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Gotta Be NC- The Triplets, The Husband, & Me

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And how many family outings have you regretted while still in the middle of them?

Fit To Be Tied... with a wristband

Every year my husband and I and our triplets (now 11 1/2) head over to "Gotta Be NC" which is a smaller version of the state fair. If you buy a $20 wristband per child instead of tickets, they can go on unlimited rides. The people selling them are very particular. They have to wrap the wristband tightly around each child's right wrist. Not the left.  Not over a sleeve. Not dangling. (Gd forbid the kid has no right arm. "Sorry, those are the rules.") If the ticket booth people worked for the criminal justice system, people on house arrest wouldn't be slipping out of their tracking bracelets every other day. This past weekend when the fair was held, the weather was a little iffy. But there are no refunds for inclement weather. If you factor in the cost of tickets and how many tickets are required for each ride, we figured each child would have to ride 5 rides for us to break even.

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So we got the wristbands and I looked up at the clouds and my kids were standing around deciding what they should go on first while my husband started off the day's festivities by yelling at them:

"What are you standing around for? I just spent $60! Go on something before it starts pouring!"

Finally they all agreed on a tween-approved helicopter ride. The girls went together. My son disassociated himself altogether and went on by himself. They got off the ride. They're sauntering through the exit while we're looking up at the clouds:

"Come on! Come on! What do you want to go on next? How about this one?" My husband shoved them through the gate of the adjoining ride as I called after them: "You're doing great. Another four rides and we'll break even. After that you can go on whatever you want."

Triplet C yelled back: "I'm starving! I want to eat!"

"There will be plenty of time to eat once we break even! The sooner we break even, the sooner we can eat!" Not that I had a one track mind or anything.

My Two 11 Year Old Daughters and Their Geriatric Triplet Brother 

Triplet B knew what rides she wanted to go on. Triplet C looked at Triplet B to tell her whether she too wanted to go on the ride or not. Triplet A, my son, looked up at most rides and commented thusly:

"I can't go on that. It would upset my equilibrium."

I looked at him: "Upset your equilibrium? How old are you?"

He prefers to take the can-never-be-too-careful approach to amusement park rides. He likes the rides that never leave the ground and look like an eighty year old church lady is driving them. You know how kids are always crying at carnivals because they're too short to go on the rides? My son is the opposite. He laments that all the rides he would feel safe on have a height limit of 3 feet tall. The only other would-be riders who are ever turned away are those who haven't yet mastered sitting up by themselves.

If I hadn't been a somewhat crucial part of their birth, I would swear that my daughters were born two minutes apart and half a century after my son.

Fasten Your Seat Belts... It's Going To Be a Bumpy 4 Minutes

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Bumper cars are something we can all agree on. Although, the second time my son went to get on them the other day he said:

"I'm not sure if I should go again. I think I pulled something." I said:

"Get in the seat. Your Medicare will cover it." I was adamant. Nobody will stop me from sitting behind the wheel of my own bumper car with all three of my children driving around the pit. Bumper cars with your kids. What a wonderful idea and legal in all 50 states. I'm never prouder of having passed my road test 37 years ago than during a round of bumper car derby with my kids. I like to personalize my hits as I gun it towards each child: "This is for crying during Final Jeopardy!" "This is for finishing my Mother's Day cake before I even got any!" "This is for handing me your report card to sign Monday morning as the bus is coming!"

I've considered renting out the whole bumper car pit for an hour or two so I can "reconnect" with my family without any innocent people getting hurt. It gets tiresome yelling at strangers: "Get out of my way! She's the one I want! You're blocking my shot!"

I suspect I'm not the only parent who feels this way. In fact, I know it. Lots of times while I'm driving around on my mission, a parent will call out to me from the other side of the gate: "Over there! Blond hair, blue shirt! Hurry! He's getting away!"

If you'd like more laughs at the triplets' expense, please subscribe to my not-overly-frequent newsletter and check out my eBook written especially for parents at this time of year: Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. (I love my kids. I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!!).. Both doable from the home page.

 

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Messy Kids: Maybe They're Just Born That Way

Messy kids. I have three of them and I might know why. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a tidy person. I don't like to look around and see things in disarray. I don't like an unmade bed or dirt, filth, or grime, but I'm naturally a messy person. People who are messy like to say: "I'm messy, but not dirty. There's a difference." I agree. There is a difference, and I'm both.

I've been married to my husband for 13 1/2 years and I have no idea if he's messy or not. It's because no matter how messy he might be, I'll always out-mess him. He always cracks before I do. If there are dishes in the sink or a pile of newspapers on the counter, he can't take it before I can't take it. My "can't take it anymore" threshold is disturbingly high for mess. So this is the example I'm setting for my triplets.

I've been observing them for eleven years now. What I've witnessed is perfectly natural. I just haven't decided whether they're naturally messy kids or naturally lazy kids.

My daughter will come from playing outside and attempt to lie on my bed. I'll yell the signal: "Dirty clothes!" She'll take them off, drop them onto the floor and step over them en route to getting clean clothes to put on. Did I mention that the clean clothes she gets are usually stacked neatly on the dryer in the laundry room six inches from the dirty clothes basket? So that tank top you just dumped on my floor... was it too heavy to take with you?

