Its really funny meeting someone for the first time that has never met anyone with triplets. Since its such a normal part of my life now, I think to myself, "Really? You NEVER met anyone with triplets? None of your friends, neighbors, customers, etc? A random family on the street? Ever?" And then people go on to tell me about Jon & Kate plus 8. Every single one of them.
Also mentioned a lot is how calm I look. Here's the secret. If you show your fear, they'll eat you alive. You just take a few breathes, take a drink of your margarita and pop a few pills.
I've also had people tell me that they had three children right in a row and THAT is just like triplets. I usually just nod my head because I don't want to outright insult them and make them feel their job is any less stressful.
So here's my disclaimer before I tell you what I really feel.
Every child is different and can be as much work as 10 children or as easy as pie.
Having been pregnant with triplets is almost a 90% or more of having pre-term babies where as a single pregnancy is not. Being pregnant and being knowing you'll have to deliver preemies is completely different. The stress is completely different. You also get much, much bigger than a singleton pregnancy. Which means a lot less movement and grace flies out the window.
If you're going to complain about your tough life of having three children right in a row, why'd you plan them that way? I have never started a conversation with anyone complaining how tough my life was. I chose to take Clomid, I chose to have extra curriculars with my husband. I knew what the mixture of Clomid and extra curriculars meant. Sure I was surprised I got triplets out of the bunch, but I'm not going to complain about it or compare myself to others.
I have a niece and nephew who are 4 & 2 years older than Jacob. I have watched them on several occasions for all day and even some all-nighters when they were really little and its nothing compared to triplets. I even nursed Jacob while watching these kids, so it was a time commitment for me.
Why do I think triplets can be harder than three singletons of a different age? Its a herding mentality. One does something and the other two follow. There is a reason why they have shirts that say "double trouble". While watching my niece and nephew, if Jacob threw food, they never started throwing food just because he threw food.
Also, you try grabbing all three of your children at once and carrying them. Chances are if your kids are staggered, even by a year a piece, you'll be able to let the oldest one walk and maybe even the middle one while you carry your third baby.
Having singletons, you can pass clothing and toys down to the next child. Kinda hard with triplets.
And the best answer as to why triplets are harder than three singletons?
I think why I sometimes get these comments from other mothers that they sure have a tough life is that until I came along with my well-behaved triplets who are sitting patiently in their stroller/cart, everyone else in the room felt sorry for them that they had three little kids running around.
Yesterday, Jacob put scotch tape on his penis. Katie came down from the bathroom to get me and I went up and his cousin Sam was pouring water over Jacobs penis trying to loosen the tape. Jacob was crying and holding himself. My first question was, "Jacob, why did you put tape on your penis?" And the answer? Really stellar, "I don't know! Mom! Get if off!" So I tried to be gentle but its like a band-aid... so I just ripped it off. The site of the tape had no redness or anything so he's still all in one piece.
Now, some of you are probably thinking to themselves, "Why would Jean even mention that in her blog? Its kind of personal. It will embarrass Jacob in the future."
Why? Why? Because it was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen him do and I can't believe he did it. And believe me, its going in his baby book and he's lucky I didn't take a picture of the dumb act before I took the tape off.
Also, yesterday I took the four kids to the NICU alumni reunion that is every first Thursday at Children's Hospital in Neenah. Its from 5-7 p.m. and they feed you domino's pizza and drinks. So, I get there and there is a play area and then a oval of chairs. Probably 25 chairs in total. I take out one of the chairs and park the kids, I get them and Jacob food and start feeding them. Meanwhile, there were two couples there and during the kids being fed another 6 or 7 couples and kids came. I was sitting at the top of the oval. There were three empty chairs next to me. Nobody sat next to me. A few people even people up extra chairs behind the oval (not next to me) and sat there. Finally a couple with a 15 month old sat down next to me. There were no extra seats.
After some small talk I said to them, "I don't know why, but no one wants to sit next to me and the babies." And they didn't know what to say.
I came to a couple of conclusions.
1) People thought that two year olds carried an infectious disease and I would thoughtlessly bring them to a NICU alumni meeting sick and therefore didn't want to sit next to me to expose their infant/toddler to any sickness.
2) I think they were afraid of them.
And to that I would tell you to read the first part of this blog, because you should never let them see your fear.