Just a quick video of Josie and Marcus and their new moves along with a little clip too cute not to share.
There was a time it was not worth even attempting to take my kids into the bathroom while I showered and got ready for the day. It would take two trips to even get them all in the bathroom and then someone was bound to need something within 2 minutes. Therefore, if I wanted to shower (and there were plenty of days I wanted to but could not), I always had to wait till the kids were napping or down for the night. Now that the kids are very mobile (Josie and Marcus are walking more every day) and can entertain themselves for a brief period of time, I will sometimes let them play in the bathroom while I shower. As standard as this is for some parents, for me this very simple personal freedom is a huge step in my quest for a tidbit of independence from my children. Although they cause quiet a bit of trouble, tearing through the cupboards and playing hide and seak in daddy’s dress pants (sorry hun, that is why they are so wrinkled), it is worth it!
My babies are entering a new stage, toddlers. I now know why they say the first year with multiples is the hardest. Unfortunately this statement is not making reference to the uncomplicated, carefree, joyful days that come with raising two or more toddlers. Rather, this statement should be reinterpreted to say “If you made it through the first year with multiples alive and your mental well-being still intact (with the aid of prescribed pharmaceuticals counts), you should be primed to handle all that lies ahead; including, constant whining, stray poop, and the whirlwind that now defines your life.
Since passing the 1 year mark, life certainly hasn’t calmed down but it sure is more entertaining and here are a few reasons why:
1. I remember worrying when a poopy wipe touched the carpet when the kids were newborns. Quiet the opposite, this morning I was pondering how on earth a terd ended up on the floor when Mia came flying towards me (literally, this girl’s crawl is constantly in fast forward) completely naked and handed me her dirty diaper. About this time, Marcus fell down the first flight of stairs and Josie glued herself to my leg. Just another typical morning…
2. I used to dangle one rattle above all three children’s head and they would all giggle and grasp for it, no on minded sharing. We recently received a gift of 100 of the kids’ favorite toy, balls. That is 33.3 balls for each child. Wouldn’t you know, a fight erupted over one of the 15 green balls that were strewn around my living room. Marcus pulled Mia’s hair and Mia threw herself on top of Josie. They all then turned towards me and erupted in tears.
3. I used to think it was hilarious when the babies attempted to turn over. Now, as the kids learn to walk and maneuver their world, their antics are so much more entertaining. For example, Josie knows she needs to go down the stairs backwards so she lays on her belly and begins to push herself feet first towards the top of the stairs that are another 5 feet away. Marcus still feels secure holding someone’s hand and walking around. While going up the very slight incline at the bottom of our driveway he turns himself sideways and inches his feet sideways. Meanwhile Mia must have no depth perception or fear. If she wants to go downstairs, she has no qualms about diving down the stairs head first. If that’s not entertainment, what is….KIDDING!
4. I used to be entertained watching my infants grasp at objects. Now I’m amazed where objects end up. Last night someone left the bathroom door open. Within 1 minute I found a ball in the sink (my children are only 2 ft. tall?) a bottle of lotion in the toilet and the water running in the tub.
5. Rolling under the coffee table used to be a blast to the babies but now the entire house is a jungle gym. Our dining room set has become the “tunnel zone”, our hallway bench the “monkey bars” and the once innocent music table the “launching pad”.
6. I remember finding the babies’ coos so intriguing, “I wonder what they are thinking?” Now the kids “triplet speak” or have mysterious conversations while riding in their strollers, during dinner and while fighting over toys. I can only imagine what they are saying but they often get quiet heated and enthusiastic (“Josie, tell mom I ate that baby wipe and you die!”).
7. I use to dress my kids in the cutest outfits and if they got too dirty, I’d just swap it out for another adorable outfit. Now, my kids only wear pants while we are out. Attempting to dress the kids is mayhem. Mia often grabs her shirt and tries to pull it off before you can get her arms in and Marcus acts like putting on a pair of pants is equivalent to receiving a round of vaccines. Therefore, it is not surprising we got second glances at Target the other day when Mia tried to jump out of the cart pantless (oops…I forget from time to time).
