When it was just Logan around, we had somewhat of a schedule. Did we break it? Of course. All the time. Was I strict with it? Nope. I usually had a round-about time of when he ate, when he napped, etc when he was a baby and into the toddler years.
With three babies, schedules mean everything. I don't think anyone with multiples would argue with me over this. Do we break these schedules? Yes, but not nearly as often as we did with Logan. The kids current schedule is:
Breakfast: Immediately after getting up and changed. Madelyn must have a cup of milk before ever making it down the stairs. Feed Immediately and bananas must be part of this feeding. If not, Andrew will let everyone in the neighborhood know he has not had his "nana, nana, nana, nana, naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa."
Playtime: After eating they get some playtime, Baby Einstein DVD's, Wiggles, Sesame Street or whatever they want to do. Usually this involves some sort of destruction of the kitchen, living room, playroom or any other room they find a way into.
Snack: 9:00am If we make it this far
Lunch: 11am (If they are really tired, I may give a snack and put down for nap right before this but if they can make it further they get lunch)
Nap: 11:30-1:30 If one wakes before then, I don't care. He/she stays in crib as downtime. There is usually no crying and screaming once they wake up until after this 2 hour mark.
Free play, fun, whatever until Daddy gets home
PJ time after bath
Some family time after getting into PJ's
Milk before bed: 7pm
Once they are done with milk, off to bed.
If they get off this routine and what I mean is I change around a meal time or change a nap, they get all messed up.
Today Tony and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time together without kids. Aunt Kricket watched the kids for us at her house. We planned nap time in the car driving about one hour to her house. Only 2 out of 3 babies slept. Not good. They did great there. No problems that I'm aware of (she'll probably comment here) BUT when we got home, actually before getting them out of the vehicle, the nightmare began.
It just takes one to scream and they all scream. If you are not here to see it, I don't think you would believe it. It doesn't matter who starts it but it's usually Madelyn or Andrew that starts it. Tony described Andrew's screams today as the same no matter what's it about and it's so true. He said Andrew has the same loud scream when he drops a sippy cup as one might if their leg was being taken off by rabid badgers. The same was true tonight. I finally got them calmed down by a banana. Logan wanted a banana too but the boys did not want Logan to have one. I had to make Logan hide in the laundry room with his banana and they still stood at the laundry room door screaming for his banana even though they just ate one themselves. The twins didn't stop until I put them in their cribs and left the room tonight. Madelyn still screamed for a while after being put to bed. Thankfully they are all asleep right now.
I'm too scared to leave the house with these three during the week alone not only b/c it's hard to get around with three babies, but the fear of what I have to face when I get home and they are tired, hungry or just for the heck of it want to scream and drive me absolutely batty.
This week I tried something new with Andrew's screaming fits b/c they are so frequent. I set up a pack-n-play in my bedroom and everytime he started up with me screaming I took him and sat him in the PNP and left. I'd go back and try to calmly talk to him while he's panting for breathe and he'd start back again. This is not working effectively yet but hoping soon for results. Nothing else has worked so far either so hoping and praying I'll find a solution soon.
Tomorrow we'll aim to get back on schedule. It's Sunday and again we'll probably miss church or try to split up and take Logan at least. If we all try to go it takes forever to get us ready to get out the door and when we get home we have to start damage control b/c they have missed snack, and lunch is rushed to get them to bed asap for nap time.
I've discovered that many parents of multiples have nearby help (by means of family next door or moved into the house with them) or nannies. We have neither. I can definitely see the convenience of that. When I'm asked in public "how are you?" I just respond "I'm surviving." I know we'll make it and when we're old and feeble, they better remember what we did for them and put up with all these years and get us into a very nice retirement home.