Running Errands With Two Kids

T was going to join us running errands this morning, but decided at the last minute to forgo the trip. So I went with the boys myself.

It was fine. There are some logistics I'll need to work out to determine what will be most convenient for me, but I'm probably fine to take the boys off T's hands for several mornings per week so he'll get entire days off from child-watching. Just a week and a half of watching W (except for four hours each afternoon, which he's had free) has pushed T to the brink. He's just doesn't have the temperament for it. I, on the other hand, enjoy hanging out with my kids. W does behave much better with me, so that helps.

I already figured out that if I'm going to carry M in the sling, it's easier to get W into the cart FIRST, THEN put M in the sling. I learned that the hard way, of course. And the Sam's Club carts are large enough it was convenient to put M in the back strapped into his car seat, with W up front, and I still had room for some large items.

I will be sure to feed M before the drive both into town and before we come home, to help ensure I have a sleeping infant for the 30-minute drive each way, and not a screaming infant. This I remembered from W, and it worked fine today. Although I now have the added step of feeding W at the same time so he's not just sitting bored strapped into his car seat while I nurse M for 20 minutes. But I'm used to feeding W on the ride home ordinarily, so this is no big deal.

Now with two boys to manage I do not think I'm going to rely on cloth diapers for M during our excursions, like we did when W was an infant. I guess I would rather expose my baby to the chemicals in the diapers for a few hours per week to avoid an impatient toddler meltdown resulting from too much time spent changing diapers between stores.

I'm not sure how I'll go to the bathroom with both of them. Today I just didn't drink anything while I was out and waited until I got home, but I'll have to think of something since I'm sure that won't be possible every trip.

Lifting W into and out of the cart is the biggest problem, since my wrist hurts from nursing. It's the same thing that happened last time when I was nursing W. But back then, I just had to tote an infant around, now I've got to lift the weight of a 30-lb (or thereabouts, I haven't weighed W lately) toddler with that bum wrist. I will wear an ace bandage for support next time I go out with the boys.

I did need to take a nap when I got home. I was physically tired after our excursion, but don't feel like I overexerted myself. Just some regular exertion, should be good for me.

So I am learning how to manage two kids at once. It's more difficult than just going out with a toddler, but only marginally more difficult than going out with a toddler while 42 weeks pregnant. So I am not overwhelmed by the task, I'm sure I'll do fine. But I am grateful that I don't have to manage two kids by myself all day right now. A half-day seems about right while I'm inching my way up the learning curve. By the time our afternoon sitter MA (I'll use both her initials, to differentiate from baby M) has to go back to school in the fall, I should be able to go back to the pre-pregnancy schedule of taking the kids from wake-up until 4 or 4:30pm by myself. At least that is the plan.