Last time I posted I promised I’d share my “out and about” experiences with my babes. It’s been a while (yes I know) since I posted about getting out of the house but hopefully, on this Twin Tip Tuesday, I can share a little bit about how we survive when we leave home.
In some ways, I must admit, my kids do pretty well. At 18 months, they sit through restaurant meals with only an occasional crank, and hang out at target like a pro. I like to think that that is somewhat due in part to the things I’m doing “right” along the way – but possibly just a fluke. We do have our challenges though – Julie is a major flight risk right now, with legs ready to run but ears not ready to listen to “stop” or “no” or “JULIE!!!” We take more adventures than most though, and so we’ve developed some tactics to make it a bit easier. Here they are – in no particular order.
1 – Timing is Everything. Tell me an hour on the clock, and I can tell you the temperament of my children. There are these beautiful windows though where all seems right with the world and outings work SO much more smoothly. For us, right after breakfast, right before lunch – when they’re awake and full and diapers are dry – seems to be perfect. After nap, when they’ve had a chance to get their diaper changed and munch on a snack is a similar window. That’s not to say that we NEVER leave the house in the afternoon, but I try to avoid it at all costs because I know sleepy/hungry/cranky babes lead to a miserable/embarrassed/frustrated Mama. Find your window and make the most of it!
2 – Be Prepared to Entertain. I’ll be posting about my current diaper bag in the near future, but I’ll share now that it is stocked FULL. I have a container of toys that are small, portable, and hold their attention that they only get to see when we’re out. Sitting at a restaurant, hanging out at target, waiting in line for groceries – these toys offer just the right bit of novelty to keep them from hollering on high. Some folks might have issue with my methods but my tablet is the all out in entertainment. We especially love the Peekaboo Barn App (also from itunes) to keep them occupied wherever. And I’m almost ashamed to say, the Bubble Guppies. Yes, I’m well aware that the APA recommends no electronics before the age of 2 – but most of the APA never tried to take two 18 month olds shopping or out to dinner. Our kids are just the right age to start using Busy Bag activities, and I’ll be sharing more about those are in my Busy Bag exchange post in the near future!
3 – Snack at Hand. My bag is also packed with
food bribes snacks to keep them satisfied. Before a meal out, we start with an “appetizer” of cheez-its, string cheese, or apple slices. Nothing original about that I’m sure. What IS original, is using mini MnMs to keep the screaming toddlers at bay while at the Optician’s office. My disaster of an eye appointment (hubby couldn’t get back in time, couldn’t reschedule) was salvaged by jumping out of the chair every minute or so to give the kids another MnM. Is it the healthiest option? Of course not – but it works for us (and all the folks around us who don’t want to hear my kids scream). Our local grocery chain even helps us out with this by offering free cookies to kids – a special treat to keep them busy while picking up the necessities.
So when we’re out and about, playing with our special toys and eating our snacks, we ride in style. Obviously with two, you learn to visit stores with double carts. These usually work well, but there are so many stores that don’t offer these options. Our solution – The Buggy Bench! Be on the lookout for a full review of the buggy bench soon, but we absolutely love this basket tethered “back seat” which keeps one kid in the front, and one in the basket, with everyone strapped in. I’ve attempted pushing a stroller and dragging a cart, and pushing/pulling two separate carts. This is BY FAR the best solution for Twin Moms or moms of multiple kids close in age. Brayden is my back seat rider and he absolutely loves it.
That’s about it for now, but I’m sure this post will be updated over time with links and new tips as things change daily in our world! Happy Twin Tip Tuesday!