And my husband wonders why I start so early

I've recently been trying to get our household on more of a schedule. Specifically to be more consistent and help make getting two kids to bed easier. I made the schedule sort of a rough estimate. 5 is dinner, 6 is cleanup and play, 7 is pajamas and 8 is bed.

My husband finds the schedule amusing. Mostly because it gives him new fodder for jokes. Such as telling the kids they only have six minutes left to eat or he'll have to throw their food in the trash because the schedule says so. He also called me up at work last week at 5:10 wanting to know how the hell I would be feeding the kids at 5 when I was still sitting at my desk at work.

First of all, did anyone notice he thinks I should be the one to feed them at 5? Let's just gloss over that madness before I have to use the words "grown man." Second, the schedule is supposed to be more of an hour long window of opportunity to shoot for rather than exact times. I'd be happy if the feeding of the kids took place anywhere between 5 and 6. My goal is mainly to make the lead up to bedtime less rushed. I also liked the idea of a set time for clean up with play time when we're finished to motivate everyone.

We've been doing it for a week now. The kids like it. It keeps me on track. And I'm thinking it helps the house run more smoothly. Half the time the newest 4 year old announces to me when it's time for the next activity. I love that. She and I even made a handy dandy sign with novice artwork created by my own two hands and taped it over the clock on the microwave for easy reference:

Tonight, however, even the handy dandy sign couldn't stop my downward spiral into botched bedtime. I though I was doing pretty well when I had them in pajamas with clean teeth at 7:45. We read books and did some cuddling and just as I'm preparing to route them to their beds the newest 4 year old starts itching her head repeatedly. Being overly paranoid and mildly delusional, I felt obligated to shove her head under a lamp and do a quick lice check. Then I agreed to delay her bedtime to let her wash her hair. Because the kid hates washing her hair. When she announces she's willing, I'm game.

While I was turning the bath water on for her, our 2 year old gets his leftover mac & cheese off the kitchen counter and wanders into the bathroom eating it. Figuring this is a sign he's hungry, because I'm smart like that, I decide to let him finish while I scrub his sister's hair.

The rat's nest took 3 good washes. While she was wringing her hair out, I turned away to brush her brother's teeth again. Then the 4 year old announces that she needs to get out of the tub immediately or a nuclear winter will commence. So I turn and let the water out and the 2 year old spills an entire cup of water down the front of his shirt. I head off to put a new shirt on him and suddenly there's no water left in the bathtub and the 4 year old is shivering.

I find her a towel and dry her hair and the 2 year old disappears down the hall. I track the 2 year old down under the dining room table and carry him to his room. We do an immediate U-turn to begin ransacking the house for the blankie he can't sleep without. Then there's rocking, singing and a million and one kisses. Then the 4 year old needs water. Then the 2 year is annoyed at life. Then the 4 year old wants her bathroom door open an extra 1/8 of an inch. Then the 2 year old is still annoyed at life.

I didn't seal the deal on bedtime until 8:48. And my husband wonders why I need to start at 7. Seriously. One thing after another.


amy said...

Ok i love your blog and your stories. I really can not wait to bring our LynnMarie home and attempt a schedule!!!!

Kritter Krit said...

Your night sounds like my night, every night. ...And I only have one.

Jerseygirl89 said...

Just keep practicing, it'll get better. We've been doing the schedule forever (ex-elementary school teacher + two kids 15 months apart - schedules keep me from going insane) though, and some nights are still like this. Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Hubby and I have a pretty decent routine during the week. Dinner 6:30 (when I get home from my LOOOOONG day and commute), baths 7:00(ish) and bed at 8 (STRICT). Selfishly, I wish I could keep them up later at night so I could have more time with them, but realistically? Not so much.

Shan said...

Boy does this sound familiar.

Childlife said...

Aw, he's 'The Two Year Old' now... *sniff*... I was so hoping you could keep the 18-month-old gig going - I could point to your blog and say, "See? It's perfectly normal!!' Now what am I going to do??? (My youngest turns two in about a week and I'm not handling it well...)

Don't give up on the routine. We have the same basic loose schedule. Most of the time it works, but there are just always going to be those days when everything goes out the window... I'd say 8:45 on a night like that is pretty spectacular, so pat yourself on the back! (And I was cracking up at your husband calling you at work about dinner - LOL!)

Anne said...

Super Nanny makes the "schedule" look so easy...it will get better-right? I have no schedule, we need a schedule.

Debbie said...

That SO sounds like an evening in our house! Are you anal and get everything ready the night before? I have to have everyone's clothes laid out, milk ready. I've taken to getting the 3 year old's breakfast plate, knife and banana out. I'd make the toast, but the dog would just eat it. My husband thinks this is hysterical, probably because he stays in bed until 4.8 seconds before I leave with the kids.

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