8. Bath time used to be such a calm and pleasurable experience for everyone when the kids were tiny. Now, it is nothing less than utter chaos. Marcus is turning on and off the faucet, Mia is crawling from one side of the tub to the other the entire bath (and taking nose dives into the water as flip turns) and Josie is crying because she just wants a little peace. So much for the calming lavender baby bubbles.
9. The babies use to copy the tone of our voice when we babbled at them. Now the kids copy almost everything we do. Whenever we sneeze, Marcus fakes a dramatic sneeze, head jerk and all. Mia is already picking up my dance moves (your going to be rockin’ that dance floor baby ) And just the other day I saw Josie pointing to her nose…wait, or was she picking her nose?”
10. Our triplet infants used to stare in our eyes and smile to let us know they loved us. Now they run to us with outstretched arms, huge giggles of glee and wrap their arms tightly around our neck. If that doesn’t say “I love you”, I don’t know what does!
Wait, do I have three boys? Most of Marcus’s clothes were passes down from Aunt Tracey, who has two boys with lots of clothes! Marcus probably has 2-3x the pajamas the girls have. Therefore, when laundry doesn’t get done on time the girls end up wearing Marcus’s pajamas. The girls don’t seem to mind but I admit on these days, I often call the kids by the wrong name.
As a follow up to my recent grocery store rant, yesterday while loading the kids into the van, Mia pooped. Wouldn’t you know I had one diaper left in the van stockpile. I attempted to change Mia’s diaper without completely taking her out of the carseat and the darn sticky tab ripped off! I hate it when that happens! I didn’t want to run back into the house and grab another diaper but I happened to have duct tape readily available in the van (long story). Anyway, the duct tape worked like a charm and that darn diaper stayed put the rest of the evening! This must be straight out of “the diapering manual for dummy dads”. Classic.
Lately I have been racking my brain thinking of places to take the kids. They seem to get bored at home (even though they have a thousand toys, a playground and a baby pool at the house) but they are very entertained when we go places. Yesterday was beautiful so we took the kids to Duke Gardens:
Also, be sure to check Max out on the Multiples and More website. He was featured as a guest blogger on Saturday!
I reserve my evenings for “me” time. This is when I workout, relax, and drink a glass of wine while watching my favorite TV show (at the moment this is Weeds…dark humor in suburbia always sucks me in). This means if we want to eat, I have to grocery shop with my trio in tow. I actually don’t mind taking them to the store. They are usually very well behaved and that means 1 hour less of whining during the day! However, the “protocol” of taking the triplets anywhere is pretty lengthy and rarely goes as planned. Here is our typical grocery store trip…
About 20 minutes before I want to leave, I take a deep breath…
Protocol – Give the kids one last sip of milk before I put their sippy cups back in the fridge.
Mia finishes her milk and I put her cup in the fridge. Mia frantically screams when she sees Marcus sipping out of the blue straw cup. Mia gets a sip from the blue cup. Josie screams as Marcus grabs her yellow cup. Marcus takes a sip and throws the cup across the floor. Josie retrieves the stolen cup and sips down another 4 oz of the “yellow” milk and hands the cup to Mia. Mia throws the blue cup across the floor. I retrieve the cups, put them in fridge and wipe up all the milk that has leaked from the “spillproof cups”. The kids scream frantically signing “milk”
Protocol – Put the kids shoes on
I slip on Marcus’s shoes. Mia pulls his right shoe off. I slip on Mia’s right shoe as she squirms and kicks. She hands Marcus’s shoe to Josie who tries to put it on her foot. I pull Marcus’s shoe off Josie’s foot and get her shoes on. She sits and plays with her feet. Marcus has pulled his other shoe off and Mia has taken it into the ball pit in the other room. I frantically dig for Marcus’s shoe while Josie goes and opens the “childproofed” kitchen cupboard. I find Marcus’s other shoe by the front door. I finally get both Marcus’s shoes on. I find Mia’s other shoe in the toy bin and after about a 5 minute struggle, get it on her foot.
