Thursday, February 5, 2015

Our Schedule: Today

Someone in the last post asked about our daily schedule and I realized I hadn't done one of those in a while. They're fun for me to go back and read later- we so rarely capture the mundane, but it's the mundane that dictates so much of our life. So without further ado, here's our Thursday!

5:00 a.m.: JP wakes up to go swim. He's very stealthy and I usually manage to stubbornly stay asleep.

7:00 a.m.: I'm up (or should be; today I wasn't, but I have a cold and flirted with calling in sick). JP gets home and rousts the kids from their beds and starts getting breakfasts and lunches ready. My job in the morning is solely to get myself out the door by 7:30, though lately it's been more like 8. L&C pretty much take care of themselves- getting dressed, brushing teeth, and eating breakfast. Cora is usually left sleeping until 7:30 or so when JP swoops in and dresses her and sets her in her high chair to push around some cheerios and enjoy a nice YoToddler organic yogurt squeezey pack. Backpacks are packed the night before, and, if I was in charge of mornings, lunches would be too, but JP likes to live dangerously and does it all on the fly. This stresses me out so I stay back in our bathroom getting ready and chatting with kids as they come by.

7:45 a.m.: If I'm still home, JP will run Landon down the street to school while I hang out with the girls and finish getting ready. I do Claire's hair and Cora runs around in circles relocating toys in different rooms.

7:55 a.m.: JP is back and loads up the girls in the car with lunch boxes and jackets and I make my tea (Golden Monkey loose leaf black tea from Teavana; best tea ever) and bring it with me in a giant reusable cup. Claire gets kisses and hugs on the way out the door and Cora gets squeezes she doesn't think she needs.

8:15 a.m.: Everyone is at school. Except some days when JP has an errand and decides to take the girls with him before dropping them off, or he wants to do something at home before leaving. They're pretty much always at school by 9.

8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.: I'm at work signing subpoenas and JP is at home scheduling lessons, talking to clients, and working on his new swim products company. This is also his time to handle kid stuff- doctor appointments, sick kid pick-ups, etc. If something kid-related comes up after 1 p.m. then it's my territory. It's like zone defense. We can both be available when necessary (like for programs or teacher conferences), but this general "owning" of one part of the day works out really really well.

2:00 p.m.: JP is at the pool and pretty unreachable for the next 4.5 hours. Luckily in my new job this is rarely a problem, though occasionally something pops up that would be nice for him to know or help with.

4:45 p.m.: I leave to get the kiddos, getting the girls first, then Landon on my 5 mile drive home. On Mondays and Wednesdays I leave at 4:15 and get Landon first, drop him off at JP's pool for swim practice, and then get the girls and go home, and even though everything is 2 miles apart this whole process inexplicably takes an hour+ each time and I'm just dropping Landon at the curb in front of the pool building. I dislike Mondays and Wednesdays for this reason.

5:15 p.m.: We're all home. Cora goes straight to a highchair to eat dinner #1 because she eats 3,000 calories a day and can't wait until our 6:45 dinner hour. Landon and Claire do various things- feed Tex, bring up/put out trash cans on the right days, put away clothes if JP folded some in the morning, and then play inside or outside depending on the weather. Sometimes they sit up at the bar and color or do homework while I cook, other times they're in the play room playing restaurant or pirates or babies, and sometimes they head back to their room to play legos while Cora is confined to her chair. I'm chopping and cooking and cleaning and chatting with the kids about their days. I sign Landon's homework folder and check his work and make sure there isn't anything we need to be doing for the week.

5:45 p.m.: Cora is down and roaming and Landon and Claire are always with her. Or I should say, Cora is always with Landon and Claire. Cora "plays" with them, mostly by walking around and picking up some of the items they're playing with and looking at it importantly, and then she'll wander off and hang out with me for a little bit, mostly by grabbing on to my legs and yelling her love at me. And other times she'll just do her own thing for a while, sweetly and quietly and out of my line of sight so I have to yell her name and freak her out to figure out where she is. I call out "Hey guys where's Cora?" a lot. I'm probably still cooking, music is playing, and unless Cora is fussy/teething, it's a really nice part of my day. I also head back to our room to switch laundry or fold things if needed. We do laundry every other day or so, so there's usually something to be done back there and Cora LOVES to help.

