Four factors made the situation manageable:
- The place was already toddler-proofed for Joe and Lisa's 3-year-old son, Reece.
- The floorplan made it easy to keep an eye on the little kids—even without the gates we depend on at home.
- The adult-to-quadruplet ratio was 1:1.
- Joe and Lisa were totally cool and not the least bit intimidated by the possibility of four toddlers running amok inside their house.
While Lisa finished dinner preparations, the rest of us decided to go ahead and move into the backyard—and what a yard! It was spacious, featured a beautiful fence and deck, overlooked a pond, and even had a big slide!
The Fab Four had a blast running all over the place, throwing balls, climbing on and off the deck, and trying to pet the neighbor's dogs through the fence. Dahlia even climbed up the slide by herself and slid down into Lisa's waiting arms—what a brave girl!
The weather was perfect, the burgers were delicious (even Jude and Dahlia thought so, although Isaac and Lucy wouldn't try them), and everyone was in a great mood (read: no meltdowns and only one timeout). In fact, the six of us had such a good time that, by the time we finally said our goodbyes and drove home, it was an hour past the kids' bedtime—and it was totally worth it!
Thank you, Joe and Lisa, for providing our family with a great dinner, enjoyable company, and a wonderful taste of freedom—we can't wait to do it again!