Juggling Babies at Pennsic

By Dame TSivia bas Tamara v’Amberview
Features Reporter – Pennsic Independent

One baby at War can be a challenge, two can be a handful-plus. However, how do you handle FOUR children under four years of age? That is the question asked of Lori and Dave, Atlantia’s own Bee People. Behind their delightful booth full of beeswax, honey, and other goodies, is a playpen filled with Arthur, Brannon, and Charles, three identical one-year old baby boys. Their 3 1/2 year old daughter Rowan can be found holding onto Grandma Billie or Grandpa Chuck’s hand.

Mother Lori has been keeping bees for thirteen years, originally as part of way to supplement the family food bill while she was a graduate student. Her garden did not flourish until she realized that the flowers were not being pollinated. That meant putting in some bees. Bees became a hobby, and ultimately her full-time business since 2006.

But how do you get anything done with a swarm of babies at hand? Apparently this is quite a skill set, one which mom Lori is still polishing. Despite her best intentions, it takes approximately six hours to ready her triplets, Rowan, mom, and dad, to get to their sales booth daily. There are bottles to be given, diaper bags to be readied, breakfast for the older family members, and so forth. Lori is quite insistent that none of this could be accomplished without the support of her parents (who have moved in with the couple) and their squad of highly qualified and dedicated staff at the Bee Folks booth.

Lori says that Pennsic is a “different experience than I thought it would be”, but that she is enjoying the quality time with the boys that Pennsic offers her. At home she works up to 14 hours a day in her office on her bee business. Passersby comment “you’re much braver than I am”, or offer her ”condolences” on wrangling three identical little boys at once. She was also given an “authorization card” indicating that the triple stroller is an authorized War-weapon.

One of the most fun things about the boys is when they all peer out of a tent at once, reminiscent of a pint-size Monty Python and the Holy Grail moment. Although the couple do not have much garb for the babies, people have been bringing donations of baby tunics and such for them. Other than for shock value or for photos, Lori says they prefer to not dress the babies identically.

Thankfully big sister Rowan interacts well with her baby brothers. She is not fond of having her picture taken with the boys, but does like to play with them.

As mom Lori points out, naturally-occurring triplets (not via IVF) happen in approximately 1 in 200 million pregnancies, so if you see the family and its über-stroller out and about, say hello to one of the rarest sights at Pennsic.