15 Things I’ve Learned from the Triplets

The triplets turned five this past weekend and, like any parent who watches his or her children grow up, I’m so proud of the little people they continue to become. And that’s just it — they continue to become their own little people. More and more each day, in fact.

Ever notice how I don’t really write much about Alli? I mean, sure, I’ll go 30,000 feet on her and maybe pen something like 15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know, but I don’t tell a lot of specific stories about her and the reason’s simple:

Alli’s a big girl and her stories aren’t mine to tell. There hers.

And the triplets are pretty much right there, too. That’s why I’ll continue to tell fewer and fewer stories about them the older they get. But this one’s kinda like the one about being a stepparent. It’s more about the things I’ve learned from them than it is about the triplets, themselves.

Anyway, I’m rambling, so I’ll just shut up now and drop you the link. If you ‘d like to read, head over to Disney by clicking HERE.

Photo: family friend Beth Lankler

7 Things You Should NOT Discuss With Parents of Triplets


You know what I wonder? Whether anyone has every used the phrase “ass-wiping Octopi” before.

Because I used it in this piece I wrote yesterday. And I gotta tell you — it felt really, really good. Because this was a rant post. Only, I’m not mad at anyone. I was just in the throes of this big ol’ writer’s block and busted out of it with a bit of an attitude. So my apologies in advance.

If you’d like to read up on the 7 things you really shouldn’t mention to parents of triplets, click HERE to read over at Babble. (Just make sure you’ve got a big ol’ grain of salt with you.)

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The Best Thing About Triplets

You know what the best thing about having triplets is? Watching three kids who share the same parents, the same house, the same school, the same siblings and so many of the same experiences turn out so differently. And I’m telling you one thing, y’all — this will probably go down as one of my favorite summers of all times because their differences, which have always been prominent, are becoming more apparent than ever before.

[Read more…]

The Triplets’ Fourth Birthday

I’ve been such a loser about posting to my own site lately, and for that, I’m sorry. But it’s been kinda hectic around here lately. Anyway, part of the hectic was the good kind — the triplets turned four! And as they opened the gifts we gave them, I couldn’t help but think of all the gifts they’ve given us. I wrote about those gifts over on my Babble Voices blog, and I hope you’ll check them out, as well as the corresponding pictures, by clicking here.

The Theory of Relativity as it Pertains to the Departure of Toddlerhood

Jack, Kirby and Sam back in the day.

Everything’s relative. This pregnancy should be a piece of cake compared to the last one, our friends would tell us. And they were right. Because this pregnancy was much easier. No scares. No progesterone shots. No round-the-clock contraction monitoring. No hospitalized bed rest. No problems.

Even so, this pregnancy was harder to endure.

Still, everything’s relative. Taking care of just one baby will be so easy compared to taking care of three, our friends would tell us. And they were right. I mean, there’s a reason for the faint smile that creeps across my face after each successful 2 am bottle. It’s because I remember the days when I’d still have two more hungry customers waiting not-so-patiently in line.

Even so, taking care of Grand Finale has been harder than taking care of the triplets. At least that’s what I’ve found to be the case so far.

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The Time We Met Our Brother

Soon after Caroline and I first learned that she was pregnant with Luke, I was surprised to find that I actually had to mourn the loss of something: the “youngest child” status that the triplets would soon give up. This, of course, made me appreciate just how incredibly well Alli handled the triplets’ arrival. Sure, you could hear her gears grind just a bit during the first few months of their lives, but all in all, she adjusted beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that I honestly don’t think Caroline and I would be half as effective in raising the triplets without her.

So now the question, of course, becomes how will the triplets handle the arrival of their brother?

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When Triplet Toddlers Do The Dishes

No one likes to do the dishes. Well, except for the tiny trio (who are about to outgrow that moniker, by the way). As they take great delight in the chromed magic that is our dishwasher, opening and closing and once again opening its door. And even standing upon it if they’re feeling saucy. Of great fascination are the two racks which slide in and out. And the silverware holder? It rivals Dora.

Okay, that’s bullshit. Nothing rivals Dora. Except for possibly Caillou. Who’s bald at age four with no apparent medical condition which would require any type of hair-losing remedy. And whose parents are annoyingly empathetic, not to mention always successful in conveying moral-laden nuggets of wisdom in sing-songy fashion. And, oh, by the way, could someone please tell Caillou’s narrator to dial it down just a touch? This isn’t Shakespeare, girlfriend. It’s a borderline sanctimonious, B-minus cartoon about a bald kid. Yet, I digress. This post isn’t about Caillou. It’s about what happens when toddler triplets do the dishes.

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Walk a Mile in Our Shoes

I can’t decide if this is super-cute or wildly disturbing.

Control Issues

okay, you guys start with "twuck," and i'll chime in with bus. got it?

