Friday, May 21, 2010

Demolition Derby

“The babies are coming, the babies are coming!” The urgent call from Liam and Ciara is as sincere and urgent as Paul Revere’s famous warning… because they know that if the babies are coming, destruction can't be far behind. Our “babies” are now truly toddlers and with 19 month old triplets freely roaming around the house, it is officially a demolition derby around here.

As the “babies” race down the hall, Liam and Ciara run to their room and slam the door to protect their Lego creations and dollhouse from disaster. As I yell “Don’t slam the door! Someone will get hurt!” the three tots who’ve been stopped in their tracks erupt into tears. Perhaps their feelings are hurt or possibly they are startled by the loud slam of the door… and then there’s always the chance that someone is missing a finger from the whole incident –it’s hard to tell in the general melee that ensues!

This type of chaos is the new “normal” as we adjust to life with our three man destruction crew. They fill their days by climbing on benches, window sills, chairs and book cases, taking great pride and glee in their newfound abilities. Though I’ve never been to a rainforest, I imagine that the monkeys swinging from the trees are much like my little men swinging from the curtains… cute, but a bit perilous at the same time. One of their greatest joys is dancing on the coffee table. They help each other up – one, two, three - and then, when they’re amply settled, they start waving their hands in the air like they just don’t care. Kind of reminds me of a very late night in a bar many years ago… a scene that I never thought I’d see reenacted by a trio of one year olds… all of whom belong to me!

Obviously, the time has come to take our baby-proofing a bit more seriously. With our first two kids, some simple rules accompanied by outlet plugs and a gate at the top of the stairs pretty much did the trick but these guys seem to need some more stringent baby barriers. They swing on the gate, have been known to remove (and then teeth on) the outlet covers and have unfortunately discovered the joy of playing in the toilet bowl and twirling the knobs on the stove. Sending them out to the yard doesn’t help – at any given moment, they may be teetering on top of the slide, picnic table or steps.

A few months ago, we had a bunch of friends over for dinner and upon noticing our numerous book cases and lack of obvious baby barricades, one of them remarked “Aren’t you brave?! I can’t imagine having so many kids around so many books and breakables!” Well, we would have been wise to heed the hint back then and take this baby-proofing stuff a bit more seriously. In retrospect, we’re most certainly not brave, just a bit naïve and perhaps even foolish! With the “terrible twos” looming in our future, I just hope we all survive that long. I suspect we will, likely with the help of a bit more baby-proofing and hopefully without a trip to the emergency room!

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