With the constant attention to the physical and developmental needs of multiples, it's easy to forget your own needs. Getting all the kids to bed at a reasonable hour is one way of reserving some quiet time as a couple, but another is going out on a regular basis.
"Parents need the connection with each other," says Betty Rothbart, author of Multiple Blessings (Hearst). They may say they talk all the time, but it's not the same when every discussion focuses only on the children.
My husband and I were eating dinner with our four-year-old triplet boys and our one-year-old daughter on my lap. The boys, despite our fatigued protests, were giggling about pee pee, a topic that easily gets out of control when the little people outnumber the big. I turned to my husband and said, "Let's make sure we go out to dinner at least once a month."
"How about once a week," he replied.
We excused the boys from the table, and they scampered into the playroom to reenact the garbage pickup they had witnessed earlier that day. One was the driver, while the other two pretended to be the men who jump on and off the back of the truck, collecting and dumping cans of trash. Their plastic slide served as the truck, their toys were the trash and they pretended to stop at each house on our street, busily unloading their toys onto the slide platform, then hopping onto the truck to drive to the next house.
We watched from the dinner table like an audience. It's nice to go out, I thought, but it's also a joy to stay home and watch them play.
For more on multiples, read the following articles:
- Multiples: The Dynamics
- Multiples: Establishing Your Routine
- Multiples: Appreciating Their Differences
- Multiples: The Safety Factor
- Handling a Houseful