And then Maddie decided to drop all of her feedings through the night (YAE!) and I lost my built-in alarm clock (boo).
So all 4 of us woke up at the same time this morning - 7:30am. I got the older 2 up and whipped up scrambled eggs and waffles and sat them down at the table as quickly as I could. Then I brought Maddie down to the table and fed her a bottle as the older 2 finished eating. They played in the living room while I finished with Maddie in the kitchen. And then Ellie started to cry and yell about Robbie biting her.
Robbie had bitten her on her big toe as they fought over a toy. I interrupt Maddie's bottle and lay her on the floor nearby (she starts to fuss) while I console Ellie, and as I'm picking Robbie up to put him on the couch for a time out, he throws a few letter blocks which bounce dangerously close to Maddie's head. I look at him in disbelief, and he knows he just made a really bad choice. He starts to cry too, and so all 3 kids are crying now, which makes them all cry harder.
I remove Robbie from the living room and take him to the only place I know I can trust him at the moment not to do more harm or make a mess... his crib. I go back downstairs and bring Maddie and Ellie up with me, and tell Ellie to pick a book and read while I finish feeding Maddie in the nursery. She complies and I give Maddie the rest of her bottle. Then I try to put her back down for her morning nap, which is a joke to her given all the commotion. I do my best to soothe her and leave her in her crib.
Back to Robbie - I take him out of his crib and go through our discipline routine with him in the bathroom next door, when I hear a bang and Ellie starts crying again. She had tripped on something and hit her head on the wall (it was minor), and fell apart again.
At this point, I am near tears. It's 10:30am, no one is out of their pj's including me, the older 2 have poopy diapers that I literally have not had a moment to change yet, and everyone is crying or in a terrible mood. And if kids are walking around in poopy pants, you know I haven't had a cup of coffee yet, much less a glass of water or anything to eat.
I consider just hobbling through the next hour or so and putting everyone to bed early for naps. But I decide against it - what if they're not tired and won't sleep? Then the whole day will be miserable for all of us.
I go with plan B: SKIP NAPS ALTOGETHER. *gulp*
I turn on Olivia, the kids' new favorite show, and hop in the shower. I get ready in the amount of time it takes for them to watch a second episode, throw a diaper bag together, and we are out the door by 11 or 11:30am.
Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.
First we caffeinate mom. Then we pick up lunch and head to the park for a picnic. Did you know that many parks are empty at 12/12:30pm!? Everyone is home eating and getting ready for naps! The kids play and eat intermittently and we all lose track of time. We got nowhere to be, for once.
Next stop is the library. A book I reserved was ready to be picked up, so we grab it and head downstairs to the children's section. We admire the (odd, now that I think about it) lighted displays below the librarian's counter that has a miniature barn scene set up, and play "I Spy" for a while until all animals are identified. Then I let the kids do whatever they want. Because guess what else is empty at this time of day? (The children's section of the library!) Madeline catnaps.
I think it's about 2pm when we leave the library, and I know I have to keep the kids active and out of the house because although they'd deny it with their lips, their bodies are BEGGING ME at this point to put them to bed.
I pull into the parking lot at Target and laugh at myself. I KNOW this is a bad idea. Target? At NAPTIME?! I'm asking for a group meltdown or at the very least an embarrassing scene. I tell the kids they can pick out a snack after we get the few things on our shopping list, and it works. They pick Cars themed fruit snacks and I indulge them with 2 packages each, mainly because that's how long it takes us to get out of the store. Confession: I propped Maddie up with a bottle during our shopping trip. I really hate doing that, but there you have it.
3pm, we head home. The kids play in the family room while I unpack diaper bags and groceries, and daddy says he'll be home at 5:30. We plan to take the kids out for dinner (for my sake so that I don't have to cook), but they're hyper/exhausted so we opt for carry out. We pick up Portillo's (I supplement dinner with yogurt and applesauce for the kids) and head to a nearby park for a picnic dinner.
And they all went to bed easily and happily once we got home.
Thank goodness. :)