Not every weekend at the Woolsey house is a fun one; especially in the winter when we cannot get the kids outside to play as easily. Some weekends I am over life at about 9am, wondering what we will do to fill the rest of the day with all these kids of ours.
But as the kids get older, I do feel that things may be starting to get easier. Our Super Bowl Sunday turned into a day of parties, which in the past would have been quite stressful for Chris and I, trying to manage four young children at someone else’s house; wondering if everyone at the party was watching us thinking “what a circus” or “they have their hands full” or our personal favorite “boy, I thought I had it bad with my two kids and then I see you guys and I don’t feel so bad about my situation anymore.”
We went next door to our new neighbors’ Lea and Ryan’s house (read the entry on our new neighbor’s coming in a few days) for the first half of the Super Bowl, and to our other neighbor friend’s house Ed and Heidi for the second half. The kids were all ecstatic to be going to parties. I do appreciate my kids’ love of a good party. We walked over a few bushes and across a lawn to get to the party, which was most conveniently close. Preston brought his garden tools, including the lawnmower, trimmer and weed wacker. Ava brought herself with all of her crazy energy. She had about seven friends from school at the party which meant non-stop playing for hours. The little girl’s immediately found the girl’s room in the house, which included a stroller, stuffed animals and dolls, and they traded off playing with the stroller all afternoon.
Other than feeding those kids some wieners, chips, olives and cupcakes, the food of Super Bowl champions, I did not see them. Instead, the mommies gathered around the kitchen and drank some mysterious cocktail that Lea made, which included Mike’s Hard Lemonade, iced tea, vodka to name a few ingredients.
We did not have crying, whining, complaining, harassing, tattling, fighting, or general bad behavior from our children one time during the course of the Super Bowl evening, which lasted from 3 until 7:30.
Chris and I have dreamed of this day for four years. We have dreamed of the day when we can take all four of our kids somewhere and we aren’t running around like maniacs trying to accommodate every one and put out fires along the way.
This is not to say that we are altogether done spending way too much time accommodating cute little people and putting out fires at dinner parties, but I could tell that we had made it past some of the hardest times.
I remember having a conversation with a dad of quadruplets — three girls and a boy. Like us, they also have an older daughter. So basically, our multiples scenario plus one. My triplets were just babies at the time, and they were good babies and Chris and I had a nanny throughout the week, which was extremely helpful. I wasn’t feeling the stress and overwhelming nature of triplets too badly yet. This dad of quads was describing some of what they had been through with his then 3-year-old quads. At the end he stopped, and with a far away look he said, “we were really put through the ringer.” It wasn’t so much what he said right then that affected me, but how he said it. He seems to be in such a far away place remembering the stress and emotion that he and his wife felt being torn in so many directions.
Through this last year, I have remembered him a lot as I have felt that we are “being put through the ringer” by having to manage three-year old triplets with all of their needs and meltdowns and sibling rivalry, along with a seven-year old child who requires a lot of constant stimulation.
So yesterday felt like a milestone.
As our family of six invaded down on our next Super Bowl party, the kids dispersed and kicked in to full play mode while our friends and Chris and I sat at the kitchen table and enjoyed some soup.
As the Super Bowl came to an end, me watching a total of 5 minutes of the entire game, Chris and I embraced. Not because New York won the Super Bowl. We embraced because we have been through a lot in the past four years and we both knew that we were arriving at the promised land. The “it will only get easier” phase of raising multiples that we have been promised by other parents of multiples.
Every stage of parenting comes with its unique challenges and rewards; I love and appreciate this fact. Zero to five is the I am strong-willed and know everything and want everything when I want it yet I really can’t do everything for myself yet stage. Six to ten are the school years where their brains are growing and learning and as parents we must be on top of school work and social development. Eleven and twelve are the tween years, the dreaded middle school years, where school is kicked up a big notch in difficulty and kids are experimenting and beginning to rebel. Thirteen to 18 — the teen years. Dun Dun Dun (the dramatic sound). Enough said.
Nobody ever said it was easy taking a 7 pound (on average) wrinkly little helpless baby and turning them in to a happy, successful adult. Most of us are just doing the best we can as parents and appreciating those moments where we feel we have achieved along the way.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.