People often ask what it’s like to have a trio of two-year old tots at home. The short answer is reminiscent of a classic nursery rhyme – when it’s good, it’s very very good but when it’s bad, it’s horrid. Fortunately, while I’ve seen a few horrid glimpses of the “terrible twos”, life in the Lyons Den is for the most part very, very good. It is so good in fact that my husband and I have occasionally remarked we feel sorry for all the folks out there who only got one baby at a time… mind you, that was us (twice!) before we got the surprise of a lifetime and discovered that we were having these three little guys!

Think of all those tender baby and toddler moments that are probably part of your fondest memories… the precious warmth of a snuggly newborn, the infectious belly laughs, the wonder of the first tooth and first step, the humor of the “do it self!” phase of burgeoning independence… now imagine it all times three. All those endearing moments and memorable milestones – imagine them multiplied and intensified by three and that is life in the Lyons Den. Since today is Valentine’s Day, it seems especially appropriate to focus on all that is very very good… we will save the horrid moments for a later date!

Since he is the firstborn triplet, let’s start with Kevin. With the admittedly unfortunate nickname of KooKooBear, (often shortened to just KooKoo), Kevin is a consistently good natured little fella. We liken him to Winnie the Pooh; this sweet guy started happily humming in his crib when he was about six months old and he hasn’t stopped. He is always singing and never in a hurry. This is a guy with no sense of urgency, just a laidback sweetheart of a two-year old who likes to do things on his own time. A brisk walk to “school” would never occur to him; there’s just no need to move quickly when there are snowplows to watch or birds up above or perhaps a cat across the street. One day this week, my KooKooBear told me I looked like a princess which, of course, melted my heart. Until my husband suggested that he wasn’t actually saying “princess” -- he was saying “pants on.” Whether he was referring to his diaper-clad self or suggesting that I should trade my skirt for pants, I’ll never know. In my mind, I’d much prefer to believe he thinks his mama is a princess. And so I do.

Next there’s Declan, born as “Baby B.” I think Declan (sometimes referred to as “Duckling”) might be a genius. Really. I know every parent thinks their kid is a genius but, let’s face it, I’ve got a lot of kids and if I had to pick just one genius out of the group, it would be Declan. He was the first to roll over, sit up, walk and talk. He has a quiet, introspective side and can often be found on the couch “reading” a book with the “big kids” while Kevin and Cormac are spinning in circles until they fall down dizzy. Our “Duckling” is an avid animal lover and can also be found reclining on Finnegan, our 80-pound lab; he has a certain kinship with Finn and is naturally drawn to animals of all sorts – as am I. Though he can be a tad serious, he’s got a laugh that lights up the room – an infectious laugh that comes from the heart (and belly!), is filled with joy and can make a bad day good. Interestingly, Declan seems to exist on milk and milk alone. He might nibble on a meal now and again but he can down a sippy cup of milk in a minute – often hands-free, which is just another of his firsts. Genius, right?

Last but not least, Baby Mac. Cormac was the smallest of the litter when they were born and from the moment he arrived, seemed determined to defy his “Baby Mac” moniker. When they were newborns and it was difficult to tell them apart (they are identical, after all!), I would tell people that I thought Cormac’s eyelashes were “curlier”. Now, that’s really grasping for straws, isn’t it?! Curlier eyelashes? Who in their right mind would notice such a thing? I now know what caught my attention; it wasn’t his luscious eyelashes (which all my kids have) but rather, a glint in his eye. You know what I mean… that impish, charming glint matched by a similarly impish, charming smile. This is the guy to watch. If we say zig, he zags; if it’s time to go, he wants to stay; if we say no, he wants to play. He is as charming and contrarian and conniving as a little guy can be and he will lead his brothers down the path of destruction if given just the hint of a chance. If asked, he may tell you that he is “KooKoo” or “Duckling” but when you see that glint (and chronically running nose!), you will know it is “Baby Mac.” Ladies, you have been warned. And you should also know that he gives a great hug – a really big, tight, cling-on kind of a hug that can only mean “I love you.”

I am so lucky to have these little Valentine’s in my life; they may be identical but they are each an original and so far, it’s been a delight to watch them grow. And, lest you think I’ve been heavily medicated or just completely lost my mind, tune in again next week for the “horrid” part of the story!