Howard triplets are thriving
The Howard family of Blue Earth seems for all the world like any other family with young kids.
Their kids play boisterously around them as the parents converse, seemingly oblivious to the cacophony around them.
Arika, their 4-year-old daughter, is fluently reciting the alphabet – backwards, while Will, their 4-year-old son, plays basketball using his dad as a net, and Britt, their other 4-year-old daughter, plays in another room with Reegan, her 8-year-old sister.
Just over five years ago, Bekki and Stacy Howard got news that would change their lives, and as ordinary a scene as this one may have seemed but a dream.
“It has been a blur,” said Bekki, about learning she and her husband would be having triplets – and the years that followed. Bekki was just six weeks into her pregnancy when she found out she was carrying multiples, and although there is a strong family tendency toward twins, they were very surprised to find out they had three babies on the way.
The early days after the babies were born were a whirlwind of helpers. The nighttime is when they needed help the most.
“We learned the hard way with Reegan,” said Bekki, “we used to rock her to sleep, but with triplets, you can’t do that. As much as I would have loved to do that, two parents, three babies – you just couldn’t do it.”
So either a grandma or aunt stayed overnight with the Howards, or took one of the babies home, every night for 11 months.
“We had tons of support,” said Bekki. “Friends, neighbors – everybody has been supportive. We couldn’t have done it without help. I have to credit Reegan. She is a wonderful help to her mom and dad. She reads to the kids. She is patient and good with them.” Of her biggest help with parenting the triplets, Bekki credits her family.
“I think we are lucky. I have always thanked our lucky stars that we had Reegan first. We knew how to parent.” [Stacy and I] also parent so much alike it helps the household run smoothly.“
According to the Howards, after the watershed milestones of learning to speak and potty training were gotten through, life became much easier. Potty training happened in stages they said, with each of the three children ready at different times.
“It wasn’t difficult,” said Stacy, “it was just different.” Bekki added, “I felt like we were in the bathroom all the time.“
Now, the main task in raising triplets is to keep things organized – choosing clothes the night before, having the same tasks every morning to help everyone get out the door. “We follow routines,” said Bekki. “It took us a while to get them. It really fell into place when they started preschool.”
And the future looks bright for the triplets. They are beginning kindergarten next year, and with triplets in class, their teacher could be in for a triple threat.
These three, however, are turning into individuals already. “They don’t even sit next to each other in Sunday school,” said Stacy. “Last year they huddled together in a group.”
Bekki agrees that the three will not be a problem in school, “They are together in preschool now and they are making their own friends…they don’t even pick up on the fact that [their situation] is unique.”