"Momma done"

I have a new phrase I use with the boys. It's called "momma done." The conversation goes like this:

dad: "is your homework done?"

son: "yes"

dad: "is that a yes from your perspective or is that a yes in terms of momma done?"

son: "it's momma done"

You see, now that the boys are in 7th grade, momma has decided to reenter the job market and isn't home as much. Dad is trying to fill the void by attempting to ride rough shod over homework when momma's not home. I've discovered that there is a huge difference between being "done" and being "momma done." Momma checks answers, handwriting, and content. Early on, I got caught up in thinking the boys were done (I asked them and they said yes) and when momma got home, discovered that there were a few hours remaining. I'm learning.


Pre teen years - sigh...

The boys turn 13 in the near future. Another milestone. Another reason to think back and smile. All those mornings when our boys would stumble out of their beds still in their one piece nighties with a binkie in their mouth and a couple more in their fist. Hair standing straight up. Soft, chubbie cheeks to plant a good morning kiss. A climb into your lap. A big hug. Dad would put down the sports section of the paper and pick up the auto section. The boys would smile, point to a picture of a car and scream with delight - "car, dayie, car!" Most of the time with their binkie still secured in their mouth. Those days are gone now but the memories are still there. Coupled with three teenagers.


It's getting harder

Mom (looking outside): "why is dad laying on the ground?"

Json: "he's celebrating"

Mom: "celebrating what?"

Json: "he beat me in tennis - he thinks it's funny..."

Ason and Json made the middle school tennis team this year. Tson likes to play but doesn't play on the team. Dad has a new way of working out. The boys play rock/paper/scissors to decide who plays dad first. Then second, and maybe a third (although dad rarely lasts past match #2). One set each. I can still hold off son #1. By son #2, I'm really tired and they've learned to just lob the ball barely over the net to make me run. Json almost beat me that way the last time. I managed to pull through but just barely. I celebrated like I'd just won the US Open. Json just rolled his eyes and went inside.


Homework and the 10 second rule

Remember the ten second rule? For those of you that have had three kids at different times, you know how it works... The first one got their binkie boiled any time it hit the floor. The second one got it washed off, the third one got it put directly back into their mouth as long as it hadn't been on the floor for more than ten seconds.

Homework with triplets can suffer similar effects if you're not careful. After helping the first one do his math problems, it's hard to have the same patience with the second one. Especially when they are the same problems. By the time you get to the third, you're running to the copy machine (yes, we have a copy machine - a must if you have older triplets). I guess the secret is to do the homework in a different order each day so the third son who basically gets his answers handed to him isn't always the same son.

English homework assignments are much tougher. You can't really replicate the problem solving process. The best you can do is speed up the transcription. Using the computer helps. That way, no one can tell who's typing. If it's early or on the weekend, the boys type in their own papers. If it's late (past dad's bedtime), then we go into power typing mode where son A, B or C reads his paper while dad power types. We turn spell check on and walla - save and print.

If you have other helpful hints on getting through a triplet set of homework assignments, I'd sure appreciate hearing about them!


The Auto Show

Written when our boys were five... On weekends I would look for things where I could grab the boys and go. Anything to give mom a few hours of peace and quiet so she could gather herself - maybe even take a shower or grab a nap. The auto show seemed like a "guy" thing to do so we started going when there were three and have gone ever since. I'll write about the time we lost Tson at the auto show another time...

What is becoming an annual event for dad and our three triplet boys. This year was our first WS showing (without stroller). It all started as a Saturday morning event with dad and the boys reading the morning paper looking through the auto section for cool cars - or in our case, cars that would hold three car seats. Almost an oxymoron. It grew into the four of us trekking down to the Hoosier Dome and giving mom a much needed break after a wild week of wrapping Christmas presents, writing Christmas cards and tending to three demanding four-year-olds (and a husband home on vacation!). Now that the boys are older, we don’t get the “triplet stare” you can all relate to. That is until we got to the auto show. The first thing we did was check out the rotating car with a model describing the details of the new Chevrolet 16 valve overhead cam engine (as if she could find it!) In the middle of her description with microphone being piped into all sections of the dome, she stopped and asked me if the boys were twins (a common question since Ty is 2 inches shorter than his brothers). I replied, “no, they’re triplets…” and suddenly, the Chevrolet she was describing became secondary to the four of us and about a hundred others who were now staring at us. So much for just a regular outing for dad and the boys! We quickly left the Chevrolet section in hopes that they didn’t hear the commotion at the Toyota stand. After an hour of boys going in and out (and in and out and in and out) of at least 75 cars and trucks, we picked the “best car” award. That’s the award for the car the boys claim as their own. This year, the boys picked the same car I would pick (like father, like sons?), a bright yellow SAAB convertible. Totally impractical for our family needs but a whole lot of horsepower. The boys liked it because the color was the same as the paint they had spread all over the basement carpet. Dad liked it because it was totally impractical for our family needs and he’s pushing 40. Anyway, the SAAB model stopped and asked if they were triplets. I give her credit for not asking if they were twins. If I had known how models were attracted to triplets, I would have rented some in college. After 2 hours, we “hit the wall” and headed for home. Three (make that four) tired boys and another year of memories at the auto show.


