As parents of multiples, Sarah and I always get comments from strangers such as "You must have your hands full" and "God bless you". Another comment we often get is "I don't know how you do it". That comment has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I've haven't been thinking about that comment because I don't know how we do it, but because Sarah has been telling me about mothers of multiples who complain that their husbands don't help out. By not help out I mean everything from the father not helping when mom is home to not being able to watch or care for the kiddos without assistance. These “deadbeat dads” are not physically and mentally unable to care for a child - they are just incompetent, uncaring, or plain lazy!
So, with the dad who cannot do it by himself in mind, this father of toddler triplets thought he would provide some insight into how he takes care of his girls. The following narrative and video are from this past Saturday morning - I took the girls with me to run some errands.
Breakfast - first I help the girls out of their cribs and down the stairs to the living room for diaper change(s) and removal of sleep sacks. Next step: breakfast. I consider two things before preparing a meal for the girls – 1) what have they had for breakfast the past few days and 2) what do I have in the house to offer. Today I decide to heat up some Aunt Jemima French Toast, drop some butter on it and pour some yummy Vermont maple syrup (thank you Heather!) on top! Pour a little milk in plastic cups, provide a little entertainment while they eat, and we are done with breakfast.
Dress and Distract - at about 9:00 it is time to start the long process of getting the girls dressed. Distraction is important in this step as the girls are not always cooperative when it comes to having their hair combed and clothes put on. I do not hesitate to turn on the T.V. to the Sprout channel to provide the distraction. I am at an obvious disadvantage with three girls when it comes to doing their hair and clothing them, but I think I did okay on this day(see video).
Load - since the girls were looking forward to going for a ride, they are happily cooperative for the loading part. I have to take them through a garage filled with potential toddler hazards, so I load them one at a time. One final check to ensure we didn't forget Elmo (Allie's pal) and we are on our way to the bank!
Fuel - before we even get to the bank we make the necessary Saturday morning stop at Dunkin Donuts (drive through, of course). Munchkins provide at least 20 minutes of entertainment for the girls and a java boost for dad!
Bank - another drive through transaction, which is key. The only concern is the logistics of passing additional munchkins to Emily, who is seated at the very rear of the van. Deposit made. Errand #1 complete.
Grocery Store - this is maybe the fifth or sixth trip to the grocery store I have made with the girls so nothing new here. The only issue this time is the weather - the temperature is below freezing so I must move quickly so the girls do not get too cold. Step #1 - find a shopping cart with the additional seats. Check. Step #2 Wipe the cart clean with Bleach wipes (Sarah will love that part). Step#3 wipe the girls' faces and hands with a wipey - they are sticky from the donuts! Step #4 Load the girls into the shopping cart, one by one, always keeping an eye on the cart. Step #5 Proceed into Stop & Shop. Step #6 Shop and take in all the looks and comments from strangers! This particular day there seemed to be more comments than usual. "They are adorable" was said at least three times. Step #7 Feel like a proud dad.
CVS - Drive-thru #3 to get Anna's meds. The clerk was very friendly and helpful -the transaction took longer than usual so the woman and I exchanged small talk. She says "you're the guy with the triplets, right?" LMAO! I have to admit, it made me feel good when she said that. Then, as I'm waiting at the drive-thru window, a couple of other clerks came to the window to wave to and admire the girls. What a way to end our Saturday morning! Home we go for lunch.
That's how I did it. Was it easy? NO. Was it time consuming? YES. Did I have time to watch SportsCenter or go to the gym? NO. Did I have time to play pool at the local watering hole? NO. I did, however, have the chance to share a smile with some strangers, laugh with my girls and just be a dad. Enjoy the video.