Both daughters have a way of leaving things where they lay. If they're playing a board game on the floor now, that's where you'll find it tomorrow. If one day my husband and I simultaneously collapse somewhere in my house, we'd better drag ourselves to somewhere dignified before we die, because that's where the messy kids are going to leave us for all eternity.

My son is the best of the bunch. His messy disasters are confined to two categories: Edible and Wearable. Yeah, he's a lovely child, but everyone agrees you can't look anywhere near him when he eats. He doesn't discriminate. It can be peanut butter, chocolate, tomato sauce... The boy can't eat a Tic-Tac neatly. Clearly this is not a picture of my messy kid above. I couldn't find one of an eleven year old. Every time he eats, he needs a bib for his whole body which still wouldn't save his hands, face, ears or glasses. As for the wearable mess-- He doesn't leave stuff laying around the house like his sisters, he just has a dirty clothes moat surrounding his bed. I'm sure some child psychologist would tell me it makes him feel comforted when he sleeps like he's back in the womb. Or maybe it's a home security tactic. If anyone breaks into his room in the middle of the night, he's hoping they'll either kill themselves tripping over the mounds of t-shirts and underwear or they'll just open his door and the stench will drive them back into the hallway. Screw his sisters in the neighboring bedrooms.

But like I said: This whole messy / laziness messy kids thing might be inherited. I have rows and rows of empty bottles on my sink because I'm too lazy to throw them in a bag to recycle.

 

So when the kids come into my bathroom to grab sunscreen every morning before camp, I have to say my morning mantra to each of them:

"Not that one, it's empty. No, that one's empty too. The one behind it... to the left. Not the right. That one's empty."

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Thanks for visiting! If you'd like more laughs at your /my kids' expense, please join my monthly newsletter & check out my new edition eBook for parents of school aged kids right now at this time of year!: "  Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School.

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Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3 (Part 1)

Have you ever planned a kid's birthday party? Or 2? Or 3? At the same time? So next month is my kids' 11th birthday party. Yeah, "kids'". There are three of them. Triplets... and they'd each like to have their own separate birthday party. Why not? How hard can that be? I'm sure David Tutera could pull it off during the commercials. Maybe I'll schedule the parties just like the kids were born: Three minutes apart.

At 8:51 a.m., when my son Jacob was born, we can go to the popular arcade place for his party with his friends. I'm sure he'll invite Jaden- the kid I had to hunt down every five minutes of the museum field trip because he kept running off on his own. But I'm sure he'll be much better behaved at the dark, deafeningly loud arcade with the disco balls. I know Jacob will be much better behaved with his friends at the arcade than he is with his family at the arcade. Every time we go, he has a ritual of showing his dismay for having won fewer tickets than his sisters by throwing a tantrum between the "Subway Surfer" and "Classic Mario Brothers" machines. You might ask: "Then why is Jacob permitted to go every time if that's how he acts?" I ask myself that every single time.

At 8:52 a.m., we can go to the town pool for daughter #1, Carly... (She'll love being called "daughter #1- especially when I tell her that it will psychologically scar her sister for life.) Of course Carly will bring her entire entourage. And quite an entourage it is. Depending on the day and who you ask, it can include up to 12 girls. Would it be wrong for me to start spreading nasty rumors among them now so that Carly will only be friends with half of them when the invitations go out? Otherwise it will be an hour before they even get into the pool. The first sixty minutes will be taken up by every girl telling every other girl how cute her bathing suit is and then, in round two, every girl telling every other girl how cute she looks in it. Then they will splash around and play a diving gave for ten minutes before they plant themselves smack dab in front of the pool steps. For the next hour, they will be totally oblivious to the other fifty pool-goers of various shapes, sizes, and ages, who have to squeeze around them to get in or out of the pool. They will instead be totally focused on their task of comparing the "adorable" levels of the boys in their class with the ones on Teen Nickelodeon. "Logan is soooo adorable! I know, right?!"

Then at 8:54 a.m., we can go to the climbing place for daughter #2, Hayley's party with her own cast of characters: Namely the girl who devoted most of 5th grade math class to coloring her sneakers with marker, and the boy who is way-too-neurotic-to-be-only-eleven who I'm gonna guess is deathly afraid of heights. This is not good. At 5'2", I'm in no position to climb down a fifty foot rope ladder wearing a sixth grader over my shoulder like a shawl. And, I know from experience, it would all be left up to me. I guarantee, the second that kid starts to panic, my nearly six foot husband will yell: "Bad back!" which of course is the adult version of "Not it!"

Join me next week for part 2 of the "Planning a Kid's Birthday Party or 2 or 3" when I tackle the cake, opening the gifts, & more.

A little fun eBook that's just about what we're all going through just about now. From End of School to Back to School(Thanks for stopping by. I hope you're a little less stressed out than when you got here. If you'd like more laughs at your kids' expense please sign up to my newsletter on my homepage (link below) and/or check out the new edition of the latest fast, fun-reading eBook in my series. It's just about what we're all going through just about now.

Laughing IS Conceivable: From End of School to Back-to-School. I love my kids-I love my kids. I LOVE MY KIDS!  $2.99 USD until 6/16/17 then goes up a buck.) 

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