g-d damn holiday?!? I have to go and buy soooo much fucking food/nappies/wipes to last the flight and whole trip. For the record, I usually cook ALL the kids food, ALL OF IT, from scratch. They’ve just got a taste for lamb which I’ll add to the recipe file as it works without all the sugar etc you, apparently, sometimes need to entice the little buggers.
On a separate note, I want to kill myself from the stress of packing/shopping/packing some more and making bloody boring endless lists of shit to make sure I forget nothing. *NB. For those potentially suicidal types, I only mean this in a general sense, so please don’t go doing anything stupid and claim I should be held liable.
Anyhow, the baby food in Hong Kong is NOT cheap…. in fact, it’s a bloody piss take in how much they increase the price of everything. I have to still use my currency converter otherwise, I’d be buying Hipp Organic Milk for £20. Its definitely not like at home, where you pop into Tescos and buy 5 Organix jars of baby food and get 5 free, on special, for like £4.99.
Everything in Hong Kong is expensive and all I spend money on at the moment, is food for the kids (ok… and a lil bitty itty bit of booze for Mamma). Well that and a Helmet for Itchy called a “Thudguard” as she keeps falling face down while walking and scaring the living shit out of me.
FYI, this Thudguard was delivered to me within a day and is the best thing I’ve ever bought my daughter as she is bloody nuts and bangs into everything. Unlike her overly cautious Twin brother who acts about 80 years old and will not let himself get hurt in any way.
Anyhow, I especially HATE shopping in general (unless I’m ordering my clothes online with Asos…. who I love & they deliver to my door without faffing around big stores). Yesterday, I spent over 3 hours (yes, 3 frigin, bloody long, painful hours), wandering around Ap Lei Chau‘s “Bumps to Babes”, buying baby food, swim nappies, Teething granules, Teething gels, mossie cream/bands/patches, new sleeping bags and other crap I suddenly realised the kids needed. I then bought myself some extra strength Panadol, en route home… which I downed with Vodka. Hey, its fine…. the kids weren’t with me in the car, and in my mind, driving off a cliff would have been a bonus yesterday.
The Captain, however, simply CAN NOT get his head around the amount of shit we have to take. He’s like “err…. all my friends go on holiday with their kids and they never have any problems?!? CHILL OUT”. CHILL OUT?! ARE YOU KIDDING, MR, “Domestic Helper please pack my case”?! He is a MAN. They pretend they “understand” and “feel your pain” (“White Men can’t Jump” also has a lot of shit to answer for). I dont care. I work hard every day, just like Captain and he would go FUCKING INSANE doing what I do. E V E R Y D AY. But, we are meant to be, what?! Superhuman women?! I’m tired. I get guiltily bored girls too. I want to be with the kids, but also without. How does this shit work?! I call my Mum and sometimes, shes all 1970’s hard “Get a Grip!” and other times, she tells me “ohh… I was soo upset, I left you with our alcoholic nanny who worked at Dad’s restaurant and went back to Iran for a few months because I was homesick”. Thanks. So, we are never going to get it totally right, BUT, I’ll be damned if our kids turn out like my Husbands family (he thinks they’re perfect in comparison to mine), nor do I ever want my parent’s life on them. Lets pull our shit together. Its called Evolution. We grow over our own parents, because we accumulate knowledge. Its how the world works.
I have 2 problems with this unbelievably ignorant/ungrateful/typical 1950’s Dad, comment. Firstly, none of his mates EVER bought or packed sod all for any of their holidays abroad with their kids, who were all usually a few years apart in age. In fact their wives used to scare the shit out of me (before we had our Twins) saying, “same daily routine, different location, except the Husband demands more sex”.
Secondly, NONE of his lucky mates, have Twins with acute/silent Reflux and our Twins can still puke all over you at any given time. In fact, my daughter recently did a nice big milk puke while we were sat at that über cool Bar on South Beach where everyone is all “Hi, yeh, hi…look at my toned non-baby baring arse, tummy, 20-year-old thighs”… while they play anything from Cafe del Mar, to Dance music.
So, I sat there covered in my daughters puke and while The Captain laughed at me in this super cool/bar/cafe, wearing his annoying fucking Aviators (Top Gun has a lot to answer for, aside from Scientology) …. I pulled off my top and revealed a very skimpy vest top beneath. You gotta be prepared as a Mum of Twins after all …. even if it means layering your clothes to save space in the baby bag.
And you know what girls…. before the twins… I was one hot mutha (and in my mind, I always will be… even if I never was!). I have the confidence to knock any wanker off their feet that tells me I can’t do what I want, when I want or chose. I’m not saying I’m ANYTHING amazing. It’s the attitude of those arrogant bastard men, that I walk around with. I think I’m better!!! Wrong or right, who cares but i will never ever let my girl/boy destroy anyone on this kind of bullshit appearance crap. If you have faith & believe in yourself, let go of any potential “oooh… Im too fat/skinny/ugly/wotever” crap. If you feel great… live it. I do and I’m not an arrogant arse. I’ve just had so many years of fab therapy with someone who told me… “it’s not you, its them” + I’m not talking about Men. I cleaned the floor with any Man who tried to top me. The captain included. I love that. Anyhow, during the puking incident, The Captain laughs, then turns to me and says, “errr… babe… your boobs are very revealing in that top. Cover up?!” I didn’t of course …. his eyes we fixated. I want his eyes… RIGHT ON ME. I’m not putting that top on, even if Jesus suddenly appeared.
Anyhow, all of The Captains comments alone made me want to fucking hit him with Itchy’s new Havaiana flip flops in baby size 19 (yes, I bought my daughter some super cool flip-flops …. along with some sunnies, Baby Banz today).
So now, here’s the question for some of you Mums who want to kill your Partners before you go on holiday with them, and they utter those fucking annoying tomes “CHILL OUT”. Pack lots and lots and lots of Valium, unless you have the balls to smuggle other things in via certain orifices I can’t name for legal reasons. Then, arrive, book into the spa and spank that bastard Credit Card until it hurts him. I’m soo good at NOT doing that, but my word, recently…. It’s the only place that seems to hurt him/any man.
Our new place of destination is, Bali. My new friend/girl crush, Parental Parody, if you are reading this…. any advice/suggestions on how NOT to harm my hubby (or his family…. who I will never match or be above) would be much appreciated and noted.
I’m sure we will all have a swell time together. Me, the Twins, in-laws & extra family joining us. Can’t bloody wait. Joy.
ps. YES IM FUCKING UNGRATEFUL but… I’ve had terrible insomnia again girls and its killing my writing buzz (which is the only thing keeping me sane on this Island, that is Hong Kong). Shame…. I still see myself back in freezing, shitty cold, taxing London. But at least, I was never alone.