Updated: Dec 22, 2019
So, I am finally back in the Blogging World after a rather long stint away. I'm sitting in blissful solitude, on my bed, with a cup of tea to my left and a candle lit (oh, yes) to my right. It feels good to write. It feels good to have this time out.
This comes with a warning, though: I've been watching quite a lot of organisation videos on Youtube over the last few days and I've been rearranging once again... so I'm rather fired up to share some tips of my own. Hmmm.
What I'm finding is that organising things, just like Cas (AKA 'Clutterbug') says in her book, is quite addictive. Although she's from Canada and she says it's addicting, which I thought was rather interesting.
And it is. I've now rearranged my kitchen cupboards and pantry several times, shifted the microwave twice, finally brought the Kitchen Aid into a central spot in the kitchen where I might (drum roll) use it, and have had to order more chalkboard labels. It's got to the stage where Gracie comes back from 'Big Girl Nursery' and says, as a standard refrain, 'ooh Mummy, I like the way you've arranged things.' Even when I haven't moved anything. Grace seems to like arranging things too. It's either imitation or it's in the genes.
Okay. So what I'm discovering more than anything else is that my life, in order for it to be running in any way smoothly, has to be a series of lists. This might sound boring and control-freakish, but when I have the two Tinies, with their incessant demands/crying, my brain is unable to function anything like how it can in the silence. So. In fact, it is fried. Enter: The List.
For example, the Bedtime Routine. It's that time of day when every parent breathes a sigh of relief, with the thought that in only an hour and a half, or thereabouts, the children will be asleep and the Golden Hour will be up for grabs. Woe betide anyone who attempts to steal the Golden Hour. Sacred it is.
But anyway, back to the Bedtime Routine. I realised the other night that I am majorly falling down in my evening routine and really not getting done the things that make the next day so much nicer - and especially my frenetic mornings. And especially the mornings when we all have to be out by 8.30a.m. Doesn't sound early does it? And yet, on these days, I can be up from 5.30 and not stop until I exit, flustered, at 8.30, and the last 20 minutes are always crazy. Why? I have no idea. My brain can't process, with any reliability, what happens in that shift. There is a lot of whining (not all from me) and a lot of crying. There are spillages, pooey nappies, breakages, tears, squabbles, uneaten breakfasts and banana skins - all to the background noise of Octonauts.
Enter the List. So I've compiled a list of things that can be done, in a specific order, during bathtime routine. I've found this to be helpful and actually I'd like to start sharing some of what I discover for myself, since what I've unearthed on Youtube has been a massive help to me and I'd like to return the favour. So, this is a 'Boring Alert' if it's all irrelevant to you and I'd advise you to skip this next paragraph. This is for frazzled parents, like me, who find it hard to keep their miscellaneous items (ridiculousness) together.
Here's my list in a stark, number-ordered manner:
1) Run the bath
2) Whilst the bath is running, put out the PJs for the Tinies on their bed
(note: do not go downstairs and leave the bath running. Come on, we've all done this. It doesn't have a happy ending.)
3) Fold the washing. Choose outfits from the folded clothes for the next day and put somewhere logical - not somewhere where either of the Tinies will unfold them or throw them into the air, with disregard for the Folder.
4) Put my own PJs on the towel rail, to make them nice and toasty for after the bath.
5) Place one, or both, children in the bath. Put phone on Flight Mode. (Bedtime routine is hard enough without interruptions.) The only technology allowed now here is soothing music, which we all need, come 6pm, let's face it.
6) Wash face and clean teeth (mine). Get into warmed PJs. Wipe down the sink and taps, Flylady-style.
7) Remove child/children from bath and straight to Tinery. Stories. No exiting of Tinery until the next day. If the children are playing happily, this is a good time to take things downstairs for the next day (like outfits) and get tomorrow's load of washing in the Tumbleator and put downstairs. Some people even say this can be a good time for cleaning. I've never managed to crack that one, personally.
8) Stories, teeth, Isaac in sleeping bag, lullabies, more stories, and prayers.
N.b: The earlier the better when it comes to doing the stories. This is because Issac is happy to play on his own with various things and not come and pull out pages if it's early enough. Which gives me extra time to do stories with Grace before it gets frenetic and she starts demanding my attention in the form of relentless requests for milk/bananas/Starry Bear.)
See, I told you the above would be boring unless it were relevant for you and you're in (or about to be in) the same boat as me.
See you next time...