I LOVE having multiples. Sure, there are times when it’s difficult. Like when I have to get all three from the upstairs to the downstairs at my parents’ house, and nobody wants to be left alone upstairs, and nobody wants to be left alone downstairs, and they can’t walk the stairs by themselves (or sometimes they just won’t), so you try to make a break for it with one before the others notice, but they’re too fast and they get out the door before you can close it, so you end up carrying all three down the stairs at once because you can’t leave them alone at the top of the stairs. Yeah, that was hard.
As some of you might know, I’ve been a member of several “Moms of Triplets” groups online (there aren’t actually enough moms of triplets in my area to be in a group that meets in person), and someone asked a few weeks ago, “If you could have all three of your triplets as singletons instead, would you?” The resounding response was, “No!” And I have to agree. Would I have chosen to have triplets? That would also be a no, since I would never willingly put myself, my husband, my family, and my three little fighters through any of the risks and worries that come along with a triplet pregnancy. We are reminded nearly every day of how lucky we are that we made it through a high risk pregnancy, a 28-week birth, and a two-and-a-half month NICU stay without much drama.
But I really do love having multiples. Logistically, it can be challenging (see the upstairs/downstairs conundrum above). There is no easy errand to run with three toddlers in tow. Traveling takes an INTENSE amount of planning and then those plans fail, and it takes a lot more patience and flexibility (my patience meter generally runs a bit lower than average, I think, so these moments are especially challenging). I am convinced there is far more mischief during nap time than there ever would be sans triplets. And let’s not forget: They outnumber us. Every day.
But I LOVE that I have three smiling faces to greet me every morning when they wake up, and three rounds of kisses to send me off to work each day. I love the moments when we hear three sets of giggles, each one making the others laugh louder and longer, and it seems like it will never stop. I love that they have each other to chat with when they’re up early or can’t fall asleep at night (yes, I have my selfish reasons for loving this, but the built in friendship is really what makes me happy). And I love that they’ll bring each other their special animals if ever one of the other two is upset. Or even if they just happen to find Sophie’s monkey, “Monk,” lying around. I know I’ll need to worry about them not being treated as individuals as they get older, and I know there are times when none of them get the attention they are seeking (it’s getting harder and harder to snuggle three at a time), but I also know they will always have two best friends looking out for them, four other shoulders to lean on, and two extra sets of arms for that hug when they are feeling sad.
There is no question that it is utterly exhausting parenting three two-year-olds at once. Potty training three at a time? Don’t get me started. And the days when they don’t nap? Oof. But at the end of the day (well, most days), I really love it. And I couldn’t imagine our family any other way.
We’ve recently begun reading “Babar and His Children,” (also sometimes published as “Babar At Home”). Did you know that Babar and Celeste had triplets?*
Anyway, the story is filled with the drama and mischief you might expect that comes with raising triplets–Flora nearly chokes on her rattle,their pram (probably too heavy with the weight of three baby elephants!) begins to slide down the hill the instant Arthur is slightly distracted, Alexander uses Cornelius’ hat as a boat and begins to float away–and while our story has thus far been free of any angry crocodiles, I do think Babar sums it up perfectly at the end:
“Truly it is not easy to bring up children, but aren’t they worth it! I can’t imagine how I’d get along without them now.”
How right you are, Babar. How right you are.
*There are several sets of famous triplet characters in children’s literature: