I still can't believe that we've survived our first year with triplets... and two other needy little tykes as well! People constantly ask me "how do you do it?" and the answer, quite frankly, is that I really don't know! The time has passed so quickly that it's all a bit of a blur. Ok, a major blur. But if I try to recall how it is that a year (at this point, thirteen months, to be exact!) has suddenly passed us by, I suppose there have been two keys to survival:
- A sense of humor. While there were (and still are!) days when it all just falls apart, we've found that the best antidote is to just laugh. Frequently. We find that we're (all SEVEN of us!) often at our wits end at dinnertime. Des and I are tired and cranky (well, I am, anyway!); Liam is absolutely shot; Ciara is demanding attention -- most often by crying/howling/screeching over some minor offense like "my toe hurts!". The babies are crawling and tottering and rolling on the floor simply looking for a little love which, while the dinner is burning and the other two are fighting, is hard to come by. Then, inevitably, the crying starts. All three babies, perhaps with Ciara chiming in as well and then Liam whining to be heard above the din. It is at this point, on a good day, that Des and I just look at each other and laugh. Really really laugh. Because truly, the scene in our kitchen is absurd! And if we don't laugh, we might cry or scream or whine or yell -- which, we've learned the hard way, is stooping to the level of our five under five -- and believe me, this is best NOT to do! So, when all else fails, just laugh. Out loud. Like you mean it. And, if your house is like our house, soon you will all feel better.
- Take it one day at a time. As an admitted super-planner, this doesn't come naturally to me but, I've gotten better over the course of the past year. While I'm still no pro at being "in the moment", I've gotten better at accepting each day as it comes. And also, accepting that my plan for the day is quite often bamboozled by circumstances completely beyond my control. Like when we missed the football game for my 20th high school reunion last week because one of the tots came down with a fever. Or like realizing that a day at the beach is, no longer "a day at the beach"! If think too far ahead, I start to freak out. For example, we now go through about five gallons of milk a week. At least. So, I wonder, how much milk will be consumed when they get bigger? What will happen when they're teenagers? They are going to eat us out of house and home! This leads to the remarkable revelation that one day, they will indeed be teenagers! And then they will drive. And then I'll be up at night worrying about them all making it home safely -- instead of being up at night checking temperatures and administering doses of Motrin and Tylenol.
Which brings me back to the present and reminds me to just take it one day at a time. To approach this amazing road that lies before us with baby steps -- a good lesson to remember as each of our babies is starting to take his very first steps.