Before I became a parent, before I was even pregnant, I had these ideas of how I would parent. I’m pretty sure we all do. I wasn’t going to bribe my children with food, I wasn’t going to let them stay up past their bedtime, and all their clothes were going to be from Next or M&S.
Consider my above paragraph whilst I tell you about the tampon game.
The beans absolutely love playing with tampons. It’s their happy place. This is how it started: the beans were in the bathroom when I was showering (obvs) and fighting over who was going to sit on the toilet (obvs). To stop them from screaming, I grabbed something off the shelf for them to play with on the floor. I was half tempted to give them the razor blades or nail scissors, but instead I opted for the box of tampons. Instant joy washed over their gorgeous faces.
The following weekend I was in bed with the husband and the beans wanted to be busy (they’re soooo busy) but I wanted to stay in bed. I asked them to get me a surprise from the bathroom – a risky request I know. Anyway, in they came with a tampon in each hand. Practicality skipping with joy. They then continued to bring the whole box in one tampon at a time.
Once the box was empty, they brought in the box and put all the tampons back in it and put it back in the bathroom. Repeat. For half an hour.
A couple of weeks later I was at a picnic park with the beans and my friend. The beans started to play the fuck up. I gave them my handbag to play with so I could enjoy my wine in peace (I already knew that if that didn’t work I would buy them crisps). They promptly found the tampons. This time, they thought it was a fun game to suck them for a few minutes and then swap them with each other.
As is often the case with twins, some old dear came up to us to tell me how adorable they are. At first I could tell she was judging me a little for letting my babies suck on sweets – such a choking hazard – but she almost croaked it when she noticed that they were actually tampons!
Pre-beans I would have told you that I’d go bright red and apologise profusely if ever confronted with this situation. But two years in, I’ve learned to just roll with it.
Tampons make my beans happy. Quavers make my beans happy, and the occasional kit-kat makes my beans happy. So fuck it. Happy beans makes a happy mum, a happy mum means a mum that doesn’t lose her shit and then cry with guilt once they’ve gone to bed.
I try not to judge other parents. We don’t know their situation. That child might be eating chicken nuggets, but for all we know those parents could have tried for six days to feed their child vegetables and now just want to make sure their child actually eats! They might let their child suck on plastic spoons because they can’t afford a fucking Sophie giraffe!
Sometimes I’ll let the beans stay up an hour after their bedtime because I’m enjoying the cuddles I’m getting whilst we watch Frozen for the tenth time – plus it means I’m likely to get a little lay-in the following day. Sometimes I ignore the fact that they haven’t touched their vegetables but smashed all of the homemade fatty chips and grated cheese, and sometimes I let them play with tampons.
Is this going to fuck them up? I doubt it. It is however, going to embarrass them when they’re teenagers. What I get from this is that I can drink my wine in peace, get the odd lay-in and then embarrass my teenage daughters. Win fucking win.