Category Archives: The Nanny Life

7 Topics to consider when taking triplets (who aren’t yet two years old) to the playground

IMG_20141008_115554_937I don’t venture too far from home with the Trishlets by myself.  I’m not quite ready to be caught in an eating establishment with them alone, and I haven’t built up the courage to take them to any kind of organized toddler event.  Yet I don’t want to deprive them, for they need interactions in the real world, and let’s face it they already have been deprived of never having a birthday to themselves and that is deprivation enough.  So where do we go?  We go to the playground, and here are the things I contemplate for our journeys out into civilization:

  1. Potty Training – I’m not referring to me attempting to toilet train these maniacs, but rather I’m referring to potty training myself.  Now whenever I go someplace with my ducklings I need to ask myself ten times over if I need to use the bathroom.  Sometimes I’ll go twice in the span of five minutes right before exiting the house, because heaven forbid I get caught out in public with these munchkins and I’m left searching for the nearest restroom, but not just any restroom you see, I require one that can accommodate me and my 7 foot long stroller.  We did have an occurrence a few weeks ago where we were all at the park and Joey’s need for a bathroom escalated from around a four to a 10 in seconds.  Needless to say, I am still sweating from that day.  So remember diapers aren’t just for babies and old people, they are also for almost thirty year old nannies to wear because first and foremost you gotta do you.
  2. Time Management – Ok I’m going to get to the park by 10:30 whichin actuality means we more than likely will be sliding at 11:30.  This doesn’t just take place with having triplets present, because this takes place with the fact of just having kids.  Children, they eat away at your time without even trying.  It just is a tad more pronounced when dealing with three toddlers.  Sneakers are always missing.  A decent sized portion of snacks packed won’t work because three, duh.  It’s nice to have a set time for departure but when in the company of triplets you can throw that out the window every single time you set it .
  3. Car Loading – I know what you are thinking, “What could possibly be so difficult about putting the trips in the car, for after all it is probably one of the more routine parts of an outing with these three?”  Well, guess what, here are the options you have when trying to accomplish this here task:                                                                                    Option 1: Take one baby out at a time and as you shut the door to keep the others contained you receive shrieks that no human should have to hear.  The immediacy in the breakdown is like telling a first grader he can’t go to recess.  Real tears emerge without fail because how dare I let one of them into the light of day without including the others.  Silly me, car loading tricks are not for kids.                                                                                                                                      Option 2: Let them all walk out to the car with you and have them all run directly towards the street as you grab one to throw into the car (not placing them in their seat) just to spare you some time to tranquilize the other two before they hit the pavement.                   Option 3:  Bring them all out hoping they are somewhat obedient and let them   peruse the car as you buckle one in.  One will eventually make their way to the driver’s seat and they of course will press every single button so when you eventually do get to turning on the car your wipers are ready for a hail storm, you’re listening to Japanese radio at a volume of 67, and you then have to deal with the repercussions of a distraught baby when they find out that, no they will not be the one driving us to the park today.  Sorry maybe next Tuesday, Henry.                                                       Option 4:  Bring them out to the car on a leash.  And proceed to throw treats onto their seats to lure them in.  Hey, this actually isn’t that bad of an idea maybe I should try it.
  4. Entrapment – I stay in the house with them because you know what homes have?  Doors.  And you know what doors do?  They keep things and people contained. They don’t keep Trishlets off countertops, but they keep them from escaping.  Therefore, it pretty much is do or die if a park is enclosed or not.  So if you are following correctly if there is a gate it’s a do, and if there isn’t a gate I’d probably be better off dead than having to single-handedly try and wrangle three toddlers who like to split in opposite directions.  Drastic, I know, but also necessary for purposes of furthering our discussion on the dos and don’ts of nannyhood.
  5. Swings – Swings are fun and all but most parks are usually equipped with just two baby swings.  I trust that if you are reading this, you can also do the math.  Plus, if two are in the swing the third one is most likely just going to walk in front of the swing to get taken down mortal combat style, unless you are a nanny on her toes keeping them at bay or holding them while pushing.  I guess preventing an injury is a viable option for me, and I really should be able to handle pushing two babies in a swing while entertaining the third or perhaps I can teach them the novel idea of turn taking.  But who has time for that?  Thus, selfishly I prefer a swingless park.  There I said it.
  6. Questions and Stares – I’m not a very social being, but these three have made it   easier for me to talk to strangers. (Aww chill now with the saccharine sentiments, this isn’t your diary.)  Just the sight of them in their stroller is a great talking point.  And I always make it a point to say I’m not the mommy because I want people to think my sister is loaded and has a live-in nanny, no.  Because I want them to think I am far too young to have triplets, ha no.  Because I want them to say what a blessing I am, it’s nice but no.  Because I don’t want to take credit for giving birth to them, because Trish truly does deserve all the credit.
  7. Attitude – I’m not talking about the ‘tude that Grace possesses day in and day out, I’m talking about my attitude towards having three toddlers in a public forum.  I’m typically pretty laid back, but from this experience I think I have learned to be even more so.  If another kid drinks from their water bottle, so what, who cares.  If they want to taste test the leaves, go for it.  If they desire to climb up the slide, I could try to stop them, but I’d much rather be stared at by a disapproving mom for teaching them bad habits.  But at 22 months you have to choose your battles, and one over the proper use of a 3 foot slide is one I don’t want or care to fight.  I’m just happy to be breathing some fresh air and delighted that they are entertaining themselves, so please let them and me enjoy it while we can.

