Earlier today I posted a picture of myself and my darling infant twin boys out to eat at a restaurant. And it got me thinking.
This photo was taken at P.F. Chang’s in Des Moines, IA. At the time of the twins birth, my husband was the Executive Chef so we went there quite a bit. I was a new stay at home mom and there were many a day that I HAD to get out of the house. So whenever I got the itch, we packed up ALL OUR SHIT and headed to the mall where we would have lunch with Daddy and then walk around for an hour or two to kill some time.
As I looked at this picture, I remembered how much I got out and about with the boys’ when they were itty bitty. The point of this little article is to give you pregnant mamas or new mamas of twins some helpful tips on going to restaurants and other public places with your twin infants. Conversely, if any of you are restaurant folks or retail personnel pay close attention to these tidbits of helpful info as they pertain to you as well.
Before you leave the house
Here’s a handy dandy little diaper bag list that might be helpful. Please feel free to print your own copy and hang it on your fridge (go ahead and start stocking up on magnets now because you’ll need when your twins start bringing home backpacks full of artwork daily). Some of you might think this list is overkill. I can most assuredly attest to the fact that there is a good chance when heading outside of the home with your twin infants in tow that you will, in fact, need all of these items. Most of the list is self-explanatory, the ones that may have you scratching your head, I will provide you with a brief explanation.
- 4 premade ready to go bottles AND an extra full container of formula
- 4 pairs of pajamas
- 8 diapers
- 4 burp cloths (or 4 of those receiving blankets that are too small to really use as a blanket)
- 6 pacifiers
- 2 bottles of hand sanitizer – for all the old bitties that insist upon holding your precious bundles of joy right after they blew their nose into an already snot filled handkerchief.
- 2 clean shirts for yourself – unless you enjoy the smell of baby vomit times two.
- Scissors – this one is a must especially if your infants just started an antibiotic for an ear infection and decide mid-dinner to have a massive red poop explosion. Scissors come in handy to just cut the poop saturated clothing off of their cute little bodies.
- Latex or Vinyl Gloves – I don’t know about you but baby poop (especially, but not limited to red baby poop) makes me want to hurl.
- 2 full containers of wipes (extra thick) because those flimsy ones just don’t get the job done adequately.
- Plastic bags – to dispose of your biohazardous materials.
- A sign to wear around your neck that says,
Yes, they are twins. Yes, I have my hands full. They are boys (do you not see all the blue). They are “natural.” No, I don’t sleep. Yes, I am Supermom but please feel free to hold the door open for us and our monstrosity of a double stroller.
When going out to eat:
- Make reservations and specifically ask the person taking the reservation for a large table to accommodate two infant carriers and slings.
- Do NOT forget the diaper bag at home.
- Upon arriving at restaurant, ask the hostess to ensure your table is set up with the slings (or high chairs) in place. As a server, it would drive me bonkers when people requiring high chairs and slings would be made to stand awkwardly at the table while the hostess went to retrieve all the paraphernalia. As a mom, I hated to be the star of the restaurant with my gigantic diaper bag (see above) and twin infant carriers hanging out by the table anxiously awaiting the return of the hostess with the mostess.
- Do your research and have your order ready to go as soon as the server arrives. You have no idea how long you have until your babies are screaming bloody murder. Most servers were taken aback by me. ”Hi. Welcome to (insert name). Can I bring you a beverage?” ”Yes, I’ll have a vodka martini up with olives. And I’m ready to order.” Most servers would just stare at me blankly then quickly scrounge around for a pen and paper feverishly writing as I blurt out my order at rocket speed.
- Sit back and enjoy the martini for the 3 minutes you have before the children start requiring your undivided attention.
- Accept the fact that you will not enjoy a hot meal for the next 6 years. At least.
When going out to other public places (such as the mall)
A little leg work is successful to make your first outing to the mall with your twin babies a successful one.
- Pre-birth – check out all the restrooms. Get one of those mall maps and make notes about which ones rock and which ones suck. I’ve found that department store restrooms are often the best. Especially Dilliards and Nordstroms. Shoot, the Nordstrom bathroom is nicer than my whole house. A little pre-baby scouting trip will save you loads of stress later. Trust me.
- Park your vehicle in a central location so when both children start screeching you can make a relatively quick break for it and not have to run the entire length of the mall to your car.
- Park near an entrance that has handicap access. This makes it so much easier to maneuver your stroller into the facility.
- Know the location of the nearest elevators. Again, department stores are often nice.
One of the most repeated comments I receive from others (still to this day) is:
I don’t know how you do it! Twins! Wow.
I did it and still do it with a lot of planning. I did it by learning the hard way. I did it because I didn’t know how not to. That is one of the joys of motherhood. We can all learn from one another and share little tidbits of information we gather along the way. Sure there might be some sarcastic laden tips in my list, but I can promise you that I actually did all of these things and it made my experiences mothering twin babies much more enjoyable.
What about you? Do you have anything to add to this list? What about twin mamas with singletons too? I’d love to hear all your ideas. Share the knowledge friends.