I have been in some form of survival mode since the triplets arrived. As time has gone on, the tactics have changed, but overall, I have spent the last 4.5 yeats surviving.
Our NICU ride:
First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
From the time we brought them home from the hospital, people would ask us, "How do you manage it?" "There are three of them, three diapers, three bottles, three outfits, OMG, how do you do it each and every single day?" Back then, I was in day to day survival mode. My goal was to get from each meal to each nap, and repeat until I could get 5 hours of sleep at night.
Terrible Twos and Toddlerhood:
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so you're back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed my stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you'd be back to bother me
As they got older and the schedule was less rigid, my survival strategy changed. I had to entertain, feed, stimulate, educate and keep all three from danger. The daily goal went from survival to damage control. As they learned to climb, crawl, monkey around, and reek havoc, mantra was the same. I got from meals to bedtime without a trip to the ER. I began saying that the days were LONG but the weeks FLEW by.
When Charlotte arrived and CJ was thought to be terminally ill, the survival mode was on steroids. Jeff and I carried that load together and in hindsight it was the roughest month of our lives. We got through that time and never looked back at what could have been, instead we welcomed the chaos and pure insanity of having four kids under two years old.
Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive
Once the triplets were in preschool my workload was increased and the survival was still hour by hour, day by day, weeks into months until I got them from the van, through the crazy parking lot and into their classrooms. As they started preschool, they began to really shine and show their independence. I was not in a hurry for them to grow up, I just needed something to look forward to, something tangible, like drinking a latte in peace, and going to Trader Joe's alone.
It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
I'm not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
now I'm saving all my loving
for someone who's loving me
I have been counting down the days until Kindergarten. I am pleased to say, we are into counting by hours. HOURS. The kids are truly excited. I am equally thrilled but I know it is bittersweet. There is a part of me that feels as though kindergarten marks my ultimate survival. I made it. I kicked the ass of parenting multiples and we all arrived at Kindergarten relatively unscathed.***
My survival mode is almost over. Now we enter a new phase: CONSTANT WORRY and JOY. I learned that the Duggar family uses the JOY method of parenting, and their JOY stands for Jesus first, then Others, Then Yourself. This seems like a great style of instilling a religious base for kids. We are Jewish, so our JOY, is "J"EWISH- Oy. My latest survival mode mantra is OY VEY, and I have the license plate to remind me and let others know, our personalized JOY is having survived infant and toddler triplets to the point of kindergarten.
Sing it Gloria Gaynor, I have been singing with you all along! We are both survivors.
***Any psychological damage to me is only temporary. The kids however, seem fine- I will wait another thirty years to find out what I did wrong when I get the bills from their therapists.
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