5:00 My husband’s alarm goes off. I don’t usually wake up to it, so I’m not sure why I did today. Then I hear A. Maybe that’s what I woke up to. The husband goes in to try to put her back down. God bless him. I lay in bed and hope and pray she goes back to sleep.
5:15 She’s in my bed and very much not sleeping. The boys aren’t allowed out of their rooms until 7, so the next almost 2 hours are spent trying to get her to fall back asleep so I can. I had a dream at some point in there, so I must have slept some.
7:00 My alarm goes off. I’m usually already awake by 7, but it reminds me to turn the hall light on, which is the boys’ signal that they can get up.
Snuggles in my bed with all 3.
7:20 Head downstairs to start breakfast. The kids all have “meal jobs”, so they’re emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, filling water bottles, etc.
7:50 The boys go sit at the table and start on breakfast. A, whose only “meal job” so far is to empty the silverware, has not finished. I tell her we’re starting breakfast and we’d love for her to join us when she’s done with her silverware. She gasps and asks if I’ll stay with her. I have one last pancake to cook so I say I’ll stay for one minute. She finishes the job she’s had half an hour to do in less than a minute.
We all eat. We read a proverb and talk about the day ahead of us.
8:25 Done eating. Kids get dressed, everyone brushes teeth, I load and start dishwasher, we do stretches, and I change a diaper.
8:55 We start “Bible time”. What this looks like these days is: we start by reading something from the Bible (we’re in Genesis right now), then we all pray together. Then we have 15 minutes of quiet. I get out playdough and they can sculpt or write in journals or read their kids Bibles. Then, after the 15 minutes of quiet is up, if anyone wants to share anything from their quiet time, they can. I mandate these days that it be something that has to do with God for them to share it in this space, otherwise they have to wait until after Bible time to share it. Then I spend a little time with each of them alone. We do something like a devotion, I guess, though its not always from a “devotion book”, per se. Just whatever I want to facilitate discussion about with each of them. Then we pray. While I am alone with each of them, the other 2 go play upstairs. Each of the parts in itself is pretty short. The 15 minutes of quiet is the longest part.
Today we had a break during devotion time while I mediated a fight between the two upstairs children.
10:07 I hand out allowances. They fill out their tithe envelopes and get their savings jars, then I give them their due for the week, and make sure they correctly allocate 10% to both the envelope and the jar. A still plays with pennies during this time. I’m thinking I’ll start her on “real” allowance at 3. I’m pretty sure that’s when I started the boys.
10:16 Change into workout clothes, set up my workout video, and do it. I have never liked workout videos. I feel very silly jumping around my living room alone punching at the air, but I have resigned myself to the fact that at this stage of my life, this is the only way I’m going to get regular exercise. The kids just play during this time, often legos, sometimes working out with me, sometimes waiting by until I do push-ups or planks so they can try to crawl under me before I come down on top of them.
10:55 Take a shower. I bring the girl in the bathroom with me to play Mr. Potato Head, because I’ve been mediating too many fights lately, and she’s not old enough to accurately relay what happened during whatever it is I’m attempting to mediate, which has been leaving too many unresolved sessions for my liking. The boys head upstairs to play chess.
11:24 I’m showered and dressed and otherwise as presentable as I plan to be for the day. Head for A to put her down for a nap. The boys have wrapped presents they want to give her first, so we unwrap (it’s 2 giant dice) and play with the presents for a minute before I say she needs to go to her bed. At some point I notice that she is unusually shiny. I ask her what’s on her face and arm and she points to my desk, where there is a mostly empty tube of lip gloss sitting on a very shiny desktop. I happen to have made the lip gloss in that tube, and decide that all the ingredients will make a lovely skin moisturizer and we head to bed without so much as wiping off.
We rock and sing. She still falls asleep in my arms sometimes during this ritual, but less and less often, and not today.
11:46 I put her in her bed and go downstairs to start some lunch. The boys are still pretty engrossed in the legos they started playing while I was putting A down, so I also hand wash the dishes that require it, make some cookies, and get a good head start on dinner.
12:20 I call the boys down to do the “meal jobs” for lunch.
12:35 We sit to eat. I pull the cookies out of the oven sometime while we’re eating, which causes new motivation for finishing vegetables.
