After that first shopping trip, I remember thinking that I was supermom. Two kids and a grocery store? No problem. Bring it on. I continued to take them both to do the grocery shopping a few times a month until they were about 7 months old. Every time we went, I would leave one in the car seat and wear one in the pack. Easy peasy. Some days they were a little fussier and didn't sleep at all, but we still made it work. Once in a while I would go shopping while we were out on a walk. I would take some reusable grocery bags and use that in lieu of a cart. I would hand them from the stroller using the "mommy clip" which is an awesome giant carribeaner that fits on the handle of the stroller and can hold a lot of stuff. That worked well as long as we didn't need big and heavy things like milk etc.
I thought we had it made. Shopping was no problem. Then they started getting bigger. And heavier. And much less content to just sit in their car seat or a pack. At about 7 months they wanted to sit in the seat in front of the cart. There are a few problems with this option: 1) unless you are at Costco, most carts only accomodate one child in that seat, 2) trying to carry both babes to a cart is ridiculously difficult. (Note to self - always park next to a stray cart. Always.) I drive around the parking lot until I find a stray cart, and then I put them both in that one single seat anyway. They just have to stick both legs through one hole. Actually what they usually end up doing is putting one leg through and bending the other leg up on the seat. They're not the most comfortable, but they usually sit happily like that and enjoy trying to reach out and grab every item we pass. Sometimes, though, they don't sit happily. Sometimes they steal eachother's toys. Sometimes (by sometimes I mean ALL times) Caroline pulls Charlie's glasses off his face. Sometimes Charlie pulls Caroline's hair. And sometimes I want to pull my own hair. Not feeling so much like supermom anymore.
I need a new plan. Last time I was at the grocery store, I saw (far away from the rest of the grocery carts) some of those awesome carts that have a little car with steering wheels down at the front of the cart. And it's a little tender mercy that they have two buckles and two steering wheels. I'm hoping beyond all hope that those little car carts will distract my crazy little munchkins enough to prevent hair- and glasses-pulling, at least for 30 minutes so I can get enough food to keep us fed for a few days. Fingers crossed! Let the grocery store games continue.