It is 1st December, we are hurtling towards Christmas - so guess what I bought for Mr B as today's little surprise. Hot cross buns, what else!?
It's Forward Planning at
its most, well, forward, don't you think? It would be good if my preparations for the festive season were even half as advanced. My excuse, should I need one, is The Twinkles' first birthday. Can you believe it? One year old already - where did the time go?
The thing about twins, of course, is that there are two of them. I realise that this should not come as a surprise, that it is a feature of Twindom - but it's not until the arrival of the first birthday that the implications
become crystal clear. Tala and Lilia may be The Twinkles but they are also two very individual little lasses. I call them Little Miss Blue Eyes and Our Brown-eyed Girl. Their mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, who knows them better than anybody else,
calls them her Sweet Girl and the Little Diva. I will allow you to guess who's who.
Young Faris, big brother to The Twinkles, really, really wants to be a twin. He brings me pink hair bands imploring me to
draw his tight, curly locks into bunches so that he can look like his sisters. I understand just how he feels because, as I was telling my Little Sister only yesterday, I so wanted to be her twin, rather than her older sister.
I still remember, as clearly as if it were yesterday, a frosty winter morning when my Mum tucked me, three years old as I was, into the pram alongside my baby sister to keep me warm. I pulled the blankets up under my chin and lay there,
in the warm cosy-ness, waiting expectantly for passers-by to gaze in at us and exclaim how lovely to see such beautiful twins. Memory is selective, I find, so I can't recall what happened next and whether anyone was actually fooled into thinking we were Twinkles
of an Earlier Age.
There are still four days to go until the Big Day. I have two birthday banners to make, several presents to wrap, two cards to write. Yes, indeed, it would never do to have one banner or
one birthday card between the two of them. Traipsing round the shops in search of cards for a grand-daughter's first birthday, I found just two which fitted the bill and bought both of them immediately, thanking my lucky stars that the Twinkles weren't Triplinkles.
It wasn't until I was waiting at the bus stop for my bus home that I reflected on the fact that I had paid out rather a lot for just two cards. One, it turned out, was considerably more expensive
than the other. What to do? I asked the woman perched next to me on the seat in the bus shelter (why are seats in bus shelters always on the slant?) She said, quite reasonably, that she doubted either Twinkle would notice, it being unlikely in the extreme
that they would be comparing notes.
I conceded that there was much truth in this except that first birthday cards tend to be kept for sentimental reasons - so one day, many years hence, my card selection might
come under Twinkly Scrutiny. Some time ago, exploring the contents of boxes in our loft, I came across the first birthday card we gave our First-Born, the Eldest of the Darling Daughters. Whatever possessed me to purchase such a boring card I simply couldn't
imagine; all I could think of was that the picture of a gormless teddy bear featured on the front of the card must have held some kind of meaning, now lost in the mists of time, for my small daughter. I was going to explain this to my bus shelter companion
but she appeared to have given me up as a Bad Case and was discussing road works with the gent sitting on the other side of her.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters tells me that there will be several sets
of twins at Saturday's birthday party, all members of the local Twins Club which has helped her through many a challenging time over the last year. Wherever I look, I will see double. Even without the effects of a celebratory glass of wine. Or, fittingly,
two. It's going to be quite some party.