So all that said, the following events could be construed as the proverbial straw that proverbially broke the proverbial camel's proverbial back.
I woke up late. I knew that it had to be around 10:30 because the grating sounds of "Elmo's World" were issuing forth from the living room. In Dolby 5.1 surround no less. Elmo is bad enough in stereo, trust me. Surround sound just makes it worse.
I would have been up on time (whatever that means) except that I'd passed out on the sofa the night before - due to feeling like crap (decidedly UnScottish). I was woken from my sickly stupor at 2AM by the Prince Consort to remind me that the Sweet Potatoes for his work potluck today were not made. Nothing beats being woken up in the middle of a dream where you are playing Tetris to be told to haul ass to the kitchen at 2AM. The Sweet Potatoes were fixed and plopped in the oven on time bake but I'm paranoid, so I stayed up babysitting them until they were done and I could turn off the oven. 3:30AM saw me trying to squeeze into my bed and balance my rear on the edge while the Younger Princess Ella - all 26.5 pounds of her - took up my half of the bed.
After rolling out of bed to find the living room looked like an explosion of bedding, towels, clothing and toys (!) and the living room chairs were knocked sideways... I went to fix the girls breakfast only to find that they had helped themselves to SEVEN blueberry muffins. They didn't even share with their brother. I gave the boy one and called that breakfast. I horked a muffin and called that breakfast, too.
About this time, the brass band in my head starts to go off like rockets, so I hid out in the office and snarfed a Diet Mountain Dew. I must've been channelling PollyAnna to think that the Tornadic Trio (upgraded from The Disastrous Duo, upgraded from La Niña) weren't going to do what they do best - destroy the house.
[shakes head in dismay] How naïve of me. Really.
And while I'm being unabashedly honest, let me state for the record that I'm more than a little put out that every time I try to fix them a meal, they stare at it and say they are full even though they were starving less than 10 minutes before. I want to know what Magical Cookie House they are eating from. I put off feeding them lunch because I figured they weren't going to eat it anyway what with all the muffins and egg nog and what all they already got into.
Today's tragedy was BABY POWDER all over the floor. It was worse than the Great Baby Powder Fiasco of 2004 by an order of magnitude. It was not quiet so bad as the Great Baby Oil Adventure of 2004, though. Guess why? It involves cats and slugs. Oh yes, and the almost 6 year old - you read that right - peed on the floor. Because the bathroom that is unlocked and ten steps away was TOO FAR. Yes. Too far. I unplugged the antenna from their TV and removed it. All they get is snow. Which isn't bad considering it's the only snow they'll ever see in Florida.
Lest you think I'm a bad mom, I'm not. I give my kids chocolate cake for breakfast on occasion. And I give them eggs for dinner. Who doesn't? So I boxed up all the toys because I was tired of stepping on them. So what?! You'd do the same thing, too. I know a LOT of you have. But I'm not telling.
So I did what any mom would do - call HER mother. And vent. And for once, I was able to hear what she was saying. I even took notes. That's right. Notes. On a steno pad. SRSLY. She gave me some advice that I was just desperate enough to use. And for once, her advice worked.
But don't tell her that. She might get a big head or something. Like say "I told you so". [horrors]
My children now live by the timer. Every activity is now governed by the All Mighty, All Powerful Timer known as "Da Man". There little lives belong to me. My name is Mommy, but you can call me Drill Seargent. Shortly after getting off the phone with mom, martial law was instituted. The new rules go like this:
- You will sit down at the table and you will not move from your seat until you have finished eating.
- You WILL eat everything on your plate including the crusts on your sandwiches.
- You will eat in the allotted time and anything you do not finish before the timer rings goes in the trash and you will not get more food/drink until the next time it is served to you.
- Children do NOT go into the refrigerator for anything for any reason ever again at all. OR ELSE.
- Once you have finished eating you will go to the bathroom, you will pee and/or poop and you will wash your hands and brush your teeth.
- You will then procede to your beds where you WILL lie down quietly and you WILL sleep until I summon you.
As of this moment, the children have done all the above and have been sleeping since 3PM. I can expect them to sleep at least another 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Life is Good. Very GOOD.
The new schedule looks like this (and woe to any child who strays from the path of righteousness):
So this leaves time for things like schooling. And very little time for mischief. Or for me to hide out in the office. We'll see how it works. At the very least it should get me through until the end of December.
8:00 AM - Breakfast, brush teeth, potty
8:30AM - Make beds, get dressed, hair done
9:00 AM - Read/play QUIETLY
9:30 AM -
10:00 AM - Snack, potty
10:30 AM -
11:00 AM - Snack, potty
11:30 AM -
Noon - Lunch
12:30 PM - Brush teeth, potty
1:00 PM - Play time
1:30 PM - Nap time
3:30 PM - Snack, potty
4:00 PM - Computer Time
4:30 PM - Get ready
for evening activities
5:00 PM - Evening Activities such as dance, religious ed, etc
6:00 PM - Get ready for dinner
6:30 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM - Bath
7:30 PM - Quiet Time
8:00 PM - Bed Time