So, after I published the post on what is saving my life with my mini-posse of children, I figured it would be fun to see what it looks like in practice. So I spent my Saturday making voice memos of what we were doing when, and this is the result.
Constant requests to help with the Play-Do (mostly to take it out of the tub for G, who puts it straight back in – a bit wearing as I have to wash my hands continuously since I am prepping food).
Unsurprisingly with such posts, it turned out to be not quite a normal day - Simon was working late (that I knew in advance) plus a weird snow-blizzard fell on us, making going outside all but impossible (and as you'll see, we tried). There was also not much socialising involved (see: snow-blizzard) which was also not entirely typical (although we don't meet up with people every single day either). I was also planning on having a mini lie-in until 6am since it was going to be such a long day, but you'll see how that went.
5:50am : Jude knocks on our door. We remind him his clock is not yellow yet. I go lie with him to help him wait, we tell stories.
6am: Our alarms go, the Gro-Clock turns yellow, Jude springs out of bed. Simon takes Jude and Gabriel down to breakfast whilst I get dressed then pick up Mathilde from her cot and bring her down.
6:20am: Having given M to S, I go into the front room to read the Bible, pray about the day to come and read some Faber and Mazlish.
6:45am: G pops in for a cuddle, I go get my coffee then back to the front room.
7am: I say the Angelus.
7:13: S calls for me to come and help put the boys in their waterproof gear as they want to go out, but it’s extremely windy out.
7:21: The boys are out so I sit down to feed M (she’s already had Weetabix while she waited).
7:27: The boys come back in, too cold. They *mostly* undress themselves and put the waterproof gear where it belongs, with a few pointers.
7:31: Jude asks me to read him Paddington and settles next to M and I. Gabriel immediately picks the other Paddington book and demand I read him that one.
7:38: S leaves for the hospital (we say goodbye then carry on reading).
7:48: I set G up with some Duplo upstairs so I can start teaching Jude. M plays happily on the floor.
7:49: I start teaching Jude (recitation, review of maths,- adding and subtracting-, practise of simple phonics, practise recognising the number words in both languages, practise writing out a few words from sounding them)
8:15: G comes down to watch and doesn’t clamour too constantly for attention.
|Maman, fais, l'école-a-la-maison, GAB'IEL!|
8:26 : J asks to do workbooks as a treat (strange boy), I agree. M is still pretty happy with her toys.
8:37: G is getting very antsy and starts climbing into M’s highchair. M is getting upset. Quick check for poo, then off to her morning nap.
8:44 : I pick up the mail on my way back down from putting M in her cot.
8:46: Jude is still pretty happy with his workbooks, so I explain the next task and sneak upstairs to brush my teeth, bringing G with me.
8:49: G tries to use S’s toothbrush, I take it off him and take him back downstairs. More workbook work with J.
8:59: I tell Jude he has to go and play now, no more workbooks. He is pretty upset about it but rallies round.
9:04: I start to tidy up the school stuff. Go upstairs to check what the commotion is about.
9:06: Back downstairs for more tidying
9:10: Another arbitration needed upstairs
9:16: Loud bang, back upstairs – the boys are happy but they have upturned the travel cot. I make them put it to rights.
9:19: Back downstairs, with the boys this time who have asked to go outside. Get them in their waterproof gear and out. Jude checks whether it is the season for blackberries yet (no). He points out they eat blackberries in Peter Rabbit (they do). He confirms with me that he will need to be hot and not wear a coat for it to be summer and for the blackberries to come out.
Gabriel is the first ready, immediately starts using chalk on the windows so he is brought back inside to do 30 seconds in the corner, Jude goes out and G joins shortly after.
9:30: I start the prep for lunch (grating cheese and mixing it with tuna, buttering 5 sandwiches then spreading the mixture on top – they will only need to be grilled before lunch)
J complains the wind is throwing snowflakes into his eyes. They come back in. Waterproofs off. Less mud this time though.
J sees me making food so starts asking for food immediately. I remind him he will have to wait until lunchtime.
I get the Play-do out on the breakfast counter (over tiles rather than the carpet) so that I can finish prepping lunch.
9:50: Lunch is all prepped, and I do the dishes.
9:57: I concentrate on helping the boys with their play-do creations – snowmen mostly (but soon start refusing requests)
10:01: I get the recipe out for the St Patrick cake we are going to make and start measuring out the ingredients.
Many interruptions again for Pay-Do emergencies.
We tidy away the Play-Do and the chairs. I promise them a mini-marshmallow after I cut their Play-Do incrusted nails (J asks for “lots” – I insist I do mean one).
Cut the nails. They claim it is agony worthy of more marshmallows. I hold firm.
10:39: I suggest we read. The boys gather round me. M wakes up as soon as the first one is finished. We go pick her up.
10:47: We resume reading books, with M on my lap as well this time.
11:06: I warm up the grill for the toasties, the boys get their chairs to the breakfast counter to make the cake (they are not entirely fooled by my ploy, and still ask a lot about when lunch will be and cry).
11:36: The cake is made, the bowl is licked, M’s soup is reheated but whining is really fraying my nerves as they are all doing it at once.
