Bruce Stockler captures the chaos, joy and challenges of becoming the father of triplets in this hilarious, fast-paced, and refreshingly honest memoir.
From the moment Stockler and his wife, Roni, learn they have hit the fertility jackpot, their lives are turned upside down. The day the babies are born--in an operating room bustling with 30 doctors, nurses and technicians--is the first jolt in a physical and emotional roller-coaster ride. And every day following continues to reveal one unpredictable twist after another. Just going to the supermarket and keeping the kids--and the store--safe from disaster is like an episode from an adventure story. When the triplets start to walk, and explode in three directions at once, they quickly learn to exploit their newfound freedom at every possible turn.
The stay-at-home dad isn't such an anomaly these days--newspapers run popular-trend features about him, and he himself might write a book about the job (e.g. David Eddie's Housebroken) but the world may have never encountered such a superfather as Stockler seems to be in this parenting memoir. Already an experienced dad--though not an official stay-at-homer, he's the primary caretaker of his two-year-old son Asher (his wife, Roni, is a high-powered New York lawyer)--Stockler nevertheless faces a new and daunting level of responsibility when Roni becomes pregnant with triplets. With keen wit (Stockler has worked as a jokewriter for Jay Leno and writes a humor column for Esquire), he chronicles the difficult pregnancy, offers a dramatic and moving description of the babies' birth, and describes escapade after sleepless escapade with three growing newborns and a toddler. Parents will laugh out loud during the"Lost in the Supermarket" chapter, in which Stockler must strategically position his wagonful of children so that it's far from the bagel display without being close to the muffins--"I made that mistake once and muffins flew through the air like antiaircraft fire"--as well as try to keep one triplet from licking raw chicken juice, another from launching herself from the wagon, and another from freaking out over breakfast cereal. (Asher, four by this time, charms throughout.) They will also appreciate the sometimes startling honesty with which he describes family relationships and the challenges of parenting. Nevertheless, some will wish the book had a wider scope--it gains depth when it considers larger contexts, like the prejudice Roni faces as a working mother when the family moves to the suburbs, but it does this only rarely and briefly. Also, it suffers from some poor editing--the structure is somewhat loose and repetitions abound. But these flaws ultimately don't detract from this book's overall appeal, which should extend even to those fathers who have just one newborn to contend with.