Saturday 26 January 2008

Doing the Trolley Tango with twins

There I was, J in the trolley seat and S sitting on the nappy bag in the trolley - hanging on grimly as I push off the travellator BUMP .DH dropped us off to go to the Chiropractor with D, who has also been complaining of a sore back. I am all alone ... like here on my blog sometimes it would be nice if someone commented said hello (hello to my 57 readers- I <3 you. )

I have left my trusty monster double wide twin stroller in the car because I can't stuff much on it.Since speaking of trolleys (carts) I have yet to master the one-handed stroller push so I can drag the trolley behind me.
The four wheels are never in the same direction and it takes an hour simply to navigate the bakery and produce section - let alone the narrow aisles.

Now they can squirm,jump and stand sit without falling out, I am able to put one in the seat and one in the basket section, but sometimes they want to switch places every thirty seconds or so when they aren't squashing my bread or taste testing the produce and tossing it out in disgust.

I enjoy taking S & J places because they are so cute, I get kicks out of comments and they are so much fun getting out with them gets me away from the house and cleaning .

I hear a voice from behind -
" hi T ... ".
It's K, I met her at the ABA meetings with her son K , . K was born the same day as S & J too. Gosh , he has lots of hair and shoes on ... S & J can undo velcro like pros and we don't do lace ups -they get pushed off .I can't afford to lose shoes . Little boy, K, looks older -he is wriggling too. Mummy K chats about BF and says she stopped when she was 8-9wk pregnant .

I ask
"when is Baby due ? " ...
Oh uh - she whips open the back of her Phil n Ted pram to reveal the sweetest pink thing I have seen in ages. J aged 5 weeks ... opps - for the record she didn't look pregnant ... of course she wasn't anymore.

Small talk ...
S & J are getting restless -time is ticking away ... finally goodbye off we go.It was nice to chat.
The bakery section is first ...they are getting antsy already ... I spy a package of M & M cookies marked down $1 - I go to buy them at the enquiries counter so I can keep them quiet. J does the dummy spit. Lucky I see it - we are running out. I am not buying anymore.

Munch, munch, munch ... these are good - no save them ... the rations might not last the distance.

I select some vegies and grapes ... S & J chuck the biscuits eat a grape ..spit a grape skin and shuffle the vegies - kick the watermelon ... why don't I shop where they have twin trolley seats. Shopping with twins is nothing short of a full-scale military operation ... that is why I pack extra snacks,drinks and nappies too.

Another familiar face ... T, a mum of kid from D's primary school ...wide eyed, look of shock on her face - she hasn't seen me maybe since Y6 farewell if she even noticed me I was just pregnant them.

"are they yours"

" ... are they twins?".

Me ... Nodding and smiling !

T looks at me skeptically. "Identical ?"

"No..." I explain patiently.

"Big gap... " D is 14yr like her boy -both almost 15yrs
'Yes" ... silence Umm what do I say. I mention C my angel,born still. I don't have time to go into IVF . I am not embarrassed but I tend to answer the questions I'm comfortable with people I want. They say it is acceptable to smile politely and say, in the courageous words of Miss Manners, "I can't imagine why you would want to know such a thing." - I can't say that ! .

She doesn't go there ...fortunately. Maybe because she and her female partner have had their own struggles with uncomfortable questions ( after they had their kids - leaving their husbands behind) .

T:" how does D like them ?" etc...

Me :"He's great ... they love him..he is helpful ...changes nappies"

Speaking about eggs ... Opps parked too close to the eggs -just rescued them in time from J and S both ready to swipe and peg a stack of them off the shelves. I pickup my water bottle for the fifteenth time.

They smile and charm T with giggles.

T : "are they good?" & " am I busy? ..."

I smile ... of course the little toads (I can't say sh*ts but I think it) treasures are good and I am happy but yes they keep me busy bl00dy well run off my feet . She asks about the gap again .I tell her about losing C - when D was 11 I need to justify the gap.
She says sorry about C.

I rescue the measuring jugs from S and other kitchen stuff he grabbed off the shelf, before he hurls them out across the store - find the biscuits - shove it back in their hands and make small talk ... They are voicing their displeasure with me loudly, having been in trolley 20 minutes and not even up aisle 1.

I haven't been shopping for weeks with them , for a while I was convinced I would just never take them shopping again . Here we are after a fortnight since my mighty mouth teen eats everything in sight without food in the house. Oh, we had a week of visitors too ...but they were a welcome relief.

I see my son, D's, old boy scout patrol leader R (17 or maybe it is his brother S - now they look identical twins but are 1 yr apart red hair ,freckles and wide smiles )... working in deli he kindly offers us a two little boys {franks} ... S & J grab at them - J drops his but I whip it up off the floor in the blink of an eye. Ammunition is gold ! I hestitate and break the clean one in half ...gone in flash.More wails for "More"

I want to bail out ... but we have to wait for Dh anyway.Did I mention snacks? - grab a choc chip museli bar from my bag -half it off - we go again doing the trolley tango around someone who had stopped mid aisle. J is wailing again - I give him back the dummy.

I had my list. I planned to zip from one necessity to the other chocolate is an other necessity without unnecessary stops.I know if everything is planned ahead of time, it might just work.I scrutinise the specials but it is getting too much. I grab anything randomly.

