Monday is Twins Club day. Now nobody panic I don’t rock up in a pair of white speedos with a Pina Colada in my hand. I just thought it was a much more cheerful title for a chilly January morning than ‘Blue Monday’.
Having a day at home yesterday has enabled me to nudge ahead on a couple of Monday morning chores – Kitchen White Board is written up for the week and washing is fairly up to date.Breakfast has been unusually mess free – Alexandra must have been hungry as she has managed to feed herself rather than sitting back and expecting to be spoon fed as is normally her way. Daddy Simon has a later than usual start so he takes care of the kiddies’ morning ablutions and gets them dressed allowing me to get myself showered and dressed. A quick hop on the scales is not good news. Christmas Cake and New Year shortbread have joined forces with holiday beer and are weighing heavily on my waistline. Time for action. I’ve plenty of time today so I decide to walk up to Twins Club. It’s two and a half miles and I can usually do it in about forty five minutes. I rejoin the family downstairs and let Daddy Simon get himself ready for his day ahead. Whilst Alexandra and Calder are fully occupied banging the shortbread biscuit tin with a fish slice and a soup ladle I take the opportunity to do the toy-box and book rotation – “Bye Bye Fluffy Bear’s Magic Handbag – see you in 3 weeks!” Kiddiewinks decide to do a full on, everything out on the floor, audit of this week’s toys and books. I recite the thrilling tale of ‘Tom the Tractor’ from memory as I reclaim the household fish slice and soup ladle and pack up the nappy bag with an assortment of ‘just in case’ items for the day ahead.
Now the fifteen minute buffer that I had five minutes ago seems to have become an ‘I’m running ten minutes late’. I up the pace a bit – I delegate the task of catching and securing our little cherubs into the buggy and as they scream their indignation I have one of my ‘ can’t find my keys/phone /wallet’ dances at the front door.Daddy Simon smugly enquires as to whether every trip to Twins Club starts like this and I have no pithy retort – invariably it does. I shoot him a filthy look and mutter something about taking care not to get run over by a bus or anything and power on off up the hill.I consider reneging on the idea of walking and just jumping on a bus – I could always walk back –
TINKY WINKY!!! I should have said he looks like a big purple Teletubby in that jumper! I’ve not got time to go back and shout it through the letterbox so I’ll just have to store it in the insult bank for later.
The bus stop is very busy. there are already a couple of parents with buggies jockeying to get on first and the last bloke in the queue looks like he got up and dressed sometime in 1973 and hasn’t seen a razor,a barber or a bar of soap since. I’ll just walk fast – it’ll burn more calories and I’m sure we’re not that late.
There are a number of routes we can take – I take the most direct with least distractions. Calder gets plenty of opportunity to practice his observation skills and vocabulary and he points out many,many ‘cars’ and ‘hats’
The Twins Club itself is held in a church hall in the more affluent area of Blackheath.As we make our way along past the shops – the nail bars and fried chicken establishments become fewer and Beauty Salons, restaurants and shops with expensive,gorgeous things start to pop up. It’s at this point that the reasons that we can’t have expensive,gorgeous things start to bellow for their mid-morning milk.
They finish off just before we arrive.This gives me time to clean them up a bit and pop a couple of paracetamol myself in an attempt to prevent the inevitable headache thar comes as part of the Twins Club deal.
We’ve been coming here since early September last year. It is a great idea as the kiddies get a good sized area to run about in and a great selection of toys to amuse themselves with. It’s very well organised and the two hours is simply structured with a free play and snack time, singalong and movement segment and a craft corner. There is a wide cross section of Mums,Dads,Grandparents and Childminders in attendance with their charges who range in age from birth up to school age. It’s never hugely busy so everyone gets a fair chance at all the toys and although were all still responsible for the supervision of those that we bring along, there is still plenty of opportunity to trade tips and share woes.
One of my main worries is always that some poor kid will fall victim to the thuggish behaviour Alexandra and Calder indulge in at home, but so far so good. They’ll still knock the living daylights out of one another while we’re there but Alexandra seems to keep all others at bay with ‘that’ look she has and most of the time Calder is off in his own wee world of mystery and imagination.We’ve not been for a few weeks so Alexandra takes up residence in a seat by the door as if she’s not decided whether she’s staying or not and glowers. Calder makes a beeline for an empty Cozy Coupe and takes if off for a spin – backwards – but he’s going backwards under his own steam. I’ll just pay our dues (A bargain at £3) and grab myself a coffee. Obviously everyone else at Twins Club is weight watching too as there doesn’t seem to be any of the grown up biscuits that were in plentiful supply before Christmas. So I just snaffle one of the Rich Tea’s meant for the children and hide behind the play kitchen until I’m finished. I try to coax Alexandra away from the door a bit – she’s looking like a bouncer sat there. I take her hand and lead her over to the slide – she seems to lighten up a bit and climbs to the top by herself sits down and glowers at everyone from a loftier position.Calder has just reversed through the middle of a Sylvanian Family picnic on his way to the snack table. So I hurry Alexandra along on the slide, ( OK then- I pushed her.) and retrieve ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’ from the table that he’s got himself jammed under.
Now at home – neither will remain seated at their own miniature table and chairs for a snack but at Twins Club both sit patiently while I get them a selection of bite sized fruit, mini crackers and another Rich Tea biscuit for me and will quietly graze for the five minutes or so that it takes to empty their plates. There are no attempts to pilfer from their neighbour’s plate despite it looking a bit more appealing – I didn’t see any orange slices up there – and both will happily return to imaginative play until sing-along time.
All gather round in a circle and Super Sue the Supervisor will lead us all in song. Action songs usually have to be sung twice so that each sibling gets a fair crack at the top of the hill and on the rocket to the moon.
There’s about another half hour left – our two are still a bit young to be anything other than messy at the craft table and the Cozy Coupes have all been spoken for so Alexandra heads off to get a book and Calder to climb up the slide the wrong way. It suddenly all becomes like being back at home as I bellow “CALDER! GET DOWN!’ and Alexandra presses a very well worn copy of “Fluffy Bear’s Magic Sodding Handbag” into my thigh.
It’s still a lovely,dry,crisp day as we set off for home.The low,hazy sun encourages them to close their eyes and it’s not long before they’ve drifted off to Dreamland. We head off down a residential road which leads me to a Dreamland of my own – spending the £7.3 million that we didn’t win on Saturday’s Lotto on one of the bespoke,sprawling properties that we pass and a couple of his and his matching Porsches.
APOLOGIES FROM THE TECH DEPT.
The author is a bit of a twit. He only half proof reads his work, excitedly presses ‘publish now’ and then goes back to check whatever it is that he’s rambled on about. This is why those of you that have been kind enough to follow this blog get an early morning e-mail full of errors. He also thought that you only got a notification advising that there was more of his drivel available for your perusal and not the full blooming script. Thank goodness he has a more tech savvy husband. As I said – he’s a twit.
“I LOVE the see-saw!”
” Get her to sing ‘Club Tropicana’ Daddy!”