By Richard Jerome
July 22, 2002 12:00 PM

Sometimes the nonmultiple world just doesn’t get it, as the McNicholas quadruplets—Brynn, Connor, Lindsay and Ryan, 15-year-olds from Kirtland, Ohio—can attest. “People ask us the same questions over and over again,” says Lindsay. Connor chimes in, ” ‘You guys are quads? How old are you? And how old are you? And how old are you?’ Unclear on the concept.”

It’s a drag. So are the curious stares and lame wisecracks. All of which made the 14th annual Triplet Connection convention a welcome relief for the McNicholi and some 300 others who share a birthday with at least two siblings. With parents Kevin, 50, and Phyllis, 49, the quads spent four days last month hobnobbing at an Orange, Calif., hotel and frolicking at Disney’s California Adventure theme park. Says Ryan: “It’s the one weekend when we get to be normal.”

The event, sponsored by the Triplet Connection, a nationwide support network for multiple-birth families, provided some relief for oft-overwhelmed parents too. “Everyone is like us,” says Bruce Bijesse, 53, a highway supervisor who came from Stony Brook, N.Y., with wife Louise, 39, owner of a staffing company, and triplets Megan, Noah and Jared, 4. “Running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

Yet for all the griping, being a multiple has its pluses, insists Alex Alvarez, 14, who flew in from Buffalo with brothers Chris and Nando and their folks. “It’s fun,” he says. “You’ve always got a good buddy to hang out with.”

Richard Jerome

Susan Christian Goulding in Orange