There is something so special about time with these two.
At the weekends, when the girls are sleeping, they are mine. Bundled up in the winter, four bright eyes blinking out between layers of jacket and hat, barefoot in the summer because we are always, always in a rush and toddler shoes seem to shrink to two sizes too small only when the bus is due any minute now. We turn, and wave to their mama in the window, and then we are gone.
They chatter almost non-stop. One runs ahead and the other dawdles, inspecting leaves, throwing stones, gazing up at the clouds until he trips and skins his knees and cries. We have few rules: stand at the kerb and wait for mummy, come back when you are called. Laugh a lot. Be kind. Often we find ourselves getting messy – paddling in the ford, splashing through the waves at the seaside. Little hands, faces, the dangling edges of clothes, they all end up in a bit of a state. Kirsty berates me; she finds it strange that I love their clothes so much, and ruin them so quickly.
At the seaside, Balthazar is my daredevil. Lysander, hesitant, toes the waves, screaming as they wash over his feet. He finds stones and hurls them into the water, laughing as they break the surface. Balthazar, waist-deep, has my heart in my mouth as I hold his shoulders, as the waves break about us and I laugh into his damp, salty head. We buy doughnuts, hot and sticky, or chips sharp with vinegar, and share them on our walk. They are quieter now, tired from the day; they ask for ‘cuddles’, they hold my hands. And they feel so utterly, unspeakably mine.
We make it home, damp clothes on shivering frames or off and contained in a dripping bag. We put the kettle on first thing – hot chocolates all round are always in order when we make it back from an adventure. And whilst it comes to a hissing boil, it’s time to deal with our soggy clothes.
Persil Powergems, which has just launched in the UK, claims that ‘this revolutionary new product is proven to clean those stubborn stains family life throws at you through the triple action power which cleans, cares and freshens your clothes in one easy to use product.’ Available in Bio and Non-Bio varieties, Persil Powergems has finally been released after ten years of development, specifically designed to combat the sort of sartorial devastation that only children can wreak. Persil Powergems promises stain removal, care and long lasting freshness in one small concentrated dose, using their patented new ‘gem’-format detergent. Most importantly to us, Persil promises that Powergems will help to retain the colour in clothes – no more faded Scandi in the Meet the Wildes household!
What did the toddlers think? They declared them ‘sweeties’ and demanded a taste – which they were most disappointed not to be granted! One point to Persil Powergems for fragrance and appearance, and the twist and lock closure system means that there is no chance of those boys ever getting into the ‘sweeties’ for real. Our Indikidual playsuits came out of the wash looking good as new and smelling glorious; upon further inspection we couldn’t see any sign that they had spent a day at the seaside at all.
At £11 for thirty washes, Persil Powergems certainly isn’t the most budget-friendly option on the market – but if, like me, you invest in clothes that you expect to last, it’s worth spending a little more on detergent that will take better care of them than you do! It’s been a thumbs-up from us.
Written in collaboration with Persil and Tots100, all opinions my own.