January 22nd 2019
I, like I am sure so many of you do, experience moments you wish could last forever. However, I am not going to lie, there are PLENTY of moments I can’t wait to move on from and never experience again (!) and I’m learning, as a parent, to chose to ‘enjoy THIS moment’ and remember I don’t have to ‘enjoy EVERY moment’ which is so often the expectation which creates and waters (for me…) that seed of doubt and guilt as a parent.
I thought I’d share a typical Friday. It’s my favourite week day. It’s almost the weekend which means an extra pair of hands (or at the very least an actual adult to have a conversation with!). Fridays T1 doesn’t go to pre school so I don’t have the mad panic to get them out the house by 8.30. We always do something. Places tend to be quiet as it’s term time. The world is our oyster and I treasure our Friday family fun day so much. I know once T1 starts school this Sept life will change again and I’m not sure I’m ready to give up this day of us just yet. Its so easy to forget these little snippets as daily life continues and the years fly by.
5am ish … starts with a snuggly feed for T3. Start is a loose term as the hours between 12-5 are unknown territory in our house – much like that dark kingdom beyond the pride land in the Lion King and a little like bossing a multi national global team – there’s usually someone awake somewhere.
5.30… If I’m lucky I settle T3 back off and get back in bed. If not I get up with him.
6.00- 6.30… husbands alarm goes off and T1 wakes too. SOME times he will happily go downstairs on his own, put Netflix on and eat a bowl of snacks I’ve made the night before (after finding him up on the kitchen units one morning in the sweetie box!)… T1 not the husband
6.30-7… (If I’m not already) I get up, make the bed – my MUST DO as soon as I get out of it! It makes me feel like I’ve got my shit together (and stops me crawling back in). I grab all cups, bottles and nappies and take them down. Showering is optional . Coffee is essential .
7.30… T3 is awake by now if he had dozed back off earlier. I change his nappy and take off T1s pull up. Make & feed T3 porridge and make T1s cereal.
8.00… T2 wakes. She usually sleeps until 8 but a few times a week is up by 6.30. I change her nappy – she’s wet through a lot of the time recently so strip her and bring her down in her dressing gown. Miss Independent chooses her bowl, hand scoops her cereal in and carries it herself to the table. I carry out damage limitation sweeping up behind her .
By 9am… everyone’s finished. I brush all their teeth. Clear up from brekkies and chuck a wash in. I run to get all their clothes – can’t be upstairs for long as leaving them all together is a bit like that chicken, fox and a bag of corn on a raft riddle. T2 winds up T1 by standing in front of the TV. T1 gets annoyed at T2. T2 puts things over T3s head
9.30…. Getting them all dressed. A military operation. T1 – obsessive nude – runs at the sight of pants – genuine effort to keep him appropriately dressed in public . He CAN dress himself but helpfully chooses to let me do it T2 is on a very SLOWWW independent journey of self discovery at the moment and will not let me help her getting dressed.! Legs in arm holes. Both legs in one leg hole . Always. It’s incredibly cute (albeit not when we have to get Oscar to pre school by 8.45!) I scrape her crazy Pat Sharp mullet into something prettier. T3 is just the happiest, content baby. Thank goodness he’s not moving yet (although he’s desperately trying – it won’t be long). Getting him dressed is just like putting a wiggling, giggling octopus into a roll neck – he melts my heart
10 ISH… Getting them all in the car. Challenge Anneka. T1 wants to be first. Shouts to be first and kicks off if he’s not. Ideally I don’t leave T2 in the house (the fox & chicken again). I take both with me and strap them in to their car seats. Three rear facing car seats across the back of the car – nightmare as T1&T2 are in pinching proximity and it’s tough getting T2 in to the middle of the car across the other (harnessed in) car seats. I’ve recently bought T1 a high back booster for the front seat now he’s turned 4 so short journeys (& no hubby) he can go in that. Game changer for pre school drop offs.
1030… Arrive at trampoline park. I carry T3 in his car seat, T2 on my other hip and T1 walks in front. I haven’t put shoes on any of them – saves faff. T3 might have a little nap in his car chair but if not I get him out and sit him somewhere appropriate when I’m bouncing with the other two or hold him as I move around. I try and keep T1&T2 roughly in the same area. T1 wants me to chuck him into the air bag ALOT. T2 wants whatever I’m doing to T1 and they both want me to jump in too and I’m trying to run between the three keeping them suitably hydrated and snacked up! I set up obstacle courses with hoops and balloons and we play chase.