6:30 p.m.: JP is home. Unless it's Thursday, which I guess is what I'm writing about here, and then he's not home until 7. I am always very glad to see him, as are the kids, ESPECIALLY Cora. She can sense his presence from half a mile away and if it's a fussy night, she immediately stops being so just to make a liar out of me when he walks in the door and she's being all smiley and adorable.

6:45 p.m.: We're eating. Cora's back in her chair enthusiastically eating dinner #2; kids are eating and telling JP all about their days at the same time; and I'm sitting at the table either eating or focusing on giving Cora a steady stream of food to eat herself.

7:00 p.m.: I leave for barre on the nights I go to barre, usually Wed. or Thurs. (plus Monday's late 8:00 class because I can leave right when the kids get in bed).

7:15 p.m.: Dinner is over. L&C clear the plates, JP or I do dishes, and the other one marches the kids off to our shower for their nightly car wash.

7:25 p.m.: Naked children are running from our room to their own rooms to put on jammies. JP comes to join me in the kitchen (or I come to join him) and we chat while the kids get dressed and get out their clothes for the next day. Cora's jammies are put on and everyone's teeth get brushed.

7:30 p.m.: The kids clean up anything they got out while dinner was cooking, which is usually 90% things that Cora got out, but we're appreciative and they don't seem to mind. Cora helps by getting out more things and putting them away in new spots while clapping for herself. Everyone finds this adorable, so she'll probably never learn what "clean up!" actually means. We read books, sometimes all together, sometimes splintered off in small groups. Cora only likes two books to be read aloud to her and has zero interest in listening to any others, so she roams once we finish our nightly rendition of Peek-a-Who and Moo Baa La La La.

7:45 p.m.: Cora is in bed and silent. This still freaks me out a little bit. Big kids have usually migrated to their room with a book each to read in their beds until we tuck them in. They think this is very grown up, and JP and I love getting a little time in the kitchen to get everything is in order so we don't have to go back in it after we're off duty.

7:50 p.m.: Kisses and hugs (2 of each for Claire; Landon is cool with 1), light out, usual "no talking/go to sleep" warning given. We walk through the hallway to the TV room and close to door between them.

8:00 p.m.: I read or type or shop or take a bath. JP works. If I'm on the couch, he comes out with his laptop and sits with me and we get to do the idle chatter interspersed with comfortable silence that I love so much. Sometimes we watch TV a show or two, currently on Season 3 of The Wire, but we rarely just have it on as background.

11:30 p.m.: We go to bed, vowing to go to bed earlier one night soon.


