By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF
Kari Jackson’s kindergarten class at Liberty-Benton Elementary School will be three times the fun this year with the addition of Kiley Christine, Keeley Ann and Cami Nichol Flick.
The identical triplets are the daughters of David and Haley Flick. The girls — who were born 10 weeks early weighing from 1 pound, 1 ounce (Cami) to 2 pounds, 2 ounces (Kiley and Keeley) — are 5 years old now and started school this week.
“Life definitely hasn’t slowed down at all,” said David. “It’s even more chaotic.”
The family also includes older sister Kenley, who is nearly 7 and a first-grader at Liberty-Benton, along with Hallie the German shepherd (named for Hallie Hippo from the animated show “Doc McStuffins”).
David also has an older daughter, Caitlen, who lives in Leipsic.
As kindergartners, the triplets will be in the same class.
“We weren’t sure if putting them all together in the same class was the right thing to do, so we’re trying it this year,” said David.
The girls’ preschool teacher recommended it, Haley added.
“They feed off each other, but they feed off each other in a good way,” she explained. “But they’re still making friends. They’re not depending on one another.”
The girls said they’re looking forward to recess and art, and riding the school bus with their big sister. But they’re particularly excited to be packing their lunches.
That will be an assembly line, said Haley: “One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.”
Although they’ve had several physical problems in the past, their parents say the sisters are happy and healthy. All three have curly blonde hair and wear glasses. Cami is the still the smallest at just 31 pounds.
Favorite pastimes include playing with Barbie dolls and riding their bikes and scooters. They also like to swim and take walks together as a family.
“We still get the looks from going out with all of them,” said David.
He said people assume they’re quadruplets because Kenley is just 18 months older and very close in size to her sisters.
“As soon as you say triplets it’s like, ‘Oh, she (Kenley) does have straight hair,'” Haley said. “It’s the only difference.”
Grocery shopping together can be a chore, David said.
“Usually we have to take another person with us, and they have to take another cart. So here we are, taking up three carts down the same aisle. I feel bad because all these people are trying to get through, and we’re stopped, cart, cart, cart,” he said.
Haley said shopping for school supplies for all four girls this summer took some planning.
“I had to buy everything times three for them (the triplets),” she said. “Four boxes of crayons apiece, then she (Kenley) needed crayons on top of it. I think they needed, like, 12 bottles of glue this year. I just took all their lists and made one big list.”
Then there was shopping for school clothes.
“They typically don’t like to dress alike. If it’s certain outfits that they all like, then they’re OK. But if I try to match them, most days it’s ‘Why do we always have to wear the same thing?,'” Haley said. “I just buy four of everything. I got jeans. What normal family picks up 16 pairs of jeans?”
School days now start with the bus stopping for the girls at about 8:15 a.m. They don’t get home again until after 4 p.m. Then there’s extracurricular activities. Kenley is playing soccer this year, and David, who works at Lowe’s Distribution Center, is an assistant coach for her team.
By the time they get home, there’s still dinner to eat, homework to do and bed by 8 p.m., said Haley.
“It’s kind of sad,” she said. “Some days when they’re really ornery, I’m like, ‘I can’t wait (for them to go to school)’. But then it’s going to be so quiet. I’m going to miss them.”
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