The logistics of being one mom with two arms juggling three babies are interesting at times to say the least. Most days feel like a marathon…but a fun one. Like a color run! Let me paint the daily scene of just getting out the door and into the world.
Before we ever open the door to leave, there is an assembly of diapers for all 3 boys. Everyone needs a change of clothes, so that happens as the diaper is being changed. Inevitably, there’s usually a few rounds of moving someone’s hand from grabbing their own poop; wrestling the octopus arms that emerge to get the shirt on; reminding the child that they do in fact have to wear clothes if we’re going to go and asking them to please leave their shirt on; upsetting the child because you A. Put their socks on, B. Took their socks off, C. Put their pants on, D. took their pants off, E. Put their shoes on, …. You get the point. Then there’s the diaper bag check of snacks, diapers, and milks, along with getting those items if they’re not already there. Usually we throw a fresh poop or a spill of some kind in there, just for funzies!
Once we’ve conquered this event, then we start the journey from the house to the van. This used to go much faster but when you have two 2 year olds who fluctuate between wanting to do everything on their own and wanting you to do everything for them while holding them the whole time, it becomes more complicated. I have gotten it down to somewhat of a science these days and usually we all 4 make it out in one trip. It has to look like a circus event or a bag of spilled marbles, but what it looks like is not what’s important… what’s important is that we all make it out alive with everything we need intact. Sometimes we even make it out with laughter and dignity to spare! Those are victorious moments!
Once we have made the journey from what sometimes feels like Egypt to Israel, I strap everyone in, hand everyone their requests of milk, crackers and a “B” (aka a blanket), handle the one who decides I handed him the wrong thing therefore throwing it back at me (luckily this doesn’t happen every time), discuss the fact that we do not throw and we can ask nicely for what we want, give him the correct item, kiss their little heads and hop in the front seat.
Immediately after putting the car in drive, the requests for a “moony” (aka a movie) begin, along with the requests for the dropped milk, blankets or snacks. I explain I cannot get the dropped or thrown item but I do happily put on a moony. Usually as we drive we talk or sing or dance until we arrive at the destination at hand.
Then we get to unload!
I’ve got a single stroller and a double stroller, as well as an ergo and a Moby baby carrier/wrap. Where we are going and for how long determines which set up wins. These days I either wear my not so little little guy and push the other two in the double limo, or let them walk if it’s a place I can trust them to stay with me (which they do surprisingly well). Or I use the double to keep my little dude in his car seat and I let one twin ride and the other usually walks and “helps me push the stroller.” Then there’s all the bags…my purse and the diaper bag at a minimum. Strap those onto the mommy hook, make sure we’ve got all of our blankies and snacks and we’re off like a terd of hurdles!
Because this is just the norm of what I do everyday, multiple times a day to go places, it feels very normal to me. I don’t realize that we look like a dragon with 3 heads everywhere we go but apparently…we do. We are always a spectacle.
Then there’s the inevitable questions and comments……. “Oh man you’ve got your hands full!” “Double trouble…oh triple trouble!! Wow!” “Are they twins?” “Are they identical?” “What are their names?” “Who was born first?” “That one looks like the trouble maker.” “Better you than me.” “I don’t know how you do it. I would die.” “Got yourself a load there don’t ya!?” “How old are they all?” “I’m a twin…I have twins…my mother’s brothers sister had twins….I have a friend who has twins…I knew a set of twins in high school,…etc.” You get the point. Depending on my mood and how smooth our travels were, I am more or less apt to handle these incessant questions and comments with grace. I’m always polite and smiley but I’ll be honest, my insides don’t always match!
It happens no matter where we go so I’m used to it by now, but occasionally, some of the comments provoke some extra thoughts.
Today I had a woman with a disgusted look on her face sarcastically say to me, “Wow, aren’t you a lucky person!?” Or something to that effect. It amazes me how some people find it necessary to open their mouths and allow words to fall out. What must the process be that their brain goes through before arriving at the conclusion that yes, this is in fact a thought worth sharing? I don’t understand it. But to those people I simply smile and say, “Absolutely!!!” What’s even more baffling about these comments is that they never come when anyone is acting out, which honestly happens extremely rarely so far in stores. (Thank you sweet baby Jesus!) The boys were just hanging out being their sweet helpful selves and this is the comment. Thankfully I was in a good mood and we just let it roll off.
Anyway, for each of those disgusting comments, I get an amazing one too. One day a woman literally stopped in the parking lot to celebrate me! It was the best! She stops and says, “Oh my gosh!!!” At this point I braced myself for the crap that would likely spew out. Then she continued and said, “YOU are great! You are amazing! You’re my hero!” Wow! Just as enraging as it is to hear people’s nasty comments, it is equally humbling to hear the great ones. I think this should happen much more often where we stop and take a moment to celebrate and really see each other! What a difference it would make if instead of competing with each other or judging each other, we celebrated each other! Just a thought!
I’m just a mom, doing what I gotta do, like we all do. Some days are good. Some days are not so good. Some days I feel like super mom and some days I feel like a total fraud. But every single day is an enormous blessing. I am constantly stretched as a mom and each day as my boys grow and change, so do I. We are learning together and it’s truly the greatest honor I have ever known.
Despite the lack of sleep, the marathon days, the double “terrible two’s” (which have honestly been pretty awesome if you ask me,….mostly), the wild bucking bronco of a 7 month old, the circus show of events all day long, the spills and messes; the overflow of laughter, the hugs, the kisses, the smiles, and the constant excitement so far outweighs any of the “negative.” When I get tired and need a break, I remember that this is not only the race God has set out before me to run, it is a race I have been specifically chosen for and blessed with. Therefore, I will run this mom-athon race with a heart full of joy and gratitude, humbled by the honor to be the mom of these 3 tiny little men. Being a mom is the best gift I’ve ever received and it’s a gift that just keeps on giving!!!
Carry on beautiful mamas! You’re doing a great job!!!