Monday, October 3, 2011

Road Trip - Don't forget the nanny!

Recently I read about a family with many small children (including 2-year-old identical triplet boys) taking a trip across the ocean to visit their ancestral home, Ireland. I applaud, envy, and in some ways, run madly screaming away from that type of courage.

Our triplets are nearly 3 years old, and we took our first big road trip with them this past August. It was a weekend trip for a family wedding, just a pleasant drive a couple hours away from us. They go across the ocean for 2 weeks. We went to Traverse City for 2 days. It's really the same thing, right?

2 out of 3 triplets enjoyed the lake
Our trip included a day at the cottage with the whole family (that includes 15 kids - the oldest being 11 and the youngest under a year old - one set of triplets and one set of twins). Our teen was ill and not able to go with us, unfortunately. That's 15 kids and a lake. That's 15 kids, most of who are under 8, and a lake. We made sure the triplet wore their Bodyglove swimsuits the minute we got out of the van.

Tadpole Chapel - Frog Pond Village
The wedding was scheduled for 5 p.m. the day after the cottage day. So the triplets would attend a wedding just before dinner time probably on the second day without a nap, since we had yet to successfully get them into a nap anywhere but at home. An outdoor wedding at what has been voted the #5 best outdoor wedding venue in Michigan by The Knot, they tell me. Better yet, since it was Tripped Up Daddy's sister getting married, the whole family was scheduled to sit in the 2nd row of the audience at the wedding. There wasn't a lot of hiding space if any one or all of the girls started acting up. Yeah, you could say we were nervous about it all.

Wedding venue - Frog Pond Village
When we hired one of our summer nannies this year, we specifically said we'd need her for this particular weekend. That may have been the best decision we've ever made in reference to the triplets. While we weren't able to stay as long as we would have liked at the cottage, the girls did well and we had a 1 to 1 ratio for watching them thanks to our nanny. Even better, because of our nanny, we were able to have an adults only evening out after the rehearsal dinner with many of Tripped Up Daddy's cousins.

We took the girls to a children's museum the morning of the wedding - hoping we'd tire them out and they'd nap before we had to get ready for pictures at the venue. Wrong, yes it became day 3 without naps (they also decided not to nap the day before we left). At the ceremony, the girls were fairly quiet and then enjoyed the chance to run and play with cousins at the reception. (Thank you Aunt J for picking such a kid-friendly setting). For their first real sleep away trip, the triplets were doing remarkably well - no naps, but actually sleeping through the night in a strange place. Without our nanny helping us the whole weekend, I don't know how we would have managed the wedding or the trip at all for that matter. (This may be the closest I'll ever come to really bragging about our nanny, I've said before there are specific reasons why I  usually don't.) It went so well I think I've decided that no large family event should ever be attempted with triplets unless you bring a nanny.

So that's my road trip advice to all families of multiples who are 3 and under. Do your best to pack all the food, clothes, comfort items, etc that you need, but rest assured, you can probably buy whatever you forgot. Just don't forget the nanny!

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