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Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Going Anywhere With So Many Littles

Two to Kiss, Two to Love: Going Anywhere With So Many Littles

I'm not going to lie. When I have to run an errand somewhere, my first thought is, "how long can I put this off for?" With my husband working in another state, I have to strategically plan my trips out of the house. Going somewhere on my own will always be way easier than buckling in two infants, who refuse to be buckled, and a toddler who always think she's being helpful by buckling her bear in first, then herself. BUT, that's not really an option for me---ya know, my husband isn't here.

Whether you're running errands, meeting some friends, or going to an event with your kids, these tips will help your outing move along more smoothly!

Plan enough time, then give yourself more

I always think, "hey, I have ten minutes---that gives me enough time to get the kids in the car." Inevitably, it takes me a half hour. It goes a little something like this: I pack everything, and put it by the door. When it's finally time to leave, I tell everyone (especially the toddler) to put on jackets and shoes while I load the car. "Help your sisters," I say. I come back to shoe-less, jacket-less children. And somehow, the amount of toys they are taking with them has doubled in the five seconds I was gone. I explain, again, the limit of toys they are allowed to bring, and help everybody with their jackets and shoes.  I get the kids in the car, and usually someone has to put up a fight about being buckled in. Finally, we are all ready to go, and someone has utilized their diaper. Ugh. I get that kid out, change their diaper, put them back in and pray everybody else is fine. We finally leave and I've lost a year of my life. Ha. What I've learned, or am still trying to learn, is I really need a lot more time than I'm giving myself. After many years of just having to get myself, and my husband, ready and out, I guess I just can't change my thinking! But believe me, you just need more time. If you give yourself a good amount of time before you have to be somewhere, you'll be fine, and way less stressed!

Food

Depending on the length of time you will be out, grab enough food to keep those kiddos happy. If you have a little bit of time to prepare, take something a bit substantial like a sandwich. Apple sauce packets are easy to bring and a little more substantial than a fruit snack. I really love the boon squirt baby food dispensing spoon because I can fill it with something yummy, and bring it along without making a huge mess. Whatever you bring, just remember if you can stick to meal time while you're out and about, the better your kids will do. And don't forget drinks! If you can bring a sippy cup of water, or if you can keep milk cool, do it! A cup of milk can keep your child feeling full if you need to wait a bit for the next meal. If you're breastfeeding, plan your trip with breastfeeding breaks. If you plan them, they will happen and your baby will thank you for staying on schedule.

Enough Essentials

If your twins are in diapers, make sure to take enough diapers and wipes for your trip. Double check the diaper bag and make sure everything is there; make sure you replaced what you used last time. If you're going somewhere for a while, like hanging with friends, or going to grandma's house, pack pajamas. I find that I always stay a little longer with friends than I plan (hanging out is too much fun!), that I end up going home during their bedtime routine. They WILL fall asleep. So I find it easier to change them before I get in the car, then take them straight out of the car and put them to bed. They usually stay asleep, and I don't have to wake them up to change them. That's a HUGE plus!

Combine Trips

If you can do a few errands/visits at a time, do it. Try to plan out the places you're going so they are as close together as possible. However, don't add too many all at once because your kids will get sick of it fast. So try and be efficient, without being exhausting. It's a fine line.

Consequences

Make some good and bad consequences for your children while out and about. Discipling is harder out of the home because your consequences can't be as immediate. For instance, you can't put your child in time-out quite as easily. You will need something you can use as an immediate consequence. Let's start with good consequences. Make it fun for them to run errands. It can be anything that works for your kids; a treat they like, or a quick book between stops, or a promise of a game when you get back home if your kid can remember the consequence that long. My daughter loves to purchase a snack, and knows that if she listens in the store, she will get to do that. When we were remodeling our house, we would go to Home Depot almost every day and buy her a snack each time she was being good. If we kept doing that, we'd go broke, but it worked for her and kept us sane. So, we finally got smart and bought a huge box of chips from Costco, and stashed them in the car. I'd let her hand the snack she wanted to the cashier, and then tell her she gets it when she gets in the car, then just give her one from my stash. :) The same works for bad consequences. If they don't listen, or act badly while they are out, they lose the treat they want. Follow-through is key here! This might end your errands a bit short if your kids are just getting too unruly since they aren't getting their treat, but I promise it is better to end your errands short a few times, then give in. It gets easier if they know you are serious.

Positive Reinforcement:

Don't forget to praise your kids for EVERYTHING they do well; everything you expect to go wrong. When they let you buckle them in without fussing, praise that like crazy! When they are being happy, and you feel like you could run a million errands with them this way, praise them! Kids LOVE praise, and the more you do for good behavior, the less bad behavior you will see.

All in all, if you're a little more prepared than you think you have to be, you'll do just fine. And if that all fails, move to plan b: get a babysitter and forget all of the above! ;)


*The “Two to Kiss, Two to Love” series is a helpful series for all you twin mamas out there! If you have a twin related question, comment below, and I’ll answer it for you!*
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