004: Managing Multiples

March 7th, 2018 · 50 mins 20 secs

About this Episode

00:19 - Dave Bock - Multiples!

Dave has been a software engineer since 1991, with several forays into management, and even ran a small consulting firm with a couple of friends for 8 years. He’s currently the DevOps Service Area Lead at Excella Consulting, a father of 10 year old triplet boys, is the director of the nonprofit LoudounCodes, helps organize the RubyNation and DevOps DC Days conferences, and co-organizes a handful of meet ups in the Northern Virginia area.

00:55 10 Year old triplet boys!

Dave and his wife did IVF. They were hoping for one child and were delighted/shocked to have three! The odds for three embryos implanting was 2%. They always wanted three, just didn't expect them all at once. 3x of everything! It was 3x the work with only two of them. Now that they are older, they do help each other a lot.

3:50 Going back to work

Leveling up the difficulty by quitting his job and starting a consultancy 3 months into the pregnancy. Dave talks about the tension with billing hourly and feeling like you're losing money if you're not working while trying to manage three newborns. They realized with triplets all milestones (walking, talking) happened within days of each other too, so you need to be paying attention. It took a while to get the consultancy to the point where there was a good work/life balance.

8:52 Triplets vs One at a time

The stages are spread out across longer years vs doing all the work for each stage at once.
Some people with three kids do diapers for 10 years. For them, when they were done with diapers, they were done.
They had to use assembly line processes to get the kids fed. They couldn't keep up and started buying pre-mixed formula. The delivery person thought she was delivering food for a pony and asked to see it.
No hand-me-downs. Have to have at least 4 choices when getting something so each kid can have a choice even if picking last.

13:23 Andy joins the call!

We continue talking about how the triplets have their individual personalities and how they've nurtured that individuality. They've kept the kids in separate classrooms with their own friends and such. They go on one-on-one outings with each kid. Invidual personalities come out when they are on their own but blend when the kids are together.

17:15 Multiples learn to share early on

The kids develop a sense of fairness early on.
Older kids seem to get stricter parents, but it's probably just a matter of being able to control their environment.
Kids are growing up with a lot of screen time.

20:35 Technology at different ages

Spread out kids have different technology available when they get to a certain age. Triplets hit the same tech at the same time.

21:54 How do you find events to take kids to?

Dave talks about how he's volunteered for years in different capacities and at different places. That's allowed him to influence the curriculum the kids are exposed to regarding technology. He suggested Hour of Code and they've been using it since his kids were in first grade. He also teaches highschool kids and runs the LoudounCodes program. He buys started kits that teach his kids how to solder and build electronics. Also local events in the community, playgrounds, museums, etc. Programming with Scratch. Letting the kids find something they like to do and giving them free time to do it.

27:44 An endlessly adapting river of water of parenting

After a long and varied career, Dave's wife decided to stay home and work at home with the children. She's the one that keeps everything running. Dave also credits his mom with helping keep things going. She has an in-law suite at their home and helps with the children and dinner. Andy talks about how he and his wife have been able to work from home while having their children. JC talks about being able to work from home for a large part of his children's early years and how that helped the balancing act with his wife who eventually went back into the workforce. Allison talks about mental load and how difficult it can be to mentally unload the home management part of life while working full time. Dave talksa about being equal partners and sharing the load. It's called parenting, not babysitting your kids

36:44 Teasing your children

Dave talks about a few ways they've pranked the children. Zombies, the Walking Dead and RubyDCamp. Gummy bear addiction.

40:42 Genius/Fail moments

JC - Decided to take his kids to see Black Panther as a surprise and forgot about his daughter's end of season pizza party which she missed. #FAIL
Andy - Managed to survive their childrens' "half-term" days off when all their plans fell apart. #GENIUS
Allison - Ran out of patience and yelled. The rest of us feel like it's called "morning". - #FAIL
Dave - After one of his kid had his apendix removed, a second started having similar symptoms. The third child started worrying that it may be contagious. Dave tried to tease him about it and the kid turned it around on him. - #FAIL

48:44 Where's Dave?

You can usually find dave under bokman on various sites. He's bokmann on Twitter, Github, Skype, and just about anywhere.
His non-profit can be reached at Loudouncode.org with a mission to support computer science education for Loudoun County's K-12 students.

49:40 Contact us!

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Allison McMillan
Andy Croll
Chris Sexton
JC Avena