Advice for Parents of Triplets volume 2, part 2

June 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm 1 comment

Whoa – two days in a row? Must be that age-old adrenalin shot of watching the blog stats spike upward for a day. No idea what I actually have to say though – but good thing I’m in the middle of a thing. Right?

Let’s dispense with the cuteness first.

in the woods near home (l to r = L,P,S)

And to that project.

4. Dads – you have to help, and help a LOT. Whether that help boils down to a 50/50 division of labor (probably rare), or some other ratio will depend upon your life and work situation, but if you had any illusion that you’re not really a diaper-changing sort of guy, drop it now.

Yeah, this remains pretty much exactly right. I have something of a more flexible schedule than many dads, I guess, but that means it comes in waves. As an academic, there are periods of time when I’m completely off radar, teaching into the night or drowning in grading and prep, and then there are the fat periods where I am abundantly available.

I remember when changing diapers was a thing. Funny. Funnier: Big Al and I once watched a couple argue in our presence over whose turn it was to change the diaper – “I did the last one!” The notion that either one of us would EVER whine about changing a D is giddy lunacy. Oh sure, there are those mornings when you’ve just done like five – and we’re talking seismic blasts – and the sixth comes along and you lay stomach-first on the floor pounding and screaming (we’ve each learned to interpret such behavior as a gentle cry for help). Those days do come. But then, we’re attempting early potty training now, which has, I’m sorry to report, brought our day-to-day hands-on involvement with excrement to a whole new level. I long, at times, for the simplicity of the changing table, and diapers, those ready-made mailers, perfectly suited to shuttle the wasteful outpouring of my progeny into the next world after a small layover in the Diaper Champ. Now it’s pull-ups and big boy undies, it’s good honest work, in the soil, as it were.

I think I once said that I would rather change 100 diapers (or some such figure) than clean the hindquarters of my (long-haired) cat just once. I’d like to state here and now that that remains true. I can’t remember what I was talking about.

5. Never skimp on diapers. Get the best (whatever you judge them to be), and change them often. I cannot imagine cloth diapers working out for any length of time.

What the eff, was I like shilling for Pampers in Jan 2010? Shameless product placement, and yet I remain the struggling artful type to this day. Can’t I do anything right? Listen, through a complicated algorithm which I don’t feel like divulging, just now – w/ my little desktop calculator – I figured out that we’ve probably used about 14,000 diapers (I’m including pull-ups in that figure). Let’s say diapers are somewhere between $.35 and $.50 a pop when you go for the good ones (doing this from memory, but I think I’m ballpark. They get pricier as they get bigger). You do the math. We are colossally effed by the financial and psychic burn of all that waste. Our wallets empty, our carbon footprints those of some ecological Bigfoot. And we’ve tried everything. Target brand diapers are not terrible – we’d use them for spells. The trouble is that the quality control seems  suspect. Every so often there’d be a whole box whose diapers wouldn’t stay fastened. And they didn’t quite have the absorbency to make it through a whole night of Satch-uration. We tried Huggies, they’re okay. Our favorites ultimately remained Pampers – but the Cruisers, not the awful, awful Baby Drys (which, I kid you not, veritably exploded on us a couple of overnights, with odd silicone-like little fragments all over the place. I only managed to stick with the brand by suppressing that horrible memory). And yeah, change em often, but I guess not too often. Eventually you develop a sixth sense about when the thing’s taken what it can bear, or when the gathering storm cloud is gonna blow. I am ready to leave this topic alone now.

6. No matter how often you change those diapers, diaper rash may crop up from time to time. Use Weleda diaper cream to cure it.

More product placement. No product we ever tried, though, ever came close to the numbingly expensive Weleda stuff. I recommend it still.

7. When you get to the stage where your kids are taking regular naps (and make sure you get there), clean up the play/kids area entirely after every nap. I’m a slob and my own workspace is generally a disaster, but adopting this methodology from Big A. has been extremely gratifying.

It’s funny, this item, if I recall, generated some hot feedback back when I posted this advice. I stand by it. There are days when it doesn’t quite happen, but mostly it does. It really doesn’t take long – 10 minutes maybe – to put the toys away, straighten up, even grab the vacuum for a second. Get it back to a clean field for the next round of combat. Same with the kitchen – don’t let it all pile up on you. Man, wish I could live by these words in my own studio, where I spend most of my time. It’s permanently a dump, though. In the outer regions of the house, however, I really do like Big Al’s mandate of order during the in-between segments. Otherwise your world is just so thoroughly dominated by kidstuff there’s not room for much else. In your head, like, is what I mean.

Gotta stop now. Will I write again tomorrow? hmm…


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

Advice for Parents of Triplets volume 2, part 1 AFPOT volume 2, part 3

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mama C and the Boys  |  June 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    A fellow picker upper! I feel so validated. I can’t add any more though.. I have to uh pick up the Legos, skateboard ramp, OED (part of the indoor ramp–what a great use for that!) and the smoothie dishes. Did I mention the frozen spinach in the smoothies? Just hide with blueberries..


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