I'm sure most people, if you are a parent, remember age 3 very well. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have triplets at age 3? Just imagine your child (or one of them) at age 3. Now imagine there are three of them.
I feel like the third year of my children's life has been largely undocumented by me in this blog. I have managed to write about their one on one trips with me (although not in as much detail as I would like), their third birthday and the loss of one of their dear nannies...and that's it. When I started this blog I was writing probably 2-3 entries per month on average. Then I looked back at my entries last year when they were two...and I pretty much said the same thing, I have no time anymore. This year has been a year of tremendous growth, which I feel is really important to write about, and that I will hopefully capture in my next few entries. But this has also been another one of the most overwhelming years for me as a mother. As babies, I watched them overcome so many health issues and struggle to survive, I lived every day afraid of what they may have to face next... and now I feel like that is me, metaphorically speaking. I wake up in the morning and take a deep breath, grab my coffee, and walk upstairs, unsure of what awaits me. Will it be emptied clothes drawers, water covering the bathroom floors, a roll of toilet paper stuffed in the toilet or even better, a package of wipes, blue toothpaste on the hallway carpets, poop in their beds or black paint all over the walls and furniture. As the kids grow, they are becoming more independent which I longed for the past year. The first two years of their life we did everything for them and after we moved to Virginia, I did everything for them. It's hard to imagine now. My babies for the first time, are officially kids, and capable of dressing themselves (for the most part), eating, playing independently and talking.
This time last year the kids were approaching three years old and they were being evaluated for early pre-school. I was concerned they were not speaking but one or two word phrases or able to do things on their own. Now they don't stop talking. I love listening to Georgia make up her own songs and walk around the house singing or Jo Jo singing during potty time. I love what a sweet heart Mickey has become, complimenting people, saying please and thank you and expressing his love for everyone. I love to hear them tell me about their favorite things, even though I already know what they are.
They also tell me what to do, and they demand it actually. "Mom, make me dinner, wipe my butt, go take a shower, open this, go get my clothes.... They tell me what they want, a bath, a different shirt, what show they want to watch, what they want to eat. Mostly pizza and cookies. They also tell on each other. Mickey pushed me. Georgia hit me, Jo Jo is looking at me. LOL. I thought I would have a few more years before that started, but no. They spend A LOT of time, in time out. They love each other so. Watching them play is like magic. They are built in friends for life. They pretend to make meals for each other, pretend to be prince and princess and bad guys and wicked witches. They pretend to care for babies and clean the house and cook me breakfast, lunch and dinner (if only that one was for real). Its amazing how well they play together and how big their imaginations are. But they also fight constantly. Especially over toys and for attention. They all want to sit on my lap at the same time. It's very flattering, but also exhausting at times. Each of them are between 34-40 pounds each. One thing I think I struggle with as a mom of triplets, more than other moms do is that my kids never get one on one attention, they never have. Not even as babies. That is why I made a point to take them on those trips individually this year. But they are always fighting for my attention. I wish I could give them more of it, but between taking care of them, trying to get stuff done around the house, trying to be a good wife, and daughter and friend, I am missing stuff as it is.
Sometimes I wonder if the screaming and yelling is for attention or is that a normal thing all three year olds do? Maybe both. But when they all three scream at the same time. Oye. Some people seem to look at me as some kind of super mom, but I'm not. I'm doing what I have to in order to take care of my children and make it through the day. It's not easy, but I'm not great at it either. I make mistakes all the time, and most days feel like I'm doing a horrible job and just getting by. I find myself in awe of the single parents. I dread anytime Tommy has to leave for a trip because the nights are the only break I get. Trying to take them to do regular activities we usually do as a family is more challenging with three toddlers when there is just you. For example, last Sunday I took them to church. After it was over when we were leaving I got them all strapped in their car seats, which anyone with toddlers knows is a process even with just one. Then Georgia decided she had to go potty. So normally if Tommy was there, I could just take her and he would stay with the other two, but when he's not, I have to unstrap all three and take them all back in side, then Jolynne smashed her finger in the door, so I had one that was going to pee her pants and another who was crying and hurt and I'm not sure where Mickey went at that point. Lately sometimes it feels that it is rare if Tommy and I are all together with the kids. Our social life seems to mostly consist of him taking the kids or me, or one of use going solo and the other staying home with the kids. This is all due to sicknesses and work/travel schedules. Funny thing is we just had an amazing vacation together without the kids in Turks and Caicos but that feels like months ago.
There have been some days where I feel more tested than I have ever been and I know there will be many more. Sometimes I feel guilty for even thinking "this is hard" because of how much they struggled when they were born and how hard it was for us to have children. But I can say there is nothing that fills my heart up so than watching how far they have come. Even though they fight, yell, scream, order me around and don't listen to anything I say, there are those sweet moments in between every day where I am amazed by them. By how smart and sweet they are. They know their ABCs and can count way past 10. They remember details of things that we did a year ago when they were two years old that blow my mind. The way they love and take care each other at such a young age. Mickey will ask "Georgia, are you ok" as he rubs her back if she seems upset. If they fall down they help each other back up. They hold hands if they are scared of something when walking somewhere outside. Its adorable. When we do have a chance to go do things together as a family, those are my favorite days. They love when mommy and daddy are together. They love to get out of the house and do new things and their smiles are contagious. Those times, I live for and will cherish. But I will cherish this time I have had to be home with them too. Even though its been hard, its been so good for them and they have grown up so much. I am grateful I still have another year or two left to take naps with them periodically and watch them dream and let them put their arm around me as they drift off to sleep. I'm glad we still have more time to learn from one another before I send them off into the world every day at school. I struggle with how out of control I feel as a parent. I have no control over anything it seems most days. That has been a challenge for me. But I will really have zero control when they start school regularly because they won't be with me. That is a very scary thought for me and luckily not something I have to be ready for quite yet.
I'm sure I am still forgetting so many little things about their threenager year. I'm looking forward to writing more again about our journey. There is still a lot of good stuff to share about the kids progress, but there will also be some really real moments and deeper thoughts I will share that may not seem so positive. But they are real, and that is me. I love my life and my family and my children more than anything but our life is not perfect and that is not how I want to paint it. This is our story, its a beautiful one, filled with love and with tears just like description to this blog says. I don't want to be super mom, or target mom, or active mom, or helicopter mom, cool mom, OCD mom, or labeled as anything really. I hate those blogs you read that say "the five types of moms you see at...". Why do we have to fit into a "type". I'm pretty sure I have crossed over all of those "types" at one point or another. I just want to feel normal and understood as a mom. And I want my kids to know how much I love them but also the ups and downs of being a family and maintaining healthy relationships with each other. It's all worth it. It always has been. This is it and I couldn't live without any one of them.
In the next entry I will talk more about their accomplishments this year, milestones, holidays and family reunions as well as, including pictures. But here are some other of my favorite pictures of them so far this year that capture their spirit and personality.