By 11.30 we have time out in the small cafe upstairs. They sell lattes They also sell alcohol which always makes me smile as they also close at midday.. There’s a little gated play area for T1 and T2. I’ll pop T3 in a high chair and grab some snacks and juice. I’ll feed T3 a pouch I’ve bought from home.
12ish… we leave and I get them all back in the car.
12.30… home and I top up T1&T2 with crumpets or toast or sometimes a happy meal on the way back .
1pm… we get toys out. I’m trying to encourage T1 and T2 every so often to choose something they no longer play with and pop it in a charity bag so we will do that on a Friday and have a little play whilst we tidy up in the toy room!
1.30… I make T3 milk and feed him his bottle. Change both T2&T3’s nappies and make T2 her milk.
2pm… I put T2 & T3 down in their grow bags in their cots. T2 is hit and miss with naps – she’s not even two so this panics me – see previous blog post!! T1 napped until just before his FOURTH birthday T3 will usually do an hour depending how long he slept in the morning.
2.30… T1 has had 30min on his DS whilst I’ve been doing this so I’ll come down now and he’ll choose us some games – this is his play time 1:1 with me. We usually play top trumps, frustration, marble run or battles with his superhero’s- things which are harder with the younger two around. We play for about 45min and then he can watch TV – normally Mr Bean or some YouTube videos of other people playing Mario .. seriously I now whizz around the house moving washing from machines to dryers, putting clean clothes away. Sorting out life admin – parking tickets usually Unloading dishwasher, quick hoover and a cuppa! T1 treats me like a literal snack b1tch the entire afternoon and I’m back and forth as he non stop grazes – really struggled with this since he dropped his nap. He wants to snack all afternoon but when it comes to dinner time won’t eat anything proper!
3.30… T3 wakes and I bring him down and set up some toys.
4.00… T2 wakes (if she ever slept) and I bring her down. I’ll remember we have a cat and feed her and start thinking / prepping dinner. Sometimes I’ve slow cooked something – I know T2&T3 will eat it. T1 will tell me it’s yuck before it’s even on the table he’s literally not even seen it before he says it – so frustrating!! If not it’s something like pasta, spaghetti or chicken/sweet corn.
Before 5… Dinner time! T3 is weaning and loves food! He does feed himself but likes to be fed too. T1 generally refuses anything I plate up – an endless list of demands later – can he sit on my lap? can I feed him? Can he have a different juice? Can I sit next to him? Can he have a blanket over his knees? He ends up with honey on toast and cucumber T2 is amazing at eating. She likes to be fed sometimes too but I think she just feels left out ! On to desserts – fruit and yoghurts. T2&T3 are dairy and soya free.
6.30… Clean up. I have 3 high chairs set up for mealtimes – it’s pretty epic so it takes a while for this whole process and then to clean up after! The floor, the children, the highchairs and the actual kitchen. We’ll either have an after dinner disco – gummy bear and crazy frog or go upstairs for baths.
7.30… epicness continues (will do a blog on bedtime in the future!) but I get all three in their nappies, pull ups, jammies and make T2&T3 their milk. I feed T3 and put him down – he sometimes falls asleep on my shoulder and puts his hand around my neck. Moments like that I wish would last a lifetime but must dash and read to T2 and she has her milk and then goes down then I go to T1 and read to him. He wants juice and snacks and I can go up and down and in and out of all rooms a fair few times before it all goes quiet.
8.30ISH… I sit down in actual silence. True story. Enjoy some Prosecco (have been known to often start during kids tea !) before cracking on with finishing washing/dishwasher/shower/tidying up/prep bottles, juice & snacks for the night! NB… My husband works long days in the city during the week and isn’t usually home before 8.
10-11 I’ll get in to bed – watch Netflix and chill
I love Fridays (mostly). Generally life is exhausting, relentless, consuming and demanding like no other experience but filled with love, fun and a shit load of nappies but what better to have your hands filled with (maybe not the nappies ). I’m choosing my moments
This Beautiful chaos