I have lots and lots of twin mommy friends from my twin club, and we’ve all discussed this topic at great length. There seems to be two schools of thought:
1. There’s no way in hell I’m taking my kids to the store, they can spend some time with Daddy, I need some time by myself to peruse the Lean Cuisines, and I don’t care if it’s midnight when I finally get to the store.
2. I don’t care if people stare at us, I don’t care if we’re in people’s way, I don’t care if the kids are making a scene, we need groceries, and I need to get out of this house and see some sunshine before their third birthday.
I’ve noticed there are many moms who flat out refuse to take their kids shopping unless they absolutely must, and there are just as many who take their kids everywhere. It’s been something of a point of contention between my husband and I, because HE thinks we should stay home, thus avoiding car accidents, stray dog attacks, purse snatchers, kidnappers, and cold germs. Of COURSE he thinks this, since he’s away from the Casa de Chaos for ten hours a day. I, on the other hand, spend most of my life right here in this very kitchen, standing at this very counter. I get to where I feel like my eyeballs are sunburned from all the Playhouse Disney. I need to sit and
drink cocktails chat with my mommy friends at someone else’s house while the kids color on the walls once in awhile.
So, from the very beginning, I’ve been putting myself out there in the world. One of the things I was dreading when I found out I was expecting my second set of twins was the whole logistics of GETTING anywhere. What I’ve discovered, though, is that it’s not that big of a deal. I mean, sometimes it sucks – when the weather is cold, when people at the mall let the door shut in my face when they see me struggling to get my stroller inside, when people make comments like, “I would kill myself if I had that many children.” (Yeah. Somebody actually said that!) But for the most part, it’s no biggie. When our second set of twins was a couple of months old, I decided it was time for me to figure out how to go shopping. I went to a store where I knew I’d be able to get my hands on one of those big shopping carts with the toddler seats, and I buckled my one-and-a-half year old kids into the seats and I put the two infant seats on top of the cart. Hey, it worked? I had to shove the groceries underneath one of the infant seats, but by golly, we managed. We got a lot of stares and comments, but I felt so completely VICTORIOUS on the drive home, I was practically in tears!
But babies grow quickly, and it wasn’t long at all before I realized we were going to have to figure something else out. The kids were just getting too big for me to sling them around in their infant seats. We needed another option. The answer for us was the Quad Stroller! Now, this is no wimpy plastic stroller from Babies ‘R Us. This is commercial grade, designed for daycare centers. It’s all metal and weighs EIGHTY POUNDS. (Yet another example of something you can do when you realize you’re out of options: lifting an 80-pound stroller in and out the back of your van!) It’s not the prettiest stroller in the world, but my God, I had a love affair with that thing. With the quad stroller, we could go anywhere – the zoo, the mall, the park – and yes, the supermarket. I somehow figured out how to push the stroller with one hand and pull the cart behind me with the other. My research has indicated that this is the method most twin mamas employ while grocery shopping with very young children.
You make it work. That’s something I wish someone would have told me when I was expecting twins: you’ll figure out a way. If it’s something you feel like you need to do, you’ll figure it out. And honestly, that time period goes by in the blink of an eye. Now I long for the days when I had no choice but to push the ginormous stroller around, because I knew where all the kids were! Now, they all want to walk, and I spend all my time counting them to make sure we haven’t lost anyone!