I just watched John and Kate Plus Eight for the first time. The episode centered around the family's trip to the pumpkin patch, and the parents talked about how they get organized to leave the house with all those kids. Putting aside the fact that just the fact of having six children at once seems crazy to me, it is a little humbling that these people could have ever left their house or gotten anything else done with so many children. It feels like a lot of work to get out of the house with all three of my children, even when there are two adults involved.
When Ian and Mira were newborns it was actually a bit easier, as they were small enough to cart around for hours. Plus, they would sleep wherever we were, so we didn't worry much about their schedules. Now that they have a schedule of sorts it is hard to coordinate everything so that Mira and Ian are diapered and fed with enough time left over for us to get out before they need to go back to sleep. (And wow, the whole eating thing? I had forgotten how much time that takes.) Even when we can get out, recently Ada has taken to declaring that whatever outing we propose is not to her liking. (We are hearing "that's boring" a lot.)
For some things, like doctor visits, we just deal. When you need to go somewhere, you go even if conditions are not ideal. For "fun" stuff, I am finding it much easier to leave one parent at home with the babies while the other takes Ada out on an excursion. Sometimes our friend Juniper visits and can coax Ada out of the house for a few hours.
Last week Juniper was here with us, and for once the stars aligned. Not only were Ian and Mira awake and fed, but Ada was willing to go out. It helps that it wasn't raining, but the real reason Ada was willing to go out was that the outing was to Stumptown for hot drinks. Ada will do almost anything for cocoa. We popped the babies into the new double stroller and zipped down to Stumptown for sugar and caffeine. After a quick side trip to the , we headed over to the Swap Shop to play a little. When the babies got hungry and tired, I took them home while Juniper and Ada stayed behind with friends.
When Juniper and I saw the opportunity to get out, we hopped on. It took us a little time to get the kids bundled up and into the stroller, but we were out. I was so proud of myself for getting us all out the door with such speed, but in retrospect my speed masked a total lack of organization. What was I thinking? We didn't bring diapers or extra milk, either of which could have spelled disaster. All in all it went well, but only because Ian and Mira are so easygoing. Watching John and Kate... in which the parents are forced to be totally organized and prepared reminded me of how lucky I am to have things work out even when I let things slide. I also watched the parents crab at one another and be stressed by the normal things of life, and was reminded how much harder it could be. Not just if we had more kids, but if the kids we have were different.
One of my resolutions for the year is to not let the fact of having two babies keep us from doing the things we want to do with our kids, whether that is an outing at the park or fun day trips. As my confidence as a parent of twins increases, this becomes easier and more fun. Now if I can just remember to bring diapers and snacks...