Five Ways I Know I'm a Parent of Three Young Children

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Dan England is one of our dad guest posters. He is the dad of three: toddler Jayden and nearly two-year-old identical twins Allie and Andie, and also husband to Kate.  He is a writer, poker player, mountain climber, runner and baby wrangler.  He has recently written for TWINS magazine, and writes full-time for a newspaper.  He and his family live in Colorado (hence the mountain climbing.) His blog can be found at: http://pokingandpeaking.blogspot.com/

• I have the agility of a ballet dancer. I used to be clumsy and unsure, even when I was climbing mountains every weekend (I was always surprisingly nimble on the thin ledges or rocks, however). But now? I can dodge a minefield of dolls, Lego blocks, Hot Wheels cars, DVDs, blocks with sharp corners, toy strollers, big fire trucks, shoes, clothes and the occasional twin, toddler or dog. All in a manner of seconds. When I do inevitably trip, I usually do some Baryshnikov-like move in the air and land on my soles. I usually skip the bow, though, because I’m probably chasing after a twin, and they’re pretty fast now.

• I can cheer silently during sports, even Kansas basketball. It gets a little tougher now, during the tournament, but I keep it in check for the most part. I used to LOVE to yell, both good and bad, at them, but having a dog cut out the bad, and having kids cut out both.  I’m not perfect.  I was cheering the other day and the toddler, Jayden, kept looking at me and laughing and saying, “Daddy, what you doing?” He asks me that 1,576 times a day anyway, but I could tell he was slightly concerned. When I asked him “But it’s all in good fun, so it’s OK when Daddy yells because it means he’s happy, right?”
He looked at me and said, “Well, no.”

• I have the patience of a monk. OK, not a monk. Maybe a hyperactive monk. Still, I am 100 times more patient than I used to be, which means I”m still not quite patient enough with the three. When Jayden spilled his cereal all over himself the other day, mainly because we were screwing around during breakfast, he cried and I merely laughed a bit and told him it was OK. I could not do that two years ago.

• However, my laser-like memory has been reduced to swiss cheese. I can’t remember people’s names as often as I should, and that’s because my brain is too occupied with things like:
– “Where did Andie go?”
– “Where did Allie go?”
– “Where are their pacifiers?”
– “Where are their juice cups” (Today I found a cup with cottage-cheese in it because it had milk in it for a couple weeks and we just discovered it. Oops.)
– “Where are their damn juice cups?!”
– “When are they going to bed?”

• I can change a diaper in the dark, while grabbing another twin with one arm, with my back turned, with poop getting on my hand, while the other one fights me, while getting their bath ready, while screaming (softly) at Kate for help, without missing a beat or gagging.

Bonus: I really enjoy even the screamiest heavy metal now because, hey, it can’t be any worse than when the girls start feeding off each other.

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What parent-power do you possess now that you didn’t have before kids?

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3 thoughts on “Five Ways I Know I'm a Parent of Three Young Children”

  1. Before kids (and quads) I could sleep through ANYTHING! Now I have the supersonic hearing and can hear the tiniest sniffle, no matter how deep a sleep I’m in.

  2. What a great way to start my day today! I love to see a man other then my husband’s perspective on raising twins or more. Patience is a virtue we all gain in some small way with multiples. My hubby sure has.

    Good question. I’d have to say I am finally seeing the return of a skill lost many years ago. Back in the day I helped my single mom with my very young little sisters & I was photographing in a studio. My special skill back then was the ability to react so quickly things didn’t spill and babies didn’t hit the floor. This included one spectacular moment in the studio when the mom left the 6 month old unattended on the table so she could be the one to get a smile. He fell right over the back and I somehow managed to get around the tripod, over a prop and catch the kid by his foot! The twins are helping me regain the skill when the computer isn’t on my lap!

  3. Yeah! the power I did not have before multiples, was my insane planning/ multitasking ability. I am obsessed with being on time so when I pack up my 3 boys to go anywhere I start about 45 minutes in advance, depending on the destination. Snacks packed, drinks packed, diapers changed, map printed out, list in hand, my travel mug filled with coffee, and off we go.
    I also stay on top of mountains of laundry and keep all the clothes clean & organized, which is huge.

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