This is the greatest piece of twin advice I’ve been given to date. It was passed on to me, rather like a baton of salvation, by a lady of about my mother’s age in the 3rd Floor Brasserie at John Lewis on London’s Oxford Street.
The babies were about 3 months old I think. Although I’d wisely delivered them in the North (more on that another time), we were back in the Big Smoke, fending for ourselves and as I refuse to accept that twins should limit our horizons we were braving a trip Up West.
- Getting myself and two 3-month old babies up, washed, fed and dressed, a 2-3 hour job
- Preparing 4 bottles of formula (2 essential, 2 emergency)
- Packing a large bag with 8 nappies, wipes, said bottles, 2 x changes of clothes, muslins blah, blah, blah
- Ensuring all of the above happened by 11am so that we can be in town for the Midday feed
- Carrying two 5-month old babies down 5 flights of stairs to our Hummer of a pram which sits in everyone’s way in the communal hallway
- Waiting for a 55 bus to Oxford Circus that didn’t already have a buggy on board. The double buggy means you’ve half of much chance of actually being able to travel.
- Having to mouth apologies at (and accept death-stares from) every other new Mum attempting to board between Hackney Town Hall and Oxford Circus, who now have to wait for the next bus because of our double buggy. Mortifying.
- Braving the crowds and heading directly to John Lewis, our retail Saviour.
Once there, we hoofed up t0 the biggest eating area, the new (then) Brasserie on the 3rd Floor. (The kindly staff would always try and head me off at the pass and send me up to the more child-friendly cafe on 5, but there’s not enough manouvre room up there for the Humvee – so we’d brave it with the business lunches!)
Literally, as soon we arrived both babies needed feeding. Luckily, by this point, both were being mix-fed with breast and formula, so I didn’t have to make like a Reader’s Wife on the 3rd Floor of John Lewis. (More on the ‘Rugby-ball hold’ another time).
It was as I was perched on the edge of a chair, with both babies clutched on my lap, and two bottles firmly pressed to lip, that the lovely lady with no-name approached us. Let me just say this, we are approached A LOT. We talk to A LOT of people we don’t know ALL THE TIME. This took some getting used to. I just assumed this lady liked the look of my Smalls and was coming over to tell me so. Little did I know the power of the words she was about to utter…
“One big bowl, one spoon”.
It turned out this lady had also had twins 35 years previously, and this was her TOP TIP. Literally the thing she found most useful out of everything she’d learned and been told. And she was right. You don’t need two bowls and two spoons for twins, you just need one big bowl and one spoon. A few months later we started weaning with her words ringing in my ears.
This is my chance to pass it on…