TODAY   |  November 19, 2010

McCaughey septuplets become teenagers

Parents Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey are preparing to see their seven kids date and drive in the years to come as they celebrate their 13th birthday on TODAY.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

ANN CURRY, anchor: Thirteen years ago today, the world welcomed the first surviving set of septuplets. On November 19th , 1997 the McCaughey family went -- from Carlisle , Iowa , went from three to 10 in a matter of hours. Born nine weeks premature and weighing in at three pounds each, the septuplets went through approximately 12,000 diapers -- changes in the first year alone. Well now this set of seven, with older sister Michaela by their side, is in seventh grade, if you can believe it. And here to celebrate their big day with us are Kenny , Alexis , Natalie , Kelsey , Nathan , Brandon and Joel and their older sister Michaela , along with their parents, Bobbi and Kenny . You don't have to raise your hands. We know which ones you are. First of all, happy birthday and congratulations, you guys. And, Bobbi , I guess, the first question is for you. Which is more challenging, seven babies or seven teenagers?

Ms. BOBBI McCAUGHEY: I think it's just different. The challenges are different. You know, obviously we're not changing diapers, feeding bottles, but there's, you know, now there's homework and getting everybody to sports practices and keeping track of who's playing what when, and so it's -- you know there's plenty of challenges now, they're just different.

CURRY: Kenny , you looked forward to this day. I remember you with all those babies and you were so busy and, you know, you were really looking forward to becoming the father that they needed, to this day when they're actually people, big people. How are you responding to this big birthday? Mr. KENNY McCAUGHEY Sr .: Well we're responding with joy and little -- with a little bit of, you know, fear, I guess, because, you know, eight teenagers, that's quite a handful for, you know, for two of us. But so far we're doing pretty good and just looking forward to what the future has for us.

CURRY: Right, right. What the future has. Nathan , I want to know what do you -- what comes to mind, Nathan , when you look back at those baby pictures?

Mr. NATHAN McCAUGHEY: I'd say like maybe -- it just seems like we were babies not very long ago.

CURRY: It -- well, that -- it wasn't very long ago to me, but I can't believe how big you've gotten. Kelsey , what do you say to people who are curious about your family? Because I know you've had probably a lot of people come up and ask questions.

Ms. KELSEY McCAUGHEY: Well, they say, 'Wow, you have a big family' and they...

CURRY: They seem probably -- they probably really have big smiles on their faces when they see you, right, because they've heard about you guys on the news.

Ms. K. McCAUGHEY: Mm-hmm.

Ms. B. McCAUGHEY: Yeah.

CURRY: Yeah. And, Natalie , I understand that you are so into school that you make a big point of making sure that there's always extra -- you bring home extra paperwork to make sure all your brothers and sisters have it. Is that right?


CURRY: Why do you like school so much?

Ms. N. McCAUGHEY: I don't know, it's just -- I don't know, it's fun, I guess.

CURRY: Hm. And, let me see now, who -- wait, Alexis , you tried out cheerleading this year.


CURRY: Yeah? How was that?

Ms. A. McCAUGHEY: And it was really fun and I loved it. And I -- and I talked to a lot of people about it, and a lot of people helped me and stuff, so it was really fun.

CURRY: Mm. Kenny , whenever I look at you, I always think about you swinging on the chandeliers when I went to your house that one time. Have you guys seen that videotape? Yeah? Now I understand you've stopped playing football and now you tried a new sport. What is that? Mr. KENNY McCAUGHEY Jr.: Wrestling.

CURRY: Yeah? Do -- why do you like it? Mr. McCAUGHEY Jr.: It's fun because you get to pin people down.

CURRY: Uh-huh. Yeah, you guys know what that's like, right? Mr. McCAUGHEY Sr .: Oh, yeah.

CURRY: He's done that to you guys. Brandon , are you still playing football?


CURRY: Yeah. You also like to run real fast and do stuff? And let's see now, who's -- who else do we have here? How about you, Joel ? I understand -- oh, wait a minute. It's your birthday, so we want to say happy birthday to you guys. Let's do that and sing " Happy

Birthday." " Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday " -- oh to me, it's me. Oh, thank you so much . It's a surprise.

CURRY: To you. Happy birthday to you. Well, you guys, thanks so much for celebrating birthday with us, and good luck next year, you guys, because I know next year is going to be when they're going to get their learning permits. Right? Mr. McCAUGHEY Sr .: Yep.