The Fox and The Goat and The Cabbage…

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You know that riddle about the fox and the goat and the cabbage.  The one where you have to figure out how to get them all across the river in the boat.  Well, that’s what it seems like when I try to get everyone in the car.  Just last weekend we put the girls new car seats in the car.  They haven’t really outgrown their infant carriers, but at 17 lbs each they are getting to heavy to carry. I haven’t yet taken all three of them out on my own, but from my previous experience loading them in the stroller or the car with their infant carriers, I can imagine it is going to take a few trips:

  1. I’ll have to dress them both in their outdoor clothes and put one in the living room, which is gated. I can’t really carry them both at once, and they aren’t walking yet, so it means doing it one at a time.
  2. I’ll carry the first girl out and get her buckled in.
  3. I’ll have to come back and get the second girl who will hopefully be waiting patiently…(I left one in her snowsuit in the living room last week and she managed to pull her self up on the table and start to push buttons on the phone in the time it took to buckle her sister in to the stroller).
  4. I’ll carry the second girl out the car and get her buckled in. Fortunately they are close enough in size that it doesn’t matter who goes in which seat.
  5. At some point I’ll have to herd out their 3.5-year-old brother who will hopefully have gotten himself dressed.
  6. I’ll also have to get the diaper bag, my purse, and my son’s backpack (if we’re going to playschool or the library) from the house.
  7. I might need to load one of the strollers from the garage.

But the funny thing is, while this seems like an almost overwhelming task right now, like everything else we’ve had to figure out in the last 15 months it will soon be part of our routine.  In a few months we’ll be facing a new challenge (probably getting two little girls who want to walk by themselves in the car) and we’ll look back at this and realize it wasn’t all that difficult after all.  That seems to be how it is with twins. You figure out what you need to do, and you just do it.  There’s no point in my worrying about all the details because it will all work out.

How do you manage getting two or more children out of the house?  Any suggestions for making it go more smoothly?

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15 thoughts on “The Fox and The Goat and The Cabbage…”

  1. The first trip to the car is our bags (purse + daycare/diaper bag) & my coffee. I try to do this before they are even awake, but my entire downstairs is childproofed if I need to leave them for a minute- plus they usually wait at the screen/glass door watching me. An animal cracker works wonders if need be!

    Another tip for doing this if you must carry both to the car at once (ie no stoller and the car is too far away), I stick one in the front passenger seat. They are usually so dumbfounded to not be in their carseat they sit still for that minute it takes to get the other locked & loaded.

    2nd trip I grab whomever is in the worse-er mood first, they are the most likely to lose it if left behind.

    3rd trip is 2nd child and locking of doors, turning off lights, etc.

    I can carry both at the same time, so going INTO the house is easier, and one of mine can reach for me after being unbuckled and is a much better “squeezer”, ie she clamps her thighs together on my hip better…alas this is getting harder as they are getting heavier.

  2. I could not leave them alone in the car until a couple of months ago because we lived in an apartment building, so no option but making a single trip with all the stuff (worth adding there was no elevator, good legwork). I used a sling to secure one baby, leaving one hand free to carry second baby and the other for bag&whatever other stuff. Opening/closing the doors was tricky, but doable. I did put at least one down on the floor sometimes.

    Now I live in a house and they are more than walking, so everything is easy (ha!).

  3. Well, things are made definitely easier since we live in a house with an attached garage, but I always take the bag to the car first. I otherwise occupy the kids (usually with Blues Clues, truth be told) and pack the diaper bag, things I need to take with us, etc. and get them in the car. Then I get out our coats and shoes, and shout out, “who wants to go bye-bye?” After getting them dressed, we walk out to the car hand in hand (when they were younger, I took them out one at a time, but now that they’re walking the three of us go out together) and I put them both in the car on one side. One goes in a car seat, and the other is told to “go to your seat.” He does, and I go around and buckle him in. We’ve taken the easy way out and have a DVD player in our car, so the kids love going for car rides. We don’t always use it, but it’s nice to have.

    I have found this to be like most things twin-related…the more you do it, the easier it gets, so hard as it may seem, JUST DO IT.

  4. We live in an apartment building. I’m alone 90% of the time because Daddy’s job takes him away from home a lot. The best way for us to get out of the house has been the stroller. I can’t do anything without it! But now that I have one walker, I have been able to carry one and hold the other’s hand. It was a huge accomplishment for me the day that I went stroller-less to playgroup! It was certainly monumental to me!

  5. A playpen by the front door worked wonders for this age. While one was being loaded, you knew the other was safe and contained and not attempting to tear apart the house while you were outside.

  6. We keep a pack and play on our enclosed back porch. I put one in there and take the other out to the garage. Then I come back and get the second one and lock up. I do the same thing in reverse when we get home!

  7. This is such a timely post! We just – very reluctantly – moved our 15-month old girls out of their infant carriers into convertible car seats this weekend. We have an attached garage, so I’ll continue to load the girlies one at a time without leaving anyone alone for too long…but I’ll definitely miss being able to pack them up in the comfort of the kitchen!

