Advice for Parents of Triplets volume 2, part 1

June 16, 2011 at 11:00 pm 4 comments

About a year and a half ago I posted this slightly sanctimonious but hopefully helpful blog entry called Advice for Parents of Triplets.  As was my way, back in the day, it was endless, and filled with the hard-won pearls of wisdom owned by a father slightly better than one year in the soup.

Anyway, over the next several days, weeks, months, or years I’ll be revisiting that post and offering some comments from my current vantage. Each time I’ll post a cute (I say so) pic of the boys, so that you don’t feel cheated by, you know, only words only words only words.

So first:

satchel, pablo, levi (l to r)

And now to business. You can read the whole tome above, but here I’ll go piecemeal. I secretly think this will afford me a chance to unleash some pent up paternal steam, but you just never know.

1. Nothing is more important than getting your babies sleeping early in the game. Have them sleep in a crib from the moment you get them home, and try early on to establish regular naps and bedtime rituals. With Big Al, I continue to swear by Mark Weissbluth’s sleep books – but there are others too. Each day I believe a little bit more that a well rested child is a happy child (AND, potentially, has well rested parents).

This is mostly true. The part about well-rested parents is just me rattling off some jingo I must have read in a parenting pamphlet, because there’s no such thing, but I digress. At 2.5 yrs old, our boys still sleep basically uninterrupted through the night, as they did since they were three months old. I still believe in Weisbluth, though even Big Al seldom consults the oracle anymore. I am sorry she never elected to publish an English translation, because I think it would have been a hit. I rarely sleep when the boys go down for nap. I hustle myself into my studio, or get out to mow the lawn, or go for a run or take a desperately-needed shower (this reflects my schedule when the university where I teach is NOT in session). A failed nap, which happens once in a while, is a tragedy beyond my capacity to tell it. People say the afternoon nap will one day go away (our model is anywhere from 2-3 hours, at about 1:30pm). But the boys will be getting tequila with their O’s long before I let that come to pass. Sometimes, in the aisles of Trader Joe’s, which I seldom hit before 9pm, I’ll spy a parent with a 2-year-old (or younger) child navigating the landscape, and I will look on them as some sort of space alien. I don’t judge, I just know that that madness is a luxury that was never affordable by the likes of me.

2. Don’t panic.

Sorry. This one’s way off the mark. Honestly? Panic. Life as you know it is over, and you better be ready to reinvent yourself and your way of conducting business if this is gonna work out happy. I remember thinking, some time before D-Day, that…life won’t really be THAT different, right? But this is wrong. Life is incalculably richer, but also absurdly more difficult. If you are independently wealthy and your sole ambition in life is to shepherd little pods into adulthood the One True Way, you will have achieved your dream and can relax. Kinda. But if you harbor other ambitions, be they creative, financial, social, you are going to need to just recalibrate your brain and get down and dig.

3. Early on, everyone will tell you to ask for help; it’s a good idea. But ask for specific help. The best things are: food, laundry, cleaning up, and food.

Meh. You’ll need the help, and you’ll need it forever. You’ll have it for a month, and you will be eternally grateful and never properly pay it back. But long after those whole-grain-crusted quiches and home-fried rices dematerialize into your warmly romanticized memories of the “early days,” you’re gonna still be stuck with the basic math problem: 3 > 2. After those early days, when just feeding yourself is indeed a stretch, what you’ll need is humans, halfway intelligent if possible, brawny if possible (that’s usually unlikely). Wanna take your triplets to the playground? At minimum you will need two adults – and with two, it is a never-ending stress-coaster. (with three, i.e. man-to-man defense, it is so easy as to be almost insulting). Mind you my three are boys, and they are outlaws. Brazen outlaws, who don’t even make the effort to lie when caught red-handed. “Levi, what happened?” “I bite Pablo.” “Why???” “I don’t know!” “Will you do it again?” “Yes!” People tell me that girls just kinda sit there, until they’re eleven, and then your goose is cooked. I’m not buying it. But three boys? It’s all it’s cracked up to be. You need humans possessed of excess time, sufficient strength, and nerves of silly putty.

That’s all for this installment. I’ll do this again soon, if I do.





Entry filed under: advice, triplets, update. Tags: , , .

Rock n roll part 2 Advice for Parents of Triplets volume 2, part 2

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Suzy Sonenberg  |  June 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Love it!! Your blog presence has been sorely missed. Can’t wait to be the 3rd adult (when needed) this summer. xxxxxxx

  • 2. Mama C and the Boys  |  June 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    DITTO DITTO on the missed blog presence DAN O.

  • 3. shnootre  |  June 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks mum, and Mama C. Glad to be of service. Honestly it is downright hard for me to find time to blog. Usually betw 11pm and 12, after I’m done composing, and when I should be sleeping. But if I weren’t doing this, I’d probably be doing some other silly thing so… for a short while anyway…

  • 4. Shira  |  October 2, 2011 at 1:15 am

    These are some great posts (I’m working my way backwards). Lovely 🙂
    The boys are adorable.


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