J spits the dummy - I am not giving it back.Sammy screams are begining to resemble a shreking car alarm. Tears down his grubby M& M lips and dirt stained cheeks.He is buried beneath a mountain of bread, produce, 3litre milk cartons and M & M crumbs . Joel is squealing too .

Someone says :"someone's not happy" ...
Me: "yeah, your right I'm not" where is DH .

I smile sweetly and say 'push off' under my breath . Yes, it is just plain old 'We are Cranky time' and mummy needs to remember her she has run out of cask whine wine for later.

I see a familar face ...ah my blessed Dh has returned. He unearths S from underneath the 18 rolls of toilet paper (just in case we run out before I decide to venture out again alone) and various perishable grocery items. (why do the shops put perishables at the front of the store?)

He carries S and J voices his dispproval trying to undo the seat belt.
Carrying even one 11.35kg baby , let alone twins goes against the laws of physics - but I manage ...

Daddy unearths the drinks from the bag in the bottom of the trolley, finds the M & M's cookies and samples.I glare at him ... those are the mini packrat rations. The biggest packrat soon stands before us ...

"why are taking so long ?"

We hurry through the last aisles, we swap babies and head to the checkout.I get my wine, Dh his medicinal ale.We throw it all in the car and head for home. It has been almost 2.5 hrs... my poor babies and boobies.It is past milk snack time.

I have now learned, through extensive trial and error, that some things work, and some… well, let's not even go there.
I recommend allowing an extra half hour or so to navigate around the inevitable attention twins receive, and the questions, some which will be of a highly amusing ( like Tiff @ Three ring circus - gets "so you have identical boy/girl twins" and the "don't you have at TV" with her seven cherubs -including 2 sets of twins) or of a personal nature.

Sure it is nice that people around you admire your twins at first, but after twenty minutes of hearing the same questions and seeing my toddlers squirming and ready to re arrange the store - I think differently.Why is my memory so short term ?.

I dread the day my twins are too big for a stroller/trolley, they are automatically going to head in opposite directions to me and each other like their brother did - however he could always be found in the toys department

I know with the Internet and many e-businesses that shopping from the confines comfort of home is literally a mouse-click away . But I get to speak to people who use more than one-syllable words and 'eh' . I need contact with other adults.Sometimes the checkout operator is my only real life adult contact for the day. So be it - I will do it all again in a few weeks (my blog comments are very light at the moment so please talk back to me).


Crazed Nitwit said...

I am exhausted just reading about it. I kinda know the feeling as I used to take my boys to store when they were 1 and 3. And could grab stuff from the aisles(as I learned the hard way). DH used to travel and sometimes I had no choice. I did not get all the "twin" attention and that's okay by me. I hope you relaxed once you got home.

katef said...

Oh dear *ggiglesnort* I can laugh because I have been there... ooooh so many times!
One tip - if you shop at coles or safeways you can ask one of the managers to order you a twin trolley. They are obliged to do so, if they won't email head office.. worked a treat for me, though it doesn't solve the problem of someone else using it so they can put their eggs AND their handbag in the kiddy seats!

It does get easier as they get older. Now that my girls are walking less people seem to recognise them as twins and so we get less stops and less stupid comments... though I doubt it will ever stop all together.
I had someone ask me the other day "are they twins? (yes) How do you know?" Ummm.. I was there when they were born!!!!

Marita said...

My girls were born 20 months apart and I get many people asking me if they are twins.

If I'm out shopping and see another Mum I give them what I hope is a sympathetic looking smile (I really do hope it looks sympathetic and not 'I'm grinning at your torture'). No time to stop and chat because my girls are usually trying to destroy the store.

Shopping online is not all its cracked up to be. I've done it a couple of times and they don't always have exactly what I need, with fussy eaters in the house I need to get particular brands. So I usually end up back at the real store anyway. Plus the cost is just so much higher than going to ALDI, the fruit shop and the butcher.

I have to practice taking Heidi to the shops and having her walk around holding my hand. She is 3 now so I suppose I can't keep sticking her in the trolley but it is so much easier when she's contained. Often when she gets bored while shopping Heidi decides she is a cat and starts crawling and meowing. As long as she is following along and not being destructo toddler interrupting my shopping then she can be a cat. Just have to remember to wipe her paws clean when we are done - those grocery store floors are dirty.

Anonymous said...

Trish all I can say is that you are a brave woman shopping with two babies. I can barely cope on a quick run through Aldi with one!!

Nothing like the little snacks for a distraction. Noddy once ate two fruitbars out of a box of five in Safeway before we even got to the checkout. I always present the battered carton for payment to the long-suffering checkout girl.

Cathy said...

You are one crazy woman! I admire you though. I have two boys 15 months apart and I WILL NOT take them shopping unless I have another adult with me...or another adult to leave them at home with! I know this isn't always possible - I totally sympathise - you would have been exhausted once you got home, but I bet S & J kept going for a good while still :)

Gill said...

I found it exhausting shopping with one toddler, so I am in awe that you manage it with two!!

I haven't been blogging much lately - I find these Southern Hemisphere summers make me more inclined to swim or sit outside than blog, but I will be back with a vengeance when Autumn comes around!

Anonymous said...

WHAT possesses people to make such personal remarks? Lucky you have such a good sense of humour!

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment.

Please know that even when I do not respond specifically to your comment - I treasure each comment made and consider it a thoughtful act of friendship.
So what do you have to say ? Share with me ...
add your ingredients to this recipe we call life.