Thursday, November 15, 2012

Raising triplets? Watch the movie Gremlins.

I haven’t posted in a while.  14 straight days of sick child will do that to you.  First my daughter comes down with a 105 degree fever in the middle of a hurricane.  She recovers only to see one of my sons fevered by an ear infection.  One day later my lone holdout succumbs to a stomach bug.

Just prior to the great plaque I relived part of my childhood by watching Gremlins.  The movie ticks through the rules of owning a Mogwai.  Of course the characters pay no heed.  The movie moves through each consequence.  Meanwhile, it dawned on me:  triplets are a lot like having a Mogwai.  To wit:

One moment you are celebrating a happy, warm, loving Christmas season.  Just you, your family, and the dog.  You receive an awesome gift.  In real life it’s a pregnancy after 3 years of trying.  In the less dramatic, movie version, it’s a Mogwai.  So far, so good.

Pretty shortly thereafter everything comes apart.  Months of worrying about a triplet pregnancy.  Then months of bed rest and hospitalization.  Then the real invasion begins.

What where those rules, again?

Oh, right.  No sunlight.  No water.  No feeding after midnight.

Sunlight.
What kind of unnatural creature can’t survive something so fundamental as sunlight?  You know who?  Infants and toddlers.  That is who.  Overnight everything you own becomes a laser-sharpened Chinese star of death.  That soft pillow?  Now a star of death.  Seemingly innocent lamp.  Star of death.  When they aren’t crawling themselves off the ends of beds they go sticking fingers into electric sockets.  At least the Mogwai feared bright light.  Dangerous things attract infants and toddlers.  Have a gate just a bit wobbly?  They’ll push it.  Leave something on the edge of, well, literally anything?  They pull it down on themselves.

Water.
Kids and water.  Sigh.  The dog bowl.  “Hey, let’s dip our hands in this and taste it!  The toilet.  “Let us climb in this mini-bath tub!”  It’s just so … awesome.  For them.  Note to kids: the earth is like 75% water.  Not that cool.  In the movie almost no interaction with water ends well.  Same with triplets.  It poses a constant threat.  The mere presence of water produces an immediate need for close scrutiny and undivided attention.  The consequences aren’t good.  Water causes Mogwai to off-spring a litter of pups.  The pups soon rampage through a town.  Triplet parents start with a litter of rampaging offspring.  A triplet parents’ life during the first couple months consists of three rooms.  Nursery.  Bathroom.  Bedroom.  A triplet parents’ life shrinks so much those three rooms make up essentially an entire town.  Plus wherever the parents buy supplies.  Gremlins also leave the house for supplies.  Mostly explosives.  Infants sometimes use explosives.  Diarrhea.

Feeding.
You have to be very careful with Mogwai.  You don’t feed Mogwai after midnight.  Triplet parents: You won’t have to worry about this one.  Triplets require pretty constant feeding.  Almost exclusively after midnight.  Three hours between each feeding.  Feedings take 1.5 hours.  Do the math.  On second thought, don’t.  It will just depress you.  Mogwai look for food after midnight.  Especially the offspring.  But if fed after midnight Mogwai become demonic little creatures.  Gremlins.  Something similar occurs in infants.  Infants will want fed after midnight.  Probably right at 11 p.m..  Then again at 2 A.M.  Once more at 5 A.M.  After that it just doesn’t matter anymore.  But left unfed, because, you know, its three-freakin A.M., infants also become demonic little creatures.  Like the off-spring Mogwai, human offspring also try chewing through electrical cords.  Though to what avail I will never know.  They cry every time they need food.  You respond with food.  Not a lot of trickier required.

The off-springing Mogwai become Gremlins.  One escapes from a cage.  Human offspring also do this.  But they add a level of difficulty.  They escape over a 4-foot high rail.  Some people know it as a crib.

The original Mogwai owner soon returns and reclaims it.  The rightful owner gives a harsh warning.  The family is not prepared for having Mogwai. 

Or triplets.  But how can you prepare for something you’ve never, ever encountered?

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