Field trips

When my kids were infants, I often felt like I was missing out on baby things that my friends with one infant did. They often met at the movie theater for Mommy & Baby movies. Hahaha. I was so not going to be able to do that with two infants, especially when one was quite a bit screamy. They would go out to lunch (see previous note on His Screamy-ness) or to the mall. Once when I tried to go by post-pregnancy jeans at The Gap, Danny screamed so loudly in the dressing room I had to leave my four pairs of jeans there and make a quick exit. It was ugly. I saved the jeans shopping for a Saturday when there were two of us. Mommy & Baby yoga was another no-go. As was any semblence of sleep.

Hanging out at a family picnic Hanging out at a family picnic

However, as the months went on, I felt like I was missing out on less and less. Music class? We started that at about 20 months and had tons of fun. Gymnastics? We started that at 18 months and was also a blast. We can do playgroups and trips to the park and to a friend’s house as easily as anyone with just one toddler. Dinners out? Well, we probably wouldn’t do that even with one toddler, what with our 7pm bedtime and my dislike of just shoving (expensive) food in quickly so that I can eat at the speed of a two year old. That’s what babysitters are for, in my book. And we have a great one who isn’t phased by putting two two year olds to bed.

But my kids are now coming up on 2 1/2 and suddenly I think those singleton moms and kiddos are getting out a lot more again. A trip to the Science Museum on a weekday morning? Hell, no. Between rush hour traffic and trying to keep track of two (fast) two year olds, I might not survive until naptime. The same goes for the Aquarium and the Children’s Museum. Could I try to attempt it if it I really wanted to? Probably. But I’m a bit concerned about safety and keeping track of both of them in such a big, crowded space. And honestly, I’m really not interested in having them do a 30 minute nap in the car as their only nap of the day. My friends with one kid seem so much more willing to mess with that nap. But me, on a day when it’s just me from 7am to 7pm? You’ve got to be kidding. I’m just too tired not to have an hour or two to myself, to eat lunch, respond to emails and maybe throw a load of laundry in. On weekends, fine. But just me days? No thank you. Now I am aware that this may have more to do with my own personality–there are certainly peppier, sunnier twin moms out there than me. But has anyone else found that 2 1/2 is a hard age to get kids out on TRIPS? Not the usual everyday ones, but the fun big ones, like museums or zoos or such? Anyone have any good tips for making it work?

 
Abigail enjoys a recent trip to the playground

Abigail enjoys a recent trip to the playground

8 thoughts on “Field trips

  1. When it comes to activities that involve looking at stuff (non-interactive museums, stores, zoos, etc.), my girls are under strict orders to hold hands. That way, they can’t go in opposite directions.

    For more exploratory outings, our immovable rule is that both girls have to stay where I can see them. This works fine.

    I’d say I probably do more outing-type activities with my daughters than most of the other working moms I know, mostly because there isn’t another adult with their own priorities to balance most of the time.

    Off-peak times help minimize the crowds. Now that my daughters can do without naps, we head to child-centric places right after lunch, when most kids are napping.

    The other thing to do is to plan stuff with other parents with a genuine affection for your child. Two adults can easily manage three or four kids. You can even take unaccompanied potty breaks!
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Matchy matchy =-.

  2. I have no tips, but I’m finding myself in a similar situation these days. I stayed very close to home for most of the first year, and then suddenly became very motivated to get out each day. Nothing big, but it was nice just being able to go down to the playground. Now, with almost 17 month olds, I’m finding it hard once again. They’ve recently decided they don’t like being confined in their car seats or stroller, making it hard to go places more than 10 minutes away (without screaming anyway) or places that involve covering a lot of ground.

    My kids love the playground. They love to run and climb, but aren’t aware enough to keep from running into other kids or walking right off the end of a 3 ft high platform leading up to the slide. So, for me, the playground has become downright scary. I won’t attempt it without my husband or a mother’s helper. And by the fall, when my oh-so-cheap mother’s helper goes back to school, I’m worried we’ll become homebodies again. Must find new solutions.

