As I sit here writing this post, the twins are in their playpen, hanging onto the bars, looking out of the window. Harry is standing and Archie is halfway there. If you’d told me a year ago that’s where they’d be, I’d have smiled and secretly thought, I really do hope so.
The boys celebrated their first birthday on the 5th of September. I made fairy cakes and they played with the wrapping paper and boxes that their presents came in. That weekend we had a party and were overwhelmed at how many family and friends came to join in the fun. Harry and Archie had a great time! They were little social butterflies, getting cuddles and kisses from everyone. There were two cakes, everyone sang happy birthday and I cried, even though I’d promised myself I wouldn’t. I really couldn’t help it. Partly because I cry at everything these days, but mostly because every day I’m still surprised at how far they’ve come. You’d never know to look at them that they were born far too soon, with all the possible complications that can bring.
One minute they drive me nuts, the next they make me laugh so much. Although genetically identical they really do have such different personalities. Harry is full on boisterous, pushing his brother around and grabbing everything within his reach. Archie likes to take it all in first, let his brother push him around, and is definitely the chatterbox of the two. They do have one thing in common, and that is the ability to laugh at the silliest things, and it’s just wonderful. This week, it’s hiccups.
I’m now back at work and every shift so far, people have asked me if I miss my babies. The truth is, I don’t. I’ve spent every day of the past year with them (except for 24 hours of bliss at Stobo Castle). I know that they are safe at home, having a great time with their dad. Within half an hour of my leaving for my first shift, Harry stood for the first time. When I got home in the morning, I was greeted by two smiling faces shouting, ‘dada’! Hhhmmm, wonder how long it took to teach them that Mr Finlay!!
Work is part of my ‘me’ time. I never thought I’d ever think that!!!! I spend 45 minutes each way in the car, drinking hot coffee listening to the radio. I then spend 12.5 hours with adults, using skills and knowledge I’d forgotten I’d had. I get 40 minutes to eat my lunch in peace. I’m still knackered at the end of the day so nothing new there, but it’s nice to be back. Of course it helps that I’m now part time so if I have a rough day, I know I don’t have three more to get through!! My husband and I are working opposite shifts so it’s a bit tough on us at times however it’s only until they start school!!!
There has been a new development to our daily routine which has been most welcome indeed. A couple of weeks ago, it was 6pm, and I was informed by my husband that it was ‘daddy hour’. The twins dutifully followed him into the den, where I was told that I would not be required and the door was closed. I had an hour. To myself. What to do?!?!?!? Unsure, I promptly poured a (large) glass of wine and deliberated on what I wanted to do first. I decided on a bubble bath. It was heaven. Then at 7pm, the babies had their bed time milk and were duly punted off to bed. We then had actual time to ourselves. So, obviously, we were both asleep in front of the tv by 9pm.
The boys turning one has made me take a look back at the past 365 days. People often say the first three months must have been hard for us with the babies in hospital, but I tend to think it was the first three months of them being home that was harder. Lack of sleep, not knowing what you were doing, arguing over the stupidest things, mood swings, lack of sleep (it needs a double mention!!). The truth is, their time in hospital is very surreal to us. We couldn’t allow ourselves to think of anything except the day we would be bringing them home. Both of them. Together. There were a few dark days where that dream seemed impossible, but we pulled ourselves together, for the sake of the babies, our family and friends, and said that everything would be okay. And it was.
So on that note, I would like to wish Harry and Archie a very happy first birthday. And goodness knows what the next 365 days will bring!!! Walking….talking….tantrums….more teeth….mischief and mayhem!! I cannot wait.