It is difficult to shop with twins. Aside from problems with fussing, crying, grabbing things off shelves, etc., there is the problem of where to put them.
A shopping cart has only one child seat. I'd read on twin sites that it was possible to put the twins in that seat together, one leg of each twin bent and the other leg of each twin through a leg hole. That did work, but only in the window of time after they were old enough to sit alone and before the shoving and hair-pulling began (about one month; your results may vary). Also, the seatbelt isn't big enough to go around both of them, which is nerve-wracking if you depend on the seatbelt to be Officer Safety.
The other twin can ride in the back of the cart, but not if he keeps pulling himself to standing, threatening to plunge his top-heavy little self right down to the hard polished floor. Even if he stays sitting, he has access to everything you put into the cart.
Some places have enormous, heavy, awkward carts with an attached 2-seater section. The sticker on these carts says that only children older than a certain age, usually 2 years, may ride there, but I've used it with my 1-year-old twins. The primary problem is that the two seats seem to be arranged to give the children maximum kicking and hair-pulling access. Edward will grab enthusiastically for Elizabeth's hair time and time again, pulling her head down nearly to the floor as she yells, or he'll cheerfully kick her again and again.
The best solution for keeping the babies restrained and comfortable is their double stroller: two seatbelts, low access to each other (I put Elizabeth in the back seat because she is unlikely to pull Edward's hair or kick the back of his seat; and from the front seat he can't reach her), comfortable seats. But then I have only a stroller basket for whatever I'm buying. It's a nice big basket as strollers go, but it's not big enough for much more than a 12-pack of toilet paper.
I read (again, on a twin site) the idea of getting two carts, and putting one twin in the child seat of each. You can push one cart ahead of you, and pull the other cart behind you. This also gives you double the carrying space for purchases, which is great for minimizing trips to the store. I've tried this in times of desperation (we need toilet paper AND diapers AND paper towels AND laundry detergent AND cat litter AND cat food AND...), but it leaves me a wrung-out wreck. It's hard to keep track of both babies when they're spread out like that, it's hard to steer around corners, and there's the social discomfort of taking up ALL the room in every aisle you go down.
The only solution we've come up with is to wait to go shopping until the twins are in elementary school. (Actually, I wait for Paul to get home from work, and then I run to the store with only one twin.)
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...