The Merry McCaugheys: The Septuplets at 8

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Meaningful Maturity

In fact, all of the septuplets, who turned 8 on November 19, have made great leaps forward this past year. "There's been a big jump in their maturity level, and they're starting to understand more complex things," Kenny says.

"You can reason with them more and have meaningful conversations," adds Bobbi. "We can ask them questions like 'Do you know why what you did wasn't appropriate?' or 'Do you understand why you need to apologize?' We talk a lot more about right versus wrong, about stopping to think whether what you're doing might hurt someone. Most of the time when the kids misbehave, we simply send them to their rooms for quiet time. But Kenny and I can raise our voices and get really angry when they've done something wrong when they definitely know better."

Crowd Control at Home

A ruckus erupts outside, and Kenny goes out to investigate. Minutes later, Natalie and Joel storm into the kitchen, sobbing. Dad has scolded them for not keeping a close enough eye on Nathan, who has turned on the garden hose and gotten wet, and is punishing them by canceling plans to go to the kids' favorite restaurant that night. "We're not going?" Joel shouts, throwing his toy suitcase in anger; Bobbi promptly banishes him to his room. Then Kenny Jr. (a.k.a. Bert) and Brandon start acting up, chasing each other and breaking a toy mirror, sending glass shards across the floor.

"Take it easy!" says Kenny sharply. "Did I give you guys a license to go nuts?"

"So can't we go to dinner?" Bert beseeches.

"Oh, of course we are," replies Kenny, exasperated by this failed exercise in crowd control. "Just everybody calm down." Meltdown suspended.

Continued on page 3:  Second-Grade Adventures


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