11:41: We say grace and they start eating. We discuss whether their friend Olive will be able to use her sledge (she showed it off to the boys yesterday and they were very impressed). They come to the conclusion that is unlikely as the snow is not sticking. J points out we don’t have a sledge. I confirm.
They put their crockery away, then G and J come upstairs with me for Temps Calme (Quiet Time) and nap. I remind J what the penalty is for coming downstairs before the end of TC.
12:15: J starts his Temps Calme, G is in bed waiting for his milk and M is playing on the floor. I start tidying and wiping counters.
12:20: Cake in the oven, I put away the clean dishes from earlier. I warm up some milk and go give it to G.
12:27: Back downstairs for sweeping the kitchen, wiping counters and doing the dishes.
12:37: Do the dishes listening to a podcast.
12:53: S calls, we have a little chat about our days.
13:15: M is getting grouchy so I put her down for her nap. J sees me and starts asking for TC to be over (no chance).
13:28: J calls for me to come and see the snowstorm. I duly admire and remind him he is to stay in his room. I put my workout gear on.
13:32: I start doing Pilates. J comes to the stairs several times and has to be reminded of penalties, and eventually loses one treat.
13:50 : Pilates finished, I do my piano practice.
13:56: J tries to come down again so I stop practicing and tell him off.
I set up the printer in the front room and print a St Patrick and a reward chart for J to help stay in his room.
14:15: J bounds downstairs (the clock is yellow) and helps me put St Patrick and the chart onto card.
14:28: Start homeschool (mostly reviewing the morning work).
14:55: J wants to keep colouring (some was involved in the fine motor exercises I did with him) so we do this together for a few minutes.
15:03: I go to get G up. He has clearly been awake for a little while but is quite happy and content.
15:09: Saint Patrick goes on the cake and J and G start arranging the jelly snakes all around him (they are only allowed to eat the broken ones – or any they get their paws on in G’s case)
15:13 : they sit down to eat a slice of the snakey cake, G pretend-feeds it to Petite Musique.
15:20: J is going crazy so he sent out to do 5 laps of the garden (in the snow). He asks for G to come with him but I say no (don’t fancy another waterproof-charade).
15:36: Both boys wanted to go back out, I only put wellies and coats on them as it is bitterly cold and I fully expect them to be back in within a couple of minutes.
The boys are surprisingly happy in the cold, so I risk sitting down to browse.
15:40 : The boys come back in asking for hats, gloves and scarves.
15:42: they are back out, I sit back down. I instinctively look for Instagram but I gave it up for Lent, so start reading blogposts.
“Maman, fais des snow-man, s-il-te-plait!” (no snow sticking to the ground yet, might be tricky).
15:53: The wind picks up again, the boys huddle to the door and clamour to come back in.
15:57: We go back upstairs to play with Duplo.
16:02: M wakes up, I take her to the bathroom with me so that I can have my shower.
16:21: I hear screams, but the shower was good. I gear myself up for the potential state of the boys’ room when I come out of the bathroom.
16:24: Miraculously, the boys haven’t done anything destructive.
16:36: I go downstairs to change M’s nappy and ignore more screams.
16:39: We all come downstairs to read books. G demonstrates how he can carry Lala on his shoulders (J did it with his Winnie the other day and G took a fancy to it)
17:00: I give M a bottle of milk and take the boys back upstairs to supervise tidying their bedroom.
17:19: M is grouchy so I put her in her highchair with a breadstick. She immediately cheers up. More books read.
I get everyone to eventually sit on their chairs, I heat up the leftover soup from yesterday and put croutons in for the boys. Much crying happens as waiting for food when it is so nearly there is obviously the worst.
17:39: The children start eating.
17:50: G starts prancing about a getting into cupboards, declaring he doesn’t want to finish his soup but just go to bed (fine by me).
17:55: Quick call from S to say goodnight to the kids.
17:59: The littles and I go upstairs to start baths whilst J finishes his cake (he finished his soup, so he got dessert).
18:11: M is out of the bath and the boys are in, I go downstairs to get nappies, milk for G and the bedtime story.
18:20: M is in pjs, I go into the bathroom where the boys are having a whale of a time “making bridges” (balancing on both edges of the bath, their bodies being “the bridges”). I take them out.
I put pjs on G, help J with his, then we read a book and say prayers.
J wants me to come in his bed to tell him more stories like this morning. Nope. Sorry buddy, Maman's done with life now.
18:39: Boys in bed – I feed M in our bedroom before putting her in with J.
18:50: All the chickens are in bed – now for tidying the house.
19:13: Everything is picked up and wiped, I have dinner whilst reading Courrier International.
19:48: Start hoovering and dishes with audiobook on (yes, no hard stops apply when I am on my own, especially when S is on long shifts the day after as well).
20:13: All done, so I sit down in the front room with the computer to do the next delivery of groceries.
20:31: Grocery order finished, I write up my Day-In-The-Life.
21:46: Text from Simon who is not sure how he is going to get home (he cycled to the hospital – pre-blizzard)
Simon ended up not making it home until midnight, cold, ill and pretty exhausted, but that doesn't technically count as the same day, so we'll leave it here.
So here you have! All the points for making it to the end!