Thursday, July 15, 2010

21 Months: Look How Far We've Come

Recently I've been talking with some expectant triplet mommies and pulling out preemie clothes for a friend whose baby was born a little early. It has sent me on a trip down memory lane back to the anxiety of a multiple pregnancy and those first hazy days of complete joy and utter exhaustion.

I look at these boys, 21 months old last week and Amelia, now 4, and I am not entirely sure how we got to this place. Time has moved by far too fast, and yet I remember days when the boys were tiny when I swore time stood still. I did the same things hour after hour endlessly. Days and nights became so much the same that everything melded together, fused, until time itself became solid, unmoving.

But like the river rushing beneath a solid crust of ice, time moved on. Visitors came and went. The seasons changed. My three tiny babies grew and grew. They learned to smile, to laugh, to roll over and sit up. Now, suddenly, they are 21 months old, learning new words at lightning speed, making jokes, and turning into a real tribe.

The boys have always been aware of each other and even buddies, but now they want -- even demand -- to be together. If one gets up from a nap to find he's without his buddies, he will ask repeatedly for them. If one gets in trouble and goes to his room for time out, the other two will wail for him. If one cries at night and has to be pulled from the nursery, you'd better hope the other two are sound asleep or they will send up the cry for their missing comrade.

This has made some things harder, like giving time outs when we're outside and we just sit down. Whoever isn't in time out will often come up and sympathize with the perpetrator, only to be told to leave their brother alone.

But, it has also made outside time easier. Since the boys like to hang together, we have less of an issue with one wanting to play on the driveway with the ride-on toys while the other two want to play on the swings or in the sandbox.

We've got a huge yard and I've always tried to give the boys as much freedom as possible, so when they want to separate, I just take up a lifeguard position where I could run to help any of them, rather than insisting that they all stay right together. But it is much easier to keep an eye on them and play with them all when they want to be together.

All of the boys are very verbal. I would guess they have easily 200 words. They are forever observing and talking to us and to each other. It cracks me up to watch them talk to each other and then laugh. I think they must be sharing some insider jokes!

The other night a fellow triplet mom and I were talking about how surreal it is to think about those early days. It's hard to wrap our heads around it all, because it was unbelievable then and it's still unbelievable. We were slaves to the schedule, but I'm sure we couldn't have told you the time of day with any accuracy most of the time. Sleep trumped showering, cleaning, laundry, eating ... everything! We juggled the demands of our triplets and our older child the best we could at any given moment.

We weren't perfect parents by any stretch, but we survived. And here we are, with children who have thrived and grown. With new friends we wouldn't have were it not for the arrival of our triplets. With a newfound respect for sleep and how long we can survive with very little.

Every age is filled with new challenges, and we're knee-deep in potty training, tantrums, expressing differing opinions (loudly!), difficulty sharing, and a little pushing and biting to keep things interesting.

But boy, oh boy, oh boy, how far we've come!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

1 comment:

Jen said...

I too have recently been thinking about those early days. My triplets are now three. Three. I can't believe it.