    What I can’t quite figure out, though, is how we’ll handle shoes. We do not wear shoes inside the house. My husband and I put ours on and take ours off in the mud room. The shoe process is – right now – rather lengthy with our girls. There’s no way I would want to save that for the end, leaving one child in the den or the car and getting the other’s shoes on in the mud room. This is going to take some figuring…

    …but I agree, we’ve just gotta do it! And the more we do it, the easier it’ll get!
    .-= MandyE´s last blog ..Almost Too Much to Handle… =-.

  8. Switching from carriers to car seats was one of my most difficult transitions with twins. I was in the same situation…I had a two year old and twin babies. It took me four trips to/from the car just to get everyone/everything in. I remember breaking down in tears during one of our first trips out….trying to figure out who to put in the car first, what the other ones would be getting into in the house, etc. I eventually got it down to a system. That is a tough phase but it really does pass quickly. Hang in there. Now my oldest is five and the twins are three. I can just open my front door and let them all walk to the car. Of course, now they fight over who sits on what side of the car and someone always ends up in tears. But that is nothing compared to those baby days!

  9. Oh man. I hated that first month in their convertible car seats. You have to find a new routine for everything! But as you said, soon it’s just part of your new routine.

    My girls are still pretty small so I can carry both at the same time plus a bag. When necessary, I put one in their car seat, and then “toss” the other one across to their car seat. Hopefully they land safely. 😉 And then stay in their seat.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Ch-ch-ch-changes =-.

  10. My kids are about the same age as yours. We have an attached garage, so we all go at the same time. I always take bags to the car while they are busy playing or, better yet, still in their high-chairs. My youngest son can’t quite make it off the step alone, so he usually stands at the door and waits. If all three follow me into the garage I put my girl in the car (not her seat), YDS in his seat not buckled, and then put ODS in the third row. I buckle both boys in, then walk around and put DD in her seat.

    When we leave day care I carry DD because she is the lightest, hold YDS’s hand while he walks, and ODS walks beside me. ODS understands that he must stay with me and not run around. In the past I have put YDS in a single stroller, but he is now too heavy to be able to control the stroller one handed.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..It’s been a while… =-.

  11. My big thing with outings is making sure everyone is wearing shoes when we actually arrive where we are going (0:
    One tip learned the hard way: I suggest leaving 2 pairs of shoes (the twins shoes) in the car at all times “just in case”. For example last Saturday in my frenzy of loading 3 kids and all our “stuff” into the minivan I got to our destination only to realize one twin was without any shoes at all.
    After you get home, take the shoes off and leave in the car BEFORE going into the house. They’ll be there waiting and ready for your next outing.
    Another tip: put a small basked somewhere in the vehicle containing some juice boxes and small non-perishable snacks. That way packing snacks for every trip is less of a hassle.

  12. I just had a flashback to when my boys were little. We stayed home most of the time! We did walk around the neighborhood with the double stroller a lot though. Our boys are 5 now, and we also have a 1 year old son. I remember when I thought I would never take the twins anywhere by myself. Now I am taking all 3 of them to Costco by myself…if you would have told me that 5 years ago I wouldn’t have believed it!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Finding Contentment in a Facebook World =-.

  13. Yup, that’s what I have to do with my 2 year old twins and my 7 week old singleton, who is usually screaming during the process. Then after getting home, it’s a circus of getting them all inside, getting the twins down for naps, calming down/feeding the baby and getting her to sleep, and then finally getting back out to the car to get my lunch I picked up on the way home, which I now get to eat cold. This is just one stage of the joys of having 3 kids…. :)

  14. Yes, I dreaded this stage too! It ended up not being TOO much trouble — you just figure out little tricks and get used to the routine, I guess.

    I bit thing for me was having a superyard gate that helped enclose our front porch. I could get us all out and lock the door, then make trips to the car with gear, one kid and then the other.

    I wrote a post awhile back with more ideas for this sort of thing, mainly focusing on when they were a bit older and walking. Maybe tips for the future? Here it is: http://www.chinacat.org/roller/sunfrog/entry/line_em_all_up
    .-= Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings´s last blog ..How to keep 10 kids busy for a LONG TIME (plus yummy granola bar recipe) =-.

  15. It’s funny, I’ve often thought of that riddle, but in my case it’s been when one or more of my kids has fallen asleep in the car on the way home in the evening, and I have to figure out who to take in first, and how to get them all (3) in. Thankfully I live in a house and I can park and take multiple trips.

    For getting them to the car, I’m just lucky in that I’ve always been able to carry both twins (who are now 2) and let my older son walk. These days usually all 3 kids walk themselves to the car, actually, but I do still carry both of them together a lot. When they were little I would just carry both their seats or both of them, with my bag on my shoulder. I don’t like to make more than one trip unless I have to. The one bit of advice I have is to leave anything you can in the car. I leave the car fully stocked with diapers and wipes and changes of clothes, so at most I bring drinks for the kids, rather than a whole diaper bag.

    The other challenge is getting groceries in! I’ve done that all sorts of creative ways 😛

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