  1. I love it! It sounds perfect

  2. Oh man, I really want your morning schedule. That sounds awesome.

  3. I love how you use very specific times, e.g. 7:25, because I'm sure that's how it really is and then I sigh and start to feel jealous. Without sounds like a "lagliv groupie", I really do value your opinions and parenting styles because they work, and when compared to the daily battles I've allowed it shows I could use a overhaul. Specifically, here are examples I would love a “step-by-step guide to: 'L&C pretty much take care of themselves- getting dressed, brushing teeth, and eating breakfast'. How have you gotten them to this point w/out supervising or constant reminders? 'Landon and Claire do various things- feed Tex, bring up/put out trash cans on the right days, put away clothes if JP folded some in the morning, and then play inside or outside depending on the weather.' Do they give you pushback? Do they do this without being reminded? If not, what is the consequence? 'The kids clean up anything they got out while dinner was cooking,' Again, pushback or reminders? 'Cora is in bed and silent...Big kids have usually migrated to their room with a book each to read in their beds until we tuck them in'. Do you have to tell them once? If more, is there a consequence? My household rule has always been, homework, chore then play but it’s a battle, it’s a argument or a dozen reminders and the need to constantly check on them. Partly by the fact I’m still at work while they’re at home doing all this, so am I being too hard? I’m inclined to say no because seriously, how hard is your life if you go to school, come home do homework and eat, and then you get to play? My oldest will get up using his own alarm, get dressed and downstairs to eat, but my youngest who’s 6 and a female is just a bear. She won’t get up, how would you handle this? What are the consequences for not getting up and going through the motions of brushing, dressing, etc…because if she doesn’t do it, I’m the one frantically running around, stressed out, worried about the lack of dental care and ‘living out of a box’ appearance. I generally have to ask my kids to clean up, it’s pretty rare they do it w/out being reminded. How do you mold this in your home? How long would you leave Cora to cry at bedtime (if she cried) before checking or helping her fall asleep? What is the consequence if L&C didn’t brush or procrastinated the shower? I’ve made my children sound like demon spawns but they’re not all bad, these few things are what I’m currently struggling with, and while I’ve been a long time reader, it’s taken a toll on my confidence in mothering skills. :) Maybe sometime in the near future a “Lagliv view on how-to parent” post.

    1. Hey anon! The specific times are mostly based on JP and my schedule and when I know we have to be moving to whatever step of the day has to happen next, regardless of whether we're ready or not! As for a "how to" on our routine, I've been thinking about it all afternoon and still have no idea how to answer. I generally stay away from parenting type posts because it's so unique to your lifestyle, parenting style, kids' personalities, etc., and then also so variable to the moods and needs of each day or situation, that I'm not even sure where I'd begin.

      I will say that I believe strongly in chores and discipline and not negotiating or bribing for expected behaviors (or even rewarding them really; if they behave well in a store that's exactly what I expect to happen, not anything I'm treating them for, though we are always verbally acknowledging and praising good behaviors), and JP believes in it even stronger. I'm pretty good about sticking with it and he's better and together I think our kids just know that when we ask them to do something, then they are to do it. If they don't, it's to their room or to time out without further discussion or negotiation. When they're out, they need to do the thing, and if they don't, it's back to time out. Nothing fun gets to happen until X is done, but honestly that just isn't one our struggles, so I'm not sure what our Step 2 would be if kid A didn't seem to mind that consequence (which is always so hard, figuring out what the next level of consequence is; our pediatrician is VERY into age-appropriate discipline and full of ideas on that, maybe yours would have some too?).

      As for chores, that just hasn't been an issue. We've had them doing things like putting away clothes since they were old enough to walk and carry them from the laundry room. Claire used to put away her PJ's at 18 months because that was the only drawer she could reach and then she'd watch me do the rest. As she got taller, she put away more. Feeding Tex started about age 4- Landon was doing it and Claire asked and I had her show me that she could measure the right amount and now they take turns:- L does the a.m. and C does the p.m. She seems to see it as a reward of getting bigger. Bringing in trash cans is a 5+ year old thing, though Claire helps on the days L is swimming. That started one night when JP was working late and I asked Landon to bring in the trash cans as a nice surprise for daddy when he got home. That's how we usually approach things like chores, from the angle that this is a family and there is SO much that needs to be done to operate as a family and isn't it nice to do things for each other, so everyone does a little less? Landon still gets a kick out of announcing when JP gets home that "Daddy, we brought up the trash cans for you!". Cleaning up at night is also just not a struggle, they've been doing it for as long as they can remember, just as Cora "helps" do it now. Or at least she really thinks she's helping :). We never shy from showing them the work we put into being a family; we don't complain about it, but we don't hide it either. Laundry and dishes aren't done by magic when they're sleeping, it's a part of our family routine and they all help with it and/or see JP and I juggling it and helping each other with each task, particularly on weekends.

