Why, you may ask, do we want to sell our twins after only ten short weeks?
For one thing sleep deprivation has finally taken its toll. Varinder and I, on a good night, will enjoy around 3 hours of sleep. The rest of the time is a blur of feeding, nappy changes and huge amounts of my slobbery kisses on the crowns of their heads at every opportunity.
Being non-identical twins, our boys have totally different and distinctive personalities despite being so tiny. We call Kourosh, “Mr Grizzly” while Siavash is our, “Little Prince”. Feeding Kourosh can be extremely traumatic. He chokes, wheezes, screams, swings his tiny fists around and this is before his bottle even reaches his month. Once the teat is in we hear a heavy high speed sucking sound — not unlike a small two stroke engine – while milk streams down his face onto his bib.
Every 20 seconds or so Kourosh pulls his face away to scream some more as I frantically struggle to push the teat back into his wide open mouth. After what seems an eternity he begins his high speed suck again until the next scream. And this continues until he has finished most of his bottle. The remainder is a mass of bubbles from the occasional blowing rather than sucking at the teat. Goodness knows why… A typical feed can last 50 minutes.
Some parents among you may think he has colic but Kourosh is a healthy burper. In fact on more than one occasion whilst smiling at us he has brought up half of his 200ml bottle right onto my neck.
Siavash, our prince, is altogether more regal. I am sure I have seen him rolling his eyes and shaking his head at his hysterical brother. He will feed uncomplainingly in around 20 minutes before starting a conversation in a language which closely resembles a hyperactive squeaky bathroom duck. Every now and again I kiss his big cheeks, porky little legs and, best of all, the soles of his chubby feet. He kicks, swings his head from side to side as the teat approaches his wide open mouth before eventually catching it and latching on like a limpet.
A few weeks ago Varinder decided we need a nanny. We have now employed a much sought after nanny who the boys adore. She is a gorgeous redhead of Irish decent who is a complete natural around our boys. They respond by giving her broad smiles reserved only for her. Smiles which betray a coyness which I interpret as the very first sign of finding the opposite sex attractive. She will hold them in turn and, using her index finger, make circular movements on their backs while saying, “Are you my little man?” I get goose pimples simply watching her.
The most beautiful sight of all is seeing the boys with Varinder. Varinder is a natural, instinctive mother who can even stop Kourosh from screaming with a few gentle, soothing words. She'll kiss them, speak to them like adults and handle them in a way which won't wake them up from a light sleep. I, on the other hand, can startle them out of their slumber by merely walking into the house.
Below is a summarized list of other happenings from a couple of weeks ago:
1) We promised ourselves we would never succumb to soothers. We now have a huge number lying all over the place within arms reach in case one of the boys bawls his head off for no reason. Soothers are a life a saver but our health visitor has suggested we wean them off in a few weeks time. We shall see.
2) Nappy changes are traumatic at best. Kourosh in particular can make our windows rattle with his screams every time I remove his nappy. The attached picture sums up how he feels towards his dad after a typical nappy change.
3) We promised ourselves that we never let them sleep in our bed. They have both taken over our beds with V and I pushed to the very edges. This is the only way we can get them to sleep for 3-4 and sometimes 5 hours without being woken up.
4) At 8 weeks their arms and legs are porking up so I can grab morsels flesh and kiss them hard — maach, mooch, maach…
5) Their 8 week inoculations were a two person job when visiting the surgery. I sat patiently with V and a bunch of other mums with their own 8 week old babies. After a while I turned to the nearest mum behind me and began to make conversation. She seemed very uncomfortable especially when I kept straining to take a look at her baby's face. It took me a few minutes to realize that the poor lady was breast feeding and that to those who didn't know it looked like I was trying to get a look at her breasts. I had what I call a mega-cringe, picked up Siavash and decided to throw him over my shoulder and walk him around the large waiting room. Only then did I realize that most of the mums were breast feeding and looking away from me thinking that I was trying to spy on their breasts. V ushered me back to my seat where I tried to make myself as small as possible.
6) Every Thursday, V and our nanny take the boys to — wait for it — baby massage classes. Babies, we have been advised, cannot be massaged if they are crying or sleeping. Unfortunately on each visit so far my boys have either grizzled or slept soundly. The solution has come in the form of a baby sized doll (politically correct black in colour) for V to practice on while all the other mums practice on their real babies. My sister has suggested leaving the boys at home and just taking the doll… increasingly tempting. I keep suggesting leaving the boys and the doll behind and taking me! I really could do with a massage and would be an excellent scaled up model to demonstrate more difficult techniques with.
7) V is seriously considering joining baby yoga classes in a few weeks. This is not a joke. I have tried to explain to her that it is not the boys who need relaxation therapy but me. The stressed and worn out father who does most of the feeds throughout the night.
When my sister and I were small (around five years old) and being naughty our mum would make an incomprehensible threat to us. She would threaten to put us back where we came from or, “meekonametoon to khikkam!” (I'll put you back in my fat tummy)
This morning at 5am as I sat downstairs trying to rock to sleep a recently fed and nappy changed Siavash – he simply wouldn't close his big, long eye lashed eyes – I too wanted to put him back into his mother's “khik”. But these feeling are fleeting moments. Never in a million years did I ever believe that two tiny men could dominate so much of my time, love, kisses and sheer happiness to be alive so that I could simply hold them.
So, you may ask, how much do I want for our boys? Thinking about it, I don't really need to sell them. We could make far more money by simply hiring them out to people who love kids but can't cope with the full time responsibilities. I'll have a word with Varinder and get back to you.