If it beeps, buzzes, clangs, dings, vibrates, lights up, pops up or chirps, it rules my day. As the mom of pre-K triplets, I have often joked that by 8 a.m., I have more done than the military accomplishes in a day. This feels like only a slight exaggeration.
When my alarm goes off, it’s almost like it is laughing at me because the kids have already been awake for 45 minutes. While I am trying to get dressed, all three pile on the bed and start asking questions or talking at once. It’s probably a good time to mention that I am not a morning person. It takes me three tries, but I manage to get my clothes on in the right order. Coordinating is optional.
I wake up late which is 6:30 a.m. in my world. At one point I thought, if I were a good mom, I would be up by 5 a.m. to make a hot breakfast. I’ve done this, and the response is usually, “Why can’t I have a Pop Tart? Am I in trouble?”
During breakfast, I set a timer that dings to remind the children when breakfast is almost done and when it’s time to brush teeth, get dressed, put on shoes, jackets, hats, mittens and backpacks.
In this confusion and escalation of exhaustion (How is it possible that it’s only 7:20 a.m.?), I am putting lunches together for my husband and the kids, loading backpacks and breaking up the fights that explode out of nowhere. None of us are morning people.
When my husband leaves for work, I take a deep breath because this will be the last chance to breathe for the next 15 minutes. In a flurry of socks, braces, shoes, winter accessories and backpacks, we are out the door. It’s funny that I am always terrified of my kids being late for school, something that is almost impossible because we live just across the street.
And that is just the beginning of my day. The rest of it unfolds in a near constant stream of noisy activity. The washer beeps, the dryer buzzes, the lights come on to let me know the dishwasher has finished another cycle and the bread maker gyrates then goes silent. My cell phone rings so that I may give permission for my daughter with nut allergies to have birthday cake in class. The house phone rings with the nurse letting me know that my other daughter fell and scraped her chin.
As crazy and noisy as these days are, I would not trade the chaos for calm. I am a lucky mom: I can walk my children to school and pick them up, help with homework, make lunches that keep my daughter with allergies safe, and I am the one who medicates my epileptic son.
There are more noises during the day, but after a while, they fade into the background. The best sound I hear out of all this chaos is, “I love you, Mommy.”
Jennifer Steuer is an Albany mom, whose busy household includes her husband, Harlan, and 5-year-old triplets Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca. The one thing she misses most about pre-triplet days is sleep.
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