Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life With Twins: Getting Out of the House

As I was getting the twins ready this morning for a big trip to the store I realized I should share just what it takes for us to get out the door. It really is a comedy of errors if you look close enough. It's also a miracle we get anywhere on time. My first suggestion is to make sure your schedule is flexible or leave plenty of time to get out the door. I try to give us at least 20 minutes. The tricky part is that once they are ready, they are ready. You must leave right then. No stalling if you are running early and no trying to collect yourself together. Often this is how shopping lists or reusable bags are completely forgotten.

At almost 3, these two are quite opinionated on what they want to wear. Decide early what battle is worth having. For me, I usually feel pretty good if they are wearing clothes. It's not worth fighting over matching clothes. Often I give them a choice between two shirts or pants/skirt. They pick out their own socks and undies and I don't usually worry if Naomi wants to wear Hollis's or vice versa. I try to encourage them with shoes, because they often try to wear too big shoes.  Getting them actually dressed is a different battle that can take a little bit of coercing and time. Inevitably the minute they are dressed someone needs to go potty---which for some reason means taking everything off again. I need to get better about forcing a potty trip before we get dressed!

I usually try to have in the car a spare set of clothes for each and the travel potty. Since we are still getting the hang of using the potty it's a good idea to ask them to try as often as possible. Rarely will they try if it's too cold out. Though, I can't blame them. That means hitting up the potty at the store first. That leads to a 10 minute washing hands session and a potential shirt change if their sleeves get too wet (Naomi's demand, not mine). See----time can get sucked away pretty quickly.

I also try to pack a few snacks or shop at places that have lots of samples. Eating through the store is one of their favorite things to do. The twins don't have any allergies so we're pretty lucky. Their favorite sample items are cookies, cheese and fruit. I also let them "hold" an item to "play" with. This can get out of hand pretty quickly because then they want to trade in for a new item and all of my time is spent managing their item barter system. If I'm feeling pretty adventurous and not pressed for time, I let them walk with me. This is their most favorite thing ever.

I also tend to shop at the same places every week so we've gotten to know quite a few of the people that work at our main grocery store. The twins love to visit and talk with whomever will listen so this comes in handy. They chat away and I can get a little bit of shopping done too! They've also figured out that by being chatty they tend to get extra samples too---smart kids.

The twins can handle 2 stops at the most and that's if I've timed everything right and they've gotten enough to eat. When done with shopping, I try to take the long route home. Sometimes this leads to a car nap which is a rare and glorious feat.

It's not easy, but outings do help break up long days and get them out of each others hair. It also gets me stimulating adult conversation like, "Can I have a 12in honey vanilla chai with almond milk, please?" and "No, I think we can make it to the car without assistance."

What are some of your tips to getting out of the house and getting through errands?

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