Skip to main content

Raising Gremlins, er, Triplets

I originally posted this in November 2012.  Since that time it has grown into one of my personal favorites as well as one of my most popular posts, so in honor of the season, I'll post an edited version:

I recently 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.  

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.

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.

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.

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?


Popular posts from this blog

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:

What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…