Driving Jake and two of his best friends to Chessington World of Adventures yesterday was a bit like being given a glimpse into the future. Three nine year olds sitting in a row in the back of the car – what a contrast from the gabbling, largely nonsensical chatter of Louis, Theo and my Ella Bella. They covered everything from smelly friends to who’s got the strictest parents back to smelly friends. Jake will be nine on Monday and so this is his big, fat, overloaded, sugared out ( due to crash and burn at around tea time on Sunday) weekend. It seems to have become a three day event and just a third of the way in I’m already gasping for air like a dying goldfish.. As is often the case the triplets were left at home while I took the big boys off for a day of queues and unlimited fizzy drinks. I did feel a bit mean – so rarely do I include the little ones in anything outside of my comfort zone and to make me feel even more guilty what did I see within minutes of walking through the gates of this family friendly theme park? Toddler triplets, dressed identically (bit weird) being pushed, in their triple buggy, towards the ticket booth.

I think it was the first time I’d seen another set of triplets out in the real world – I certainly reacted as though it was. I giddily tried to catch the eye of their mum who had stopped to pick up a fallen dummy. ‘Are they triplets?’ I shrieked excitedly from my place in the queue. A few people glanced over but I barely noticed. She looked slightly startled and said nothing so I asked again, ‘Triplets?! Are they triplets?’ I’ve got triplets!’ She nodded with a strained smile before busying herself by looking in her bag for something she didn’t need – she couldn’t have been less impressed by the astounding fact that, I too, had multiples. A glorious tumbleweed moment occurred before she and her three moved on and I self consciously shuffled forward in the queue busying myself by looking in my bag for something I didn’t need.

All those times over the last two and a half years when I’ve smiled through gritted teeth as yet another complete stranger asks me the same questions. Yes, they’re triplets. Yes, it was a shock. No, it doesn’t run in the family. Yes, I KNOW I’ve got my work cut out. What’s that? Rather you than me? Ha, ha, ha – how humorous you are. Goodbye. How funny that in a nano second, without thinking, I had found myself doing exactly the same thing. It just goes to show that seeing three small, near identical, humans all sitting in a row really is a strange, if rather wonderful, sight. Next time I’m stopped, regardless of how grumpy I might be feeling, I will smile sweetly and not mind that my children are being looked at as though they are the headlining act from a visiting circus. We had great day at Chessington. I went on all the rides! Nine year olds are great fun and I felt proud of my Jake and his lovely companions. I kept an eye out for the other triplets and their mum, fascinated to see how she was coping, but didn’t spot them. I couldn’t help feeling a little sad that my three weren’t with us especially when we went to see the lions and tigers. Note to self: must venture out into big wide world with triplets more often. Especially if there’s a chance of bumping into another set – we could join forces and create a new attraction – we could sell tickets and everything….

Emma Campbell

Author Emma Campbell

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