I’m sure if you have been to a playground with even one child you can relate, and if you have been to one with triplets please give me your number because I’m looking for a fill-in for my sick days.

IMG_20141008_105046_930 IMG_20141008_105215_484 (1)IMG_20141008_110230_024

 

 

 

30 Permissible Acts/Things that happen when taking care of triplets: Part Two

The sequel to Part One.

1.  You put them in charge of the utensils.

IMG_20140103_171000_321

2.  You DO NOT disrupt them when they are at work.

IMG_20140221_164142_365

3.  You only venture to the beach if this is a guarantee:

10514510_10204507202382812_7273461994243515408_n(Photo Credit: K. Liburdi)

4.  You grant them clearance to have pets but only ones that they can wear around their necks.

IMG_20140408_183334_871

IMG_20140408_183528_944

5.  You have diaper races on the soft, cushy, flat surfaces of the house.

IMG954028(Photo credit: K. Liburdi)

6.  You promote women power which at the baby levels means a baby woman using her persuasive way to convince a baby man to go places where he can be locked up.

IMG_20140402_111056

7.  You agree, if they want to be like mommy, who am I to stop them.

IMG_20140813_110553_094 (1)

8.  You splurge on expensive toys.

IMG_20140327_163856_443

9.  You participate in the health craze by having them eat clean.

IMG_20140320_093703_080

10.  You outsource your playground responsibilities to a three year old.

IMG_20140320_162130_749

11.  You are constantly playing the fun for hours game of can you spot the missing baby?

IMG_20140624_161323_248 (1)

IMG_20140327_165016_665

IMG_20140102_190436_317

12.  You let them have their first sleepover.

IMG_20140214_141726

13.  You dress them in attire that only speaks the truth.

IMG_20140613_113710_291

IMG_20131218_143301

IMG_20131126_114552_834

14.  You let them drive but only while standing, and only while backwards, and only while pantless.

IMG_20140521_154328_217

15.  You just can’t please everyone.

IMG_20140509_151102_859

16.  You know above all else as a nanny safety is your primary concern and you will stop at nothing to ensure that.

IMG_20140613_123838_442

IMG_20140402_160643_441 IMG_20140402_162057_090

IMG_20140312_151147_172

17.  You approve of siblings treating other siblings as pets.

IMG_20140826_161651_812

18.  You value the appearance and are pleased with clothes that fit well.

IMG_20131212_095626_554

19.  You realize the importance of keeping a consistent routine and schedule.  That means napping must be done at the same time everyday and snacks should be offered at predictable times and eaten in predictable places.

IMG_20140529_105244_121

IMG_20140320_092542_751

20.  You rely on the older one to bring home the bacon, so they might have a shot at all of them attending college.

IMG_20140704_212025_685 (1)

21.  You play Where’s Waldo at the park, with Thomas being Waldo.

ResizedImage_1386104749996

22.  You speed dial pest control to somehow assist you with this terrifying nightmare:

IMG_20140521_150338_136

23.  You monitor their whereabouts with the Lindsay Lohan brand of ankle bracelets.

IMG_20140107_085008_821

24.  You allow them to have pool time but only after they have completed the proper maintenance and repair work.

IMG_20140807_131636_557-1 (1)

25.  You applaud their impeccable folding abilities and on point organizational skills.

IMG_20140506_105818_963

26.  You immediately prevent situations where they are alone like this from happening just so you can stay one step ahead of them in their plot to take you down.

