The result of raising four kids


The triplets many, many years ago. They were part of the training crew.

No, not me! I didn’t have children but the beloved husband did. He raised four (including a set of triplets) by himself. All by himself.

I didn’t know him then.

His kids were high school age when I met him. He was dating a friend of mine. They split and we lost track until the mid-90s. I had moved back to the area and we reconnected as friends.

His kids have stories of the quick meals with fish sticks and frozen fries and Chinese takeout but they are good memories. (They’re in their forties. Can you really call them kids?) They are happy and successful and what more can a parent ask for?

There are many things that came out of this experience that benefit me.

First and foremost, he is patient. I never got that gene nor did I have children that forced it on me.

He is patient whenever I do dumb stuff (which is hardly ever). He is patient whenever something breaks (which is often). He is less patient when he does dumb stuff (which is also hardly ever).

He can drive behind a putzer without complaint. A putzer is a driver who is going slower than the speed limit in perfect weather. I, on the other hand, blow my horn, say bad words and make gestures (the naughty kind). None of that works but I do it anyway.

About the only thing he is not patient about is his beloved baseball team. I guess that’s normal.

He can cook. Ok, it’s not  fou-fou gourmet cooking with exotic ingredients but he can grill better than most. He doesn’t overcook food. His chicken breasts are tender and his pork chops too. Nothing is dry or like cardboard. This good feature has made me less tolerant of bad grillers.

There is one thing that needs mentioning. He cannot buy one of anything. If I ask him to pick up a can of something, he will come back with a case or at a minimum, a half-dozen. I am sure that comes from raising four kids who ate a lot.

Sometimes that’s ok but…….

We are two people and relatively small eaters. I have learned the hard way (by tossing out expired or rotten foods) that it is best to buy onesies and twosies of things we don’t eat regularly — like tuna fish. Much as we like it, we rarely eat it at home.

I requested a can on a recent shopping trip and got four cans. We are good for at least a year or two.

It’s compulsive. Yesterday we were at a garden nursery less than five minutes from our house. We have scale (disease) on our yews (shrubs) so we needed something for that. I would have bought one container thinking that it’s close by, if I need more, I’ll get it when I need it.

Not the beloved husband. He bought two. I expect that will last two seasons.

I fractured my knee many years ago and he did the grocery shopping. Oh my! There was enough food to feed the Sixth Fleet. At one point I asked for some chocolate milk thinking a pint would do. I don’t drink that much of it. He bought a gallon. (No, I didn’t drink it all! Yes, I know it was chocolate but there are limits!)

I have learned that clearly defined shopping lists with brand names and very specific quantities work best.

All of this has helped me be a more patient person – not a lot, but a little.

He can overlook the fact that I have a type “A” personality with a whirling dervish side and four neurotic cats.

Hey, it takes all kinds!

27 thoughts on “The result of raising four kids

  1. Complementary skills are a key to a successful marriage. Oregano does the same multiple buying thing. I’m not sure why that is, Since this usually happens when he volunteers to spare me from the odious task of grocery shopping, I try not to complain.


  2. Sounds like you are the perfect Ying Yang couple. Husbands in a food store are dangerous on so many levels. My guy usually comes home with candy & baked goods that he hasn’t had since childhood. Remember these? is usually what is said as everything, other than what I needed, is unpacked.


    • Sometimes I buy myself a “treat.” That’s something that I haven’t had in a long while. My husband doesn’t eat desserts or sweets so he would never think of doing that.


  3. Your husband sounds like a keeper. I tend to have some of the same behaviors that you do. Impatient with other drivers and myself when I’m less than perfect. Dave is patience personified. One area where your hubby and I are very much alike: I also buy “back ups” for “back ups” – duplicates of things we might need in the next millennium. 😉


    • I like a single back up but just one. Now that everything has expiration dates, it can become a frantic game to try to move it before it expires. It took me a while before I figured out why he buys in such quantity (especially since I didn’t have kids). Then it came to me!


  4. Any man who can cook adequately is definitely worth a second glance. My hubby does most of the cooking, while I do all of the cleaning up afterwards. Like yours, my guy is an excellent cook, always grilling my steak or hamburgers or chicken to exact perfection. However, he is a type “A” with a vengeance; I am a type “A” without a vengeance. It makes for an interesting mix. Also neither one of us are particularly patient. Fortunately, we are patient in the areas the other lacks. For instance, I don’t mind standing in lines–they drive him nuts 🙂

    I agree with Nancy. Your guy is a keeper 😉


  5. Got me laughing on that one. I’m a Type B personality through & through, but too much food in the house would even get me bonkers. I can only imagine how you react to it!


  6. Hmm, patient husband. Neurotic, Type A personality. Four cats. Which one of us did I just describe? Biggest difference? No one, including myself, has ever referred to me as a “small eater.”


    • Yep, Jake does too. He has volunteered to thin the ranks. My vet says that too much is not good for him. He doesn’t really care! How did cats develop a taste for tuna anyway. It’s not like they go deep sea fishing….


  7. I’m impressed, Kate…raising triplets on his own, that must have been tough. It sounds like you’ve got a great fella there and the two of you compliment one another. There aren’t too many men who would put up with four neurotic cats. 🙂


    • Don’t I know it. One of them (the cats not the kids) is aging and that’s never good. There were some years when he didn’t do anything social because…well…he didn’t have time. He had three girls too so there was that.


  8. Great post! I relate to several different strands here, including the hubby who is patient and the passenger who is not. My husband also has two boys and has similar shopping habits, and therefore, likely similar storage requirements that you have.

    We both cook and are both frugal but here is where we part company: If I add an item to the shopping list, it’s because we are out and/or I have something planned. If he does the shopping and an item is not on sale, he doesn’t buy it. So the whirling dervish in me gets a moment of expression.


    • OMG! Yes! I love to grocery shop without him because then I get to look over what’s new and get new ideas! Our eating has downsized considerably (which is good or we’d be enormous!) Early on, we always made 3 single chicken breasts. Now we make one and slice it to share and are perfectly satisfied. The good part of being frugal is that I don’t feel guilty buying a single tomato out of season (yes I know they taste like cardboard but sometimes I just gotta have one.)


  9. You are I must be twins…women of a certain age who have never had kids. (And, approaching 60 for me, this is not an option…or even hoped for!) I suppose there are things, like patience, I never learned either, but so be it. Hooray for us Type A’s!


    • As I always say, it’s us type “A”s that make things hop. We could be twins with our devotion to cats and other similarities I’ve noticed along the way but Mom must have kept you in the womb a few more years!


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