As I write this post, I am tucked up on my sofa with approximately one half of a set of twins asleep in my lap, the other half of the set of twins grinning at me from her mummy’s lap, and a full set of twins playing with their ‘choo-choo cherayins’ right by our feet. The sleeping baby has become a little table of sorts for my mulled wine, which after over a year of not-drinking has hit me like a sack of potatoes despite being the smallest glass you can imagine, possibly hence my balancing it on a sleeping child above a pale-coloured carpet in the first place.
My to-do list is growing arms and legs and if I don’t tackle it soon it will probably need a name and to be enrolled at school, but my home is warm and cosy and my family – god, my family are adorable. It’s not just the mulled wine talking. We are so lucky.
I have been trying to drink them in, to fill myself up like a camel in the knowledge that the hard months are coming. I won’t lie, the adjustment to having four under two was a tough one, but certain things made it easier: ‘good’ babies, sleep-through-the-night toddlers, the mild weather. Gradually the babies have become less sleepy and more in need of our attention, the boys have hit the ‘terrible twos’, the trees have turned to shades of russet and gold and that welcomed, pleasant breeze is becoming cruel. We rely on getting out and about so very much to keep our sanity and even if we didn’t, the little dog needs her walks. Winter is going to be hard on us this year.
We have been trying to make the most of the local parks, the woodlands, of being able to step outside with relative ease even if it does require shoes and an extra layer or two. This time of year is so beautiful; I want to submerge myself in it like I would a hot bath, to throw leaves and to stomp through leaves and to take beautiful red and orange and yellow photographs of leaves, to catch them in photographs before they dull and fade. I want to chase my toddlers, to run with the dog, to laugh and play. I want to dress the girls up in every silly-outfit-with-ears that my credit card can cope with, to indulge in ridiculous hats, to kiss little cold noses warm again.
Last month we were sent a Cosatto To and Fro Duo to play with, and it’s been our go-to method of transport ever since. One of the things that we like best about it is that it is suitable from birth, so we don’t have to plan which two of the four will ride in the pram for the whole journey – we can switch it up when we’re out according to their needs at the time. The pram is reversible so that we can keep a watchful eye on the little girls, but our bigger boys can face outward to watch the world as we pass by. No journey is complete without their exclaiming over buses and trucks, lorries and bicycles, cats in doorways and dogs out and about with their people, and other babies – some of whom are usually bigger than they are! With that said, our boys seem to fall asleep within twenty minutes of being out in the pram so we appreciate the one-handed recline that makes it so easy to help them to get comfortable.
I’m not one to appreciate the logistics – you’d have to ask Kirsty for that – but she tells me in addition to being super cute it’s also easy to wipe clean of the inevitable baby sick and toddler spills. She loves the deep hoods that block out all of the light and facilitates peaceful baby sleep and the adjustable handles that make it comfortable for a shorty like me and for somebody of average height (her) as well.
The freestanding mechanism makes it a little tricky to navigate steps but being able to stand the pushchair up in a corner more than makes up for any inconvenience there, particularly in a tiny house like ours where to be honest, there aren’t that many corners in which to prop a pram. Kirsty tells me that she finds the straps a little tricky to adjust but I haven’t noticed us being held up by a need to fiddle with straps, and as I’m easily the most impatient member of this family, believe me, if they were really inconvenient I’d know all about it.
In the space of a month the Cosatto To and Fro Duo has become a valuable tool in our parenting arsenal and we can’t quite imagine being without it. Ours is the Pitter Patter pattern, featuring multicoloured raindrops on a blue or green background. The bright, cheerful colours are perfect for our family but if they don’t strike your fancy, you might prefer the red and blue Hotchpotch version with flowers and stars or the muted grey Fjord with its pattern of trees, both available to pre-order now. The Pitter Patter retails for £500 and the newer patterns for £539.95, neither of which is especially unreasonable for a twin pram, particularly not one that can grow with your children like the To and Fro Duo.
It’s going to add a lovely pop of colour to what I suspect might turn out to be a rather cold and bleak winter, and colour always makes everything a bit more cheery, doesn’t it?