IMG_20140310_143950_634 (2)

27.  You don’t have to go to trial to know which Trishlet is the culprit.

IMG_20140412_135448_673

28.  You pray for anyone that happens to have a hotel room adjacent in the same hotel as them.  (And yes that is 12:34 A.M.)

IMG_20140726_243022_081

29.  You still can’t get over the fact that your sister gave birth to three babies at once.

IMG_20140828_130200_456

30.  And finally your house in a constant state of this:

IMG_20140401_145124_258

because you can’t always win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you

Like the contestants on the summer reality show Big Brother, these Trishlets have decided to fill out a questionnaire in order for us to get to know them on a more personal level.  Below are their responses.

Grace

IMG_20140626_094507_418

Nicknames: Gracie, G.G., Icebox, Gracie Girl

Known for: My diva ways and my no nonsense attitude

Favorite Hobbies: Imitating my older brother, Follow that up by antagonizing him and being antagonized by him, Attacking my two wombmates with a stiff arm and a unexpected flail, Searching for treasure in my nose, Climbing on the counter chairs to snack while no one is looking, Telling people no

Favorite Place: At the beach – but only if there is a cute lifeguard that I can flirt with.

Favorite Music: Club/House not to be confused with the theme song from Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse but rather techno/pop, Current fave: “Timber”

Go to Dance Moves: Shoulder shimmy, Spinning, Jumping in place

Favorite Food: Cheese, Cheese, and Cheese, and Appetizers

Favorite Word: More (More cheese, more attention on me, and more me all the time.)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Guttural and Angry

Life Motto: “I stand down for no one.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Purple

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Brains

Reality show most likely to star in: Real Housewives of Philly (For the drama, because I certainly will have a job and be my own boss), Friday Night Tykes (hence my Icebox nickname), The Baby Bachelorette

Henry

IMG_20140623_074109

Nicknames: Henny, Hen, Henny Poo Poo, Henny Boo Boo, Buggyboo, Stitch, Paul Hamm, H-Bomb, Henny “the Chestnut” McGinn

Known for: My core strength and my adventurous ways.

Favorite Hobbies: Opening all the draws that mommy has just shut, Throwing toys to get them to work, Yanking glasses right off people’s faces, Eating the smallest particles of anything I can find, Showing off my incredible ab strength without even having to lift up my shirt, Walking around like an old man, Storing food in my high chair, Poking my own eyes out

Favorite Place: On top of high things I shouldn’t be on top of

Favorite Music: Marching Band Songs, Instrumental Pieces

Go to Dance Moves: Arms out on my side and waving them back and forth like I just don’t care

Favorite Food:  Hot dogs and Fruit

Favorite Word: Uh-Oh (Did I do that?)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Whiny and Quivering lower lip

Life Motto: “If there isn’t risk involved, it’s not for me.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Black

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Diversion

Reality Show Most Likely to Star in: American Ninja Warrior, Guts, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wipeout, America’s Next Top Gymnast, One of those Flying Wallenda Specials (I’ll marry into the family)

Thomas

IMG_20140716_113643_106

Nicknames: Tommy, Tom, T.T., T. Bird, T. Bone, T.T. Bird, Little Buddy, Clothes Muncher, The Cat Burglar

Known For: My sweetness and my laziness.

Favorite Hobbies: Finding clothes and rags to munch on, Pushing and rolling things that go, Searching for the perfect person who will let me use their lap (which happens to be anybody I can find), Storing food in my mouth for hours, Doing baby yoga poses unintentionally, Slugging around the house

Favorite Place: On someone’s lap

Favorite Music: Easy listening, Michael Bublé, Oldies

Patented Dance Moves: Swaying my head and a slight bend of my knees

Favorite Food:  Ba-bas and Khakis

Favorite Word: Up (and now I say upie which works even better when luring people in)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Hysterical and Maniacal

Life Motto: “I haven’t found a lap I don’t like.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Yellow

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Stealth

Reality Show Most Likely to Star in: My Strange Addiction, Momma’s Boys, Any show that takes place where there is no sunlight so perhaps Living Alaska: Winter or True Life: I’m a Vampire.

It’s been a year, do I get a raise?

I’m back!!!!!!  First off, let me apologize for my hiatus.  Quick update: the Trishlets are getting ready for high school while Joey is preparing for his senior year.  You know the thing about going back to grad school is it seems like a good idea in theory, but honestly who wants to have to ever write a paper again or do required readings, especially when they detract from my all-important blog writing.  So I am sorry I have neglected updating you on what’s been going down in my world, and I thank the three of you outside of my family for reading my words.

