Thursday, January 7, 2010

When having watched Jon & Kate + 8 comes in handy

Rich and I had planned to take the girls to Edaville Railroad this holiday season to enjoy their Festival of Lights and maybe have a bit of fun on the amusement park type of rides but the weekend that we had originally planned to do so back at the beginning of December was too chilly so we skipped it. Trips to Edaville at Christmas are a bit of a tradition in Massachusetts. Rich and I both remember jaunts there during our days as youngsters. The problem with Edaville is that most everything is outdoors and you really need to go later in the day to see the lights.

About a week and a half ago, we had one of those random winter days where the temperature crept up into the 50s. It was raining that morning but the forecast called for it to clear in the afternoon. Rich and I both looked at each after hearing the forecast and said, "Edaville?"

With the girls close to three years old, I did not feel the need to keep them contained in the strollers. For two reasons. 1. Someone would probably get grumpy at some point. 2. I wanted to wear them out with all the walking. We did bring the single stroller with the prediction that Anna would tire out and need a ride. Rich hesitated and wanted to bring both strollers but I refused. Make. Them. Walk.

And walk we did. S-L-O-W-L-Y. Am I the only one who thinks that her toddlers are the slowest walkers on the planet? At first I stupidly thought that we were going to escape the whole "triplet" thing because maybe it wasn't as obvious with them not in strollers. Yeah, didn't happen. I think we made it well into the park area before we were asked any questions and the first question asked was "How early were they?" I sort of did a double take as I usually hear "Are they triplets?" first.

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Now here's where I interject some commentary on annoying comments. Well, I don't know if the comment was necessarily annoying but it was a bit bizarre. Bizarre to me as in "why would you say that?" The girls have matching winter coats and hats that were gifts. I was sure as {insert choice word here} not going to go out and purchase two more coats and hats for the sake of dressing them differently. In fact, I picked up winter coats in size 4T last year from the Carter's outlet store for dirt cheap and they happen to match. I was not going to pass up that bargain. The comment that I am referring to was "Oh look, they are wearing matching jackets and hats."

And I'm going to interject some more commentary on matching clothing. We frequently dress the girls in matching clothes because it is easy or the clothes were gifts or purchased on super clearance. Or maybe I should substitute lazy for easy but either way, I personally don't feel that babies or toddlers who are multiples and wear matching clothes are going to suffer some type of identity crisis. I know that there are lots of moms of multiples out there who never dress their kiddos the same and I respect that. I believe that each parent is allowed to make whatever decision they feel is best for their situation. I just find it so ironic/amusing/entertaining that no one EVER comments on those parents who dress kids of different ages in matching clothes. Suppose there had been a family there with three young kids (all singletons) all wearing matching winter jackets. Do you think someone would have said, "Oh look, they are wearing matching jackets." Probably not.

I suppose in some ways we are used to all the comments and there are some that I really do not mind such as, "Oh, they are adorable." I guess it is just weird to always have folks staring at us in public as if we are some sort of display. Or celebrities (very minor celebrities at that!). And another comment we heard a few times was along the lines of "Wow, three! It's good to see you out."

Okay, commentary over - back to our adventures. We successfully managed to handle a train ride on an extremely crowded car. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones who decided to take advantage of the warmish weather. We then headed over to the kiddie rides. The first ride that we came upon was a turtle ride and the girls were just the right size for it. It was actually for little kids so the girls were a few inches away from being too tall. They all said that they wanted to go on the ride so Rich and I strapped them in and waited for one (or more) of them to flip out. Much to my delight, they had an enormous amount of fun. And I do have to say that it was kind of weird for me to watch my babies on a ride at an amusement park. How did this happen?

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We were met with a chorus of "Can we do that again?" when Rich and I went to retrieve them at the ride's end. Instead of staying with the same ride, we moved on to the next one, which was a caterpillar ride with seats large enough to accommodate adults who need to ride with their kiddos. There was a measuring thingy next to the entrance to the ride showing how tall you needed to be to ride alone. If too short, you needed an adult. Well, as I'm checking out the height requirement, which the girls did meet by about two/three inches, the operator of the ride starts up with the usual triplet comments. "Oh, man, must be tough with three. Looks like you're gonna have to bring 'em on one at a time."

