Byler sextuplets start kindergarten, celebrate 6th birthday

Florida's first surviving sextuplets celebrated their sixth birthday Sunday.
By CAROLINE LEE,  |  Sept. 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM
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The Bylers, florida's first surviving sextuplets, celebrated their sixth birthday on Sunday.

Mother Karoline Byler baked 120 cupcakes -- enough for each of their classroom parties.

The six, Brady, Eli, Ryan, Jackson, Charlie and lone girl MacKenzie, started kindergarten three weeks ago, leaving their mother to purchase a half-dozen of each school supply and schedule doctor's appointments for each of them.

"I'm not going to lie, it's a lot," Karoline Byler said.

This is the first year they have been put in separate classes.

During pre-kindergarten, three children were put in one classroom and three in another. When Byler and the children's teachers decided it was best to give them one more year between pre-k and first grade, they decided it would be a good time to split them up.

The more outgoing children started school without a hitch. MacKenzie, the lone girl, has long been able to play on her own.

"Five boys and one girl. No one else has that mix in the United States," Byler said, adding that it sometimes feels like she has quintuplet boys and a daughter who just happens to be the same age.

"She plays with the boys, but she's used to being an individual more than the boys."

The Byler boys' transition was a little harder as they figured out how to start the year without a guaranteed friend.

"Jackson, he cried," Byler said. "I'm not kidding you. He cried all the way to the classroom." Byler said he wanted to share the class with Brady, with whom he shares a room.

They have settled in now that they have three weeks under their belts. Byler said they like their teachers, and they get to see each other during art and gym.

Life is still busy for Karoline Byler, even though the children are in school. Most days are spent getting the to school, picking htem up and doing homework. Sometimes, she attends six doctor's appointments in a month.

"People say I should get a job now that they are in school, but it's still crazy," she said.

The children were born September 1, 2007, 12 weeks early, via cesarean section and weighed between two and three pounds each. All were born healthy with the exception of Charlie, who needed extra medical care after birth, and Ryan, who suffered a small stroke at birth.

A few of the children get speech therapy within the school. Ryan, who has mild cerebral palsy because of a small stroke he had when he was born, also gets physical therapy.

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