Tuesday, 22 February 2011

22. Terror Training School (Terrible Twos, anyone?)

Following on from an earlier post 'Turks don't wear Pink,' My daughters are in training for the joy that will be Terrible Twos.  Presumably they escape their cots at night and sneak off with a torch to some drafty town hall populated by a lot of 18 mth - 2 year olds (run by 3 year olds who should know better?)  It started earlier this week when I was in the shower.  I heard The Tank making a distress call from her cot.  Not an 'I'm in pain' distress call, but just a sound that meant something was up and I needed to come and check it out.

Grabbing a towel and flying into the nursery, I saw what the fuss was about.  Dear little Magpie had used the chest of drawers/changing table for purchase and had climbed out of her cot, but her bum was still on the side.  She hadn't yet made the leap which would have probably meant her getting stuck between the cot and chest.  So far, not so terrible, just a sign of things to come (NO MORE COT SIDES.  I live in fear of toddlers no longer incarcerated, meaning  I can no longer have a shower / bit of peace / phone conversation etc etc).

Children, and particularly twins, are put on this earth to surprise us.  Just when we think we've 'got their number' and know who they are and how they behave, they do something out of character.  The Tank is the climber, not Magpie.  Magpie doesn't push a new boundary first, her sister does.  So the Tank had not only not climbed out of her cot, but her distress call meant 'come look at my sister the surprise stunt girl!'

Earlier in the week I took the girls (like a crazy person) to a cold, windy and deserted playground.  Only mothers with dogs and a sick man at home would go on such an expedition (I tied Purdey to the playground railings after giving him a walk in the adjacent park).  Whilst I watched The Tank as she dived head first down a slide, I turned around to see a frighteningly deserted playground: no Magpie.  Just empty climbing frames and swings creeking in the wind.  As the playground was like an upside-down L, I noticed there was another, unknown entrance at the far right-hand side.  The gate was closed.  No sounds, nothing.  My stomach lept and lurched.  Had Magpie been abducted?  Just as the searing pain of panic set in, she appeared from behind a piece of blue appartatus, grinning impishly, with no knowledge that she had just been responsible for the most petrifying moment of my life.  Magpie didn't mean to be terrible.  She was just having a bit of fun.

Magpie hiding behind something I can thankfully see through (the solid thing she hid behind and gave me a heart attack in the process is barely visible in the background, but I didn't take a picture whilst I was having a heart attack.  Funny, that.)
Magpie redeems her hiding self by doing a quick check on Purdey tied to the playground railings.
I've saved the true terror for last.  Ok don't get too excited.  It's nothing out of the ordinary (unless you are me and have just seen one of two toddlers become Possessed by a Spirit that isn't Particularly Benign).

If The Tank didn't try to climb out of her cot this week, she did test me by refusing to get dressed.  Not just a gentle shake of the head or verbal 'no' but a fully-fledged spiral-twist manoevre, complete with floppy legs and a stunt dive onto the floor.  This ruse must be familiar to all parents of two-year olds.  We are definitely entering a new chapter where my children want to escape, hide and run away from either me or their cardigans (or both).

 Advice welcome.....


  1. I got a horrible sinking feeling in my gut just reading about how you lost sight of Magpie momentarily in the playground; can only imagine how terrifying it was for you. I take my hat off to mothers (or any primary caregiver) of twins as I feel that I have my hands full and I only have a single baby and no pets! Lovely pics by the way! x

  2. I know it was awful and today Magpie slipped out of a pew in Church and out of the doors! What's with the PC 'primary caregiver' phrase? Only a Mummy doing any ff-ing primary caregiving in this household! (Except on Saturdays of course when it's Daddy's job!)