  3. I agree–we never mess with naps around here. We would all do fine to do outings and the boys would stay in their stroller, no problem, but if I’m not going to get back by 1, then there is no way I’m doing it. They are 27 months old and now have a 6 month old sister. This means that we are usually home until 10 am so she can get a morning nap in. If we go anywhere, it’s in town and only for a few hours. Then home again for naps. I keep reminding myself that it’s only for a season. I am much more lenient on my daughter’s nap than with the boys–if they miss it, they are absolute wrecks. With her, I know she’ll get another one in later in the day.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..Chatterbox =-.

  4. Working around naps is always a challenge. My singleton was 15 months old when the twins were born and we spent over a year with thw twins napping in the AM and late afternoon and the older one napping in between that. But it passes quickly (like everything else when they are little).

    But hang in there … mine are now just turned 4 and almost 3 and we can go all these fun places with just one parent. I dress them all alike in easy to spot clothing (for play areas mostly) and this really helps.

    And … during the younger days when I didn’t dare to take them alone, I kept reminding myself that I didn’t need to expose them to “everything” before they were 5.

  5. I found “easy” places to take them at that age, and that was where we went, again and again, and again! Best place close by…the little zoo in your town. We went at least 1x per week the summer my boys were in their late 2′s. It’s small, and if you cut out the “wolf loop” area, it’s even smaller. The kids can’t get too far away, or into too much trouble. The little “hands-on” building is a fun break to read a kiddie book or just look at the bugs.

    Also, at about that age, I found the stroller was a n0-go…my boys just weren’t keen on it at for any length of time. But a WAGON! That they’ll sit in :) So we traded our jogger for a wagon. Less convenient for me, but hey, they’ll stay confined for at least short bursts of time. And, zero risk of falling asleep in the wagon, something I always had to worry about with that comfy stroller!

    We also had a lot of backyard adventures…exploring the backyard, searching for interesting bugs and weeds and flowers and branches and whatever else caught their attention. Followed up with snack (or lunch) on a picnic blanket, and it was a great “outing” without even getting in the car (of course, that works better during a summer when it doesn’t rain every day, but maybe we’ll get some sun…)
    .-= WhatACard´s last blog ..Dragon Problems =-.

  6. I recently learned that I CAN take my twin boys, age 25 months, to the toddler area at the pool, all by myself, and that has been wonderful this summer. They wear life jackets. At first I kept a firm grip on their hands as we waded in, but now they’re content to splash about and they don’t try to run away from me like they did even a couple of months ago. We can manage more outings now because I do always bring the stroller and if things get crazy they go right back into that stroller. Meanwhile I hate crowds so we never go anywhere crowded. Our biggest danger is some playgrounds with high climbing equipment, I stay away from certain parks because of safety. Tennis courts are great places for outings, provided they are empty and fenced in. Bring a few balls and let them run like crazy.

  7. I have 22 month olds and I tell them that they have to stay close and if they want to go somewhere else then they have to ask me. If they can’t then they will have to stay in the stroller, if I have it, or have a timeout. I feel comfortable making them do a timeout facing the wall anywhere. I’ve taken them alone to the aquarium, nature park, beach, water play areas, and library with no problem. Once recently we did have a problem at dinner with the husband because it was hard to find a place for them to do a timeout that wasn’t exciting. Then we just headed out quickly.
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Playmates: for me or for them? =-.

  8. Amen sister is all I can say! I am so behind on everything that I am just now reading this blog as I was looking for fun and EASY activities to do with my 18month old b/g twins. I am right there with you about naps because I have the same schedule. My singleton Mom friends always think I am so regimented about naps, but that is my do everything I can and maybe even sit down for a second time.
    Hang in there and hopefully we will all get to do more activities in the future!
    .-= Dane´s last blog ..It’s a Monday =-.

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