Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hacks for POMs (Parents of multiples)

There are many challenges facing parents who are raising multiples, whether it be two or six. I must admit, many of those challenges made me cry. But, now that we're at a pretty fun, interesting age in our house, I look forward to finding new ways to step over and stomp on those challenges.

One of the biggest challenge we face right now is movement. Well, now that I think about it, movement has always been an obstacle. In the early days, I was too overwhelmed and too sleep deprived to be creative. The idea of lugging both infant carriers around was too much. Then they outgrew those and were still too limp to be carried at the same time, which is how we get places now. You should see my biceps.

My twins have been walking now for four months and are great walkers and are even running a bit now, too. Life is a breeze in comparison to the bottles and non-walking days.

But, this doesn't mean we haven't had our challenges. But, since they sleep through the night, and I'm pretty refreshed each morning, I have come up with some parent hacks to share with other POMs, should the need arise.

Hack No. 1

Climbing stairs with toddler multiples

This is not a simple feat. Spotting one child, alone, can be daunting. Spotting two who like to stop, turn around, try and grab wallpaper or the railing is enough to make the heart stop, twice. And, usually, in the middle of our Great Daily Climb, one or the other quits for whatever reason. So then I'm left carrying a baby, while spotting another. Save for a few slips, we haven't encountered a baby avalanche, yet. That could be because early in the game, I discovered that if I threw something to the top of the stairs that they really wanted, they would climb steadfastly to get it. Of course, once at the top, grabbing said item can be tricky, and that's when I toss it far away from the stairs so they have to get to safety without hesitation.

Hack No. 2

Getting to the car

I'm sure there are plenty of POMs who have garages attached to their home, which would make for a fairly easy trip to their family vehicle. This would not be us. We have a short walk through the yard and into our parking lot. Along the way is rose bushes, gardens filled with mulch, strands of grass, ants, and other great toddler distractions. Just when we think we are reaching the gate, both bolt in two different directions. At least they did, until I realized I had a little more power than I thought, even if they are only 17 months old. So, when we really need to get to the car, we hold hands and march. March, two, three, four. March, two, three, four. They love the motion of us all walking together and they have some control in being able to pick up their little meaty legs and pound them down on the walkway. In just seconds, they forget all about those pesky blades of grass they would have stopped to grab.

Hack No. 3

Getting in and out of vehicle in busy parking lots

This, I have to admit, is a new hack for me. Now that they are increasingly better walkers, they still aren't old enough to understand to stay put. This is where our very cute teddy bear backpacks/leashes come in handy. While I remove one baby or return her to her car seat, I can keep my foot on the other's leash. She could try to run away, but this method would stop her before she even takes a step. Granted, two or more babies in busy parking areas is not ideal in any situation, but sometimes putting both into the stroller is just not convenient, like for a quick doctor's appointment. Besides, they have to learn to walk on their own eventually.

IMG_2280, originally uploaded by sllydr.


HipWriterMama said...

Love the picture! I totally feel for you. It's tough enough with're doing great.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I am in awe of parents of multiples! One cool trick we taught our kids (which won't work for yours at this age) is that when they get out of the car in a parking lot, they have to stand with their hands touching the car until Mama or Daddy can hold their hand and take them to the sidewalk. (This was my husband's brilliant alternative to "stay close!")

Momma Bean said...

Oh geez, are those little backpacks adorable!!! And, even if you do have an attached garage (like I do), it's still a chore. By the time I've wrangled them into their carseats and gone back to the house three times to get whatever it was I forgot the first two times, I'm sweating, exhausted and ready for a nap!

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Too funny - I did the exact same thing with the teddy bear backpacks at the exact same age (the stepping on the leash part). Now they're two, and we don't need them anymore. When they got to be about 20 months, I'd start having one boy hold the inside handle of the door while I kind of blocked him with my body and buckled his brother in, or have him go all the way through to the other side and sit down and wait for me to come around (depending mostly on how dirty their shoes are). This stuff will get MUCH easier in a few months. For me, age two has been much easier than age one, because I'm starting to see the benefits of their being buddies, and because thy're so much more physically independant. Your kids are adorable, BTW.

Eva said...

So cute! Thanks for the advice, I'm sure it will come in handy in a few months.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

A great hack for getting them out of and into the car when you go shopping is to park right by the cart return. You can just take a cart that is already there and put one in and then push the whole thing around to the other side to get out the other kid/s.

This also makes it easier when you are done shopping because you can bring everything out with you and not have trouble returning the cart.