As a hard-worked, sleep-deprived and occasionally world-weary parent of triplets, it still amazes me how easy this all is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ridiculously insanely difficult. But, paradoxically, it’s easy. Even at four in the morning when you’re invoking supernatural powers hoping to trade your soul for just 30 seconds more sleep, it’s easy. And at five in the morning when you’ve spent an hour trying to sleep-walk three babies back to sleep, it’s easy.
Singlehandedly trying to deal with three over-tired, screaming babies who are all recovering from a mild form of gastroenteritis is perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But it’s nothing compared to what I thought this would be like. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but walking barefoot across a massive pile of Lego while juggling flaming knives comes to mind. With another two babies thrown in for good measure!
I’ll be completely honest, there have been times when I’ve screamed at my babies in frustration. In those moments it wasn’t easy. Call it sleep depravation, temporary insanity, whatever you like, each time was and always will be the lowest point of my life. The shame one feels very soon afterwards is so overwhelming that it breaks you, mentally and physically. It can take several days to fully recover, particularly mentally, where you can finally reason with yourself that you didn’t intend to lose it, you didn’t intend to say whatever was said, and that the girls have clearly forgiven you because they flashed those oh-so-awesome life-affirming smiles just because they caught a glimpse of you looking in their direction. Life is wonderful and babies are very forgiving.
For the most part, this entire experience has been thoroughly enjoyable. Sure, there are chores that grind you down, like portioning out baby powder 240 scoops at a time. Like washing out the teats for the third time that day. The laundry. Oh my god, the laundry. It’s never ending.
But alongside that we get to watch three awesome baby girls become toddlers in front of our very eyes. Every day they learn a new sound, a new movement, a new way to annoy us(!). Alicia has recently learned that if – while sitting on my lap – she throws her toys on the floor, daddy will pick them up and hand them back to her. It amuses her no end. Me too… for now. These toddlers will become kids, then teenagers, then young adults. That still scares the bejeezus out of me. I still don’t consider myself an adult, never mind adult enough to be responsible for bringing three other adults into the world. For now I take one day at a time. We have very happy babies, inquisitive, talkative, playful and eager to enjoy each others’ company. Eager to enjoy our company. It’s bloody awesome.
There are times when I need a push. A kick up the arse even. Thankfully nature has seen fit to provide us with genetics, hormones, or some other sort of voodoo that kicks in at the appropriate time. And then there’s Mrs H who’s always happy to help with that kick up the arse.
Perhaps what keeps me going the most is that voice in the back of my head. The one that constantly reminds me how lucky I am. How insanely lucky.
And now I know how easy this all is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.