My daughter’s children. From left to right. Kieran, Brianna, Devin, Kayleigh and Tarrin in front. Photo was taken two years ago.
My daughter came to visit. Walking in the door holding Kieran, her eight month old son, she made her announcement.
” I have some news to share. I’m expecting triplets “.
” What! How! What! When? Congratulations. When? ”
” The doctor thinks around November. If all goes well “.
My son-in-law just sat to the side with a dazed looking expression.
Three months later my daughter was confined to bed rest at home. A month after that she was confined to a bed at Women’s College Hospital under the care of a specialist.
The triplets, Brianna, Devin and Kayleigh were born at twenty four weeks, three months premature, weighing 2lbs. each. Their skin was translucent and their bodies could fit in the palm of your hand. They were placed in incubators, attached to oxygen, feeding tubes, heart monitors and a number of other medical devices. My daughter was allowed home after a few days but made the 1-2 hour journey to the hospital everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m so she could bond with the babies. As soon as it was safe to do so, the babies were allowed out of the incubators for a while, so my daughter could hold them and they could feel the comfort of their mothers body.
The triplets were born in the middle of August but not allowed to leave the hospital till November 1. I can still picture the shock on my fourteen month old grandsons face as we brought the triplets in one by one. I still don’t think he has gotten over the shock.
There were a number of logistics involved in the early months of raising the triplets. For example they were all on different formula strengths and their bottles had to be colour coded. My wife was there all day helping out and I would come over every day after work to help. We both left around 11:00 p.m. every night and wished my daughter and son-in-law the best of luck for the night. Needless to say there was not much sleep for the first few months. In that time we had sold our house and purchased a house within two minutes walking distance of my daughters house.
In December of that year, two months after the triplets came home, my company downsized and I lost my job. It was then that my daughter asked, if my wife and I would be able to look after the grandkids while she went back to work. As a family group we had discussed all the options available. In the end it boiled down to economic survival. So my wife and I agreed to take on the daily responsibility of caring for the grandchildren. My daughter went back to work when they were a year old.
The routine for my wife and I was as follows. I would walk over to my daughters house every morning for 6:30 a.m. which was the time my daughter and son-in-law left for work. I would stay with them till 11:00 a.m. at which time my wife returned from her morning aqua fit class. I would leave and she would prepare their lunches and put them down for a nap at 1:00 p.m. I would return at 2:00 p.m. and look after them till my daughter returned home at 5:30 p.m.
Summer was easy as I would bundle them all in a wagon with a supply of snacks for the morning. We would leave the house around 7:30 a.m. and tour the parks of the area returning at 11:00-11:30 a.m. I would continue this routine after their naps.
In the Fall we would spend most of our time in the woods, exploring, jumping in leaves and collecting pine cones in buckets.
The Winter would be fun when it snowed. Besides tobogganing, we would make snow forts and snow castles using their sand buckets and shovels. We would also have sock fights in the house. I would grab all the socks from the drawers and we would run around the house, throwing socks at each other, engaged in battle. They loved it.
In the Spring when it rained they loved to catch the water flowing down the drain pipes into buckets and empty it out and start all over again. We also had puddle jumping contests. Dressed in splash pants and rain boots we would search for the biggest puddles we could find and see who could make the biggest splash.
Just as the four grandkids started school and my wife and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing we had from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to ourselves my daughter visited.
“I have some news to share. Remember me telling you that I felt so tired after running the Toronto marathon in October and had a hard time trying to recover. Well I decided to make a doctor’s appointment to see what was wrong with me. Good news. The doctor said it’s because I’m nine weeks pregnant”.
My wife and I looked at each other and said congratulations that is great news………and gave a big sigh. But as it turned out Tarrin was a gem to look after.
This is a shout out to Serena, my son’s daughter, on the left. Tarrin is on the right.
Because my daughters household is not crazy enough. This is Finn. He’s a Norwegian Behund puppy . They also have two Maincoone cats Fred and Ffion, a hamster bubbles and tropical fish.