Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Give toddlers room to grow

and amazing things happen... they start turning into preschoolers right before your very eyes.

When you have triplets, containment can be your best friend, like a fenced-in backyard, a triplet wagon, high chairs, a 12' baby gate, you know, the basics. When you struggle with milestone delays with the same triplet toddlers, containment can also be part of the problem.

Recently Tripped Up Daddy decided it was time to remove the biggest baby gate in our household. I don't know that I was completely ready for that, honestly. It meant little girls running with wild abandon throughout the house and anything not "safely out of reach" would be fair game. Maybe not so scary for those who find it easy to keep a neat house, but unfortunately the Tripped Up Family tends to be more "cluttered" than "spartan" in our decorating techniques. So this new world of "no major gate" was pretty intimidating.

Amazingly enough, it really was the perfect time to allow more freedom to the girls. All 3 of the girls seem to be advancing rapidly in development now (with little to no scary side effects - you know, like broken limbs, cracked heads, or cut fingers). They love the opportunity to roam and chase each other, climb up and downstairs at will, explore the kitchen while we cook, and chase the cats with greater ease. It's been so much fun that just two days after the "wall came down," I said, "let's pull the booster seats out and have the girls sit right up at the table for meals." So we did, and now we feel so much more like a family of 6 instead of a family of 3 and 3. It feels good and in some ways it's easier, and in some ways it's harder.

Raising triplet toddlers seems a lot like gardening. You never are completely sure when it's the ideal time to transplant a houseplant into a bigger pot, but there does come a point when there's no other choice. If you don't move a growing plant to a larger location where it can spread its roots, it will stop growing and could even die. Perhaps it didn't take a public figure like Ronald Reagan to say "tear down this wall" in our home, but I think we do realize the girls were getting a little "root-bound," if you will. Today, they have a lot more freedom to grow.

And yet, if you ask Tripped Up Daddy today, at this very moment, whether he supports his decision or not, you might get a different answer. Today's fun activities included: Princess triplet taking off pj's and dirty diaper in middle of living room while he was gathering clothes for day upstairs (who knows where that tush went), Angel triplet climbing onto top of changing table, then proceeding to pull all the baby wipes out of box and throwing them everywhere while he was making lunch, Princess triplet grabbing all the lunch plates off the counter and throwing them on the floor as Daddy rushed to rescue Angel. I haven't heard anything specific about Sunshine triplet, but there may be stories when I get home.

I think Tripped Up Daddy wants the gate back today. Instead, I think the next step is potty training, in triplicate.

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