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TWINTERTAINMENT or TWINFECTION?: My Love/Hate Relationship with Mall Amusements


By Cheryl Lage

Last Friday, as my twins and I sat in the “sick” area of our pediatrician’s office awaiting our “Lage, Party of Two?” call to action, I finally confronted the moral dilemma I’ve avoided for the past two months.

But first, let me digress…
When I attempt to identify the most beneficial innovations of the past one-hundred years, what comes to mind? Television? Modern medicine? The Internet? Sure.

From a personal “Mom-of-Two-Year-Old-Energetic-Twins” point of view? Two things come immediately to the fore: 60-Second Dry Nail Polish, and the Circular, Enclosed, In-Mall Play Area.

When the weather outside is frightful, when West Nile mosquitoes are lurking, when we want to work on our social skills with non-sibling peers, nothing beats the “Mall Playground”.

Of course, I was slow to warm to the concept. All the horror stories of germ-infested ball pits, phlegm-slimed moon-bounces, and never-cleaned fast food playplaces were hard to ignore. After a winter that entailed no less than three emergency room visits, dualling cases of RSV and a recurrent bout with the Croup, you can understand my initial reticence.

Lulled into a summer sense of health security after two full months with nary a call to the pediatrician, my courage was finally mustered.

From the moment we wheeled our double-stroller to the narrow, Mommy-monitored entry/exit, all three of us were hooked. Like junkies seeking a fix, we now pile in the car at least three times a week…new-found playground bound.

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At last, single-handedly I could take the twins to a place where they could be physically challenged, safely confined, and socially stimulated.

Sadly, our happy playland honeymoon was short-lived. All the brightly-colored attractions acquired a sinister undertone when our daughter woke up vomitting the day after an extended play spree. Who was the malcontentious culprit dwelling in the petri dish playground? Could it be Foot-Fungus the Frog? Strep, The Sequoia-Shaped Slide? Or were the villainous germs contracted while crawling through the Triangular Tunnel of Tuberculosis?

So back to my moral dilemma:
If we continue our frequent forays to Play Paradise, am I irresponsibly exposing my twins to bacteria central?

If we halt our utopian excursions am I depriving my twosome due to my own hypochondriacal germ-phobia?

Our daughter’s diagnosis? Severe strep throat. Incubation period from time of exposure? Three to five days. Eureka! We hadn’t succumbed to mall-magnetism within that window of time!

As soon, as the antibiotics have done their duty, and her brother recovers from his case, (contracted five days after hers) we’re making our McArthurian mall return in triumph.

Which brings to mind another twin Mommy-appreciated invention of note: Anti-bacterial, no water needed soap.

Feel free to contact me with your experiences in twin potty-training, or with any twin parenting dilemnas you may have at http://www.twinsights.com. I hope to hear from you!

© Cheryl Lage
Author of "Twinspiration: Real-Life Advice From Pregnancy Through the First Year" from Taylor Trade Publishing (2006), Cheryl is a fully-mobile, full-time mom to four-year-old fraternal twins, Darren and Sarah. Cheryl's unabashed honesty, vigilantly supportive style, and willingness to share "what works" have made her a requested speaker on a broad range of topics, twin-related, and otherwise. Check out her website @ twinsights.com.

 

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