Protocol – Grab the diaper bag
I grab the diaper bag from the hall bench and lay it on the living room chair while I go grab Josie from the kitchen. I discover bowls and snacks all over the floor. Oh well, I will clean it up later. Grab Josie and head back to the living room. Marcus and Mia have pulled the diaper bag down from the chair and have taken all the diapers and happy meal toys out. Forget it, let them play with the “special” toys and throw the diapers back in the diaper bag.
Protocol – Carry two kids out to the car and put them in their carseats. Come back for the third child and a diet coke (If I didn’t drink in the car I would be perpetually dehydrated. I’m afraid I drink lots of diet soda now).
Shoot, I can’t pull the darn door leading to the garage closed anymore while holding my two 20 pound children. F%^& it, Josie can’t go down stairs yet and she is the cautious child. Buckle Mia into her seat and let Marcus sit on the garage floor. Struggle for 3 minutes as Mia wrestles the car seat straps. Retrieve Marcus from under the workbench on the other side of the garage, sh%^, is that a screwdriver in his hand? Crap, Marcus just pooped his clean diaper! Ugg, Josie is trying to come down the garage steps head first! Grab Josie with one arm (Marcus is in my other arm). Set Marcus on the floor and buckle Josie in who is frantically clicking her tongue for her stuffed kitty. Where the H$## is kitty? Find kitty on the floor of the garage outside Josie’s door. CRAP, Marcus has climbed back up the garage steps and is now back in the house. F$%& it, he needed a new diaper anyway. It is REALLY HOT in the car and the girls are whining. Start the engine to give the girls some air (the garage door is open) and turn on their Baby Einstein DVD’s. Sh%^, Josie’s DVD player won’t turn on. Finally, figure out how to get the DVD player to work and go inside to get Marcus. Marcus is playing with the bowls and snacks that are strewn all over the kitchen floor. Pick up the kid, change his diaper and finally buckle him into his carseat. All three kids are quiet and mesmerized by the miracle that is van DVD players.
Protocol – Make sure I have diaper bag with wallet, phone and grocery list before pulling out of driveway
Sh#$, I forgot I took my wallet out last night to order that damn book on “surviving toddlerhood with multiples” (because that will solve all my problems). Run inside, grab my wallet from my desk and FINALLY pull out of the driveway. Sh$%, I forgot my diet coke. F$#% it, I’m so dehydrated as it is, what is another hour without a drink. Gosh it’s bright out here…God only knows where my sunglasses are, I sure as he$% am not going to try to locate them now. 40 minutes has passed since I thought about mobilizing the kids.
Protocol – Drive through the parking lot until you find a monster truck size Target cart in a cart return. Hope for a parking space close by.
Yes, somehow I always luck out with this step!
Protocol – As soon as I exit the car, put the van keys in my right front pocket. Get the cart, wipe it down with a bacteria wipe, place Mia’s infant carseat in the “I have too many kids seat”, place Marcus in the front of the cart and place Josie in the Ergo backpack carrier. Grab your diaper bag, lock the van and head into store.