    2. (continued)

      Yard work is the one task they do struggle against. Claire in particular is almost the opposite of helpful in that regard, but we just give her a task to own and she isn't done until it's done- like one pile of leaves that is hers to get in the bag, etc. Whenever she whines or tries to make excuses to come inside we just remind her that we all enjoy and make use of the clean yard, that everyone, particularly daddy is outside working too and would much rather be inside, and this is what we do in our family, we help get the work done. It doesn't usually sink in until Landon is done with all of his tasks and Claire is 90% incomplete, but we make her finish and sometimes she remembers that the next time and works harder from the beginning. Or not. Either way, she knows we'd stick a lantern out there next to her if needed. (Does that sound mean? I'm never sure, but we would, and keep her company, but we wouldn't help- we give her an age-appropriate task and it's totally on her for taking 15x longer than necessary to complete it.)

      I always worry when I type things out that we sound like a drill sergeant house of child laborers or something, but when it's the expectation and the norm, it really just flows easily. Especially since we laid the foundation with Landon and Claire and Cora have just seen it as their example their whole lives. When I toss something out like, "Hey Landon, can you do xxxx." He just does it and then goes back to whatever he was doing before I asked. He knows I needed him to help or I wouldn't have asked and I always thank him and explain how it helped me. They seem to get a kick out of being part of the family machine. Maybe because they're so young still and like pretending to be grown-ups? I'm sure we'll evolve as they get older.

      I don't know if any of this helped because I don't have a lot of next steps, but I will say that I'm 100% certain your children are not demon spawns and also certain that nothing you're asking or will ask is too much or too hard. Kids can do a lot (this is part of the Montessori curriculum too, so they've heard it a lot at school- L's primary teacher used to ask the kids each morning what they did to help their parents the night before; Montessori is very practical in its approach to life) and I think it's perfectly acceptable- and even good- to demand that of them. It just takes a lot of work to get everyone on that track!

  4. @Anon - 2 things. 1) I enjoy LagLiv a lot and I am not knocking her at all. The reason that her kids are complaint is because she has compliant kids. It's really that simple. I have one of those. She just does what she's asked. It's simple. If she doesn't, a minute of time out and she would comply. She's a rule follower. It makes parenting her (at this phase of life) simple. But it has its own complications - she'll follow any person in authority blindly. That's not a good thing. She doesn't problem solve or think outside of the box. It has its good points and its bad points. I really patted myself on the back for being a great mom when she was my only. And then I had a non-compliant kid. A kid that it didn't matter (and still doesn't) matter what the consequences are. She's not going to comply. You have to convince her why she should comply before she will. And preferably after she's extracted something from you in return. It's not easy and it makes this phase of parenting her much harder. But she'll never blindly follow someone in authority. It has its good points and its bad points. And my 2) try letting your kids have some fun and burn off some energy in the afternoons before homework and chores. Not a long time (25 minutes or so), agreed-to in advance. Kids are expected to SIT STILL so much of the day, that I've found my school-aged kid does better in the evenings if she has some free time - especially if it's outside free time - before I start requiring chores and homework. You are good mom, Anon. Different kids are different, and there is no magical parenting technique that will change your kids' personalities.

  5. Definitely agree that LL's kids' personalities play a big role, but I do want to say that having BOTH parents on the same page and being consistent is so important and something I really learned from this blog. My husband and I now have a rule to always back each other up and never contradict each other in front of our daughter, which is hard when we don't always agree (or we don't hear the instruction from one parent because it happened in a different room). I remember the post from when Landon was 18 months old or something, when LL was discussing discipline and how JP was so much stricter than she was and she didn't agree, but then noticed that Landon behaved so much better for JP, so she got on the same page. That's so crucial. My husband and I vary on how permissive we are with our willful but sometimes compliant child. I definitely think we take the easy way out and let her get away with stuff sometimes because it just makes thing happen faster, but I do think we'll pay for it later if we keep that up (she's 3 now).