Last week we took our first every family vacation with just the 4 of us--me, hubby, Thing 1, and Thing 2. We spent 5 wonderful days in Las Vegas, and had a lot of fun.
Fun? you say. With two toddlers?
The twins were absolute angels the entire vacation. Aside from the witching hour every day, they were gems. They smiled, laughed, oooed, ahhhed, and generally stopped traffic with their cuteness.
It turns out twins are a lot more exciting outside of Utah. People constantly stopped us to ask questions. "Are they twins?" "Are they identical?" "Were they planned?" "Are you going to have more kids?" "Is it hard to have twins?" Most of these questions had me barely able to refrain from rolling my eyes--really, does anyone plan twins? It's not the type of thing you can exactly plan--but people were so sweet and enthusiastic that I couldn't stop from glowing with motherly pride and happily answering all of their questions.
So the twins were great. The people in Las Vegas were great. (Seriously, people are insanely friendly there! Loved it.) The drivers in Las Vegas were insane. The vacation as a whole was great.
And it was due in large part to this:
Yes, those are "child safety harnesses." But let's be honest--they're leashes. Child leashes.
I used to look at parents who leashed their kids with barely concealed contempt. I swore I would never be that type of parent. That I would actually watch my children and not use a leash as an excuse to be negligent.
And then the twins became mobile. And I knew that if I ever hoped to have some version of sanity, I would one day need to invest in the leash. Right before we left for Vegas, I went to Toys R Us and bought two of them.
And after about five minutes in Vegas, I was incredibly grateful that I had.
Toddlers don't love the stroller, as we all know. And inevitably, multiple times a day, the twins wanted to get out and walk. So we had two toddlers, two adults, and one ginormous stroller that someone had to push. The leashes were our lifesavers. I would strap the backpacks onto the kids, and I could keep track of them while Neil pushed the stroller. Multiple times they ran in different directions, causing onlookers to grin and laugh in a "you've-got-your-hands-full" kind of way.
But the twins were happy. They were safe. I wasn't a nervous wreck trying to keep track of them. Because of the leashes, in large part, we were able to enjoy our vacation.
I swallowed my pride, and have repented of my previous negative thoughts towards parents who use leashes. I've joined their ranks. It's not going to be an everyday occurrence by any means. But when we head to highly crowded areas where a child could get lost and hurt in less than a second, I'll pull them out again.
Las Vegas was awesome, and I can't wait for our next family vacation. We're thinking maybe we'll attempt Disneyland next summer.
TWIN MOM TIP: Traveling with twins can be stressful. Make sure to pack plenty of treats, bottles, diapers, and a change of clothes before going out. And let your kids dictate the vacation. If they're hungry, stop and eat. If they're tired, head back to the motel and try and get them to take a quick nap. It's inconvenient, but you'll all be much happier in the end. Trust me.