Pop out Mia’s carseat and place it in the “I have too many kids seat” (I do not know what I will do when Mia grows another ½ inch and can no longer safely ride in her infant seat..God knows she is not going to be able to sit in the “I have to many kids” seat with only one buckle holding her down). Sh%^, the cart is missing the child strap in the front seat. F%^&; it, place Marcus in the seat anyway and hope for the best. Crap, I forgot to wipe the cart down and Marcus already is chewing on the grocery cart bar. F$%^ it! Grab the diaper bag, throw it in the cart, close the van door and wheel on over to the other side of the car to retrieve Josie. Sh^%, I forgot to grab the backpack carrier from the other side of the van. F$%^ it, climb over Josie and her seat and grab the backpack carrier. Finagle Josie in the carrier and roll eyes as Mia laughs hysterically as she pulls off Marcus’s shoes. Close the other van door and wait patiently for the damn automatic door to lock into place (good lord, why do these doors have to take so long to close, don’t they know a mom driving a van runs in fast forward!) Grab keys out of front pocket. Wait…where are the fu%^ing keys! Open van doors and search frantically for keys. Find goldfish, puffs, dirty diapers, and stuffed animals on van floor but no keys. Dig through diaper bag…no keys. Look in Mia’s carseat…no keys! Check Marcus’s pockets (hey…you never know and I stopped thinking logically months ago), no keys. Realize that Josie kicking me in the a##, hurts more than usual and realize my keys are in my right back pocket. What the h#$$ was I thinking? Shut all van doors…tap my feet waiting for doors to close and lock doors. Wheel into Target
Protocol – Grab the items off my list while in motion. Do not stop to browse or read labels at any cost. Avoid eye-contact with everyone and try to be polite if someone makes any “you have your hands full comments”
I am the master at this…no problem. I have grabbed everything from my list (minus store brand diapers and formula which Target is almost always out of) in record time and have made it to the check-out with only minimal stares. I am feeling awesome! Sh$#, Marcus’s shoes are no longer in Mia’s hands or carseat. F%^& it, I am going to have to go back through the store to find them. PHEW! They are in the grocery cart (who knows how, who cares)! Sh^&, I forgot the canvas grocery bags..oh well, at least I bought environmentally friendly dish soap (and another 100 disposable diapers). Feel a tinge of frustration when the check-out lady asks me for my ID when ringing up the huge box of wine (HELLO…I have 3 children) but then realize I must look under 21 and feel fabulous (just let me believe this).
Protocol – Unload the kids into the car and then the groceries. Otherwise I will not have room to climb into the van to put the kids away.
F$%^, you have got to be Sh&^ing me! A teenager has parked their SUV right up against the right side of the van. How am I supposed to load the kids in the car! Load Josie into the left side of the van because she is on my back and that is the only seat I can reach. Frantically look for anyone in the parking lot who could help me out. No one..at the busiest place in suburbia, no one is around. Move the kids in the cart into an empty parking space next to the van, quickly get in the van and pull out into the parking aisle. Load my kids and groceries into the van before someone calls the police. F%^&; it, leave the cart in the empty parking space rather than wheel up to cart return. Fantasize about leaving a nasty note on the teenagers SUV and a picture of my triplets that says “I hope this happens to you!”
Protocol – Arrive home; keep the car and DVD’s running while I unload the groceries. Then, turn off the car and unload the kids. Put away the groceries.
Sh$%, I accidently turn off the car as soon as I put it in park. The kids immediately start whining since their DVD’s have turned off. Quickly carry as many groceries as I can into the house in one load while the kids start screaming. Kick myself for trying to save the environment by requesting my milks not be put into bags and attempt to carry in 2 gallons of milk and 6 bags of groceries at one time. Finally unload the kids (by this point you can imagine how smoothly this must go) and get into the house. Realize Marcus has already decided to help put away groceries when I find a banana in the hallway. Sh$#, I forgot to close the bathroom door when I frantically peed (which only happens once or twice a day due to my lack of liquid intake) before leaving the house and now Mia and Josie are splashing around in the toilet. Get the kids out of the bathroom (this is not as easy as it should be because as soon as one is out the door, the other crawls back in while the other pulls the door back open, etc.). Crap, Marcus has managed to open the puffs I just bought and they are now all over the kitchen floor. The girl’s realize this and come running over. They are eating puffs before I get a chance to wipe down their hands after playing in the toilet. F#$% it, my ice-cream is going to melt If I don’t get it in the freezer pronto.
Protocol – Congratulate myself on another successful grocery store trip, take a deep breath and start dinner.
I frantically grab a glass of wine, gulp it down and celebrate making it home. Thank goodness our kids are so darn cute! Can’t wait for our trip next week.
I guess I’m still celebrating my children’s first birthday. Trust me, you would too We had so many fabulous pictures from the kid’s party, I’m sharing a few more.
