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Four times the love

Quadruplets enrich lives of Davis family

Quadruplets enrich lives of Davis family

May 09, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

FAIRPLAY- Marisa remains the smallest of the four and Maverick's rambunctious personality still fits his name. Deidra hasn't fully overcome her health problems and Dallas still is the most easygoing.

But day-to-day life with the Davis quadruplets is anything but predictable, their mother said.

On the verge of turning 6 years old, the quadruplets, who were born May 20, 1998, now are going to kindergarten and playing tee ball.

Their parents, Craig and Denise Davis of Fairplay, are thankful they no longer have to change 16 to 20 diapers a day.

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Instead, they're busy preparing an endless supply of meals for the hungry bunch. It's not unusual for the quads to consume an entire box of cereal at breakfast. If allowed, they would drink two gallons of milk a day.

While many mothers will be able to take it easy today for Mother's Day, Denise Davis' idea of a treat will be skipping laundry. She averages two or three loads a day.

Despite all the time and money it takes to raise quadruplets, there isn't a day that she doesn't look at them and think how lucky she is to have them, she said.

"I never regretted having all four of them," she said. "I couldn't even picture my life without them."

When she took fertility drugs, she knew there was a small chance of having more than one baby. Doctors proposed selective reduction. The Davises rejected the idea.

"You're always told God doesn't give you more than you can handle," Denise Davis said. "Sometimes, I think God's just trying to test me."

A typical weekday for Denise Davis begins at 3 a.m. so she can get to her job as a convenience store manager by 4 a.m. and begin her 10-hour workday.

"I'll tell them, this is my easy job," she said. "My hard job starts at 2 o'clock."

That's when three of the four quads get home from kindergarten at Fountain Rock Elementary School. Deidra is a residential student at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia, Md., and only is home on the weekends.

Denise Davis then does laundry and starts dinner. Although she starts getting the children ready for bed at 9 p.m., it sometimes takes them two hours to settle down, she said.

Craig Davis, who works second shift at a glass fabricating business in Frederick, Md., is in charge of homework and getting them ready for school in the morning, she said.

The biggest challenge of parenting four children the same age is paying the bills, she said.

When the quads have their pictures taken, the Davises have to buy four sets of photos.

Even a simple night at the carnival may cost $100 for the whole crew.

In February, the couple splurged on a weekend getaway to the Poconos to celebrate their anniversary, using their tax refund to pay for it.

"I felt it was something we deserved," she said.

They rarely get a baby sitter, even for just an evening, because of the expense and the fact that it's difficult to find someone willing to watch four lively youngsters.

Denise said she feels bad that she can't spend more time with the children individually.

"They have to share my time and I don't think it's fair to them," she said.

If one of them gets out of line, Marisa often is the one that turns in the offender.

"She's my little tattletale," Denise Davis said.

She's also the mothering type who will be there to comfort if someone gets hurt.

Maverick often is the one getting into trouble. One day, Denise Davis came home to find he had cut the cat's ear with scissors. He also once set a roll of paper towels on fire, she said.

Deidra likes to stick close to her mother and Dallas follows the lead of the others.

At a recent tee ball game, normally compliant Dallas decided to spit water on one of the coaches.

"Bunch of camels in here," the coach said.

To which Denise Davis replies, "Why don't you come to my house for a day?"

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