For the last few months, every night at around 3.30, we are woken up by the sound of the childrens’ feet scampering across the floorboards as they come into our room. In a move which has become as automatic as stretching, we each move over and lift up the duvet. Eve always comes to my side, Leah to David’s. The children curl themselves around us and we all fall instantly back to sleep.
A few hours later it feels like waking up in a Breville and our limbs are as stiff as plastic figurines. A few times David has half-heartedly suggested that we break them of this habit but I don’t much want to. Not because we are lax – the girls were raised on Gina Ford and I got through controlled crying without shedding a tear or shredding a nerve, but I take the view that because they are away from us all day during the week they somehow need this extra night time contact to top up their reserves of the familial. It’s also the last remnant of their babyhood, a reminder of the days when we could comfort them just by holding them. Transitioning from toddlers to children is newly complex for all of us and having twins means we are thrown in at the deep end of the parenting pool every single day. In the automatic way my sleeping body accommodates the shape of Eve I can experience the simple essence of being a parent and I think I need that as much as they do.