It’s the Peg Perego Triplette stroller. Comes standard with 3 removable toddler seats, collapsible suspension, storage tray, and a steering wheel for extra handling around tight corners. Not pictured: 3 infant car seats with modular Primo Viaggio bases. Total retail is over $1,500, but my bargain-sniffing wife tracked down a used one in Long Beach for, er, a lot less than that.
The mind reels that this contraption exists in the world. Seats are in-line because focus groups confirmed that other people don’t always feel like giving up their sidewalks to triplet strollers. Leave it to the Italians to crack the code.
Last week, Carey and I made our way over to the seller’s house to check it out. A triplet mom’s little ones had recently outgrown their Peg Perego Triplette (let’s call it the “PPT”) and they’d fortunately done an admirable job of keeping it in near-mint condition.
But on our way there, it occurred to us that it was highly likely we’d catch a glimpse of the triplets themselves and I was hit with the reality all at once:
I’ve never actually met any triplets, live and in person.
All of a sudden, what was a response to a Craig’s listing was transforming into an audition. Or maybe an interview. Or maybe “Jeremy & Carey, This Is Your Life: Crystal Ball Edition”.
The triplet mom came out to greet us, the PPT already displayed neatly on the porch. I’ll call her Francine (not her real name. I’m not changing it because I have anything disparaging to say about her, but rather because there’s aren’t exactly loads of triplet moms in Long Beach and she may or may not want to associate herself with miscreants like us).
At six-foot-something, Francine’s a mighty oak of a woman. Enthusiastic eyes and the sort of manic energy raising scads of kids requires. She appeared with her oldest daughter, a pre-adolescent with more metabolism than any six people I’ve ever met. They burst onto the scene with mile-a-minute information and instructions on the stroller’s components and how to store it and how to collapse it and what it’s like to carry triplets for 36 weeks and OhMyGodDidYouSayYoursAreSpontaneousGetOutOfDODGE!
Francine thought it might be good to give us a demonstration, so she called for her triplets, which were promptly delivered by the family’s at-home-caregiver/babysitter.
And there they were: two boys and a girl, all fraternal, nearly 3 years old. I’m not exactly sure what I expected. I suppose I’d envisioned some weird triplety energy emanating from their foreheads or something. Or maybe they were supposed to be floating a couple of feet off the ground, speaking in rhymed couplets, in perfect telepathic commune with one another. But it wasn’t that at all.
It was two little boys and a little girl. Different heights and hair colors. Varying degrees of hyper, amused, restless and tired. They laughed, played, fell down, cried and got back up. They hung from the PPT like a mini jungle jim (which took the abuse without a problem) and they announced to us and each other why whatever they happened to be doing at any particular moment was The Best.
I can’t lie, it was a very noisy house. Someone was always running or spinning or plotting an escape. If your age was anywhere in the single digits, clothing was clearly optional.
I think, though, if I’d seen all this a month or two earlier, I might have lost it a little. Because, you know, I’m not ready for this. Neither of us are. But I looked at those three children and I only knew that they were triplets because somebody told us they were triplets. And I guess that makes them sort of, what do you call it, erm… “special”? But otherwise, they were just three kids. And, when all is said and done, they really seemed to be nice people.
I suppose that’s the trick. Raising “triplets” seems big and strange and there aren’t very many guidebooks for it. But raising three kids? People do that all the time, right?
It’ll be all right. It has to be.
Whup: Carey just texted me. She worked it out with Francine, so it looks like the Peg Perego Triplette is going to be ours. Which means I’ll need to go pick it up.
Which means, g-gulp, the triplets and I will meet again.