Friday, December 15, 2006

the beginning of the end

I've received a few phone calls over the past 24 hours from friends and family indicating that they are going to boycott our blog if I make them cry one more time. So, I'm taking a quick break from our NICU experience to tell you what our once 3-pound premature infants are up to, currently.

Last night I talked to my good friend Lorie, who informed me that her little girl, Shayna ... aged 2 ... is potty trained. She is also doing long division and knows all the capitals of foreign states, but I was expecially interested to hear that she has made the cross over from Pampers to Charmin. Following this call - I did something that I know I shouldn't have done.

I told Charlie.

This morning, I decided to work out of the house. So while Charlie was on "baby-duty" I was set up in the dining room with my laptop. It's always a pleasure working from home because I love hearing Charlie interact with the children and eavesdrop on how he does things when it's just him and the kids. At one point, I heard him corral everyone in to the bathroom.

What made me snort hot tea out my nose is when I heard him say "OK kids! I'm going to potty train you today!!"

Charlie doesn't read my blog so he is not aware of my plan to let the kids remain in diapers until they are old enough to tell me that no one else on the school bus wears them. Unlike Charlie, I'm in NO rush. Even if my slothful strategy for potty training means that we'll have four children wearing diapers one year from now ... I'm not afraid.

While I tried to suppress my laughter - because the absolute last thing I want to do is discourage a man with good intentions - I could hear Charlie talking each of the children through what they were about to do. "Daddy puts your potty seat on the toilet and now, you will sit up here and go pee-pee. OK? Ready to try? Who wants to go first? William?"

After enjoying this dialogue for five minutes or so, I was eventually pulled back in to work and wasn't paying attention to Charlie coaching our three 26-month old children the art of voiding in the toilet.

Several minutes later, I heard a particularly loud raucous emanating from the den. I could hear our gardner's lawnmower in the backyard, but I could also hear two of our three children screaming in glee. I decided to get up from my workstation to investigate. The sight that met my eyes coming around the corner, were William and Carolyn ... without their diapers ... jumping off the couch.

Charlie was no where to be seen.

As I ran over to grab them before they ran to our sliding glass door and played exhibitionists for our gardner and his crew, I noticed that not one ... but BOTH of the kids were standing above soggy spots on the rug. Charlie had taken their diapers off before giving everyone a chance to sit on the potty and had not moved fast enough to get the diapers back on (or close the door), before the kids heard the lawnmower in the back yard and ran away to see the "mowa". Afraid to leave Elizabeth unattended in the bathroom, perched on the potty, Charlie weighed the risk and figured two naked toddlers could do less damage to themselves or the house.

He clearly wasn't thinking about our rugs.

I helped to clean the kids up and put them down for a nap. As I went back to work, I could hear Charlie folding laundry at the back our our house. The kids were not settling down as quickly as they usually do, so at one point, I heard him walk in to the nursery to see what was going on. Seconds later, I looked up from my computer to see Charlie standing above me with a terrified look on his face.

I slowly asked "What's wrong?"

He replied "Oh God, Jen. When I went in to the nursery, Elizabeth was IN Carolyn's crib. I didn't put her there. Did YOU put her there?!"

I looked at him incredulously and responded "Why would I do that?! What did YOU do?!"

"Well ... I put her BACK in her own crib. Maybe it was a fluke, you know - a one time event."

Yeah. And maybe we can potty train our two-year old triplets in a day.

A couple minutes pass and the two of us are standing in stunned silence outside the nursery, listening to laughter and kids frolicking. I quietly pull back the curtains and immediately spot Elizabeth in Carolyn's crib.

As I walk in to the nursery, she looks like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar. She gives me a sly smile and then reaching down, picks up bunny and waves her lovey in the air. Oh, of course! Why, I'll bet she was just going in to Carolyn's crib to retrieve her bunny. Surely she had no intention to stay there...

I change three dirty diapers and exit to the kitchen. Minutes pass. Again, I hear frolicking and kids laughing. I pop my head in to the nursery and see Elizabeth running free, just as Carolyn is hoisting herself up and over the side of her crib. William is standing in awe, watching his sisters easily escape from the bars that have contained them for the past two years.

My legs go numb and I suddenly forget my own name. This day wasn't suppose to happen for at least another 12-months. Maybe 18.

While we were in South Carolina, the kids became escape artists from their pack-n-plays. I still fall in to a fit of laughter thinking about the night Charlie and I went out on a date and came home to my mother sitting in a pitch black house. The kids had all climbed out of their PNP's and mom thought if she turned off all the lights, and made Jim stay in his room, the kids wouldn't come out. She was sorely mistaken. Instead, there were three children running around, three hours past their bedtime, wild and free in a dark house. It was the best time of their lives!

Fortunately, since we've been home, they haven't once attempted to climb out of their cribs. I honestly didn't think they could, without hurting themselves. But to see them today, the way they carefully eased themselves over the side ... you'd think they've been practicing for months.

I rounded the girls up - put them back in their cribs - gave them my sternest look and told them that they had to stay put. For a while, the house was silent. After another 30 minutes or so, Charlie peeked in the nursery to see Elizabeth, once again standing outside of her crib, and attempting to brush her sleeping brother's hair through his crib slats. Since a 2-year old doesn't have the most finesse when it comes to brushing hair - within seconds, William was wide awake and howling.

Nap time, like potty training, was a complete bust, which makes me certain that we've reached the next Hurricane Level.

