Ever since our children were small babies, I have been getting together every so often with a few other women who have triplets approximately the same age as ours for a playdate.
Up until a few months ago, we would routinely meet once a month and each one of us would take a turn hosting the playdate in our home. Within the past four months, we have bumped that frequency up to weekly because we have discovered that with three year olds, we really need to have fun things to look forward to each week. But most importantly, the camaraderie offered by my fellow 3-year old triplet moms is one of the primary reasons I am still sane and most days, can remember my name and where I live.
As our children have grown larger, we have also discovered that hosting a triplet playdate for multiple sets of 3-year old triplets, in one's home, borders on lunacy. Except for that one time, last month when I hosted a cookie decorating party at our house ... we have moved the weekly playdate venue to various parks around the area.
Getting the children outside first thing in the morning has always been my mantra. Or at least it's been my mantra ever since the children have been old enough to walk and cause trouble. And for the most part, it's easy to get outside first thing in the morning when the weather is nice. But when it is dumping buckets of rain - I'd much prefer to be inside and dry than outside and wet.
Especially when I have a small baby in tow.
Because my energy stores for the day are usually nearing depletion by 9:00 AM, around the same time my children's energy levels are still climbing to their cruising altitudes - this morning, I needed to come up with something to do.
"Something" that ideally, didn't involve watching back-to-back episodes of a big purple dinosaur sing about his love for everyone.
"Something" that would serve the dual purpose of keeping the children entertained while completely exhausting them, so that they would easily go down for a nap and sleep a minimum of two hours.
There is no doubt that I have been warmly smiled upon by the Triplet God of Good Fortune because less than a mile away, there lives a woman who has in her possession, triplet boys. Triplet boys that turned three, this past Saturday.
Not only has Debbie been a good friend to me ever since our children were infants, she is one of the most disciplined and patient people I've ever met. She possesses many of the qualities I would like for myself, if only attaining those qualities weren't so difficult and require sacrifice of many things that I love and hold dear.
Things like sleep. And Pixar movies.
Whenever I'm ready to (or do) lose my berrying mind, I think of Debbie who wakes up at 4:00 every morning to get prepared for the day ahead. In her "spare" time, she works out at the gym and writes novels. She doesn't eat ice cream. Or drink wine. Her children don't watch television. Instead, they eat raw vegetables and hummus by the pound. And ... they are the most polite 3-year olds I've ever witnessed.
If I didn't know better, I wouldn't think Debbie was real. I would think she is a Stepford Triplet Mother, powered by organic garbanzo beans. But, I've been watching her pretty closely the past few years and as of yet, have seen nothing to suggest that she is anything other than genuine.
Today, when I called Debbie at 8:30 and asked if she wanted to come up to our house for a 9:00 playdate, she responded "yes" before the full invitation was out. By 9:01, Debbie and her entourage were at the front door.
What I learned this morning is that the key to keeping six three-year olds positively entertained is to let them jump with reckless abandon on your couch and feed them a lot of food. The children all had such a good time that I'm of the mind that having sextuplets wouldn't be that much more difficult than triplets.
Just think, if we were to add sextuplets to our mix, I could have my own reality show. "Charlie & Jen plus Ten".
All I need are some organic garbanzo beans.