A year ago this time I was in my filled to the brim CR-V with only room for my body in the driver’s seat (oh and a tray of sandwiches I took from my school on my last day of work that were leftover because good food shouldn’t go to waste, and my parents weren’t home to eat them, so I had to pack them and take them with me while keeping one arm closely on them to secure them from ending up all over my dashboard and windshield on my move down to PA) ready to take on my new adventure.  And an adventure it has been.  They went from 7 month old crying, pooping babies from when I first started to 19 month old crying, pooping babies today.  There have been some highlights and some lowlights and as a result we all now have awesome hair.

I’ve mentioned before observing the development of a child has been a daily practice for me and as they age it really has kicked into high gear.  It has been extremely interesting to see these three develop into little humans, each unique in their own way.  I am not necessarily one to look at the grand scheme of things, so taking this job one day at a time has been a natural fit for me.  I think anyone who has raised a child, is raising a child, or takes care of children for a living quickly learns to appreciate the small things in life.  These tiny things that have occurred over the last year have steered me to new levels of appreciation.  I have noticed things, seen things, and learned a few things that have brought me to where I am today.

Everyone preaches appreciate the small things in life, but it is never more true than when discussing bowel movements.  Appreciating the solidness of said bowel movement has become a ritual for me.  The joy I get when one of the Trishlets produces a solid poop is actually disturbing.  Matter of fact the whole changing process has perhaps made me a little nutty.  I say things like “hot off the presses” (when you can tell it has just come out of their body), “diaper fully loaded” (when it is packed with you know what (a word my mom doesn’t like me to say) and an obvious pun on the movie Herbie Fully Loaded ), and sometimes I sing a little song called “Henry’s (insert triplet B’s and triplet C’s name here) got the poops” in the tune of “Elmo’s got the moves.”  It’s not that I have become obsessed with their bowel movements; it’s just that the evidence shows that I have.  Hey, when you are interacting with one year olds each day and your life involves wiping babies bottoms these are the things that get you by, so step off.  Plus, to put this talk into perspective, the triplets go through approximately (12-15) diapers a day.  Times that by the 365 days I have been a nanny and that is roughly 5,000 diapers this year.  I by no means have changed all their diapers, because 1) they don’t have parents that are cruel to me, and 2) I have been separated from them for more than a day at a time, but nonetheless I do spend a significant portion of the time with them.  So I’m no math expert here but let’s just say I have been the one responsible for changing 2,000 of those diapers (may be an overestimation or perhaps an underestimation, who knows that’s why it’s called an estimation).  That’s thousands – PLURAL of diapers!!!!!!  Some parents don’t change that amount in a lifetime (I’m looking at you dads and Kim and Kanye), so I very well please can focus my attention on the excitement I get from something known as a rock-solid BM and the seemingly rote routine practice of changing a diaper.  Thank you.  It sounds like I am bragging, but I’m not, oh how I am not.

To keep with the disgusting theme, another thing I pride myself on is getting the crusty snot pieces out of their noses.  Don’t act like this is the most repulsive thing out there, if you want repulsive I’ll gladly share a story about Auggie’s (their dog) bowel movements and how they relate to the babies.  Anyway, it is a terrific sense of accomplishment when the hard stuff is finally extracted from their nose.  Don’t you agree?  You feel like a champ for accomplishing such a difficult task.  You learn to careless if you are dealing with a particularly feisty baby who gets red in the face while screaming their head off because the snot must go.  I know there is temporary discomfort, but all I’m concerned about is the feelings of elation I receive when I the job I set out to do is completed.

Another aspect of my life that I have become acutely more aware of is the expense of raising a baby.  I mean everyone is well aware that having a child is a costly thing.  Diapers alone you need to take a mortgage out for and that’s when you have one baby.  Three, forget about it.  Add formula into the equation and bam it is over.  That’s why whenever a small percentage or any residue falls from the scooper and misses their bottle I feel like I should resign on the spot, because I am essentially costing them millions.  I know I’m not perfect I just hope my employees know what my intentions are and that they aren’t to throw their money down the drain.  That’s why they had kids to begin with, right?  To throw their money down their own drain.

As the Trishlets have gotten older and wiser they have become more attentive and curious.  One of the best things about my “job” is being able to make them laugh with just a look or a noise.  Their laughter, sometimes uncontrollable, makes me feel like a comedian on a daily basis and I don’t  even have to speak (which actually may be the perfect description of my dream job – people laughing without me speaking, I guess I will be a mime then after my nannying days are over or Nelson Mandela’s funeral sign interpreter at the very least).  Yet, what is even more entertaining than making them laugh is when they laugh at themselves or when they make one of the other babies laugh.  Those scenarios really are the best.  And this portion of my post was brought to you by the Hallmark Channel.