"Butbutbut..." This was me attempting to explain that the girls met the height requirement and could ride by themselves. There was no way that we were going to take them on one at a time. That would have taken waaaaaay too long. I even plopped Em up next to the height chart to prove that she was tall enough. He didn't seem convinced. Maybe he thought I had her wearing platform shoes or something. All of a sudden, images from Jon & Kate + 8 episodes started playing in my mind. It reminded me that their adult to child ratio was not 1 to 1 and I remembered their trick of having not only children sitting in the seat with them but sitting in the seat/row ahead of them.

I suggested this to Ride Operator and he agreed so Rich sat with Allie, I sat with Anna and Em sat by herself in the row ahead of me. And the girls LOVED it. We did allow them to ride the turtle ride again and that second time, Anna attempted to stand up while the ride was going! Thankfully the seatbelt kept her from fully doing so. I think she was being a little daredevil and believe you me I have told her over and over that she can't do that again or she may fall out.

{Rich has a video clip up of the girls on the ride that second time. You can hear me (I think) telling her to sit down. Click here for a direct link to his post with the clip.}

It is a bit of a walk through the park to the exit and poor Anna was so tired out, she was dragging her feet and gladly accepted a ride in the stroller. I asked Em to help me push the stroller so she held onto the side and walked with us while Allie lagged behind with Rich and eventually asked to be carried to which Rich gave me the hairy eyeball and muttered, "I told you we should have brought both strollers." Sorry, hon!

To top off a great evening, the girls were asleep in their cribs IMMEDIATELY. No whining, no crying, no begging for Mommy to sit next to them. I wish I could wear them out like that everyday.


Erin said...

My daughter will be 4 in March and my son just turned 2 the end of December and I dress them alike--or at least can seem some pictures on my blog...who cares if you dress them alike or not, people need only comment if they were out in the weather WITHOUT hats and coats! lol
Your girls are adorable!

Pyjammy Pam said...

hee hee, awesome video!

and you have actually convinced me to dress the boys alike sometimes. or at least buy three sets of matching clothes so i can try....

Jayme said...

I always dressed my oldest three boys alike when they were little- and they are singletons. I did the same for the girls, again singletons. So it just stands to reason that now that I have the twins they're going to match, whether or not they like it LOL

Mommy, Esq. said...

I'm going to have to take my kids to the railroad next year (when they are better walkers). With respect to clothing - you treat them as individuals so it doesn't matter how you dress them. I love the photos of my sisters and me dressed in the same jackets or outfits (or same but different colors). We were pegged with "colors" and it is nice you don't even do that!

Jen said...

My sister dresses all her kids in matching things -- all singletons. And she does get comments, and it annoys her.

I really wish I had it together enough to dress all of mine alike! I get so excited when the kids get matching or coordinating things. It looks really cute, and makes it easier to keep track when you're in public.

Re: colors -- each of my kids has an assigned color and I LOVE it if I can find a given item in green, blue, pink and purple.

Sounds like a great time, and the girls look so cute!

Kelli said...

My favorite comment is the one that is not addressed to me but loud enough for me to hear- "oh I never dressed my twins alike"...
Never sure what I should say to that! I think your girls are always dressed adorably!

Sarah said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one annoyed by the matching clothing comments! And yes, Jen - it so helps out in public when I only have to look for one thing. Pink coat, pink coat, pink coat!!

Jamie said...

Love it...and the pictures. I wish they made turtle rides for adults, totally my speed!

I dress my B/G twins alike...obviously he does not wear dresses, but cute gender neutral outfits are a definite must! Some people were just born without a filter. I completely understand all the stares, and we only have two. Either way, the Pink coats and boots are super cute!!!