Twins, Tomatoes and Turmoil

We all have bad days… sometimes we have bad weeks, even months.  I guess what I am about to describe to you falls into the ‘bad week’ category.  And when I say bad, I don’t mean earth shattering, life changing bad; just ‘exhausting bad’… 

It all began with my twins escaping out the front door, apparently to visit their friend for her birthday, while I was upstairs putting away the washing.  Turns out three-year old’s can put keys in locked doors and turn them the correct way.  This resulted in them being escorted back home by the local kindergarten teacher who spotted them as she was leaving the preschool centre. After frantically searching the house, I ran out the front door only to see the kinder teacher walking up my driveway with two very sheepish looking twin girls.  I tried to explain to the teacher, “I don’t know how they got out, I was just upstairs putting the washing away, I, I…!”  Well, she just looked at me like I was the worst mother in the world!

This event was followed another incident a few days later by my older son.  He was at his friend’s house and was expected to run home in 30 minutes, straight across the park.   When he arrived home, we had guests for dinner, yet he would not eat.  He soon went up to his room and called out for me.  When I went upstairs he started crying so much I could hardly understand him.  He said, “Oh Mum I have done something so bad, I think the police are going to come”.  He was shaking and crying and all I could think was what the hell has he done?!  So, in a calm voice I said, “Ok mate, whatever it is I’m sure it’s not that bad, but you need to tell me first”.  He replied, still shaking and crying, “Ok mum, but remember you always say if I tell the truth I won’t get in trouble?”  Hmmm I thought.  “Ok”, I said, “Yes that’s true, but it will still depend on what it is you’ve done?” “Well”, he said, “On the way home from my friend’s house, I jumped the fence into the kindergarten because I wanted to pat the guinea pigs.  But one of them jumped out of my hands and I couldn’t catch it.  And then I freaked out and ran home and I left the cage open, so now the other one is probably out as well!”  “Right”, I said, “I think I am going to have to tell your father!”

Well, long story short, my husband, the neighbour and son all jumped the fence, caught the guinea pigs and placed them back into their cage, safe and sound.  My son vowed and declared never to go into the kinder again and I was bloody relieved I didn’t have to front the same kinder teacher and confess that my other child, not my escapee twins, had set the beloved guinea pigs free!  I was imagining headlines in the Surf Coast Times – “Local Guinea Pigs, Stolen from Kindergarten: Children’s Hearts Broken FOREVER!!!!”

So really, after these two events you would think that was about enough for one week.  But NO!  During the twins’ one session of daycare, we received a call from the teacher, reporting that my twins and another little girl had found a pair of scissors.  They had then proceeded to give each other haircuts.  For obvious reasons, the teacher was beside herself, however fortunately for the twins with their wispy, unruly hair, the damage was hard to notice without a keen eye.  The same could not be said for the other youngster.  I am yet to meet this child’s mother, in fact if the truth be told, I could imagine myself ducking and weaving, hiding under toddler-sized desks just to avoid a confrontation over the hair massacre that took place.  This poor kid had chunks out everywhere.

But now for the final and I am so glad to say, last instalment in my week of chaos!  The Tomato Fiasco!  I was fortunate enough this year to have had the most magnificent crop of tomatoes.  So much so, that I had too many to use at any one time.  This particular day, I picked all the tomatoes and laid them out on my outdoor table. I remember thinking what a great photo this will make for social media.  So, I took my shot, then went in to start preparing dinner.  The girls were outside happily playing, and I went out to check on them. They had a couple of cherry tomatoes in their hands.  I said “Put them down girls, mum will bring them inside shortly”.  I went back inside to continue making dinner, at which time my hubby called.  While I chatted to him and stirred the pot on the stove, I could hear the girls laughing hysterically.  My husband asked how the girls were, and I replied, “They’re outside playing, sounds like they’re having fun together”. 

As I continued chatting, I walked out of my kitchen to check on the girls and within a split second I said to my husband “Oh my god, I have to go!!”  I literally dropped the phone where I stood.  I walked outside and into what can only be described as a tomato explosion!  The girls had picked up and thrown every last tomato on the ground, at the walls, then they were stomping on them.  I actually screamed out aloud.  When my husband arrived home soon after, he found me sitting on the deck, surrounded by squashed tomatoes. I was sobbing.  The girls were wetting themselves laughing, until Dad unleashed his fury.  Then my darling husband proceeded to pick up every tomato.  He cleaned them off, laid them on a giant tray and asked me for my Grandma’s relish recipe.  I had a gigantic glass of wine and wiped away my tears.  We salted the tomatoes overnight and the next day I cooked up a big batch of relish.  My only regret now is that I didn’t take a photo of the tomato explosion.

So I guess the moral of the story is: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and when twins squash all your tomatoes, make relish.  And if all else fails, remember, tomorrow is a new day.