Posted by Trip'n Mommy on Sunday, April 19, 2009
One of the questions people feel compelled to ask when they hear that we have triplets is "How do you do it?"
What I want to respond is "Do you really want to know?" I mean, the answer is so long, we'd be there all day. Sometimes I just smile and laugh. I used to joke and say "I work full-time!" (Can't say that one anymore) So here are a few ways we do it:
1. We try to have a sense of humor.
I remember the first time I was left home alone with the infant Trips. Of course the minute H left the house all three started crying at once. What can you do in that situation? Freak out or laugh. I chose to laugh. Then, I picked up the most hysterical baby and went from there.
Or this past Friday, when the Trips had their 5 year old check-up at the pediatrician and I had to take them by myself. The visit was going great and the doctor and I were using clever euphemism for the shots that were going to come at the end of the visit. Finally, we couldn't avoid it anymore and I had to tell the Trips that they would each need a shot. Well, they ALL freaked out. Screaming, crying, yelling, running away from us. I couldn't get angry. After all, they were having a normal, age-appropriate reaction, just times 3! So I laughed.
2. We have an amazing family.
Both Saba & Savta and Grandma & Zaide live within 4 blocks of our home. From the minute the Trips were born (even before!) they have been supportive and helpful. They care for the Trips and their parents. They are generous with their time and babysit and shop like the Champion Grandparents they are. We are so grateful for them and all they do for us.
Our brothers and their wives are a great part of our support system as well. They were all veteran parents by the time our Trips came around and are always there for us, ready to share experience, advice, and sometimes just an ear to vent to.
At the beginning, we had lots of different people who came to help with feedings, laundry, etc. Without them, we never would have made it through the first few weeks. As the Trips got older and the feeding schedule changed, the amount of volunteers slowly petered out. With 2 exceptions. The first is J, a friend from the school I worked in when I had the Trips. She still comes every Sunday morning to give the Trips their breakfast and read them stories. Her visits and H's benevolence allow me to sleep late most Sundays. Those few extra hours mean so much to me. I am incredibly thankful for her devotion and we all love her.
The next are the S Family and honestly, they are SO important that they get their own listing.
4. The S Family
I can't believe that this is the first time the Ss are getting mentioned on this blog (they can't believe it either!) They are so much a part of our lives and "how we do it."
CS and AS and their 6 children (S1-S6) live across the street from Grandma and Zaide. We really didn't know them before the Trips were born. Right from the beginning, CS was one of the volunteers who would come by to help with a feeding. She told me that her teenagers would like to come do feedings on Friday nights. Since that was not such a popular time for volunteers, we were thrilled to have them. First it started with just S2 and S3, the girls. Then S1 (a boy) started to come too. They each claimed a baby (A=S3, B=S2,C=S1) and would have feeding races, burping races, and other silly things. We will never, ever, forget the sight of C "riding a roller coaster" or "reading" Harry Potter.
The bonding with the Trips must have really stuck, because pretty soon they were asking if they could bring the Trips to their house. I figured that CS had 6 kids of her own, so if she was up for it, we could trust he with our precious Trips. (I have to admit that this was pretty hard for me and H, not only because we were letting our kids go on Shabbos, but because we loved hanging out with the 3 coolest, funniest teenagers we'd ever met! Now that they are all in their 20s they are still some of the coolest, funniest people we know!)
So the Trips started going over to the S's on Shabbos. The best part? The S children come and pick them up and drop them off when they are ready to come home. They eat there, play, go to the park, don't go on the trampoline...
Some of the Trips most important "firsts" have happened at the S house or involved the Ss in some way, including:
1. Their first taste of chicken, Pringles, ices, soda
2. A's first time vomiting on some one's bed
3. B's first pair of lost shoes
4. Bentching contests
5. First sugar highs
6. First teenage babysitters
7. First time breaking Mommy and Daddy's rules...
CS was incredibly helpful in teaching us how to give medicine to a fussy, uncooperative child. She also shops for the kids and gives them some of the funkiest editions to their wardrobes. The shoes she buys the girls are far preferred then anything I buy them.
Not to be left out, AS has also been extremely influential in the Trips lives. He is a real kibbitzer and loves to tease. The atmosphere in the S house is fun-loving, jokey, and happy. There are tons of nicknames and family jokes. The kids are the same way and the Trips are treated like members of the family. So, the Ss have also taught the Trips how to handle teasing and how to take a joke.
With 6 babysitters in the house, I know I can call there when I need one, and 99.9% of the time, someone will be available. (S4 never comes though, something having to do with Trouble). My kids love all of them and the biggest treat is a visit from one of the Ss.
The Ss are the best role models we could ever want for the Trips. Torah and Chesed permeate all they do. The men are all wonderful layners and know the entire Torah by heart. (Don't try to match them in Parsha knowledge, though S3 can really hold her own.) As I understand it, there is already great debate over who will be responsible for teaching C his Bar Mizvah parsha. It's Shabbos Shirah and a tough one, but I don't have to worry, I know the Ss have it covered. AS and S1 are members of Hatzolah and can be called on (and have been) to help with illness and injury for the entire extended Trip'n family. CS is involved with the girl's school PTA, and bakes her own challah every week (!!!!) All of the S girls are bright and personable, and models of tznius with and ease and comfort we should all feel. AS and CS are incredible parenting role models for me and H and with their help and influence we know the Trips are going to be as great kids as S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6 (but without the trouble with Trouble!)
People have asked me how they can get some Ss. My answer is "have triplets." Other then that, stay away, they are ours! We love them, thank them, and owe them sooooo much.
And that is "how we do it."