I Think We're Just Going to Stay Home
October 2, 2008
Before Molly was born I made sure to do some research on how, exactly, one transports two children (under the age of two!) by herself. I scoped out double strollers at the playground. I spent hours online reading about slings and wraps and pouches. I studied car seats and infant carriers and for goodness' sake, people, WE BOUGHT A NEW CAR. A bigger car, with more storage and more seats. But now I wonder why I bothered, because leaving the house with two children (under the age of two!) is practically impossible.
Sure, we've been out and about plenty of times, but always when my husband is around to do the heavy lifting. There was that one time I took all of us to the playground up the street because the toddler needed to be worn out, but this morning was my first real attempt at getting the three of us somewhere by a certain time. We were going to Jack's playgroup and we were going to get there by 10:30. I know, I know. No one cares if you're late to the playgroup. But I saw it as a challenge. Could I get one infant, one toddler, and one barely coherent adult ready to leave the house – and then ACTUALLY LEAVE THE HOUSE – by 10?
For the zillionth day in a row, Jack would not eat his breakfast. Fine. I let him down from the high chair to watch Sesame Street while I nursed Molly. Then I tossed them both into their cribs so I could take a quick shower. (Yes, my kid is happy to sit in his crib and look at books and listen to music while his mother savors a blisteringly hot shower. GO ME.) Once I was dressed it was time for Jack's bath. After I dressed him, it was time for Molly's bath. I totally forgot to brush my teeth and put on deodorant because I was too busy picking out the perfect pink outfit from a drawer full of pink outfits (we were going to be making first impressions!) THEN I packed the diaper bag. There were one or two more feedings in there somewhere. And then I keeled over and died.
Okay, so maybe "died" means "sat down in the rocking chair and visualized life before the babies."
That wasn't even the hardest part. The hardest part was figuring out how to get them in the CAR.
No REALLY. How is this done? Do you put the baby in first? And leave the toddler to run into the street, or drink the paint you're storing in the garage, or run his finger along the side of your filthy car and then rub it off on his white sweatshirt? Maybe you put the toddler in first, but that means you're leaving the baby alone somewhere and what if said baby passionately hates sitting in her car seat and will scream until you amend the situation? AND! What if you have an extra flight of stairs down to your garage? You can't possibly carry both the toddler and the car seat at the same time, and your toddler is recently experimenting with Outright Disobedience and won't go down the stairs by himself just to taunt you. WHAT THEN?
I somehow managed to haul the toddler, the baby, and the bulging diaper bag into the garage without any screaming or falling down the stairs. I banked on my ability to quickly fasten Jack into the car seat before Molly could get too angry being left alone in her carrier. And by the time I climbed into the driver's seat and turned the key, I was more than ready for the afternoon nap.
Anyone have any suggestions on transportation? Logistics? How to prevent the toddler from poking his fingers into the baby's eyes while you are running back up the stairs for the burp rags you forgot to pack? Don't be shy now. When I left the playgroup one of my friends had to chase Jack into the street and carry him back to my car because I was busy buckling in the baby. Obviously I need some pointers.