By Katherine Carlman
When I was suddenly transformed from a mother of one very independent 5-year-old daughter to a mom with a kindergartner plus twin baby girls, I found that my parenting style relaxed a great deal. If you’re like me and catch yourself saying, “Oh well, they can use all the nutrition they can get!” when you see your twin toddlers eating food scraps form last night’s dinner off the floor, then this quiz is for you! You may find that you, too, deserve a master’s degree in TPM-True Parent of Multiples! Read through each question and circle your answer. When you’re finished, see the instructions for calculating your score.
You know you are a parent of multiples when…
You cut their fingernails:
b) When they scratch a sibling while trying to grab a toy
c) Only when they wake up with big red marks on their cheeks
You cut their toenails:
b) Only if they are exposed while you’re cutting their fingernails
c) When they scratch you during a diaper change (It can happen!)
You change their diapers:
a) Every three hours, or more if necessary
b) When your spouse reminds you
c) Only when you smell that distinctive odor
You feed them:
a) On a set schedule as the pediatrician advised
b) Nutritious food, like peas, the rest of the family won’t touch
c) Any time they scream because it’s the fastest way to quiet them.
You bathe them:
b) When they are really messy
c) Only if the bathtub has be scrubbed, and who has time for that?
You have time alone with your husband:
a) Every Friday night when the sitter comes
b) For a half hour every night between getting the children to sleep and falling asleep yourself
c) What exactly is time alone again?
You’re sure your pediatrician is:
a) Providing the best possible care for your multiples
b) Becoming quite wealthy, thank to you
c) Refusing to answer the phone because you have awakened him/her for the umpteenth time in the middle of the night with serious concerns about one of your sick twins, trips, quads or quints.
You have them professionally photographed:
a) On an every-four-months schedule, as the photographer suggested
b) Only once a year because having all of them fed, clean, rested and smiling by the time you get to the studio leaves you exhausted for the next 12 months
c) Never again. You did it once and it was such a nightmare you swore off it for good.
You go on overnight trips:
a) Monthly to visit in-laws
b) Once in a blue moon because you are an eternal optimist and hope each trip will finally be the one that starts them sleeping away from home
c) Never again. You did it once and it was such a nightmare you swore off it for good
You hear a child crying or whining and you:
a) Check it out immediately—someone could be hurt!
b) Wait five to 20 minutes and see if the noise stops, then check to make sure everyone is okay
c) Convince yourself that it’s the neighbor’s kids and cover your head with a pillow
Calculating your score
Give yourself 10 points for every ‘C’ answer; 5 points for every ‘B’ answer and 1 point for every ‘A’ answer.
100 points: Congratulations! You are an official TPM and you definitely deserve a break! It’s amazing that you even found tie to take this quiz. Give yourself a hand for taking 5 minutes from your busy schedule just for you.
50-99 points: You are well on your way to becoming an over-tired, under-appreciated parent of multiples. Either than or your multiples are older and they spend a lot of time playing Wii or at their friend’s houses.
10-49 points: You either have a nanny or you are incredibly organized. At any rate, you’re making this rest of us look bad. Set your alarm for 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. every night and stay up for at least 20 minutes each time. This will help you achieve the bags-under-the-eyes look needed to convince people you’re a parent of multiples!