Page last updated at 06:18 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 07:18 UK

Quads in a row start school days

By Freya McClements
BBC News

Lucy, Peter, Sarah and Charlotte Somerville
Lucy, Peter, Sarah and Charlotte Somerville started school on Wednesday

When they were born they were so small their father could hold them all with only one arm.

Now they are four years old and raring to get out in the big wide world.

Wednesday was the first day at school for quadruplets Sarah, Peter, Lucy and Charlotte Somerville - and they took it all in their stride.

"My teacher has long hair, just like mine," said Sarah.

"I like school because I get to do painting."

"There are nice girls in my classroom," said Lucy.

"Our teacher is called Miss McClelland."

The quads are all in Primary 1 at a school near Londonderry in the north-west of Northern Ireland.

Proud parents Brian and Judith Somerville said the four were "a bit hesitant at first, because it's a new environment, but they were fine".

"They took to it like ducks to water," said Brian.

"The main thing is that they all enjoyed it," said Brian. "If they're settled, we're settled.

"Yes the house is quiet now, but they're all where they should be, and at least the four of them have each other."

Premature

Routine is the key when it comes to getting the quads ready for school in the morning.

"They all have their clothes laid out for them in the morning and they dress themselves," said Judith.

"We just have to make the breakfasts and do the girls' hair - and put a wee bit of gel in Peter's.

"Actually, Peter likes to put his own gel in his hair now," she laughed.

Sarah, Peter, Lucy and Charlotte were 10 weeks premature when they were born in June 2005.

They spent the first two months of their lives in hospital, but are now as healthy, happy - and independent - as any other children.

The three girls chose different school shoes, they sit separately in class, and they are always dressed differently, within the limits of school regulations.

"They have their own preferences and they know what they want."

"It does make them very social though - they're not awkward with other children," said Brian.

"Yes, there's never a dull day," said Judith.



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