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'It takes 2.5 hours to get out the door': Mum of triplets Elizabeth shares the prep behind this car seat snap

‘People are amazed that you can actually fit three car seats across the one row.’

EACH WEEK, A different Irish parent chats us through a family photo from Instagram and explains what was really going on outside the frame – from tantrums to toilet disasters.

Fancy taking part? Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

IMG_20191002_122503 Source: Elizabeth Nicholls

This week, Elizabeth Nicholas (@irishtripletmammy) chatted us through a photo of her one-year-old triplets Pádraig, Seán and Fionn. 

Tell us a bit about this photo. What inspired you to take it?

This photo was taken a few weeks ago, just as I finally got the boys ready to go for a walk. Firstly, I took the photo because I thought their matching outfits were gorgeous, but really I just wanted to show people what it looks like to travel with the triplets! People are amazed that you can actually fit three car seats across the one row but it isn’t easy, and involves a lot of work and preparation.

What’s one thing that’s going on in this photo that you wouldn’t know from looking at it?

That it takes forever to get them ready to go anywhere. Once they have breakfast or lunch, their highchairs and floors all need to be cleaned. So do the boys themselves and because it’s a messy affair, I normally have to change their outfits, especially if we are going for a walk as we need to layer up and get suited and booted. Once their nappies are changed and clean clothes are on, I have to make bottles for two feeds (roughly six bottles) and get snacks prepared as sometimes I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, so it’s always best to prepare!

I need to pack their changing bag with enough nappies, spare change of clothes, wipes, muslin cloths, soothers, bibs, teething granules and other essentials just in case.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get myself ready while keeping the boys entertained. Once I feel we are ready to go, I need to get both the boys and the buggy into the car. This takes forever. It’s not very ergonomically friendly to have three car seats across the one row, but we need the boot space for the triple buggy which is quite bulky, heavy and cumbersome. It needs to be disassembled to fit into the car and reassembled before I take the boys out again, which usually takes about 10 minutes each time. As you can imagine before I even get on the road, it takes me over two hours to get them ready, even for a ten minute walk or appointment. This photo was taken when we were finally ready to go!

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

It’s always hard to get a photo of the boys looking in the same direction. They get so distracted or else aren’t in the mood for a photo, so I might have two smiling and one crying or looking away. It usually takes about 15 photos before I get a semi decent one of them all looking at me!

They love having their photo taken, but lately because they are all teething, they just aren’t up for smiling all the time. If I get a photo of them looking in the same direction, it’s the miracle of miracles. I normally have to have a rattle in my hand to get their attention.

Do you have a family photo from Instagram with a great behind-the-scenes story? The day at the beach when the little one ingested a mouthful of sand – or the smiley photo taken just minutes after a tantrum? If so, we want to hear from you! Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature in What You Don’t See Here.

More: ‘I want him to look back and know how proud we were’: Sarah shares the story behind this smiley snap of her son

More: ‘I really wanted to make the most of our day’: Rebecca shares the working mum struggle behind this photo

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