With no time to clean the rug, or get himself mentally prepared for the second half of the day, I could hear Charlie's exasperated sighs as our over-tired children wreaked havoc. At one point, I got up to get a drink of water and noticed that the house was unusually quiet. As I walked around looking for everyone, I found Charlie sitting on the floor outside of our laundry room catching a quick nap. He was on one side of the door, the kids were on the other.

My husband gave me a sly smile, similar to a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar - or a toddler climbing out of her crib - and said "How funny. Who would have ever guessed that they like playing in the laundry room with the door closed?!"

Well, I suppose that's one way to contain them. And maybe if we put a potty chair in there, they'll train themselves.


  1. Oh nooooooooo, the beginning of the end, sounds like big beds are on the agenda! I long for the days of kids in cots, big beds are a nightmare here......

  2. My sister had to give my niece a big-girl bed at 18-months, when she continued to climb out of her crib and fall onto the floor.
    One morning she awoke to the ENTIRE contents of the refridgerator emptied out of the fridge and onto the kitchen floor. The dog had eaten most of what was there and had thrown up among the food containers.
    Word to the wise: Lock your fridge when the big kid beds come into play!
    Linda (Chicago)

  3. My deepest condolences go out to you and Charlie. I'm dreading that very day for my boys!

    Sounds like the kids are having a GREAT time. I wish you two were!

    That is hilarious! By the way, I've been throughly enjoying your waddle in time editions.

  4. Jenna-
    Let those kids stay in diapers til they're 12! Can't help you with the climbing thing, though... sorry... Shayna still has her crib bumper in there. She hasn't figured out that you can step on that thing to get out (shhhh!).

  5. Your posts are just tooooo funny. At least they sound like they're having fun.

  6. oh I am always so sad to see the crib go!

    not the diapers though, good luck with that.

  7. ahh - i can't imagine potty x3-

  8. Ok, I have to post a comment now. First, I just want to say that I have been reading your blog for a few months and I LOVE it. It helps put our life in perspective. We have two 18 month olds -- a boy and girl and are also two parents who are trying to combine work and being the primary care givers -- it is a wild, wonderful ride (sometimes made better by much wine.)

    So, about the kiddos climbing out the crib -- I absolutely FEAR this day. I am counting on their sleep sacks to keep them in the crib. They love their sleep sacks and we love them because, along with keeping them warm and snug, they also slightly restrict their ability to have the full motion of movement in their legs. I am praying that this keeps them in their crib. Maybe you could try sleep sacks and a prayer :-) Btw, William and our boy have the same jammies...

  9. Well, you're getting them all comng at the same time--your husband wants to potty train the kids AND your kids can now get out of their cribs ON THEIR OWN AND you're pregnant...GOOD GRIEF, WOMAN. You have a lot on your plate! We're all cheering you on! :)

  10. WOW! I feared the day that all of mine would climb out of their cribs. I am going to regret saying this as it feels like i might be jinxing myself but we have not hit this day yet. Please keep us updated on how it is going. On a happy note I have heard that once they get the hang of the big beds life goes back to normal. :O)

  11. JEN..JEN...JEN!!!

    Listen to me, Jen. Listen to a mom with triplets a YEAR OLDER THAN YOURS. GET THE CRIB TENTS. DON'T DELAY. Get in the car right now and go to Babies R Us. YOU WILL GET ANOTHER YEAR OF CONFINEMENT. ANOTHER YEAR OF BLESSED NAPS. You NEED this. You have a BABY COMING. Mine lasted an entire YEAR! If you divided the amount of money by the amount of hours I didn't have to waste becoming the "nap police" the crib tents cost like 2 cents per hour.

    Okay, forget the potty training. I trained mine outside...naked...with the garden hose. Diapers are way easier. Trust me. WAY EASIER!

  12. Oh, I liked this story!! Love the pictures and I'm so glad you finally get to go through this!!! 3 X's the Charm.
    Talk to you later.
    Love, Marg.

  13. Ah, Motherhood. It worked in SC when you enforced the rule to Elizabeth and told her to stay. Just keep on telling her. She understands a lot but she is a little devil and great explorer. Goodluck my dear.

  14. Sorry, but I'm laughing so hard my dh thinks I've lost my mind. Really, I am VERY sad for you and the trouble this all means. And I'm sure I will look it as soon as I can stop guffawing!

  15. Grandma Kathleen12/19/06, 12:04 PM

    Dear Jen:
    When we were there 2 weeks ago, little angel, Elizabeth, was tossing her bunny over into Carolyn's crib. Then she'd scream for me to come get it back for her. I did this 100 times.
    Carolyn just did not know why her sister was giving her her precious bunny.
    This is called "Game Time." Let's get grandma in here and have her rescue Bunny.
    Now, Elizabeth is rescuing her own bunny by jumping into Carolyn's crib after her bunny.
    Let the games begin, mommy. They have gone up a notch.
    Miss you all so much and hope the skirts got there in time before meltdown.
    Grandma Kathleen

  16. Just because they stay in their cribs doesn't mean they sleep. My twins were bed-swapping until I moved their beds across the room. They each hurt themselves ONCE before realizing that it's not a good idea to tumble out without another mattress to tumble onto.

    HOWEVER -- despite that they stay in their beds, they still don't sleep. Yesterday it took them THREE HOURS and many stern warnings before they finally decided to fall asleep. Right now they are supposed to be sleeping but are singing "Jingle Bells" at the top of their lungs.

    PS -- regarding potty about one at a time? That's what I'm doing...when I have NO accidents with the first, I'll start with the second. He might be 6 by that time, but still.

  17. I love your blog. I have cried more than once reading about the kids' birth stories. Please continue them. I'm all for sending them to elementary school in diapers, in cribs and with bottles! Good luck!