How do you shop?

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Categories Higher-Order Multiples, Mommy Issues13 Comments

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.

and

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.

First shopping trip alone. 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!

The answer to 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.

Time for School! 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!

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Battle of the Moms of Multiples

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Categories Mommy Issues4 Comments

When people find out I have two sets of twins close in age, they almost always mention something about how nice it must be for them to always have playmates. And that’s true, for the most part. They do manage to make up silly songs, act out elaborate games of pretend, and cuddle up to watch TV together, in between screaming arguments. And I do notice that they understand the concept of SHARING pretty well – because in a family of seven, that’s pretty much how it goes. Everyone's HAPPY!

This week, they’ve been super generous about sharing their cold germs, and currently, four out of the seven of us are on antibiotics for strep throat. We’ve spent a whole lot of time in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and waiting in line at the pharmacy. (something I never realized when I was about to become a parent: just how much WAITING I would be doing over the next decade!) I had a great idea in mind to post about today, but I just don’t have it in me to write it all out, so I’m recycling a blog post of mine from a few months ago. It’s all about the whole SUPERMOM thing that so many of us twin mamas try to live up to.

One day last summer, my husband and I had been working in the yard all day and by late afternoon, I looked like pure hell. I was wearing a dirty shirt and my hair was a mess and I had NO makeup on. I was all sweaty and greasy-haired, and I had potting soil under my nails. And I got really sunburned too, so I looked just that much worse. I had to run out to the market, though, because we completely ran out of milk and toilet paper. Whoops! So, I was in line to check out, and there was a lady behind me with three kids – two boys and a girl. I noticed that the boy and girl right near me were the same height, and I asked her, “Are these two twins?” and she said, “Actually, they’re all triplets!” I hadn’t seen that there was a boy standing behind, the same size as the other two!

And let me tell ya – these three kids were SO cute. They were about 6 or 7, I’m guessing – the girl had long, pretty hair, sans tangles, and all three were in cute little outfits. They looked like an ad for Old Navy. They looked so CLEAN and shiny and perfect! And the mom, well…she was pretty hot. She was in a cute little tracksuit, with her cute little body, and her cute little hairstyle. It almost ticked me off. Will it get easier when my kids are older? Will my kids somehow manage to get bathed every day and wear outfits that don’t include pajama tops and cowboy hats and plastic high heels? Will they ever be seen in public without bedhead?

Supermom!And what about MEEEE? Will I suddenly become a complete MILF? Will I find the time and money to get my nails done? Will I start working out every day so I can wear little Baby Phat tracksuits at the supermarket and not scare people with my cottage cheese ass? I just don’t see it happening. Seriously, I started thinking irrationally while my groceries were being scanned. I started thinking, “Maybe I could discreetly follow her home and then start stalking her and figure out how she manages to have well-behaved, adorably dressed, freshly bathed triplets and look like she stepped off the set of a sitcom.” She turned out to be parked three cars down from me. And her SUV was really dirty. And all crowded full of stuff. Yeah, that made me feel better. At least her car wasn’t all shiny, too, then I probably would have cried a little.

It’s so hard sometimes, when you feel like you just can’t get it together. I remember the first year of my twins’ life, I only wore makeup a handful of times – a huge change from when I used to apply mascara and put on a cute shirt before heading out to Target. As my kids have grown older, though, it HAS grown easier. I’m still not the hot mama at the supermarket with the perfect children, but the older they get, the more often I get to be Laura, Friend to Drink Cocktails with at Book Club, instead of always Laura, Mom of All Those Children. I’m still in here somewhere.

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