Monday, October 28, 2013

Triplets and Play Dates

The challenges just keep on coming.  I realized not long ago that play dates with triplets was going to bring on new challenges and new obstacles.  Let's be completely honest here.  I am a mom of triplet 4 year old boys and I find it to be overwhelming at times.  There is not a mom on this planet (well maybe a few here and there) who has a single child, will ever have a play date with triplets unless.........
 You make it clear you are open to single play dates
I can only imagine what moms think and say when they discover that there are triplets in their class.  They probably pray that their child does not become close with the triplets because the thought of having 3 additional boys over for a quiet play date is not even an option.  No wonder everyone just looks at us and smiles and that is all we get.
I decided several weeks ago that I need to be more proactive about this topic.  I never had to address this with my twins because people still had 2 over at a time and it didn't seem to bother the parents.  I decided to go to my dear friend who has a single boy who is very close with my trips. I asked her if she would be up for a series of 3 weeks of single play dates.  Every Thursday, after school, 1 triplet  and a different one each week? She was completely in so I was able to prep the trips and explain ahead of time what was going to happen.  At first we had lots of tears but as we kept talking about it they seemed to really understand that everyone was getting a turn but it was only 1 at a time.  I purposely dropped 1 off at a time in front of the other 2 and just kept repeating that it was a single play date.  We successfully completed our 3 week test and I am happy to say it went well.  4 years old is such a tough age to explain why only one is going on a play date but I really believe that I need to start this or quite frankly I am setting up my triplets for minimal to no play dates at least for the next couple of years.  I can have all of the play dates I want at our home but there is something to be said and learned by children going out of their comfort zone and experiencing new environments, rules and people.
I also mentioned to the boys preschool teacher that I was open to single play dates and if the topic came up with any other parent that she was free to share my ideas.  The teacher actually said that it was good to know and that yes she would pass it on if it came up.  I have had several mothers tell me in passing that their child would come home and talk about one of my boys.  It is always, "my Johnny was talking about Colin, we should do a play date sometime"...and that was it but never a plan or a date set.  I completely understand but also didn't want to be presumptuous and say, "oh by the way I am ok with you having 1 of my kids over at a time"...Nope not really my style either. 
Well, I finally received an email from a parent saying that her son was in the boys class and that her son was constantly talking about Colin.  She asked if Colin could come over for a play date.  I responded with a definite yes and as soon as we have a date set I will again go the boys and attempt to explain that Colin was invited for a play date.  This time I cannot promise that everyone will get a play date so I will need to change up my strategy.  I think I will plan to either have a different friend over to our house while Colin is at his play date or take the other 2 out for an outing.  I'm not going to lie...this will probably be tough but unfortunately it is a reality for triplets.  Hopefully by kindergarten it will be no big deal and just the way it is.  

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