I couldn't do it without them. I couldn't raise my 6 kids without the help of the older 3. Eamon, Liam and Mairin take on many roles in our home. I mentioned long ago that when the triplets were born David suggested that we assign a triplet to each of the older 3. This would be their lifelong buddy. The one that they look after and take hold of when needed. The buddy that you grab when we are walking thru a parking lot. When kindergarten homework comes home and mom is in a tizzie that is the buddy you grab to read with. Eamon is the oldest so he took on Colin (the oldest triplet) then Liam with Declan and ending with Mairin and Finn. Colin worships Eamon, Declan and Liam are just alike and let's face it...Mairin loves having someone to boss and mother.
I gave up doing showers about a year ago. The big buddy grabs his little and they take their showers together. We change it up a bit with Mairin and Finn. Mairin just stands outside of the shower and helps. When we go on vacation the buddy system is very handy. You will often see our family walking 2 by 2 down the street with David and me bringing up the rear.
It is especially handy on a day of skiing when the trips have never tried the chair lifts. I make them buddy up and show a Little how to do it. When we go to amusement parks a Big rides with their Little.
We visited the movie theater this past week and although I love my children dearly...I just could not spend 90 minutes (that I would never get back) watching the Sponge Bob movie. I got them all set up and the Big had to share a popcorn and pop with a Little. I walked them all in and got them situated in their seats in the proper order and I headed out and sat in a lounge area right outside the movie with my girlfriend and I had my very own play date. We had a wonderful 90 min chat while Sponge Bob played on.
It gets even better.... When I am in the middle of cooking dinner or laundry and they all want to go skating out on the pond. I can sometimes negotiate a Big lacing up the skates of the their Little. I try not to do this often but knowing it is an option can be the difference of me losing my mind or staying calm cool and collected.
The older Eamon and Liam get the more freedom they get from the rest of us. I am letting them explore some of their own independence. It is hard to let go though. We are experimenting with them doing some babysitting and so far they are exceeding our expectations with their ability to get the trips all tucked into bed. We still have to work on getting the house in order for when we arrive home but that too will come in time. It really does take a village to raise a family and I am thankful to have many around to lend a hand.