Thursday, June 30, 2016

Five Triplet Milestones You Won't Read About In Parenting Books


Every parent worries about them. Is my kids learning to crawl at the right time; are they walking at the right time; talking at the proper time; learning to use toys at the right times; can they point at the right times.

I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the milestones that save a triplet parent. Save us time; save our lives; save our sanity. These are the ones that sneak by quietly during the maelstrom that is daily life. They are treated largely without fanfare from the books and experts, but probably matter more to a triplet parent's every day life than any of those I named above. Because pretty much every kid learns to walk. Some take a little longer than others, but absent some real issue, they all do it. Whether they do it today, or tomorrow, or next week, well, it seems super important - especially at the time - but it really isn't.

Walking just introduces a new level of difficulty to your life and enhances all the dangers in the child's reach. While its nice and you want your kid to learn to walk, it doesn't do anything for you.

But the milestones I'm thinking of do. And sure, most of these are great for parents of singletons as well. But the thing about triplets is that you can't just take a task that takes 3 minutes with a singleton and scale it up and pretend its a 9 minute task for a triplet parent.

It isn't.

Its not simply multiplying everything by 3, to get the math right you have to take things to the Power Of 3. A single 3 minute task for one child is more like a 27 minute task. So each of these milestones is really, really nice for us.

1 - The potty, Step 2

Lots of experts focus on potty training. How? When? Are they ready? You spend a soul-suckingly inordinate amount of time in a bathroom. And then the experts just seem to just... assume its done. But there are steps to potty training. Sure, its important to know when a kid is ready and how to do it (as if there was one way that worked for all kids, meek and bold, quick learner and more nuanced in approach).

You just got through - if you were like me - 16,000+ diaper changes and now you are finally, blissfully, done.

But you aren't done. You've freed up a little time, sure, but now you have to be on top of them every minute to make sure they go. Or that they don't TP your bathroom. And gone are the carefree days of diapers. Where you once worried that if you went 3  hours too long the diaper might fail, now you worry if you go 3 minutes too long the bladder might. Once  you have cleaned smeared poop and pee from a child in just clothes you are never the same. The milestone books kinda just breeze over this.

"Here, follow my method and WHOMP, you are done."


The real milestone isn't when they go potty on the toilet, the real milestone is when they go potty by themselves.

 Lets stick with the bathroom:

2 - The Bath

Bathing is a big concern for parents. Water and beings who can't hold themselves  up don't mix well. And throw in all the other  concerns: What temperature should the water be, how deep, how often should you bath them, what they heck is this stuff on their heads? The internet  is full of images that make it look fun. I mean, look at those little baby faces. How could you not love that?

You totally can, and bathing a baby can be a fun, bonding experience. But lets face it, it's a chore.

And when you are bathing all three in a single tub, its more global warfare than chore. I'm willing to bet none of the babies were in the pictured tubs for too long. Because if they were, they got soap in their eyes, and well, that is just the end of the world for most kids. There is reason Johnson & Johnson is world famous for "no more tears" shampoo. It's not because Ozzy Ozbourne sang a similarly named song about it.

It is because some marketing department figured out that bathing babies can be a nightmare and that soap/shampoo is right at the Freddie  Kruger heart of it. And then they up and lied.

I'm not saying J&J's shampoo isn't superior to other shampoos, or that until J&J came along other shampoos weren't made from stuff intentionally designed to sting the eyes of little children. I'm saying their claim of "no more tears" is BS.

There will be tears. Illogical, maniacal, insane tears the level of which probably won't even be shed at the apocalypse.

NOTE: WAIT! There aren't 5! Where are my other 3 milestones!? Keep calm! This is Part I of a series.

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