The kids are wearing their complimentary Carter's sleepers. They're also modeling booties Aunt Cyndi's friend crocheted for them. They were not amused.
By day as I lay on our couch when I was pregnant, trying to keep my contractions to a minimum and to put off being admitted to the hospital as long as possible, I watched the show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (my one hour of TV I allotted myself in the daytime so I wouldn’t get incredibly depressed or fry my brain). They were giving away mini-vans. I really, really wanted to win one of their mini-vans. We only had one car and it was a small sedan. Many times each week without fail, I mailed in their requisite postcard so that I could be entered into their drawing.
During their show, they’d draw a name, phone the sender, then ask a question. If the person answered correctly, they’d win the van. They never drew out my postcard, but each day, I held my breath hoping I could be the one. After many weeks of not winning, I consoled myself with the truth that even if we’d won, we couldn’t afford the taxes or insurance it would take to keep the van.
At the time, the journalist Diane Sawyer was following a set of young sextuplets and filming their journey. They got lots of free stuff—like a new house, a brand spanking vehicle, a special multiples stroller, and many more items to help them raise their “six pack,” as Diane called them. Though no one was offering our family any big ticket items, we did receive a few complementary things. I mailed letters to companies of products for children to ask if they had any programs or gifts for families of higher multiples. Anything could be helpful. Many said I had to wait until the babies were born and then send copies of their birth certificates. Apparently, it was becoming more common for people to scam for stuff. (Remember this was before the internet had completely exploded as a means for bad people to rip off anyone or for GoFundMe campaigns or reality TV shows following the day in and day out of unusual people.) We received four sleepers and onesies from Carter's; bottles, pacifiers, teething rings, spoons, and bibs from Playtex and Evenflo; laundry soap, dryer sheets, and hand soap from Pure & Natural; coupons for one box of Huggies and Pampers for each baby, plus some wipes; gift packs of baby dishes, engraved spoons, and sippee cups from Gerber. Gerber also said we’d be contacted by their local rep who would have coupons for jars of food to pass on to us. He came to our apartment and brought coupons for 600 jars of baby food. He promised more were coming, and in time gave us 400 more.
Once the kids started to eat “solids,” (which was actually just pureed mush) those free jars of food really came in handy. We’d bought two highchairs from garage sales and two were given to us as hand-me-downs. We lined the four chairs up at mealtime and often NeeNee (Aunt Cyndi) came over to help get them fed. Jason, NeeNee, and I each opened a jar and had a baby spoon in hand. NeeNee would start, giving the baby on the end a spoonful of mushed squash. Then she moved to the next highchair and gave that baby a bite of squash and I moved to the first baby and gave a spoonful of mashed pears. Then NeeNee would move to the third baby, I’d go to the second baby, and Jason would step up to the first and give a bite from his jar—pureed green beans. After NeeNee gave a bite to the fourth baby, she’d move back to the first and give a spoonful of her squash again. We did a round robin until the jars were empty. And mealtime was complete.
We never got a free van or house, but those 1,000 jars of free baby food sure made us feel like we’d won the lotto for a while anyway.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.