Wednesday in our house is officially bath night. Let me explain. From the very second those wrinkled, blue, white-stuff coated babies arrived in the world, they've been in a routine. As in, we do things in a specific order. Thus far our dedication to the all holy "routine" has saved our lives. Literally. My kids are growing up knowing what comes next (as we all know, that is my favourite state of being), at least in their household. Anyone with triplets will tell you that a routine is just, well, sacred and it cannot be messed with. Every time I tried to mess with it - because I felt like I was a slave to that damn routine - it took exactly two hours to regret it and want to commit suicide. This doesn't mean we don't deviate from the routine occassionaly - we do. It's just that having an organised life means we have a (mostly) sane life. As they have gotten older, the need for a routine has not changed, but the detail and parameters of the routine have. So where previously their whole day was routined, now really only the time from home-from-kinder to collapse-into-bed is routined.
When the kids were babies, my family would give me shit about this. "So WHAT if you don't follow the rules?" Hmmm. Interestingly, they would say this, I'd cave to familial pressure, and ba-dah-bing, two hours later my family is asking me why these kids 'cry all the time.' DUH. Kids who live within the confines of a routine just seem to do so much better - or at least, *my* kids do. My sister has managed to raise three intelligent, capable children, who never spent 30 seconds in a routine. Anyway, so I attribute the routine to being the main reason why my kids eat well, sleep well, and basically behave well. IT JUST WORKS.
At age 5-and-a-bit, the routine is simplified. Monday and Wednesday and Saturday are bath nights. Tuesday is play night, and Thursday is telly night. If they're dity or smelly on other days, they get extra baths as needed - I don't let them wander around like hobo children (okay, maybe sometimes I do. Dirt is a protective coating.) They know ahead of time which night it is - so I avoid them protesting baths (mostly), they know what is 'happening' each night, and in general it makes our lives a bit more organised. PLUS they get clean - which, frankly, if I left it to "whenever they need one", and added a healthy dose of my own laziness - these kids would long ago have been taken away from us (and promptly dipped in a acidic solution to remove five years of dirt.)
So today is Wednesday, also known as Bath Day. It's 5:30 in the afternoon. Normally, I'd have one kid in the downstairs shower, one in the upstairs bath, and one running around naked waiting for their turn in either of the above bathing locations. Then there would be me, alternating between madly chopping something for dinner, and running up and down the stairs. UP the stairs to reply to the blood curdling, I-will-die-now scream of "MUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM" scream which turns into a request to see the "amazing" bubble they just blew in the water. DOWN the stairs to reply to the other, in harmony, blood curdling death-is-imminent "MUUUUUUUUUUUUMMM" which turns into a "can you hand me the shampoo?" request....and then I go back to chopping. Instead, I'm in here typing my blog entry, and the kids are outside. In the front yard, wandering down to visit the old yellow labrador two doors away, plucking the newly budding flowers off all the weeds in my garden, and in general traipsing around outdoors.
So? They'll be dirty for another day, and I'll smile when I realise that:
- Dinner is in the oven
- DH will come home to happy kids
- DH will come home to happy wife
- Tomorrow, officially, is the first day of Spring (in the Southern Hemisphere, anyway.)
(NB: It was pointed out to me that the first day of Spring was today (Friday) and not Thursday. I had the date right (Sept 1) but the day wrong. Clearly, my brain is still in holiday mode.