Today, I was thinking. What if trying to get a toddler dressed was an olympic sport? It should be.
It certainly feels like one. Dressing a wriggling, stubborn little person who would rather spend the day in a state of nakedness is a real battle and a half. It leaves me worn out and an awareness of muscles that I had long since forgotten about.
This morning, I watched as the twins tried to get their own trousers on. They are only 18 months old and frankly, a bit rubbish at putting their own clothes on, but they insisted on it. Every time I made like I was going to take an item from them and help them, they screamed and did 'the windmill' - arms swinging round at top speed like a whirling forcefield. Once I backed off slowly, they returned to attempting to dress themselves by putting their feet into the armholes of their t-shirts, or by sticking their arms up their trouser legs. This lasts for about ten minutes until, all too aware of the time, I jump in before they have a chance to start defensive manoeuvres and grab the clothing from the nearest one.
She screams and stamp her feet. Then, realising what is about to happen, makes a run for it. She shoots off across the living room, squealing like an escaped pig, changing direction any time I make a grab for her. Eventually I catch her, and hold her in place with one hand whilst attempting to put the t-shirt over her head with the other. But she has two hands to my one, and while I try to put the t-shirt onto her head, she is karate-chopping me with one hand and using the other to hold the t-shirt off.
I struggle to get an arm in. She sobs in protest. While I am trying to wrestle the second arm and head in, the first arm has managed to pop it's way back out again. I shout at her, to no avail. It just makes the sobbing increase in volume. I am firm and I succeed. T-shirt down, trousers to go.
Before she can shoot off again, I grab her, sit on the sofa and trap her in a vice-like fashion between my knees. She wriggles but I have done enough to get one leg in. One. Then she gets free and dashes away, her trousers flapping behind her like a horses tail.
In one last flurry of effort, I rugby tackle her to the ground, trap her under my weight, and get the last leg in. Ha! Victory is mine. I am knackered already, but I have one dressed toddler.
I feel like I've had a complete work-out and it's not even lunchtime. Hell, if someone designed some rules to this, I could compete internationally. I would be like the Jessica Ennis of the parenting olympics.
Dressing a single toddler would be my 1500metres - a middle-distance event that needs endurance, tactics and knowing when to make your move.
Now to do another few laps - where is her sister hiding?