Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hosting A Triplet Playdate, 101

The phone rang this morning, waking me up at 7:30. I could barely make out the message ... "One of our babies is sick, maybe we could move the playdate to your house, instead?"

This morning Charlie was up and out of the house before the crack of dawn. I'm not exactly sure what time that is, but it's definitely before 7:30 AM. He needed to get an early start on the day because today was supposed to be a "split day." Meaning, I have the morning shift with the kids - he has the afternoon - and we indulge on a banana split ice cream at the shift change. Not really. But that ice cream treat at mid-day is a damn good idea...

The reason we needed today to be a "split day" is because I had meetings scheduled for the next 3 days with a co-worker who was flying in from Texas, with a scheduled arrival in San Diego at 1:00 PM. Charlie would work until noon ... and then I'd have the afternoon to meet with my co-worker. That was the plan.

Sometimes, waking up in a queen sized bed, all by yourself, in a quiet house ... is a luxury. So as I laid in bed this morning, thinking about how nice it was to stretch out with all kinds of room - and a load of pillows all to myself - I was thinking "I'm so darn comfortable. What play date?"

Then I remembered. Vaguely.

There are a few of us, here in San Diego, with 1-year old triplets. We've decided that it would be good to start getting together on a frequent basis - to help:

1) Develop our children's social skills;

2) Develop our ability to go out with our triplets to social events; and last but not least ...

3) Get out of the house with our three 1-year olds who are often on the brink of driving us NUTS.

I had told the other triplet Mom's that I wouldn't be able to participate in this play date, because I was going to be working in the afternoon. Charlie, however, may opt to bring the babies - depending upon how his morning went.


To Charlie's credit - he has gone to play dates, by himself, before. He even brought homemade chocolate chip cookies. But, it's not something that he really enjoys doing. I mean, he is a guy, after all.

I lugged myself out of bed ... tiptoed past the nursery ... because the babies were still sleeping ... and picked up the phone to call Charlie.

"Hi Love. I just got a message from Debbie. One of her boys is sick. She can't host the play date at her house ... and wanted to know if we could host it here. Would you be OK to do that?"

He paused.

"Play date? Uh, how many babies will be there?"

"Let's see. Jessica. Jeanmarie. Debbie might come up with her two. And ours. That's not too bad, is it?"

"Well, uh, how many babies is that?"

He's smart.

"Maybe 11."

"ELEVEN? How old are they?"

"Well, they're all less than two. They're our kids ages."

"Of course honey. Anything you want."

I'm not sure if this is exactly what he said, but that's what I heard.

As soon as I got off the phone with Charlie, and committed him to hosting a play date at our house with three other moms’ and their 1-year old triplets ... my cell phone rang.

Apparently, there's been some flooding in Texas, and the airport is closed down. My co-worker won't be coming after all. The meeting has been canceled.

Which means ... Charlie doesn't have to come home at noon.

Which means ... I'll be home all day by myself with the babies.

Which means ... I am hosting a play date in a few hours.

Which means ... I need to clean the house before everyone gets here because it looks like a tornado swept through it. There's no motivator more compelling to clean your house than the knowledge that it will be FULL of toddlers.

I called Charlie back to let him know that he was off the hook and he was overjoyed. There is no other way to describe it.

Because of the long day yesterday at the zoo... the babies slept in until 9:00 this morning. (Yes, I was amazed, too.) With that time - I started cleaning the house up. Folding and putting away laundry, mopping the floor, organizing all of the toys that have found their way in to every nook and cranny of our house.

Now before you ask "Why bother?" Here's an interesting tidbit I learned about myself recently...

When posed with the question "What kind of person are you?" I was interested to learn that I am the kind of person that would rather have company show up at my doorstep, and I am still in my pajamas with a clean house ... than have company show up at my doorstep, and I am fully dressed but the house is in shambles. This shouldn't have surprised me, considering I can go to work after exercising vigorously for two hours and having not taken a shower ... because I left my razor at home.

The babies woke up from their 14-hour slumber FAMISHED. I got everybody up, got them dressed, and plopped them in their booster chairs. While they were out-of-control screaming for food ... I divvied up a banana across the three of them. It was instantly consumed. Another banana. And another.

A container of Yo-Baby yogurt. And another. And another.

Eight ounces of orange juice TIMES three.

Two English muffins smothered with jelly.

Two cups of diced grapes.

Meanwhile, the oatmeal that I had started to cook was just about ready. But, by that point, the babies were full. They've recently learned the sign for "No-More" and swept their hands across the tray, scattering all of the food (jelly side-down, of course) to the floor that I had just mopped.

Make no mistake ... I LOVE IT WHEN THEY DO THAT.

I wash their faces, plop them down on the ground and they take off running around the house, pulling out all of the toys that I had just put away and tucking them into every nook and cranny, where they apparently belong.

The oatmeal is finished cooking and since I realize that I haven't yet had anything to eat ... I scoop it in to a bowl and sit on the couch for a moment of quiet (who am I kidding) to enjoy my breakfast.