One of the main things I have learned over this past year is what sense of entitlement babies possess.  They place such high demands on you to feed them.  They give off this air of entitlement that you must pick them up.  They shake their head when you try to do something for them but they don’t want you to.  And better yet you find them clapping for themselves all the time.  Not only are they entitled, but they are also arrogant.  They are so proud of themselves for doing anything and everything.  The act of putting a toy in a box results in clapping, they eat a kernel of corn after trying to get them to eat for a half hour results in clapping, they hit their brother upside the head, yep you got it – clapping.  Now do we have ourselves to blame for teaching them applause – partially I suppose, but it is about time they learn when it is and isn’t appropriate to clap.  And I think the round of applause they just gave Scar after singing his spotlight tune “Be Prepared” as he is plotting to kill Mufasa and Simba is the perfect example of now being the time to set them straight.  Clapping and enjoying things is wonderful, but when it relates to something naughty it must be stopped.  You got that Henry.  You got that Grace.  You got that Thomas.

And one last realization we as a collective group have made this year is we now have a complete understanding of why people send their children to daycares.  Babies destroy everything, and everything in your house becomes a hazard.  Furniture become death sentences, ledges become death sentences, curtains and blinds meet their own death, toys and paper are shredded to smithereens by some mutinous baby army, and toilets become baths.  We’ve taken steps to ensure these things don’t occur on the regular, but each day is a struggle.

I am fortunate to have had this year to be able to see day in and day out the gains these three babies have made.  They have come a long way and I am excited to see their continual development.  I posed the question “do I get a raise?” in the title and to be honest I don’t think that would be fair.  Trish and Joe have given me shelter, they have given me food, they haven’t evicted me due to the cleanliness of my room or lack thereof, they have provided chicken for me when they eat steak, and they have given me 1-ply toilet paper while they use 3.  They’ve done so much that maybe I should be asking for a deduction instead.

I’ve kept these babies alive and that is saying a lot considering the bigger entity known as Joey.  When the conversation of the day involves Joey proclaiming, “That was very nice (speaking to himself about himself).  I didn’t bite him, or punch him, or bite him,” how could you not consider the day a success.  We will see how the next year goes in terms of their survival because I just caught Gracie tiptoeing and grunting about in an attempt to turn a doorknob.  So while I’m busy appreciating the little things in my life, they without a doubt will be joining forces to outsmart me and usurp me, and then I think it may be time to pack it all in.

IMG_20130701_180757_265

First Day on the Job

IMG_20140528_075037_370

A year later

 

 

 

Baby puppies or Puppy babies?

Observation is a daily practice for me.  As Henry pushed this book below in my face while uttering more for the twelve hundredth time, it occurred to me that babies are just like the puppies being described in the pages.  Take a gander, see if the evidence speaks for itself, and then maybe you will be able to answer the age old question of: Are babies really puppies, or are puppies really babies?

IMG_20140423_105010_544

IMG_20140402_110653-1

 (Obviously in their natural habitat)

IMG_20140423_105053_091

 IMG_20140214_141417 (1)

 (So much energy they managed to all crash in Tommy’s crib.)

IMG_20140423_105122_433

IMG_20140304_100210_678IMG_20140310_143950_634 (2)018

 (These babies don’t so much play side by side one another but rather pin and throw in some WWE moves on one another.)

IMG_20140423_105252_269        IMG_20140225_094917_427IMG_20140415_152454_109

 (Joey doesn’t have a shot against the sneaky Grace.)

IMG_20140423_105338_553

IMG_20140423_105310_590

IMG_20140320_093645_048IMG_20140402_160255_867

 (And chewing hard objects is good for their immune systems too.)

IMG_20140423_105357_413

IMG_20140423_105409_016

IMG_20140320_092542_751

 (If they demand their snacks in a dog bowl, who am I to stop them.)

IMG_20140423_105422_364

ResizedImage_1398272177617ResizedImage_1398272366393ResizedImage_1398272241929

(A baby’s motto, just like a puppy’s, is to rest wherever and whenever.)

IMG_20140423_105446_892

IMG_20140423_092826_564ResizedImage_1398272894967IMG_20140320_082058_584

(The playing never ends for these three.)

So there you have it.  For my money I’d take babies over puppies any day because diapers, duh.

*Book seen here: Puppies by Missy Kavanaugh and Sandra Gurman