It’s raining outside and there’s nowhere to go. The kids are watching Monsters Inc. My house is tidy… Well, sort of tidy. I better make use of this quiet time. Here goes, blog post no.2.
So what’s life like as a stay at home mummy of twins? It’s fantastic, now that they’re nearly four I have time for all sorts of things, however the early days were a different story. I’ll be honest. Those first few months after the twins were born were really tough. With no family living within a few hours’ drive, coming home from hospital to a harsh winter, and a husband working long hours and weekends; it’s hardly surprising. However, I was lucky to have a kind public health nurse, who visited me regularly during the first six weeks. And family and friends were great; especially in the beginning I was inundated with helpful and curious visitors, all vying for a peek at the new arrivals.
Naturally the helping hands began to call less frequently, and in order to shrug off my cabin fever, I needed to learn how to go about my business with my little babies in tow. This was no mean feat, but I quickly discovered what’s important: industrial strength tummy-flattening knickers (obviously!), comfortable shoes – as I spent all day on my feet, a large and robust over the shoulder change bag for carrying absolutely everything times two (think Mary Poppins), plus dry shampoo, and a nice bottle of perfume – because a quick spritz can do wonders for your self-esteem when you’re not feeling all yummy mummy. However, my most important discovery was figuring out which supermarket provided something I had previously taken no notice of – an abundant supply of twin trollies; thoughtfully placed next to extra-large parent and baby parking spaces. A lack thereof can make life needlessly difficult, especially when you’re having just one of those days…
On a rainy day like today, after a morning of preparations and a few false starts (poopy nappy just as I started the car engine! Argh!) the babies, myself and the Mary Poppins bag finally arrived at a supermarket to do the weekly shop. I slowly drove past all the trolley bays in the three-storey car park searching for a twin trolley and a parent and baby parking space, while traffic was backing up behind me. I thought the indoor car park would make my life easier on that rainy day, but unfortunately so did everyone else. Feeling a little prickly, yet not disheartened, I settled for a minute parking space and struggled to move the babies from the car to their double buggy safely (in the rain!) From the rooftop car park, we trudged down two escalators, passing a myriad of shops to arrive at the high-end supermarket and yet another trolley bay devoid of twin trollies. I found a manager whose only explanation was that all their twin trollies had gone missing? There’s a twin trolley thief on the loose! Can you imagine?
As you can probably guess, my stress levels were rising. I’d had enough, and the prospect of returning home empty-handed after so much effort didn’t help matters. I actually didn’t make a fuss – I didn’t have the energy. I suspect my wide-eyed look of bewilderment spurred the manager into action. He attempted to placate me with promises of a new trolley, locked up in a store room for my sole use. The saga he proposed was ridiculous. To acquire the trolley I would need to go to customer service, request a manger to collect the trolley from the store room, swap the trolley for the buggy, and when I had finished shopping I would need to find a member of staff to fetch my buggy from the store and push it back to my car. Unfortunately the manager couldn’t see why I didn’t find this logistical nightmare appealing. My request of ordering more twin trollies and placing them next to the mother and parent parking spaces was met with an apathetic ‘we can’t make any guarantees’.
I ploughed my way through the supermarket, hunting down only the essential items which could be balanced on the buggy canopy. That night I managed to cobble together a dinner from the contents of the kitchen cupboards. The next morning I had to go through the entire rigmarole again, except that morning I had better luck at another supermarket, finding both a twin-trolley and a large parking space right away! I was in heaven.
Unwilling to endure the stress of another fruitless trolley expedition, I didn’t go back to this supermarket with the twins. Since then I have only visited when flying solo, and on those rare occasions it can be a very pleasant experience! Today and only two years on, I see great advances have been made in the supply of twin trollies to all my local supermarkets (probably thanks to encounters with myself and numerous exasperated twin-mummies!) I notice they all have at least a dozen twin trollies lined up at the entrances… right beside the parent and baby parking spaces. Is it my imagination?.. There seem to be twin trollies and parent and baby spaces everywhere I look.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntiep/256850220/”>Auntie P</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ooh_food/3254362650/”>ooh_food</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>
Brilliant Olivia…….brings back stressful memories, I remember getting so frustrated one day and complaining to a manager, but I’d say it went in one ear and out the other …..all in the past now !!!
I found it so stressful. I remember getting back home and unpacking random groceries I didn’t actually need. I must have been in such a panic that I started throwing anything in the trolley. Or maybe it was the kids!!
I want to feel like a “yummy mummy”!! I love that. And I’m guessing that store manager was of the male species. Look forward to reading more.
Thank you! Yes the manager was a very young guy, just a baby himself.
Oh my God, I would be in jail for murder! v funny in retrospect though…
I was reaching that point. Two years on and i’m still not laughing! I still comment to stu ‘look at all the twin trollies lined up here’. Grrr.. Thanks Jean xx
Oh gosh, that sounds like a nightmare! Going through all that and then not getting to do the shop. I’m sure the unhelpful guy at the store had no idea at all what it meant for you to get there. Live and learn. I now know there’s one grocery store in my neighborhood I can go to and fit through the checkout with the double stroller. You definitely see the world with new eyes. Parent and baby parking spaces sounds like a really fantastic idea–I’ve never heard of that.
Thank you for commiserating with me! That was an awful day. I think it certainly deserved a blog post.
So you don’t have parent and baby parking spaces? Only the newer stores have them here..
But remember you have a cooler head than I do. I have a talent for getting myself into a tizzy!
Very cute write-up, Olivia. Having twins would have been so fun, but I can imagine the challenges one faces each and every day. You kinda just have to go with the flow. But this about the twin buggie is quite frustrating to say the least. It’s almost the same thing when you take care of an elderly person. My mum could get inside the store, and then she would have to sit. No wheelchairs to get around here. Finally, she bought herself one, and used it once before she passed away. How sad is that?
Oh your poor mum. I think here isn’t much difference between being helplessly young and helplessly old.
Having twins is great fun, especially today – they both have chicken pox! They aren’t terribly ill, just a bit watery looking, tired and too ill for Montessori. Hopefully they’ll pick up soon. ;0)
Sorry about the little ones feeling ill. I remember when mine got the chicken pox. It was nice when they got ill at the same time. That way you didn’t have to run with one and be at home with the other. Kind of hard to be in two places at once. lol
Yes that sounds strange, but it’s definitely easier when they are sick at the same time. It’s not fair dragging whoever is sick out when you need to drop the other to pre-school. Worst case scenario is when we are all sick. That is very unpleasant, but doesn’t happen very often. I’ve toughened up so much since having the twins.