so people frequently ask me "who do you do it??" to which i reply "liquor, lots of liquor." just kidding! seriously though, it's all about the schedule. it is the only way to stay sane. so here's a typical day in my house..
6:45a: theMr gets the older kids up and on the bus since i've been up numerous times with her royal highness throughout the night. this used to be my job until i popped out this latest kid.
7:00a- her royal highness wakes up for the day. her crib is directly next to my bed. i leave her in there as long as possible while she kicks her fat legs, squeals and generally keeps us awake. she's a morning person. go figure. maybe i'd be a morning person too if i still took three naps a day.
8:00- i finally drag myself out of bed as esme is now insistent that she must be entertained. i deposit her on the living room floor in front of the tv (this girl loves tv) i make my coffee and get the little guy his morning cup of soy milk and a nutrigrain bar. i get him out of his room, where he has destroyed it already from the day before. this includes stripping all bedding off his bed, putting all his stuffed animals under his bed and generally making a disaster out of the area. then he informs me when i open the door "OH NO! it's a mess!" as if he's just as surprised as me! he begins talking which will not end until he goes back to bed that afternoon. he will follow me nonstop, all day long, chattering away. if i don't respond properly to let him know i'm listening, he will only talk louder. resistance is futile.
8:30- my babysitting kids arrive. they are 1 1/2 and 3, both boys. they are very well behaved as they are not my own children. they have a healthy fear of me that my own children do not possess. probably because my kids have seen me through too many first trimesters where i allow them to run wild since i am always sure i must be dying. Everyone gets to watch one cartoon before the tv goes off. unless i'm busy and theMr is in charge (he goes to work at noon). then they get to watch lots of tv as theMr doesn't share my convictions on limiting tv. he's of the camp "the more tv they watch the less i have to monitor them".
9:00- Turn off the tv and get the kids interested in some type of play so i can attempt to accomplish something. this usually turns into pacifying the baby and breaking up fights between the big kids while trying to possibly mop a kitchen floor. this sounds complicated but it really just means holding a baby with one arm, a mop in the other and periodically screaming "stop it!" the baby goes down for her morning nap at 9:30 so i can do things that require two hands. like pee.
11:00- Time to start lunch. i'll admit my lunch combinations are pretty random. i figure as long as all the food groups are included it doesn't matter how strange the combo! toddlers don't care anyway. while they eat i usually clean up in the kitchen and many times fix something in the crockpot for dinner. dinnertime is one of the most chaotic of the day so any time i can plan ahead i'll be glad later. the kids like that too since that means they don't have to have peanut butter sandwiches and popcorn for dinner. or whatever they can throw together while i'm nursing the baby. only the breastfed children get regular healthy meals in this house. just kidding... mostly...
11:30- clean up from lunch and change the diapers of esme and the babysitting kids. have the little guy go potty as he probably hasn't done so since he got up that morning! some days it seems like all i do is change a diaper, wash my hands, take someone potty, wash my hands, change another diaper, etc. with only one of my five left in diapers, i'm in the home stretch! i'm hoping one or both of my babysitting kids will be potty trained this summer. we have a permanent diaper smell in this house. seriously, i should've forgone the social work degree and gotten one in bottom wiping. i'd have used it more.
12:30- start the naptime routine (hallelujah!) putting the big kids down, nursing the baby and putting her down. when putting the little guy down, i have to kiss each of his 407 stuffed animals goodnight. i have to cover each of them up with a blankie. i have to kiss him and say goodnight in blue's voice from blue's clues. i have to say "i'll see you after nap" or he'll ask "i see you after nap?" these are the kind of ridiculous rituals you'll agree to by your fourth child because you're so desperate for them to just go to sleep you'll do anything. i also have to lock his door from the outside or he will shortly be in the bathroom flushing things down the toilet and eating toothpaste. and then.... silence! i can finally eat my own lunch. i read or watch tv or sometimes nap myself. i try not to clean during naptime as it's really my only break in the day. i do fold laundry though. i need to average at least one to two a day to stay on top of it. for the record, i'm never on top of it. you can pretty much walk into my house any day of any month and find at least two loads of folded laundry in baskets still waiting to be put away and a mountain of unwashed laundry big enough to lose a small child in. maybe that's what happened to that kid i used to babysit... we've been wondering what happened to him..
part 2 tomorrow.....