The babies STOP what they are doing and come stand in front of me. William climbs on top of my lap and gives me a big hug. It's just a guise, I know it. Then he sits back and looks at my bowl of oatmeal. Looks at me. Looks at my bowl of oatmeal. Looks at me. And smiles. And before I could stop him, he puts his grubby little hand in my bowl of oatmeal and grabs a fistful that he then shoves in his mouth.

Funny. He wasn't hungry just a moment ago.

I feed William a good ten or twenty spoonfuls of oatmeal before he decides that he's had enough. He slides off my lap and Carolyn takes his place. She looks at me. Looks at my bowl of oatmeal. Looks at me. And smiles. I feed her from my bowl of oatmeal ... wishing that I had a camera mounted on top of my head to capture this moment. Once Carolyn has reached her oatmeal quota ... she slides of my lap and is replaced by Elizabeth. Who, eats the rest of my breakfast.

So much for having a quiet moment. Or, having any breakfast.

During the next three hours, the kids pull out every single toy that I had put away. AND THEN SOME. Leaving me to wonder "Why did I bother cleaning up in the first place, at all?!"

When they go down for their morning nap ... I SCRAMBLE to get the house squared away. Again. I vacuum all the Cheerios off the floor ... clean up the jelly on the tile ... put all the toys back away ... organize the toys in the backyard, dump all of the sand back in the sand box that the babies had thrown OUT of said sandbox, sweep the patio, clean the dog-run, pull a few weeds, put up the umbrella on the table, blah blah blah. Bottom line, I worked my A$$ off.

Babies wake up. Diapers changed. Eat lunch. Throw food all over the floor and wipe peanut butter across the table. It's cool. Happens everyday.

I try to quickly clean the house, again, before everyone is scheduled to arrive. And, on top of that, I whip up some brownies. (Which I'm sitting here feasting on, with a glass of red wine, because ... come to think of it ... I haven't had anything to eat today.)

This is how the next few hours went:

First set of adorable triplets (ours, of course) set out ransacking the house, AGAIN, before everyone arrives.

Second set of adorable triplets arrive.

Third set of adorable triplets arrive.

Fourth set of adorable triplets make a guest appearance at our front door, but don't come in because they are afraid they will contaminate the other three sets of adorable triplets.

Adorable triplets that are in the house, duck and weave around the adults standing by the front door talking to the fourth set of adorable triplets, and take off running out of the house and in to the yard, shouting in baby babble "We're FREE! We're FREE!"

Adults go chasing after all the babies before they run in to the road.

All in all ... it was a good time. No pictures were taken because, seriously ... who has time to take pictures when there just a just a few adults and TWELVE 1-year olds? Maybe two weeks from now, at our next "organized" play date.

Organized ... really, that word is hugely overrated.

If I could rewind, 12 hours ago ... I would have slept in until the kids woke up, not cleaned the house one iota, and eaten my oatmeal in the bathroom. With a glass of red wine.

(Sorry about the font changing throughout the post. I'm noticing it - not sure if others are, too. It's driving me crazy. Why? Because I'm anal about this kind of thing, especially when I can't figure out how to correct it. This is what happens when I type my story up in Word and try to copy it over. Small stuff. I must try not to sweat the small stuff...)


  1. Holy Moly x3! Very funny post...I think I comment every time, "I don't know how you do it..." But I am in awe.

    Maybe you all could find a fenced in tot lot somewhere and all the triplets can scramble on the play equipment like an ant hill while you chat with the other moms on the outside of the fence.

    I find myself thinking "strategy" like that, and I only have two. :)

  2. Sounds like a fun day---Perhaps I will be able to be at the next one and I will be the Photographer.

  3. ROFL enjoy those brownies ;)

    I am the type of person who'd rather come to the door in my jammies with my house clean, than the other way around too.

    You make me laugh. :-p

    And your kids are cute :)

  4. OMGoodness! The fun just never ends at your house. I could only imagine what that would have been like to have all of those little kiddies running around. LOL!

    Glad you survived... and even more glad the brownies did too! How did you manage that anyway?!

  5. Oh yeah, forgot to ask---> how did the photo session at Walmart go the other day?

  6. I usually don't eat until I'm done feeding the kids too, cause I like to sit down while I'm eating. Funny how their full little tummies drain in about two minutes. Seriously, we never really thought we'd resort to eating int the bathroom, did we?

  7. Jenna-
    What is the deal with the throwing the food all over the floor? Shayna just loves to empty her bowl and then sees how far she can throw her watermelon chunk across the room! Thank God we just bought a new vaccuum!

  8. I'm still obsessing about their schedule if they sleep in late. Does that mean their bed time is pushed late?? I always have trouble with this one. I usually wake up my little one if it is past 7:45 am.

    Love the blog.


  9. Cloe (Carolyn's bb)6/21/06, 3:44 PM

    Jen, I'm also the type of person who will rather open the door in jammies than have a messy house. :)
    Can't wait to read playdate 102. Your blog always makes me smile. Thank you!

  10. Morale of this story -- never clean your house for a triplet playdate!

    Honestly Jenna - thanks so much for having us over. We had a blast and are looking forward to the next go 'round!

    Jessica et al