With my trip to Santa Fe in July ... and business meetings 4 out of 5 days during the week for the past 3 weeks ... I have been working more of a "full-time" job, while Charlie has been managing everything on the home front. This is a summary of the past week of Daddy Duty (aka: Charlie-in-Charge).
Charlie took the kids to Costco, all by himself. But rather than putting two in the seats, and one in the basket - he fit all three of them in the seat. I only wish I had a picture of how this was accomplished. Apparently, Carolyn was on one side - William was on the other, and Elizabeth who shared a leg-hole with her brother and sister, was seated in the middle. According to reputable sources (i.e. a neighbor who saw him there), people in the store stopped what they were doing and turned to watch my husband complete our weekly shopping.
I don't doubt it.
Seeing a mother with a set of toddler triplets, on her own, is quite a sight. Seeing a father with a set of toddler triplets, on his own, is even MORE of a sight. As in ... a sight you might not ever see in your lifetime. Kind of like Big Foot.
Monday night - Charlie loaded the kids up and took them out again. This may not seem like much effort - but trust me ... it is. Very, very
Infact, I don't think I've ever done it ... deliberately.
But not Charlie. His second destination of the day was to our local grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. He even called before he went to make absolutely sure that they had some in stock. Yet, when he arrived at the store - they had just sold the last one.
Minutes ... if not mere seconds before he arrived with an entourage of 21-month olds that were in the midst of throwing three separate temper tantrums, they sold the last chicken.
Here's the picture, as I understand it.
It's 6:00 at night. The kids go to bed at 7:00. They are usually eating dinner by no later than 6:15. On this particular day - they only had one nap - as opposed to two (yes, we're still on two naps a day). Bunny was in the wash. William and Carolyn's blankies were at home.
Those are just three of the many words that come to mind when Charlie described the situation, unfolding in our local grocery store, to me.
Did he tuck tail and run??? Oh no ... not my husband.
Rather than laying down in the middle of the floor and throwing a temper tantrum alongside William ... Charlie very eloquently turned the cart around and headed off to Boston Market.
Had that been me, I would have very casually said
The least they could do is give him a big bottle of Tequila. And a bag of M&M's.
After a long day in meetings on Tuesday, and with Charlie's blessing ... I ventured off to my monthly triplet mother's night-out on Tuesday night. When I returned home, the house was immaculate. The lights were dimmed, the children were asleep in bed, there was a bottle of wine "breathing" ... and Charlie spent an hour showing me the incredible photo montage he had pulled together in his "spare" time on our new Macintosh computer.
(Oh, by the way. The keyboard never recovered. So ... instead of just getting a new keyboard, Charlie convinced me that we needed a whole new computer. It was an easy sell. We have >5,000 baby photos and they had almost completely consumed all the memory on our computer. So ... out with the Vic-20, in with the Mac. It's awesome.)
As I sat looking at random photos of our babies over the past year ... set to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's (IZ) "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" I couldn't hold back the tears. It's remarkable just how fast our babies are growing up. And, it's remarkable how every single time I hear IZ's song I cry. If only I could figure out how to link music on to my blog... I suspect you'd be crying along with me. But more than any of that ... how did I ever get so lucky to be married to somone that can knock my socks off, without really trying?!
Charlie dressed the kids up in their most adorable outfits, and drove to meet me during lunch. It's no surprise that I'm the kind of mother who assumes everyone (including all of my co-workers) will love visiting with my children as much as I do.
Who knows. Maybe that's a short-fall of mine. But really ... there are few things cuter in this world than seeing toddlers run around and sing "E-I-E-I-Ooooooooo."
Even if those toddlers happen to be our children.
But, there was another reason Charlie came to see me for lunch.
When Charlie was a 20-year old lad ... he did a semester abroad studying Geology in New Zealand. During his time there, he was scheduled to go on a 3-day backpacking trip in some remote rainforest along the west coast of the South Islands. The first day in to the trip ... he stepped in a big mud puddle and the sole of his hiking boot came off.
That would be the FIRST day ... of a THREE day backpacking trip.
In the wild.
Had Charlie and I known each other then ... I would have undoubtedly convinced him that he could tolerate an additional 16-ounces of weight in his pack, and carry a roll of duct tape. (Honestly - I never leave home without the stuff.) Of course, if he'd had duct tape - he could have fixed his boot. But because he didn't have duct tape ... he was
It is because of Charlie, that I whole-heartedly believe in Kharma.
One of the guys that's backpacking with Charlie, asks him "Dude. What size shoe do you wear?" And Charlie ... rather than laying on the ground having a temper tantrum and freaking out over how he will ever make it out of the rainforest alive ... responds "I wear a size 10."
The guy, drops his pack ... and hands Charlie a brand spankin' new pair of size 10 hiking boots that he just so happened to have, in his possession, that day.
An extra pair of hiking boots.
In a rainforest.
In New Zealand.
Miles, upon miles ... away from civilization.
Long story short - the boots fit great, Charlie completed his trip ... promised the guy a case of beer for his generosity and impeccable timing ... finished his semester abroad in New Zealand ... and never saw the good-doer again.
Time goes by.
Charlie and I meet in Northern California. We get married. We move to Southern California. We go to graduate school. We take on jobs in the environmental industry. We have triplets. We seriously alter our careers to part-time status. One of my consultants ... just so happens to be the guy that Charlie promised the case of beer to, TWENTY YEARS AGO in New Zealand.
Who says it's not a small world?
Charlie ... being the kind of guy that he is ... went BACK to the store, by himself ... with all three kids in tow ... bought 5-six packs of fine imported beer (1 pack for "interest") and brought them up to my meeting on Wednesday and all because he wanted to finally make good on his promise, from 20-years ago.
Charlie is home again by himself. The excitement today came when our barefooted kids pulled a glass off of our counter and it shattered all over our tile floor.
Charlie - the Super Dad that he is - who happened to be changing a diaper at the time ... cleared a baby gate in 1/1,000,000,000 of a second after hearing the "CRASH!" ... scooped two babies up and deposited them in their cribs (after putting the first in their crib) ... and then set about clearing up the glass shards.
When I came home tonight, I found droplets of blood leading in to the bathroom and all around the house because Charlie had cut his hand in the process.
Did he complain? Not my Charlie.
Had it been me, I would have undoubtedly summoned him from his important business meeting with the urgent request that I need a pint of blood and stitches ... STAT.
During dinner tonight, Carolyn threw a fit because she has decided that sitting in a booster chair is no longer for her. Rather than losing a battle against a 21-month old ... Charlie decided to let Carolyn ... and then Elizabeth and William ... sit on the couch to enjoy their dinner.
And guess what? They actually ATE their dinner.
(Let's not dive in to the complications this situation might pose for us in the future).
I was informed today that my company has a triathlon relay-team. Apparently, one of my co-workers ... who was "suppose" to do the bike leg ... bailed out at the last minute. So, our swimmer and runner are completely out of luck, unless they could find a cyclist to complete the middle leg.
What did I do?
I nominated Charlie. We won't dwell on the fact that he hasn't been on a bike for over a year.
Tomorrow, while I sleep in ... Charlie will be out riding a triathlon bicycle (borrowed from my boss) before sun-up ... and training for the Los Angeles Triathlon.
Yep. That would be the "little race" I signed him up for ... without his knowledge. The good news is, he gets a T-shirt.
I'm not sure what's more difficult. Being the father of triplets - or being married to me.