They were lovely when they first arrived at our house, all wrapped up in soft yellow and blue blankets, round and soft and cute. Marvin’s head was too small for his hat and it kept slipping over one of his ears, whilst Matty’s head was too big for his hat, so we had to struggle to squeeze it on.   They were lovely, warm, soft bundles that we’d wrap up and lie in warm white cots. They were so peaceful.

While I contemplated them, I had no idea what awaited me until ……waaaaaaa! How could something as small as Marvin make so much noise? Waaaaaaaa! They were BOTH crying now. I was stuck between the two cots, not knowing which way to turn.  

 “Shhhhhh Marv!, shhhhhhh, Matty” I tried to calm them, but they just wouldn’t’ stop! Waaaaaa they got louder. Waaaaaaaaa they got redder! I was terrified! I looked from one cot to another. I hadn’t even touched them! What had I done? What should I do now?  

My grandma came in and picked up one of the screaming bundles and hooked it over her shoulder. With one swoop she rescued the other noisy blue blanket from the cot, hooking him under her arm and onto her other shoulder.   It took a little while for them to calm down.

“Ah double trouble” my grandma cooed “you two are my sweet double troubles.”

I looked up at my grandma in wonder. How could she make those small, screaming bundles change from loud, screaming, red police sirens to soft, yawning, gurgling, smiling babies?   

Since they started crawling, and later walking, our house has been destroyed by the two bulldozer boys that are Marvin and Matty. They are five now, and make a lot of noise. They gurgle with laughter as I chase them round the house, getting crosser and crosser.

It usually ends with my grandma grabbing them and tucking them under her arms. The naughtiness stops almost immediately, then they sit quietly, playing softly with grandma’s ears as she sings them a song or tickles them. They in turn stroke her hair or “draw animals” on her forehead - Matty’s favourite game.   

“You’re my sweet double troubles” my grandma tells them.

She is right. When they are soft and tender like that, they really are very sweet.

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