Twins: time apart

This weekend marked the first planned night apart for the twins, aged 3.5 years. The only other night they’ve not been together was when Fonz spent a night in hospital and then they were only separated for about 12 hours, most of which Ez was asleep. At the end of our stay up north at Center Parcs, I grabbed the opportunity to visit a really great friend for the night and I decided to take Ez with me. She’s been obsessed with girls’ trips for months, and so when I can we go out for a coffee or to the garden centre just the two of us. Taking her with me to stay away overnight would be a treat for her, and spending time with just one child would be a treat for me, too.

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She’s sitting in her car seat in the front passenger seat with a huge smile plastered across her face. Mimi her monkey is nestled in next to her and she’s chattering ten to the dozen about random things. Where we’re going. Who we’re seeing. My friend we are visiting lives alone and she can’t get her head around someone living on their own. “I think she wakes up in the night and cries because she’s sad on her own, mummy?”

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She’s shy when we first arrive. My friend asks her questions, I repeat the questions but she remains silent, although she smiles. A present breaks the ice – she immediately wonders which one her brother would like before she thinks about which she wants herself.

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On a little outing to a local Buddhist temple she doesn’t raise her voice above a whisper once, gazing open-mouthed at all the gold statues and bright colours. We’re the only visitors and after asking what the prayer cushions are for she makes herself comfy and immerses herself in a little world of make believe.

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She’s caught up in the excitement of getting ready to go out with my friend and I for dinner. She’s changed her outfit and joins in the girly chat – grabbing my blusher for a go herself and insisting on borrowing a necklace and bracelet to match her clothes. She’s so caught up in the moment that she uses my name when she wants something, although she quickly corrects herself and calls me mummy again.

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As we arrive at the Italian restaurant she eyes a high chair at our table with suspicion. I ask them to swap it for a normal chair and the smile returns to her face. She clambers up and scans the menu, deciding on pizza (with extra ham) followed by ice cream.

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It’s way past her bedtime when we get home but she’s still in good spirits, even though she says she’s tired. She’s excited to be sleeping in mummy’s bed and saves me a spot next to her when she lies down to go to sleep. “I love girls’ trips” she tells me for the umpteenth time that day.

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We cuddle up in bed together and when she wakes in the night and panics because it’s dark and she can’t see, I reassure her and she holds my hand until she drifts off again.

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In the morning (too early) she turns over in bed and beams at me, wishing me a good morning. We chat about what we did yesterday and what we’re going to do today. She says she’s excited.

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Later in the morning, after a FaceTime call with daddy and her brother, her eyes fill with tears and she tells me how much she’s missing them. This happens a few more times and she snuggles up to me at the cafe we go to at lunchtime, still teary until her food arrives and she perks up.

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We’re sat in the car getting ready to drive back to her grandparents’ house where her daddy and brother are staying. In her hands she is clutching two chocolate lollies – an Easter gift from my friend – so she can give one to Fonz as soon as she sees him. She falls asleep as I drive, but keeps the lollies tightly clutched.

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I pull up at the house and gently wake her, worried she will be grumpy. A wail begins until I remind her that we’re about to see daddy and Fonz. Then she’s bouncing with excitement. She runs to find them, but seems shy when she says hello. She gives her brother a big hug and tells him that she’s really missed him. He shows her the marble run he’s built with daddy and Poppa, and they play together again.

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1 comment to Twins: time apart

  • Really interesting – my two are in separate classes at nursery so have 2 1/2 hours apart every day, but they’ve never spent a night apart, and they’re always very pleased to see each other when they get back together at lunchtime. I wonder how they’d cope if it were longer?

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