There’s been something going on behind the scenes of your local media. Some of you may already be aware of it, and for others this may be breaking news. It’s almost a pandemic. You have probably seen one on television. You may even be reading a story by one right now. The secret is out: there are a lot of people in the media who have given birth to multiples.
Anyone who follows my Edge Mom column may or may not be aware that my tongue-in-cheek look at life with three kids comes from having three kids at the same time. You feel pretty unique when you have multiples, but that only lasts until you find that your network of parents of multiples is actually larger than you would think. It became clear pretty quickly that there are a lot of media personalities who have been blessed with multiples or are a twin themselves.
Ah, daylight savings time. A time when there is just more light to be had, because we can drive home with the sun over our heads instead of sinking into the horizon. Those driving west don’t have to squint quite so hard when they drive home at the end of the night, and those driving east don’t get to be quite as smug with the sun behind them.
Sometimes you just need to be reminded that you don’t have it all together. It keeps me humble. Embarrassed and humble.
So with the ever-revolving whirlwind that is life with three 1.5-year-olds and a husband and a job, you can imagine things can be a little crazy. Well, we added to the crazy by altering the kids’ nap schedule. And when I say we, what I really mean is, they altered it and I’m still adjusting.
For the past several months, they’ve had two naps. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. They range from 1 to 2 hours each. It was awesome. Kids nap, I wash bottles, dishes, laundry or get phone interviews or writing done.
I was interviewing some people for a story when an older acquaintance popped her head in and we chit-chatted for a bit. She knew I had triplets, and I referred to them as babies – and she said to me, “But they aren’t babies anymore, they’re children.”
I was taken aback for a moment, because that was something that was true and at the same time not even close to the truth. And, let’s be clear, I’m not talking about some whimsical notion that my kids will always be my babies. I mean, they’re still clearly babies. They cry, they poop in their pants, there’s a 50-50 chance that they’ll drink their milk out of a bottle. Babies do all of those things.
Being a parent changes your perspective on lots of things. You start looking outward instead of inward. You begin thinking of all the cool things you want to show your little beans. Re-experience what it’s like to see the world with fresh eyes. And suddenly every rock and roll song with the word “baby” in it takes on a whole new meaning.
Finding out about the world must be awful. I mean think about all the things you get to take for granted now: communication, movement, the laws of physics. The kids are just learning about these things – at times painfully.
With my boy walking – not just taking the occasional step – there are more things to worry about. They all have access to shelves that were previous safe zones for items like coffee and car keys. Books and DVDs that held no interest to them are now being forcibly rearranged, and then moved completely by responsible adults who want to be able to watch the complete first season of “Firefly” without teeth marks in it.
I was watching my hundreds of video clips of the kids that I had recorded from the past year, and I remember thinking to myself: I should have posted these online. And that gave me a pause. Yes, when my son started smacking his lips while eating applesauce, that was oddly hilarious, but probably not something I would share with everyone at Business After Hours (no offense to anyone I see at BAH).
And that’s when things get sticky (not that everything in my house isn’t already sticky). Because it’s fine to post a few super-cute pictures and one or two uber-cute videos. But when do you stop? And how do you sort who gets to see what and if they even want to see it? I’ve written before about how subtle social cues are lost on me these days.
Playing with the kids is much less one-sided than it used to be. Games before usually consisted of me making faces, grabbing their hands or arms and forcing them into a round of paddy-cake or bouncing someone on a knee until giggles or spit-up happened. Now there is clapping. There is knocking things down. There are full-contact sports.
Two out of three are experimenting with cruising, and the third isn’t far behind. My son enjoys the one-handed approach. Climb up to standing by using a piece of furniture, then casually look behind him to see how impressed I am with his incredible feats of skill and strength.
Of course, he also loves to pull himself up onto items that are less than stable - including, but not limited to, the wheeled toddler cruisers, the gliding rocker and his sisters.
Everyone is OK. It’s important to start these stories with that caveat.
Anyone with a toddler knows about the unique terror-filled joy of watching your bean go through the metamorphosis from the larval infant stage into a toddler. Pulling up into a standing position, cruising around on furniture and wobble-walking across open spaces – you get the idea. And then there are the experiments with gravity.
Heads are bonked, tears are shed, boo-boos kissed. Until the Big One happens.
What a ride. Year one will soon be a thing of the past. How strange is that?
This past year has been a blur. New parents, you’ll be told often how quickly time flies. And it will. Time takes on this strange quality when you have kids. The days themselves seem to go soooo slowly, but the weeks and months fly by. It seems like yesterday that I had my kids in my belly, and now they’re pulling themselves up by the furniture and speaking in tongues.
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