Adam Scott sees his kids' decision to attend the same college as a good thing, in terms of logistics.
"We were a little concerned about how we would manage, if they had to move into a dorm on the same day at different schools, and we had to be here and be there at the same time," said Scott, an Ellicott City resident and the father of quadruplets. "And we'd have to get them back and forth between here and multiple schools.
"And at the end of it, heaven forbid they graduate on the same day," he said.
Scott and his wife's 18-year-old quadruplets — Alexis, Brandon, Christina and Dominique — graduated from River Hill High School on June 1 and will all be attending Duquesne University in Pittsburgh this fall.
Because the siblings go through each stage of life at the same time, logistics has played a prominent role in their lives.
When they first came home from the hospital, there was the logistics of feeding and changing four babies at the same time. Scott said his wife, Lisa, who left her job to be at home with the kids, meticulously logged who got changed and fed when, and the two tried to keep the four babies on the same schedule.
"I can remember having baby bottles and formula forever," Scott said, "and four diaper genies."
As time passed, Adam and Lisa Scott had to navigate the logistics of getting each kid where he or she needed to be, and at the right time.
"Especially getting to the point now in high school, because with the number of activities, we are always going somewhere, and sometimes driving two cars to the same place, because someone has to leave early or get there early," Scott said. "We might even drive by each other on the way to and from school."
Despite the stress, Scott said the couple wouldn't trade the experience of raising the quadruplets "for the world."
"They have been a joy to raise," he said. "We just hope they take all of this and continue to move forward and achieve all the different goals that they have."
Eighteen years ago, Adam and Lisa thought they were having twins until a sonogram revealed two pairs of beating hearts. The couple had been trying to conceive for five years and were on their third fertility treatment cycle. Scott said the news that his wife was carrying four babies had him worried about the prospect of a high-risk pregnancy.
Experts say that 90 percent of quadruplets are conceived with the aid of medical technology. The chance of conceiving quadruplets naturally is 1 in 700,000, by some estimates.
The four siblings, named alphabetically according to the order of their birth, were due in December but had to be delivered early, in October, Scott said, because Dominique had stopped growing. They remained in the hospital for differing periods of time until they were healthy enough to head home.
"Dominique was the strongest one out of all of them, once they came home," he said. "She was the first one who could pull herself up."
The Scott quadruplets are similar but not identical in appearance, personality and interests.
Alexis tends to be the speaker for the group, and plans to major in communications and minor in psychology on a pre-law track.
"I like to argue, and I'm the mediator," she said. "My dad calls me Johnny Cochran."
Brandon is quieter, and has "good style," his siblings say. He plans to study marketing at Duquesne and hopes to open up his own fashion company one day.
Christina is the CSI and NCIS fan in the group and is going to complete a five-year forensic science law program.
"I like figuring out mysteries," she said. "I don't want to be in a lab — I want to be out in the field with the dead bodies."
Dominique seems more serious than her siblings. She plans to study business management and real estate, and wants to flip and build houses for the homeless.
The four didn't initially want to go to the same school, but as their college search progressed, Duquesne seemed like the best fit for each of them, because of its small class sizes, urban location and the fact that it has a forensic science program, which is not available at many schools.
Plus, the four weren't quite ready to separate.
"We're each other's security blankets," Alexis said.
"I know they won't be so encumbered by each other that they are not out there living on their own," their father said. "But to know they are going to be there for each other, through good and bad times — they decided they weren't ready to be apart."
When asked if any of the four would be roommates in the fall, all four said at the same time, "Definitely not."
"We are close, but we like our space," Alexis said.
Each quadruplet has his or her own room at home, so that they can get their alone time when they need it.
The siblings generally get along, and don't usually fight about anything serious, they said. But the three girls admitted to fighting frequently about clothes.
"And I just stand there thinking, what's going on?" Brandon said.
The four college-bound seniors figure that if each sibling makes friends with his or her new college roommate, that they will quickly expand their overall friend circle; throughout high school, their friend groups often overlapped.
"I met a lot of people through them," Brandon said, pointing at his three sisters.
Each of the four siblings, while participating in some of the same volunteer and church activities, had their own pursuits as well.
Dominique played junior varsity and varsity basketball, Christina was on the cheerleading squad and Brandon played football. Alexis, who said sports "isn't her thing," sang in River Hill High's chamber choir.
Scott said his kids haven't gotten to do everything they wanted to do, because of the financial hardship of having four children of the same age. The quads recognize that money has been a challenge — "it's everything, times four," according to Alexis — but say that it didn't have too much of an impact on their upbringing.
"We've accepted it," said Dominique. "We've learned not to be selfish."
In the past couple of years, the four have gotten jobs in order to get some work experience and contribute financially.
"So I can say I'll pay for it," Alexis said, "and treat my parents."
Scott told his kids that he would probably have to start working two extra jobs to pay for college. His wife has already started working again.
"And our mom said, 'Guys, when you leave, I'm going to need therapy,' " Alexis said.
Scott agrees with his wife, that the quads' departure to Pittsburgh would take some adjustment.
"It's a very strange silence," he said. "We will have to get used to that."