When we found out we were pregnant with triplets, it was a bit of a shock to the system – especially since our other two children were just one and three. Before we even considered the real threats, like prematurity and low birth rates, we considered the things that seemed real to us at the time. Like how would two parents feed three newborns? Or what kind of a car would we drive with three newborns and two toddlers? Or would it be possible to go to dinner and ask for a table for seven… including five highchairs? We’d stay up late pondering these and many other questions including, inexplicably, “what will we do when they go to school? What about back to school night? How will the two of us be able to cover three different classrooms?”
That burning question about back to school night faded over the course of four years that were a blur of pumping breasts, making bottles, burbing babies, changing diapers, doing laundry, cleaning highchairs, sleep walking, and toddler chasing – sometimes simultaneously. We somehow powered through it all, fueled by the relief, joy and reality of three babies that were born at 36 weeks weighing in at five to six pounds each. Each! I guess once you’ve had almost 18 pounds of baby in your belly, everything else kind of feels insignificant by comparison. Pumping for three? No problem. Three diaper changes at 3AM? Check! Back to school night? Wait, what?
It snuck up on us. We were literally walking to the school to meet the teachers when we paused, looked up at each other in the moonlight and asked “How the hell did we get here?!” Where did those years go? How can they be in kindergarten? How the hell are the two of us going to go to three classrooms to meet three teachers?! And why didn’t we think of this sooner? Why haven’t we thought about this since we first stared stunned at those ultrasound pictures?
I suppose it’s because we’ve been too busy living to be worrying. Too busy surviving to look too far ahead. Since our baby boy joys arrived in 2008, we’ve been living one day at a time. Long days and longer nights, but the years flew by and here we are. Approaching the steps to the school amid whispers and questions. “What’s your plan for tonight?” “Have you guys figured out how to clone yourselves yet?”
Well, our plan evolved along with the evening, as it often does. We lucked out in that one of the triplets has the same teacher our two older children had. We said a quick hello to her, promised to call the next day to get the lowdown on our boy and her plans for the year and then we parted ways to meet Teachers 2 and 3.
Walking home, we held hands and realized we’d done it. We survived back to school night. We signed up for conferences and class breakfasts. We sat in their desks, looked at their pictures and left them notes for the morning. Somehow, we pulled it off. Just like we’ve pulled off everything else since they arrived. One day – and night – at a time. Although, I have to admit, if I could figure out the cloning thing, I still would!