Imagine you’re wrestling an alligator with your bare hands while also trying to catch a monkey who is just out of reach and throwing feces at you. Then you’re asked to simultaneously tame a lion.
I’ve only been a father of three for six weeks, but this is the most apt comparison I can think of when describing what it’s like to raise a trio of children.
The jungle metaphor is overplayed, for sure, but it has persevered through the years for a reason — there’s truth at the heart of it. Granted, the “animals” involved are pretty damn terrific and the danger they pose is dwarfed by the cuteness they exude, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is hard.
Two was difficult. Three is HARD.
Two meant a divide and conquer mentality. Three means being outnumbered and out-manned at all times. Two meant we could still play man-to-man. Three means zone and the dreaded Prevent defense. And even though Tommy can’t talk, it seems he’s been able to telepathically communicate certain commandments to his older brothers, which have been mutually agreed upon.
- There shall be no time of day during which all three children sleep simultaneously
- No more than two brothers can be in a good mood at the same time
- One of the three must always complain of hunger or thirst at all times
- Someone must always be crying out for attention
- None shall allow either parent to defecate alone behind closed doors
But lest you think this is some sort of unbearable task or prison sentence, allow me to disabuse you of that notion posthaste.
This is awesome.
I love being a dad. Now multiply that love by three and you have my current level of elation. And gratitude, since I never forget this road we traveled was not easy and seldom smooth. So while MJ and I are exhausted zombies who wake up at all hours of the night, can barely keep our eyes open during the day, and have forgotten what it’s like to poop without a captive audience, we’re also two very lucky and happy people.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but it’s so easy to embark on journeys you know are worthwhile.
We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, but it didn’t matter. Now, at the young age of six weeks, Tommy makes us feel like he’s been here all along and both MJ and I can’t imagine life any other way. Three boys bring a certain amount of chaos to our lives, but what’s life without some commotion?
Screaming jags eventually cease and give way to the rhythmic rising and falling of tiny chests. What was just the bane of your existence mere minutes ago becomes the source of all your peace in an instant. Bedtime kisses between brothers, however fleeting the moment, live on for time eternal.
It’s hard, yet so easy. And so worth it.