Once upon a triplet
morning, came the dawn without a warning.
From their cribs, the babies crying far too early in the morn.
So my legs I started dragging, to the kitchen zigging-zagging.
With the thoughts of sleep still nagging - nagging that I must
And my brain still deep in slumber as I shuffle 'cross the floor.
Feeding babies - nothing more.
Making bottles -
automatic, always moving - never static.
Hungry mouths of desperate babies suck it down and cry for more.
Feeding bottles never ceases - as the frenzy e'er increases.
Sleep-deprived, my brain in pieces - pieces broken evermore.
Lucid dreams replace my logic, losing brain cells more and more.
Staying wakeful - what a chore.
Burping triplets, then
to changing - every day the same - unchanging.
Spit-up blotches on my clothing, Rorschach pictures my decor.
Triple changing, triple feeding, triplet babies ever needing.
Screaming starts my eardrums bleeding - bleeding - no, but surely
Shushing babies, I beseech them "Quiet, please," I do implore.
Never quiet anymore.
When the frenzy finds
its ending, there's a pause in baby-tending,
On a blanket triplets wiggle, spread across the playroom floor.
So I watch them, fascinated, through my weary eyes, I'm jaded.
But my love goes unabated - unabated, that's for sure.
Sleep-deprived exhaustion lingers, yet I love them even more.
Triple blessing - much adored.
- Lesa Rhoton
What each child has taught me:
||Stretch marks are forever.
And, I knew even less than I thought I did about
parenting when she came.
My bond with my
children continues to grow - even when they are adults!
Little boys sure are cuddly.
sometimes a self-taught virtue.
Little girls can be more adventuresome than boys.
Sweet is as sweet
does - not what's on the outside. (my little goth girl
has a heart of gold)
Two brunettes can produce a redheaded child.
I still have much
to learn about parenting.
Identical twins doesn't mean "identical twins."
The propensity to
"show off" is innate, not learned.
definitely come in small packages.
A child can be a
near-clone of a grandparent. (Max looks just like my
Multiples - The Warm Date
Last Wednesday, and the Wednesday before that, and
the Wednesday before that, my wonderful husband and I went out for
our weekly date. Fortunate for us, we have a built-in
babysitter with my wonderful 15-year-old daughter.
It's nearly always the same date. We go through
the same before-date rituals. We tuck in our trio, and get our
3-year-old ready so our daughter's job while we're gone will be
minimal. We give him the same kiss as usual and tell him the
same line each time, that "we're going out on a hot date" and that we'll
see him in the morning. It's the same each time - same
restaurant, same food, same waiter, and most of the time, the same
conversation. However our conversations begin, they
always seem to end with our children.
There's comfort in the routine of our "hot date."
We're so tired by the end of the day, both emotionally and
physically, that we just don't want to have to think about
where to go, what to order, etc. We don't want to wonder if
it's going to be good, or if the restaurant will be crowded, or if
we'll wish we would have gone somewhere else. We want to spend
every single one of our quality "together moments" enjoying each
I have to say, when we first started "dating" again
after the triplets came, it was an enormous effort. Most of
the time, the idea of a date after the little ones were in bed
seemed like even more work. Sleep, vegging our in front of the
TV, a warm bath, zoning out mentally - all of those things seemed
more appealing at times than the effort involved in getting out.
But we forced ourselves, through our exhaustion, to make that effort
to reconnect. And sometimes our "hot date" each week was the
only time we ever got to sift through the jumbled triplet fog that
shrouded our brains to find things to share with one another.
A few weeks ago, as we went through that
ever-so-comfortable pre-date routine, I gave my little boy that old
line he knows so well. "Mom and Dad are going out on a hot
date. We'll see you in the morning, bud." He very
matter-of-factly proclaimed, "No, Mommy. You are not going out on a
hot date. You are going out on a warm date." Oh, so
We had a good laugh at that one. It came up as
the topic of conversation a few times that evening on our date.
How appropriate. At this point in our relationship, while our
brains are still in "survival mode" most of the time, pretty much my
little boy nailed it right on the head. A warm date!
And, you know what, a warm date is better than a cold date.
And I know that, as long as we continue to connect each week, as a
couple - as best friends, our warm dates will once again turn into
true "hot dates" as we push past triplet toddlerhood. In the
meantime, I'll settle for my predictable, safe, ritualistic,
monotonous warm date, and enjoy every minute of it.
Tips for surviving as a couple:
Remember each other. I
missed my husband in the first few months - missed who we were.
Take time to reconnect each week,
at least. Set a "warm date."
Make that effort to date
regularly even if you feel it's a lot more work than you'd like.
The routine of it can bring comfort.
Go easy on your spouse/partner in
the first year. Having multiples changes the dynamic of
your relationship for a little while.
Recognize that you may have never
"snapped" at your spouse before, but you've probably never had
as much going on as you do now. Be forgiving of yourself
and forgiving of your spouse.
Try to maintain a sense of humor
about the chaos.
Write down little things you want
to share with your spouse throughout the day. You'll
probably forget 90% of it by the time you're together again.
Recognize that the stage you're
in now with your children will pass and that someday, you'll
have more time than you need to do the drudgery of the day.
If something doesn't get done now, it can wait.
Count your day a success if
you've kept your kids alive and well and you've maintained your
own sanity and found time to look into your spouses eyes and say
"I love you."
Humans on Loan -
my philosophy on
Daughter to John and Sandra Cole.
Sister to three brothers. Aunt to several. Mother to
seven great kids. Cousin to many. Friend to just the
Born and raised in Manassas,
Virginia, I am the youngest of four children and the only girl in
the family. My father worked for the C.I.A. as an field analyst, and
I had a very traditional stay-at-home mom. Raised along-side
of the children of senators, CIA, FBI, and other governmental
agencies, my younger years were filled with self-doubt brought on by
too much self-importance on the part of the classmates with whom I
shared my education. .Far too young, I
was just 17-years-old when I met and married my ex-husband and
decided to start a family. He was military, and the Air Force
life took us from Illinois to England, to Wichita and eventually
down to Florida. Our marriage lasted well over a decade, but
the "marriage" really lasted just a few short years, so we called it
quits. But, everything happens for a reason. I have three
wonderful children as a result. Can't complain about that!
I met my wonderful husband in
the late 90's. Born and raised in Findlay, Ohio, and just like
me, a Florida immigrant, he was my age,
had a similar upbringing, and shared the same interests in nearly every
aspect of life. It took no time to realize I'd met my new best
friend; the love of my life. He's my hero.
I feel as though I've
been a mom my whole life. I went straight from being nurtured
to being a nurturer. Being wife to my amazing husband and mom
to my seven children are the two most important parts of my
life. After having seen my older three grow into young adults
before my eyes, savoring every single moment of not only their
lives, but of the younger four as well, has become the very
reason for my journey here in this universe. And sharing
the children's lives with my best friend has made this a more
magnificent journey than I could ever have imagined.