I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Triplet Card

So in part it's my over-achiever self, in part it's just my independent streak, and in part it's probably stupidity - but in the past nearly-six years, I've almost never played The Triplet Card. The Triplet Card is the one you play when you need something and the excuse you're going to use is your triplets. No different to The Kid Card, except that it carries a heck of a lot more weight (yeah, like 30 kilos in pregnancy weight). Saying "I've got 3 sick kids" is way, way, wwwaaayyyy more impressive than saying "my kid has a cold." However, even when it's been perfectly valid for me to play The Triplet Card, I haven't. I choose not to use them as my fall guys - even though I could, and lots of people think I should. A lot of this, I've come to realise, is my attitude to help. Specifically in asking for help.

When the kids were born, the maternal and child health nurse organised a church group (!) to provide me with some volunteer hours. So little old ladies would come over every once in a while to, ostensibly, help me with caring for the kids. It took exactly one visit for me to call the church and say, "Um, take ya' old ladies back!" I'm not afraid to ask for help if I need it (playing the ol' card), but I need the help to be on *my* terms. I just can't have people doing stuff for me which I think I can do, or which I want to do, or which I've planned to do. Spontaneous help is just not something I can cope with.

In the first case I like knowing I can do it all on my own - there is a certain amount of pride in that - the old independent streak asserting itself. Secondly, because I am one of those people who prefers not to ask for help (or not to need it in the first place), I want the request (when it happens) to be worth it. Know what I mean? When I eventually ask for help, my friends/family know it's because I truly, truly need it. If I asked for help all the time, then I'm just using their goodwill, and I don't want to do that. The whole boy cried wolf thing - if you always ask, when do people know when it's important? Theoretically I could get away with playing that card ALL THE TIME, and my fabulous friends and family would come to my aid - because they all are truly fabulous, giving people.

Funnily enough people often try to play The Triplet Card for me. As in, "Let me do that, dear - you've got enough happening already." Um, yeah - fuck off. *I* decide when I have enough happening already, not *you*. Don't get me wrong - I love that people are kind enough to ask me in the first place. I really am touched by how much people love and care about us, and my feelings would probably be hurt if people didn't ask me in the first place. It's just that I don't want them to be hurt or insulted when I say a polite "No thanks." I really don't want them upset when they then insist several times over, and I finally lose it and say, "WHAT BLOODY PART OF NO FUCKING THANK YOU ARE YOU NOT GETTING?" Now a normal person might just say, what the heck, take all the help you can get. Why not? They're offering, after all. Thing is, I am incapable of that. My control freak self needs to be the one who decides when and where I need the help. Silly? Maybe. Cutting off my nose, blah blah? Maybe. But it's the way I like it. The best way to help us - or help me - is to wait until I need you. Then, when you get the call, you know it's because I really, really need you.

Out of curiosity, are any of the other triplet parents I read who are like this? The Amazing Trips? The Grubbs? Parents in general?

This post was actually prompted by my reading about The Dunn Triplets - six year old girls who are deaf and blind. This family so much deserves to play The Triplet Card ... it just strengthens my resolve not to ask for help unless I truly need it. Heaven help these little girls.

1 comment:

The Grubbs said...

I do occasionally call on the "triplet card". Usually it is related to waiting. If I am in line at a store and someone wants to open a register to get my kids out of there faster, I am all for it =) Or the Dr's office will actually pass me through to a nurse most of the time, because they take pity of the mom with three sick babies.
I HATE waiting (for just about anything), so I am thankful of the fast forward and sudden efficiency that people seem to have when they see (or hear)the kids.

As far as the Dunn Triplets, that is a very amazing, humbling situation. I can not possibly imagine what life has in store for them every day. Hopefully, they are able to take every advantage they can get. I am sure life is not easy for them and all help given to them is well deserved.