Herding Toddler Twins (Also, Fun In Leaves)


Trips to the playground with the twins have gotten slightly more nerve-wracking lately (running in opposite directions, two wobbly, fearless toddlers, precipitous play-structure drop-offs), so I thought taking them to run around in an open field in Highland Park might be a relaxing change of pace.

It was a blustery fall day, and as we entered Highland Park leaves were raining from the trees and the sky was overcast. Still, I pushed the double stroller off the path and onto the grass under some tall oaks, got E out and placed her on the ground. Acorns immediately started raining down on us–eighty feet up in the high branches, a group of squirrels had chosen this spot to enjoy a messy nut feast. I grabbed both babies and moved us over to a different tree.

Soon M and E were both up and running all over the place, throwing handfuls of leaves in the air, bending down to look at sticks. At first, they came back every minute or so to excitedly hand me an acorn. Then they just took off down the path, not looking back. I followed a short way behind, but very soon got nervous about the distance between us and the double stroller. The stroller is my only way to transport both twins and must stay close at all times.

I picked up E, who protested loudly, and tried to coax M to walk back toward the stroller. That worked for about a minute until M yanked her hands away. I set E down, ran to get the stroller and ran it back, at which point they both took off in opposite directions, both running toward the road.

I finally just ran and grabbed M, then E, carrying both kicking, incensed toddlers all the way back to the stroller, where I bribed them with some snacks. Maybe we need to buy some of those toddler backpacks with the leashes, and who cares what people think.


16 thoughts on “Herding Toddler Twins (Also, Fun In Leaves)

  1. You are doing great! I have been in the same situation since Spring, and it only gets more complicated wrangling the two little people. It takes a lot of brave/crazy/impulsive decisions to manage each new developmental leap. Im all for the “leashes”, but am going to wait till it gets warm again to get them.

    • It’s amazing how it keeps changing. You get more comfortable that they can handle one thing alone, like the slide, but then they’re determined to go down the bigger one, or go further, or faster, and constantly challenging themselves and you! I guess they definitely keep us on our toes. Miss you all.

  2. When I grew up in Scotland, every toddler was in a harness for safety reasons. I temporarily lost sight of Becca at a crowded street fair and was frantic till I found her with a policeman. I called my mom and asked her to send me a harness, but after attracting too much attention, did not use it again. Still think it is a good idea though!

    • It seems very practical to me! We will see if it works or if they completely resist. You never know until you try these things. I’m sure I must have thought they were strange before I found myself a parent of toddlers…now they make sense.

  3. I still have my backpacks and if you were closer you could have them. They were life savers at the airport. I never cared what anyone thought! It is good to let them have a good run around but I remember the same saga, trying to stop them from reaching the road before I did. I then stuck to fully fenced playgrounds and hoped that other mothers remembered to shut the gates.

    • I wish I were closer to you and all the amazing twin parents here! We would have quite a fun group! That is an excellent point about the airport. We are planning to take a trip for the holidays, and I was wondering how it would go with them, maybe we’ll plan to get the backpacks for that…

  4. Hil, it’ll only get harder to “herd” them as they grow older. They’ll head off in opposite directions and you have no chance of capturing them. You may as we’ll accept your fate.

  5. I have bought reins but haven’t used then yet as only one twin is walking so far so it’s not such a problem yet. Interesting to hear that other people react when you use them, I certainly have no qualms about doing so if I need to!

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