We’ve officially reached the echo stage at our house. You know, when at least one phrase from every sentence spoken gets repeated by a toddler? While that might get a touch old fairly quickly, it’s nowhere near as bad as hearing the triplets repeat their own words. Incessantly. Which is what’s been happening in the car lately.

All three of them were going nuts this past Saturday. “Show, Daddy, show. Show, Daddy, show. Show, Daddy, show.”

No. They’re not repeating their favorite Ben Roethlisberger pick-up lines. They’re demanding to watch a video in the car while we run our Saturday errands. (Pongo and Perdita. We’re off Elmo.)

At least that demand could be met, which pleased our little associates and quickly restored the peace.

For a little bit.

“Twuck,” said B.

“What’s that, buddy?” I asked.

“Twuck.”

“I don’t see any trucks.”

“Twuck.” This time it was A.

“Twuck, twuck, twuck, twuck” they began chanting in unison, each iteration louder than the previous one.

They wanted to see trucks, which put Lovie and me at the mercy of the truck Gods. Though they’re money on the interstate, they’re shaky at best on windy neighborhood roads. Which is where we were at the time. Which meant we were in for several minutes of “twuck” talk.

At least C isn’t big on trucks. She’s more of a…

“Bus.”

…bus kinda gal.

“Bus,” she said again. “Bus, bus, bus, bus, bus!”

Allow me to breakdown the situation for you. Three toddlers, wanting to see two different things, doing one annoying thing to drive home their point. Lovie and I were frustrated to say the least. Why? Because we weren’t in control of the situation.

From the very first day we brought our little guys home, one thing was clear. If Lovie and I didn’t establish control quickly, it’d be the tail that wagged the dog around our house for eighteen years. So we set a strict schedule for the triplets from day one. We seldom deviate from it. Nap times, feed times, bath times, and bed times are all set in stone. We got started early on the potty, successfully training all three shortly after their second birthday. We always make them clean up after themselves, we hardly ever pick them up and carry them, and we’re not afraid to put them in time out. Please and thank you are a must, as is sir and ma’am.

Old shool? Maybe. Instill-respectful-order school? You bet.

We’re pretty damn strict. And people can say whatever they want about it, but unless we want our family life to resemble a methodically moving train wreck riddled with endless fussing and distracting drama, we have to put the hammer down. And we like our end result. Because of our philosophy, the trips are down by seven each night, allowing us to spend some quality time with Pookie at the end of our day without the presence of an echo. And Pookie needs that. Come to think of it, her parents need that, too! And we get it, so long as we have control of the situation.

Which is what made our Saturday drive all the more difficult. We had no control of the situation. Not only could we not physically stop A, B, and C from their chanting, we also couldn’t magically make buses and trucks appear while driving down Northshore to Kroger. So their simultaneous, bi-gender, vehicular-related meltdowns were difficult to endure.

Twuck, twuck, twuck, twuck, twuck.

Bus bus. Bus bus.

Twuck, twuck, twuck, twuck, twuck.

Bus bus. Bus bus.

After about ten minutes? Let’s just say we were over all of the twuckin’ bussy-ness. If Lovie and I could have produced a gaggle of eighteen-wheelers, each pulling a trailer of buses, we would have done so in a New York minute. Because we needed to get control of the situation, and that was impossible because…well…

Because our triplets were trying to do the same thing. That is, they, too, wanted control of the situation. So it was a battle of wills. We wanted order. They wanted trucks and buses. In this instance, neither side won.

And we’re okay with that. If we keep it up, we’ll win our fair share. And if we win our fair share, I have a feeling that the triplets and Pookie will be winners, too.

Photo Haikus

This post is proud to be a part of Fatherhood Friday. Go check out what the other great dads are blogging about today by visiting dad-blogs.

Quick note to my Ktown peeps — my blog got a shout out on Live at Five at Four on Wednesday. A big thank you to Katie Granju for the love. If you’re visiting because of the reference, take a peek around, as this is not my typical post. But this is. So’s this. Oh, and maybe this, too.

Moving on…

If you stop by my modest blog regularly, you know that I’m usually good for a (reasonably) solid literary effort.

Today? Not as much. All I got for you this time is nine pictures. Three of A, three of B, and three of C.

Well, I suppose I have a little more than that. I’ve also written a haiku for each of our toddlers–one line per picture. So why the haikus? I’ll explain them with yet another:

Just a normal night.
Until I saw something else,
Mundanely magic.

Sammy Monster

He's stoked for bath time!

can be tentative at first,

He likes to fill the cup up.

Our Sammy monster.

Laid Back Jack

Jack is sensitive.

Curious and to himself,

thoughtful, shy, and sweet.

Kirby Girl

Kirby's precocious.

So charming like her mommy,

beautiful like Pook.

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