When Trish Nitchie and Ashley Larson walk through the doors of the YMCA, twelve little eyes brighten.
The two moms have found the YMCA to be a great place for their preschool-ages triplets to learn, socialize and create while they find time for stress relief, adult interaction and exercise.
Trish drives her 4-year-old triplets (Kaylan, Layla and Malaney) on the 18-mile trip to the Don Sjogren Community YMCA from their rural Wilcox home at least three times a week for them to make new discoveries in Leap and Learn classes, learn to be safe around water in swimming lessons or spend time socializing in Child Watch. Trish takes the time to get healthy in a group exercise class or visit with other moms, including fellow triplet mom Ashley Larson of Holdrege.
Ashley is the mom of 3-year-old triplets Ethan, Isabella and Zayden, and joined the YMCA in February after some prompting from Trish.
Ashley said the main reason she started coming to the Y was for the Leap and Learn class, which is a preschool-type class offered at the Y three times a week.
“They love coming,” Ashley said. “We walk in and they run down the hallway, and they ask to come.”
Ashley said the classes have been particularly helpful for her son, Ethan, who has cerebral palsy. In the Leap & Learn class, he has learned to sit on a carpet square and listen to a story. She has also noticed he socializes more with his siblings instead of following her throughout the day.
Both moms have enrolled their kids in YMCA swim lessons and have been amazed at their progress. Ashley said her kids went from being afraid of water to splashing around fearless after just three lessons. “We want to go to the pool this summer, so I want the kids be more aware of being safe around water,” Ashley said. Trish said her kids have taken several sessions of swim lessons and are now already swimming underwater.
Both moms said the Y has been a great benefit to their kids and to them. The kids have met other friends and look forward to getting out of the house. Although it’s a challenge to load up three young kids and go to the Y, the moms both agreed that it’s also beneficial for them to relieve some of the stress of raising triplets.
Ashley and Trish usually attend a group exercise class while the triplets are in class. They appreciate the friendly staff at the Y, who always make their kids feel welcome.
“The staff here is just great with my girls,” Trish said. “My kids just always wake up and want to come here.”
Both moms are also looking forward to giving their children more opportunities to learn and grow during the summer with YMCA preschool camps.
For more information about Y swim lessons, Leap & Learn or preschool camps, visit the website at www.ymcaoftheprairie.org/programs or aquatics.