There aren’t many aspects of parenting triplets that isn’t mind-boggling.
I learned early on (though I struggled for a while before learning) that thinking ahead will only send me into a panic. I probably sound blasé, but my approach on most future endeavors is “I’ll figure it out when I need to.”
Not only is parenting triplets different from parenting a singleton, twins, quadruplets or more, but parenting any single kid is different from parenting any single kid. Then you multiply the unique characteristics by three, factor in how each different kid builds from or feeds off two other different kids … you can see where I’m going. It’s the mother of all math problems. It can’t be figured out until it’s staring you in the face.
Toilet training. Holy mother of God, how does one toilet train triplets? SPOILER ALERT! You don’t. You toilet train three separate kids kinda sorta not really but maybe kinda sorta at the same time.
One was self-motivated to succeed. One was self-motivated to wear underwear but had no clue how to not keep them clean. One wanted nothing to do with underwear but was completely, independently successful at the toilet if left naked.
To sum up our 15-week journey to ditch wakeful-time diapers (one is out of naptime diapers, but all three are still in diapers overnight), we waited on them. That’s right, I basically let my triplets toilet train themselves. Is that a parenting win, or a parenting cop-out? Since they’re still months away from age 3, I’m calling it a total win.
The first jumped the gun and started asking for a dry diaper each time it was wet.
They say kids in cloth diapers toilet train sooner and with less difficulty, but we blew past that legendary (mythological?) average age of 18 months a long time ago. Despite attempting to bring down the length-in-cloth-diapers average, my kiddos stayed true to the claim that cloth-diapered children don’t like feeling wet and learn from that preference that wetness has no business in diapers, underwear or clothing.
I’ll admit. I tried all three at once when the first was ready. It was super duper extra special clear that the other two weren’t, so I amped up the energy and prayed peer pressure and jealousy would take effect.
Again, I’m either a parenting winner or loser, depending on how you look at it.
Once the first mastered the art of underwear time, we moved to diapered outings with the promise of using the bathroom on request, then to no-diaper outings. When waking from naps happened with a dry diaper, we ditched diapers then, too. We’ve had a few successful dry overnights, but I’m not that ambitious. Yet. Especially if that means setting an alarm to wake in the middle of the night for trips to the bathroom. Soon. Eventually. Not yet.
Twelve weeks after the first started her training attempts, the second started demanding underwear. No diapers would do, but no amount of encouragement or attempts could squeak out a success. Then the stars aligned, the angels sang, and a random attempt WORKED. Suddenly, lines got connected in that little brain. Point A goes to Point B goes to SKITTLES!
And then jealousy hit Triplet Number 3, who made us all say, “I TOLD YOU SO,” when the disdain for underwear took a back seat to 100 percent success and a steady flow of treats.
It took each kiddo about a week to go from diapers to full-time/day-time underwear. We had one solo adventure and one duo adventure. The accidents were few, considering the amount of liquid three bladders can hold, and HALLELUJAH, my wash load of diapers is dwindling.
We aren’t totally done with this adventure, but we’ve pretty much conquered the worst of it. MULTIPLIED BY THREE!