Do you ever feel like only your multiples are hard work? Do you try and go out to dinner or do family activities and it turns into a disaster? Our Florida teacher, Joanna Navarrete, shares her hilarious take on dining out with her three children – we hope you can relate and laugh a little to ease the pain. As always – share with us your stories!

When Twins turn into Monsters

There are days my hubby and I want to do something fun and exciting. We want to try something new and bold again. Something out of ordinary. “Dancing”, you say, “or cocktails at a new underground club? Get a couples massage on the beach at the new hotel in South Beach?” NO! These days, with a 5 year old and 2 year old twins, I simply mean dinner OUT IN PUBLIC! And I don’t mean a 3 Michelin Star restaurant like when we were parents of a singleton. I mean the TGI Fridays a block away, with loads of (covering) background noise, no table linens (to ruin) and a 5 top, round, tucked away in a corner (where there is less chance of being seen). Because these days this is how we get our kicks.

So…this is how it usually goes: We enter child-proof/ hesitant-adult-approved establishment. Hostess asks how
many, we say five – two adults, three kids, two highchairs. She nods, says ok. Walks us to the table, sets menus down and goes off to find highchairs from somewhere down the road. Meanwhile we stand around the table holding squirming children who want to sit on regular chairs and start coloring. We first need to ensure tables are prepped and sanitized and we have all the accessories needed for said dining fiasco event. We take out sanitized wipes and wipe tables and little hands. Then it’s disposable bibs, little forks, sippy cups, and adhesive plastic placemats. Still no highchairs in sight.IMG_1620

Ten minutes later the highchairs arrive. We wipe them down because in the amount of time they took to get them, you’d think they’d be cleaning them, right? Wrong. Now the fun begins, namely, trying to get two already settled toddlers into a confined space known as a highchair. At this point, I’m already sweating because I know what’s coming. The toddlers look at the highchairs like cats look at a water bath. They start screaming, kicking, screeching, crying and arching their backs like they are possessed. Everyone near our table is now looking at us and either deciding how fast they can politely finish up and leave or looking for a server to move them across the restaurant (near the bathroom if need be).  Meantime you are pleading, begging and bargaining with just about anything for them to stop.

We are finally sitting down.

The server asks whaIMG_1609t everyone wants, kids get water, adults get their drink on. At the same time we order the kids food. By the time server gets back, thankfully with bread and our drinks, we know what we are ordering. We entertain the kids with the bread and their drinks. But they don’t want the water in their sippy cups. No, they want the cups with the cool red lids and straws instead. So instead of mommy and daddy drinking their delicious alcoholic beverages, we are simultaneously retrieving thrown straws, flagging down servers to bring new ones and trying to distract straw-deprived toddlers with crayons.  Unfortunately some crayons fall on the floor. We pick them up but some have broken. Toddler A cries because they’re broken. And cries because she still wants the broken pieces. Toddler B meanwhile is trying to get them in and out of the box for 15th time with inevitable consequences. 5 year old is quiet and content coloring (phew).

Food arrives for the kids. But they want more bread, not their food. OK – bring out the big guns: their iPods. But of course all the apps they like need wifi. No free wifi here. Toddlers chuck the iPods on the floor. We reprimand and they start to scream bloody murder. We hand back and we all agree not to throw and to stop crying.  They eat a couple of spoonfuls. They’re eating ok. Five year old now needs to go to the bathroom right at that moment. I get up to take her. Twins start losing their minds. I hear them in the bathroom the whole time we are there. We come back, they settle down. Toddler A rips her placemat off the table and drops her fork on the floor. Daddy picks them both up again.

Our food arrives.

We can’t start eating because Toddler A has spilled water all over herself, requiring a change. I get back from restroom with freshly changed child but now she doesn’t want to sit on the chair, she wants to sit with mommy. I try to put her back. I fail. I sit her with me. Now he wants to get out of his highchair. Daddy moves him next to him and distracts him. I eat with one hand as Toddler A tries to squirm to the floor. I drop my fork. I get new one. I inhale my food because who has time to chew and savor?! Toddler B with Daddy has taken off his shoes and is squirming out of the high chair and crying and bending backwards in frustration. Toddler A on my lap, now needs a diaper change! I change her again with Toddler B screeching in the background. 5 yr old has taken 3 bites of her food because she’s too enthralled with her iPod.

At this point, hubby now has asked for check, I have eaten about a third of my meal. I have – at least – managed to drink my alcoholic beverage. Toddler A is on the floor running in circles around our table. Or playing peek-a-boo with the table next to us. Toddler B is standing on his highchair. Toddler A takes her shoes off on the floor in the IMG_5674middle of the path, and as I’m trying to pick her up, she becomes a rag doll and starts to kick and scream. 5 year old is saying she wants ice cream and getting pouty because we are getting the hell out of there without ice cream. Toddler B chucks the remainder of his food on the floor. Hubby is beyond aggravated and at this point we vow never to leave the house again. We tip the server handsomely and we get out of dodge!

This is almost EVERY time! You’d think we’d learn our lesson, but no, we always hold the inkling of hope we will one day be able to dine out like human beings and not like a circus act gone wrong! I love my kids and I always vowed they would never be THOSE kids you stare at in a restaurant and judge the parents. But us crazy parents want to go out every now and again, and we really try to do the best we can. We smile and sweat profusely and get aggravated with the whole scenario but know this too shall pass… In maybe 3 years when the twins are 5 and the 5 year old is 8 everyone will be perfectly behaved. Won’t they?!


Are you pregnant with twins/multiples? Come join our Expecting Twins Classes all around the country – New York City (Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn), Westchester, Connecticut, Florida (Miami and Orlando), California (San Francisco and Los Angeles), Boston and Houston. Click the classes tab on the Twin Love Concierge homepage for further details. Not located in these areas? We also offer cost-effective skype consultations – personalised to you and your family.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Joanna Navarrete, TLC’s Prepartum Associate and mother to three beautiful children, one girl and a set of fraternal boy/girl twins. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has lived in Miami for more than 17 years. Joanna is experienced in both retail maternity and baby gear. She embraced motherhood by instilling herself in every newborn facet she could find. Between classes, books, blogs and mommy groups interaction she developed a broader sense, which helped her with not only her own family, but others that asked for multiples support. Vetting all types of baby gear, from strollers to pacifiers, she immersed herself in finding practical fashionable functionality. You can contact her at for more information on our Miami and Orlando services[/author_info] [/author]