Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Life With Twins

This morning I went to Target. It's the regular hang-out for moms and we all converged at the same time to the Starbucks counter. The babies were in their stroller and waiting patiently for their bread, which they like me to split into separate bags. It's the little things that make outings with two toddlers bearable. The line was long, but they didn't make a peep. They chatted with anyone who would listen and we finally got our order and made our way out into the store. Not two feet in and woman with a small boy stopped me to ask if mine were twins. If I only had a dollar for each time I get asked this.... She then commented, "Dang, I'm so glad I'm only having one." Really?!?!  I walked away stunned, but not surprised. It seems that people like to give you unsolicited thoughts on having twins (or multiples) esp. if they don't have them.

I've been thinking about doing a regular post about what it's like to be a momma to twins for a while. I've been hesitant because I don't have all the answers. Everyday is a test to parenting skills and there are always challenges that we have to navigate. But, this woman made it clear to me that I do have positive things to share about being a twin momma. I'm going to share with you what has made things work for us---the good and the bad.

It's not an easy thing----raising two at the same time---but it's an adventure that I embrace fully. More often than not we have a lot of fun together and have figured out how to make it through each day with lots of love.

If you have anything in particular you want me to talk about let me know and I'll cover them in upcoming posts.

For today, I'll keep it simple and talk about getting to the grocery store or Target.

I started going out with the twins early on. It took a lot of practice and time getting used to strapping up two babies and for the majority of time trips consisted of just what I could fit in the stroller basket. I saved larger trips for when Mark was home or I had a sitter. That's one thing they don't tell you-----store carts don't have a good way of getting around with two infants in car seats. Once we graduated to sitting in the carts things got a lot easier----if the straps aren't broken. I'm able now to only go once a week and get all our groceries in one trip.

Here's my list of tips: 

  1. Don't go if you are in a hurry. Having two mean twice the time. Take your time and have a list ready. On the same note, go when they are happy and not tired or too hungry. 
  2. Be ready to bail if they start screaming. It's not enjoyable for anyone if they aren't in the mood. If you have to bail, tell the clerks. They understand and would rather put your stuff away for you than see you suffer. 
  3. I suggest making friends with all the ladies that work there. Our grocery store has about 4 "grandmas" that visit with the twins. They give them treats and stickers and just make going through the store more interesting.
  4. Talk to your babies the whole time. We point out colors and shapes and superhero balloons. At Christmas our store had this huge blown up Santa sleigh that had an elf that popped up and down. Knowing that they could watch that at the end of our was a real treat. 
  5. Know where the free treats are. The deli counter will often give free slices of cheese to kids. The bakery counter usually has small cookies. Sometimes there are clerks in the produce section that don't mind if you take tangerines or apricots. Ask!
  6. Our store has a Starbucks and our trips start there. I get a drink and a piece of bread for the babies to nibble on. Now that they are older they each like to have their own bag and we split the bread in two. They add all their other treats to the bag. 
  7. When you get home, let them "help" you unpack. The twins are all about helping lately. They like to unload the bags and hand me the items.
  8. Bring extra snacks, wipes, diapers, etc. JUST IN CASE!
If you make it a regular thing, they'll get used to the routine of going with you. Of course, you could be really smart and use grocery time as your "get out of kids" free pass. Then, by all means, take your time to meander up and down the aisles. Stop and read some magazines. Get a refill on your chai. Still ask for a free cookie. 

Do you have any tips to add for shopping with little kids?? Leave a comment. 

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