I’m not really big on routine, but without a certain amount of basic organisation, you can’t adult, much less parent. When I look back at the babyhood of my eldest child, who is now seven, I remember an unstructured, loved-up haze of breastfeeding, snuggling, more breastfeeding and more snuggling. It was bliss and I never looked at a clock.
But birth order is very interesting. I’m not going to get phsychological about it but life is inevitably different for the firstborn baby than it is for the second, third and fourth.
Lachlan’s life is much more structured, because of the nature of living in a family with three other kids.
On a Wednesday, this is our routine:
6.00 Everyone’s up. My older children (7,5 and 3), wake from 4.45 onward. Bring on winter and shorter days, when they might “sleep in” until 5.30! Coffee #1. I’m packing lunches, my husband is feeding breakfasts. Lachie lays on his playmat beside the dining room window and coos at our dog, Ruby, through the glass.
6.30 Lachie gets changed into his day clothes. I start packing bags. The boys independently pack their school bags so I just pack my nappy bag (or refill it). My 3 year old daughter has dance classes today so I pack a small bag for her, too, although she prefers for me to carry it (and it fits in one of three large compartments in my Madame Polly nappy bag from Isoki, pictured).
7.00 The next hour is really a blur. I’m trying to feed myself/shower/dress/dry hair and apply makeup. Lachie gets moved around to watch me. The big kids get dressed in their uniforms. At some point after several rounds of kisses and hugs my husband gets out the door and heads to work. The three year old takes 55 minutes to eat one Weet-Bix and then spends 5 minutes screaming murder about her hair being put in a bun for dancing. Lachie is usually wrecked by the time we get in the car.
8.00 is power nap time for Lachie. On the drive to school he falls asleep. It’s only a ten minute drive but he transfers to the pram asleep. Usually.
8.45 We are out of school. Off to dancing! Coffee stop first.
9.30 Jazz and tap time. Lachie enjoys the music and looking at the other baby siblings of the dancers. He particularly loves looking at himself in the studio mirror, which is so adorable.
11.00 Morning tea time for my girl, cup of tea for me. She usually has some down time after the brain strain of following dance instructions and often crashes for a nap herself. So Lachie and I chill on my bed, he coos, he smiles, he’s generally gorgeous until he falls asleep.
1.00 I usually prep veggies or throw the slow cooker on, then some reading or play in the toy room.
2.00 Each afternoon we go for a park play near the boys’ school. This ensures I get a parking space somewhere within a 5km radius of the school, and allows Rosie to socialise and burn some energy. Lachie loves to sit in his pram and watch the gum leaves glisten and sway in the breeze. Some of his favourite time.
3.00 We collect our school boys from school and head home. I pop Lachie in his Hugabub and I get it done. Afternoon tea, argument mediation, homework facilitation, dinner cooking, tidying. More coffee is necessary at this point.
5.00 Daddy’s home!!!!! So exciting. The kids are happy too. But I’m overjoyed. I’m no longer (as) outnumbered! He takes the big ones for a bike ride or to walk Ruby. Lachie and I have some quiet time.
6.00 Dinner time. Lachie enjoys sitting in his high chair and observing as the madness/amusement unfolds. Someone refuses dinner (“This isn’t what I ordered”), someone else is reading a home reader at the top of his lungs, someone else is asking for an iPad to watch an Elsa video. It’s nuts. Lachie loves it. 4x baths ensue. Madhouse!
7.00 Bedtime finally rolls around. Stories are read and kisses and cuddles are given in rounds. Lights are off. Lachie has us to himself. We sit in the living room, take a breath, and love on our littlest boy until he, too, is ready to dream, and my husband carries his sleeping bag-clad little bod to bed. He returns with a glass of red for me and a genuine smile that can only mean one thing: success.
Just as soon as I start to miss him, Lachie will wake again to feed. And again, and again. I don’t mind. Because as Kate Miller Heidi’s sings,
I don’t need to sleep to dream.
This post is in collaboration with iconic Australian brand Isoki.