First Day of School

There's something about the first day of school that marks the time - especially with triplets. Mom and dad will never forget the first time our triplets boys left for school. After five years of mayhem, the house was completely silent. We sat at the kitchen table and just looked at each other. I came home from work to be part of this milestone. I must admit I cried on the drive back to work. Silence can be deafening. Seven years later, the boys still ride the bus to school. They still wait outside in the driveway and that old bus still squeaks to a stop in the same spot. The only thing that's changed is that dad now sits inside and watches out the window until they get on. They don't want us outside for fear that their friends will see us.

Lean on Me

{Father's Corner article originally written in 1998 when our boys were four}

Raising triplets can put a tremendous strain on family finances. We all know that. With this strain comes added pressure to succeed in your job, business and career; knowing that in not that many years, you’re looking at around $100,000 a year to send them to college. And invariably over a career there will be times when things don’t go your way. When that happens you may find, like me, that these three additions to your family who arrived as a surprise, demanding every bit of time and energy during their early years can begin to play a different role in your life.

For four years, our boys have depended on us for everything - food, clothing, diapers, feeding, love and support. As parents, we worked harder than we could ever have imagined, on not enough sleep, in a world that is turned upside down. Most people go home to relax. With triplets, you go to work to relax. And when work gets to be stressful, life gets tough. At this point something wonderful can happen. You find yourself spending time with your children, not because they need it, but because you need it. You need to feel their affection, their love. They could care less what your boss said to you or how your career is progressing. They are genuinely excited to see you, to be with you. Your own built-in cheerleading squad! To them, you’re Daddy. It’s that simple - nothing complicated about it, no strings attached. Just pure love times three. It’s truly amazing that three children who came into this world so fragile can grow, in four short years, to become an incredible source of strength --- strong enough for daddy to lean on.

The boys

These are my boys (taken a few years ago). They are fraternal triplets but Json and Ason look a lot a like. For awhile, I had to look twice to see who I was talking to. The boys are use to being called by the wrong name. Mom and I use to know who was coming down the hall at 2 in the morning just by the way they walked and the way their diapers rubbed together. Almost every night we would wake up with a pair of two-year-old eyes staring into our face.... with hair standing straight up and a binky securly in their mouth. Now, we pull them out of bed. Posted by Hello



For the purpose of benchmarking this triplet family's position in life, let me say that we have triplet twelve-year-old boys. I will not be revealing their identities by name but let me just say that "Json", "Ason" and "Tson" will be recognized by family and friends. We live in Indianapolis and lead a fairly normal life as far as we are concerned. Others still shake their heads when they think about their own two-year-old and then try to extrapolate to having three of them at the same time. We have no other kids so we know no other way.

A few questioned answered... no, triplets did not run in our family. yes, having triplets was a surprise. How we survived the first few years is a blur and we very much enjoy the fact that the boys can now pour their own milk. We figure we changed around 10,000 diapers in a two year period and don't miss buying them by the pallet at Sam's.

We're through the early years and all the funny stories that go along with toddlers. I'll try and repost some of my early "Father's Corner" articles that captures some of the more hilarious moments. Now we're into teen stuff. Boys-to-men kind of issues. Stay tuned. As parents, we're feelin' our way through this stuff as it's the first time for us magnified times three.

On Steve Irwin's Death...

I've listened to and watched several parodies of Steve Irwin's death on the radio, Youtube, and TV (mostly in that order) and offer a slightly different perspective as the father of three 12-year-old boys...

Steve Irwin captured the hearts and minds of our little boys. I firmly believe that every child is born a conservationist. It's instinctive and we have to beat it out of them. As different as our triplet boys are, they have one thing very much in common - the love of wild animals. One wants to start a tarantula farm in Mexico to protect spiders. Another wants to be an ornithologist specializing in hawks. The third loves crocs and has a room full of stuffed crocodiles. That's were Steve Irwin comes in.

The boys grew up watching "Crocodile Hunter" videos. His personality captured them completely. They had his poster on their wall until it was replaced just recently with Andy Roddick. They subscribed to the Croc Hunter newsletter.

Last night, mom found a crumpled up version of the newsletter in one of our boy's beds. It had a picture of Steve on the front cover. Our hearts sank knowing that it had been part of a final tribute to Steve the day after he died. When mom comforted our son, he confided in us that he was very upset not only at Steve dieing, but others ridiculing him on the radio and on TV. It was the "in" thing to do at school as the parodies echoed through the 7th grade halls.

I went from room to room asking the other boys if they felt sad too. All admitted that they would miss the great crocodile hunter. And, right there and then, we had our own little clumsy tribute to a man half a world away. Someone with a very large spirit which leapt across continents and captured the hearts and minds of little boys and girls, and, as a parent of three sons, us as well. A spirit that I'm sure still burns bright.

This family of boys will miss you Steve.

A New Start

I've been blogging since 2002. This is my third blog site. I've managed to save the content of my previous two but I've deemed it irrelevant for future readers. I did manage to get hard copy of previous posts for family keepsake. If you're interested, you can order my book "Blog On" off the blogbinder site. Just contact me and I'll provide details.

As I start this new blog, I've decided to make it a specialty blog. Designed with a particular perspective in mind. One that has nothing to do with work, technology, internet trends, business issues or anything other than my stated mission - to record and document the life and times of a father of triplets.

"Father's Corner" was the name of a monthly bit I wrote for the Mothers-Of-Multiples newsletter back in the early 1990's right after our boys were born. I noticed that the newsletter was all about moms and nothing about dads. When I started writing about a dad's perspective, I noticed that the moms appreciated it too.

I've decided to fast forward the column and bring it up-to-date. Hope you enjoy.