The kids also had their 1 year check-up yesterday. Everyone is doing grea but the poor things had to get 4 shots each. They are all in the 20-25% for weight and height with the exception of our little peanut Mia, who is only a whopping 17.5 lbs which is 5% for weight. The girl is so busy, I have a feeling she may stay slender for awhile. Marcus also decided to keep up with Josie and walk today. Out of nowhere he stood up and walked across the playroom. I’m still waiting for the day I can say “let’s all go outside and play” and they run out the backdoor and entertain themselves for hours. Maybe tomorrow.
There are no words. Simply turn your volume up…not too loud, you’ll scare away the neighbors.
I’m a southern gentleman, through and through. Ladies first, strong handshake, yes mam; I know how to make introductions and set the dinner table for the Queen. However, it seems that lately my ability to take the time for courtesies may have taken a slide, and my hunch is that it has more than a little to do with the new pace required to handle triplet toddlers.
I realized this today, the first time we made it to church since their summer hours started; we have 15 minutes less on Sunday morning to get mobilized. After dropping the kids off at the nursery, I strolled up into the sanctuary looking like I was headed to a Kenny Chesney concert – scratch that – like I had been touring Kenny all summer. I was kicking my tattered Birkenstocks from the 90s, commando in white linen shorts (yeah, my bad), and I had such gnarly 3-day beard growth that it looked like I was in the Stanley Cup finals. Well, at least my polo shirt had sleeves AND a collar – let’s be grateful.
There are other examples too. Like when I’m checking out at a grocery store, five customers deep in line and pretty unnerved about it making me late. Besides – I don’t schedule in an extra 10 minutes for that sort of thing. When they open up a new register, I used to always offer it to anyone who had been waiting longer than me. Now, I’m a hawk watching the other workers note that the line is backed up and lollygag over to their register. As soon as they login to their register, “Hello!” it’s me waiting to scan my first item, usually organic whole milk, which I’ve never even tried. Every 3 days I get a text message 2 minutes after I pass the last grocery store on the way home from work that says “Stop and pick up milk for the kids”.
Then, when she says “Do you have a VIC card?” I think, probably, but not on me, and I don’t know what phone number is tied to it and I don’t have time to tell you anyways, because you’ll probably punch it in wrong once or twice. So I say, “Just scan yours, and I know you have one, don’t pretend you don’t. I need those discounts!”
Or maybe you’re an asshole too and do this: there are four self-checkout stations and each one has exactly one person at it, what do you do? I stand in an ambiguous rear-middle stance with legs wide and arms even wider holding out my wares, in a 50% “I’m sore from lifting” stretch, 50% 2nd grade “do not pass” pose. Inevitably, someone comes up behind me and says, “excuse me, which line are you in?” I respond that “whichever one opens up first, then you’re up. If you’re smart, commit to my station because I self-check like Usain Bolt.”
On the rat race of commuter traffic home from work the other day, I was in the Jetta in a rolling stop and go pattern, trying to guess which of my kids will go first in the NFL draft. Probably Mia, she’s got a wicked grip. A mature woman, and when I say mature, I’d guess she was 137 years old, pulled up on my left. She was rotating her right hand in circles, and I realize that she was asking me to roll down the window. I smiled and laughed on the inside. I said, “Don’t you know it’s 2009; we just push buttons to roll down windows now.” She wasn’t listening. She wanted me to listen. She began a 90 second diatribe about my driving. She called me names and body parts that would make George Carlin blush. I didn’t know that they even had that language back in the ‘20s. I was so intrigued with little old lady that I kept my window parallel to hers for the longest time, long past the time when she was done letting me have it. She asked me, “what the f*ck do you want?” and I said, “your phone number, because I love you – I know how to make triplets.” She showed me her new manicure, but just on one finger, then rolled up her window to get back to her Terry Gross interview.
Yeah, maybe I’m an asshole sometimes. OK, not maybe or sometimes. But I’m trying to have fun and, most of all, survive. Laughing is as important as loving, especially if you can do it at yourself, or with yourself – wait, that’s a whole ‘nother blog.