23 Levels to Insanity – Leaving the House with Two Toddlers

Plan vs. Reality

I originally planned this post with the title: the seven stages of insanity. Turns out, it takes 23 steps instead. Oops. I might still be dreaming of summer when all you needed to do to leave your house with kids is to put some shoes on them *sigh*.

This literally went down at ours last Sunday, when TMD and me decided that, in the effort of keeping our children healthy, we really needed to go outside, even though weather was miserable. Here I present you with “the 23 stages”:

  1. TMD and TMM (aka “the parents”) decide to leave the house right after lunch, so we can get some fresh air and daylight into the Mimis before they go for their nap. Nice plan, right? When this intention is shared with the Mimis, it is not met with undivided enthusiasm by Mimi #1. The words “stay inside” and “play” might have been uttered. They were ignored.
  2. “The parents” come to the conclusion that raingear is the appropriate thing to wear on that miserable day. Frantic search for the trousers ensues. We find 2 trousers in the size of Mimi #2 and none for Mimi #1. They must be at nursery. Damn. We source some extra insulated ones so TMD decides Mimi #1 does need to take off her leggings before putting them on. This is not met with enthusiasm either.
  3. In a concerted effort, we try to put shoes on their feet. Mimi #2 complies and sits down have her feet put into her shoes. Mimi #1 would (spot the conjunctive) be perfectly able to put the wellies on herself. She doesn’t though. Instead she decides to throw the very dirty wellies (which have been kept out there for a reason) from the staircase into our entrance. Our entrance looks like a freshly ploughed field.
  4. TMM hoovers the entrance with the handhoover since otherwise the mess would just spill into our lounge in no time. Especially as our “entrance” basically is slap bang in our living room.
  5. At the same time TMM (keyword “multitasking”) searches for scarves and hats and puts them over or on the Mimis heads. Since she didn’t pay attention (multitasking again..) Mimi #1s snot (she’s had a cold for four days now) ends up on the scarf. TMM decides to ignore that.
  6. The parents put jackets on the Mimis. And zip them up while walking behind them (a key skill in winter). Also “the parents” manage not to zip into the Mimis chins. Always a bonus.
  7. Mimi #2 grabs hold of her doll’s pram and insists on taking it with her. TMD ushers her out the door into the staircase (note: we have not yet left the house).
  8. Mimi #1 screams because the fit of her hat is not satisfactory due to her ponytail. TMD takes hairband out. Mimi #1 now can’t see much but seems happy.
  9. Mimi #1 decides she needs to take her balance bike along.
  10. Mimi #1 changes her mind and now wants to take her kickboard.
  11. See point 8.
  12. See point 9.
  13. TMD randomly puts on his jacket and shoes and walks out to open the house door. His shoes are even dirtier than Mimi #1’s wellies.
  14. TMM takes broom to quickly clean staircase. We have great neighbours and would like to keep it that way.
  15. TMM realises she needs to put on some clothes too. Takes out random, hopefully warm bits of clothing. Quickly thinks it would be great to wear her beautiful and comfortable Hunter wellies which are in the cellar. Too far away. Wears her 10 year old non-descript trekking shoes.


    Mimi #2 taking “the Phantom Baby” for a walk

  17. No, this is not over yet.
  18. The parents decide that since they would like to go for a walk further than 50 metres, they will take out the trailer too, just in case.
  19. They take the trailer out of the garage. The tires are flat.
  20. The Mimis decide they want neither doll’s pram nor kickboard.
  21. TMD tries to air the tires with “help” (see my post on when helping isn’t helping).


    A little help is guaranteed to slow things down make you happy, right?

  22. TMM stowes kickboard and pram away in the garage


    And why again did we have to take these out? Mimi #1’s standard answer to these questions is: because.

  23. We put the Mimis in the trailer and actually LEAVE.

BTW: Mimi #2 fell asleep about two minutes after we’d left the house which wasn’t according to our plan (see 1.). So we half-jogged around the block to put her in her bed in hopes of a naptime break for the parents. Needless to say she decided to sabotage this plan and after 1 hour of indoor playing, TMD left again with the kids for the playground. This was what it looked like when they came back. Pure, adorable evil, I tell you.


If they weren’t so damn adorable, it would really be exhausting. Oh wait, it actually is.

 I’m hoping we’re not the only ones failing miserably at the attempt to leave the house fully dressed in a coordinated manner?

Actually, if you want some sound advice, check out my friend Alexandras blog doublyblessedblog.com (she’s a mother of twins, so she’s playing in a different league althogether!).

Happy, sane week to all of you!

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When helping isn’t helping

As a caveat: this post does not contain ANY meaning- or helpful parenting advice. Just an honest opinion. And a drinking confession.

The famous Swiss expert when it comes to raising kids is Remo Largo. For those of you who are Swiss and who have kids, I believe that 99.9% of you have purchased the book “Babyjahre” and yes, it is great and true and helpful in real life (something rarely true for any of the advisory books about parenting. Well, not as if I’d read many of these to be honest. We just make it up as we go along). One of my friends summed the book up as follows “he basically says everything is normal, since all kids are different. And that grass doesn’t grow faster when you pull at it”. All so true.

What he also says is that you don’t necessarily have to always “just” do childfriendly actvities. Rather involve the children in your daily chores and tasks around the houshold, as what they really crave is to do as the adults do, to imitate and be part of the things which happen.

For me this is great news in the sense that it is not deemed necessary that I enter the seven circles of hell every day (i.e. things such as daily visits to the playground, or, much worse, softplay areas.

What it means though is that you should involve kids in stuff like folding laundry, cleaning the flat, cooking, etc. Sounds great, right? Have you ever tried it? I would like to illustrate my point with the short video below.

No. It is NOT helping. It is actually just testing my patience. And that’s the harmless version of helping, as anybody with kids certainly has experienced. Folding laundry with a toddler? “HA” is all I say to that. It is more like a folding contest, where you have to prove your lightning-speed folding-technique whilst the toddler proves his equally fast unfolding-strategy. It is exhausting. And not beneficial to mother – child relationship if you’re asking me. At least if you don’t wont to fold that one basket of laundry for all eternity.

Cooking with kids is another great topic. We love doing that because it keeps them busy. HOWEVER, you must calculate on average 2 times as long for the cooking at at least 4 times as long for cleaning. Mimi #1 can be involved in baking stuff but will eventually end up covered in flour. Or dough. Most probably both. (I recall the Gnocchi making attempt last Sunday which is still vivid in my mind, Kudos to Twomimidad for going that extra mile). Mimi #2s arms are still too short to reach from the Triptrap (the #1 kid-seat in Switzerland) to the kitchen worktop. So she’s left to play with the cutlery drawer (most of the time we actually remember to remove the sharp kitchen knives, bonus points to us if we do) throwing all the cutlery one by one on the stone kitchen floor. Bonus points to the parent who manages not to step on a spoon and fall over!

I am certainly already looking forward to all the x-mas cookie making, will need some meditation before AND after the activity I believe. But all in all, I would rather clean my kitchen for an hour (or even two) than going to an indoor playing area on a rainy day. At least I can pour myself a proper drink whilst cleaning in peace, when the kids are in bed. And that -my friends- is always a killer-bonus!


The brave adult keeping the kids busy in a pedagogically meaningful activity was actually my Mom. Yep, she’s fearless! (and no, I have no clue on what amount of chocolate was consumed in the process)