On our way to a hospital appointment, ‘caballero’ the van drivers called out to my boy, a gentleman they considered him as he humbly struggled to peddle me around while I sat, fat and blooming, perched on the back.
At that five month scan, our first – eventually we had managed to decipher the bureaucratic Spanish system, the obstetrician asked whether we had planned our pregnancy. ‘Errrr, no Señor’ we sheepishly admitted. He then proceed to interpret the scan imagery. ‘Your first child is here, I looked across at my new love – he wobbled and fell back against the wall, desperatly looking for somewhere to fall…’there is the spine, head and the vagina. The second baby, here, see the head, the spine here and the penis…Did you know you had twins?’
Shock, fear, joy and sheer disbelief flooded through me, fortunately I was lying down, unlike Toots, who was clinging onto the cardboard walls. ‘You are very lucky’, the obstetrician told us as he left us in our newfound chaos.
We stumbled out of the hospital and gazed across at the calm, azure, sparkling Mediterranean sea.
We clung to each other in wondrous amazement. We were indeed blessed – we were magical. We could not believe this thing we suddenly held between us. Just an hour ago we had one baby and now, incredibly, we had two – we were suddenly a family of four. It was utterly mind-blowing. More so for us, as we had only met eight months previously and had nothing between us except for a couple of rucksacks, a laptop, some books, our passports and a great and beautiful love for each other.
Nothing so far in our relationship had been conventional and now fate had dealt us another unexpected card. We truly believed our love was so magical that we had created boy/girl twins from it. Little did we know at that time how common multiples are becoming as our generation parent much older and as IVF becomes more prevalent.
Almost five and a half years from that precious moment Fealte & Rosebud have played a starring role in our lives. And from those humble bycling beginnings we have continued on our quest for simplicity, knowing that the single most important thing we can ever give to them is our love.
No need is there of great mounds of ugly plastic destroying our peaceful home. No need is there of television or high-tech pushchairs, great monstrous high-chairs, massage classes or adidas trainers. Pencils, paper, lego, books and latterly bikes are the most important tools in their lives. Barefoot we plant seeds, water vegetables and make-up songs.
Recent research from TAMBA (The Twin and Multiple Birth Association) suggests that parents of multiples are more likely to separate – citing financial pressure as the main culprit. But surely twins, or singletons, or three or four children need as little or as much as you care to give them. Granted the costs of two high-chairs, two cots and two pairs of shoes at once may be great, but that is, surely, what IKEA was invented for.
No parent needs to lavish its offspring with the amount of material junk they do these days. No child can wear more than one pair of shoes at once. No child needs a mountain of DVD’s or plastic gadgets. No child needs to be taken to hand-signing or baby-yoga classes in a giant 4×4. The amount of debt and expense taken on for the sake of an innocent child is incredible and cannot fail to rock the foundations of its parents as they struggle to keep on top of this mega debt. And all for the sake of whose happiness?