Craziest, most humbling, most awkward, bizarre moments of our lives with multiples. More of these will follow.
Having triplet toddlers and having independence outside of the house with three or four little ones in tow can present its share of challenges - one being the use of a restroom with space for four (or five).
I go out several times a week with my four little ones. Most of the time, I limit my outings to two hours or less to minimize the likelihood of a meltdown, either on their part or on mine. In the back of my mind has always been the "what if" fear of needing to find a restroom for myself and not having accommodations for the 4 other people who will share in my potty break. It's never been an issue... until last week.
The weather in this part of Florida in November is usually balmy and beautiful and last week I had an ache to get out and enjoy the day with my little ones. First we went to Toys R Us and browsed. Things were going well, so I decided we needed to spend some more time out. Heading down to the local manatee viewing center sounded very appealing - on the water, breezy, give the kids a chance to see something different.
As I headed into the parking lot, I was overcome with the sudden feeling of an imminent bladder explosion. Oh, no. What to do! I ducked into the back of the car, knowing that I couldn't use the bathroom facilities there while safely watching 4 little ones. We bought a portapotty (kid-size) for emergencies. THAT was an emergency. I have never squatted in the back of a van into a grocery bag lined with a diaper, hoping and praying that neither would fail me, that nobody would walk by, and that I'd never endure that again.
Consequently, I've been in that state 2 times since. I've become a champ at peeing in the back of the van.
I have to say the most exasperating moment for me in public was when I was struggling to push a stroller full of babies, hanging onto a toddler, pulling a shopping cart of groceries and trying to politely answer the "are they triplets?" line of questions. All the while, the cashier at the supermarket, the bagger, the customer service manager, and a few other employees continued their chatting about my situation as I struggled past them. Over my shoulder, I heard a teenager ask a woman who had ONE bag, "Do you need help out with this?" Not ONE person offered to help us. They were so busy watching the show and forgot that I was a young mom who could have used a hand.
Since then, I've had several such experiences of this nature. Just weird!
I bought a decibel reader. I was curious to see just how loudly these little people push the limits of my eardrums to the point of no return. I measured my kids during a typical point in the day when the noise level escalates to an uncomfortable level. We reached 110 decibels.
A chainsaw measures at 110 decibels. So does a car horn or a pneumatic drill. A lawn mower and a rock concert are in the same ball park. OSHA recommends no more than 2 hours a day of decibel levels of 110 before substantial hearing loss will occur. I spend more than 2 hours a day with my ears ringing from the noise level. In fact, the silence hurts my ears in the evening.
Upon entering an elevator one day on our way up to an OB appointment while pregnant with the triplets, my husband and I asked the security guard on which floor we could find our doctor. He promptly, thinking he'd be witty, replied "Floor 3. Just remember that three's the number of babies you don't want to have at one time." Then I told him I was expecting 3. Poor guy felt awful.
I am in a hurry to scoot out the door on most days. Last-minute diaper changes and other emergencies push me into the car without taking personal inventory sometimes.
One time I ran into a convenience store for a gallon of milk and pulled out my $5.00 bill only to find a dirty band-aid on it. GROSS! It was a phase that Angus was going through with band-aids. He sometimes had plastered an entire box to his little body. It didn't have any biohazardous waste, but trying to convince the clerk to take a bill with a disgusting band-aid on it, now that was uncomfortable.
Not long ago, I showed up at Angus's preschool (mind you, all of these women show up in Prada and freshly manicured nails) with blood and cheese sauce all over me. I didn't' realize until I got there that I was covered with things that made me look like an accident victim or a homeless person. How embarrassing!
While checking out at our local grocery store, the cashier was so taken aback by our trio in their stroller that she didn't notice the end of my groceries and the beginning of the groceries belonging to the person behind me. She gabbed and gabbed and asked question after question about them all the while running things across the scanner.
It wasn't until she had rung up nearly half of the groceries that didn't belong to me when we realized what was happening. As some of the things were already bagged, the lady behind me ended up leaving with less than she'd shopped for and I paid for a few extra things I didn't need.
Waiting in a 30-minute-long line for a 2-minute show at Animal Kingdom was just about the most torturous experience I've ever had with our trio. All three little ones were hot and tired, leashed (no strollers allowed in the line at one point) and going in three different directions. We added to that a three-year-old who wanted to do his own thing. All of them cried and whined and pulled and dropped down on the ground, winding their leashes around them all the way through the line! At each turn of the line, we saw yet another wait, but were confident that the end of the line was just around the bend. I'm certain that nearly everyone in line around us was having an I-wish-I-could-be-anywhere-else moment as well. Screaming fits, drool and tears and exhausted parents were the memories that I took away from that.