1:18 J’s done. The other one is notorious for taking an unreasonably long time to eat. Not that we’ve already been at lunch an unreasonably long time, I just fear it’s headed there. I hate to rush children, but there comes a point when a child has been eating for an hour and a half and the day must be moved on with. I load the dishwasher while he finishes up. J’s making paper airplanes. They make paper airplanes every day. Maybe a thousand or so each day.
1:30 O’s done eating. We start his writing lesson. J did his writing and his math while I worked out. O worked on his writing lesson while I worked out and it resulted in 4 words. I keep falling back into less supervision with their lessons, because they’re very capable of what I’m asking of them, and because sometimes they do it well. But I fear, for those who struggle with holding attention, that less supervision leads to bad habits of inattention. Tomorrow I will require they wait until I am sitting with them to work. Although… One of them doesn’t need my presence to pay attention. Can I really require it of only one of them? Especially if it’s the older? What will I do with the accusations of rampant unfairness?? This is the stuff that’s going to give me an ulcer, folks…
1:39 O’s math lesson.
1:53 A’s up. And very cheerful.
1:55 O’s done. We all put school stuff away, and pick up the first floor (bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and a hallway). I sweep.
2:28 O’s reading lesson. We’re working on pausing between sentences. I told him to just take a breath in when he reaches the end if a sentence, but it’s turned into this social cough. And he does it almost every time. It’s really funny, and I’m still trying to decide if I should say something or just see if it passes.
2:38 J’s reading lesson.
2:47 J’s done. We all head upstairs to organize some toys. We did O’s room 2 days ago, and we’re shooting for J and A’s room today. I have intent to put a good amount of them “away”, but have not yet shared my intent with them.
At some point during the organizing, I go downstairs to divide and shape burger buns, change a diaper, and monitor a 2 year old on the potty.
4:00 Everyone downstairs for dinner jobs. And to put away, downstairs, a box of stuff we filled while organizing the upstairs.
4:13 Done with dinner jobs. Shape burgers.
4:20 The husband comes home. I’m not actually sure what my children are doing. Burgers are done, and I’m feeling inspired by all the organizing and picking up, so I start digging out the junk shelf. That’s right, the junk shelf. ‘Cause a junk drawer just ain’t enough for this fam.
4:45 Everyone sits for dinner. We read a psalm and talk about all of our days.
5:34 Done eating. Start the dishes, floss, brush teeth, jammas on, mandatory “trying” on the potty for everyone under the age of 30.
5:50 Send the kids upstairs. We would normally head to the couch in O’s room at this point to read to the kids, but I first show the hubby around the upstairs and we discuss which toys to put “away” and where “away” will actually be. We settle for now on J’s closet, and the husband stacks toys high enough they shouldn’t be able to get anything out on their own.
6:20 We all settle into O’s room to read. I read a chapter of Cheaper by the Dozen, then The husband reads a chapter from a narrative-style book on Daniel Boone (which is very well written).
7:05 Done reading and everyone heads to their own rooms. I go in A’s room first and The husband heads to one of the boy’s rooms. We switch off with who goes where in what order.
I sing A two songs and pray with her.
7:30 I head to J’s room. He’s still into “dragon stories”, which is where I make up a story on the spot about dragons and about Sir J, the bravest dragon-fighting knight in all the land. It continues to be difficult to come up with new material. I am not permitted to deviate from the major elements of the story. (There must be dragons and Knight J, they must fight, and bravest-knight-ever must win. I’m pretty sure the castle is mandatory, too. I’ll have to try leaving it out and see what happens to confirm.) Then we pray together.
7:43 I head into O’s room, but he’s already asleep. I pray over him, and head downstairs to finish dishes.
8:03 Dishes done, I move on to folding laundry. I also make cookies for my husband. I realize this is the second time I’ve done this today, but this time it’s only cutting off pieces of cookie dough I’ve already made and frozen and baking them. He gets his own separate stash (the frozen dough), as he has an affinity for a few ingredients I do my best to keep out if the mouths of both myself and my children.
8:39 Shower. Another thing I’ve already done. It’s just hot enough here that showering twice a day is not all that uncommon this time of year.
9:00 Head to bed. Normally I would read a chapter or two of a book, but tonight instead I convert my day-in-the-life notes to actual sentences, lest I try a day or more afterwards, and forget entirely what all my abbreviated phrases were referring to.