That’s what we hollered as kids to call the front seat. There were 4 of us, 2 boys and 2 girls. I remember many fights related to that coveted gratifying co-pilot seat next to Mom or Dad. Each one of us truly believed that we ‘deserved’ to be there. Haha! What a laugh now. Deserved…
All grown up now, I am a mom to 3 wonderful wildling boys. They adore fighting with each other. They thrive on it. The competitive blood runs fierce in them. And while I don’t want to break that, I also want to survive their raising. I’ve put in rules and routines to allow for us to still get the important things taken care of. This routine gets us through using one bathroom (ick!) for all 3, and allows for perks and responsibilities too.
We rotate what we simply call “Days”. Their days simply rotate. I have 3 boys with different first initials (there are so many reasons am I grateful that we did that, that will have to be a different post). K, B, and D. This is so handy for many things. In this instance, I assign their initial to a day, like this:
And they just repeat, so I get a calendar that looks like this:
I just print it out, and tape it to the side of the fridge where everyone can see it.
As I said, there are some perks and some responsibilities that come with it being “your day”. For one, you are the first child up in the morning, and the first child down that night. Here’s what our day looks like in reference to it being your day:
6:30 AM Rise, personal bathroom time
6:40 AM Done and out of the bathroom, go have breakfast
7:05 AM All of us get ready to leave for school. The perk is they get the front seat.
If there are any family contributions that need to be made like trash take-out or laundry being brought to the laundry room, then whoever’s day it is will be responsible for doing it. This takes the “I did it last time, you do it!” out of our lives. [celebrate!] [praise hands]
7:30 PM First one to get cleaned up and ready for bed, personal bathroom time
8:00 PM In bed & reading time
9:00 PM is lights out for everyone
You may be thinking to yourself that I am a drill instructor. I’m not, this is the guideline that we try to live by. It’s not perfect, but it works for us. Doing this gives each of our boys their own time alone, time to work, time to shine, and time to decompress. None of the boys feel like they are favorited or dismissed. They each share in the work, and each reap the rewards of personal time. As an added bonus, they are not always the first one up or down, and if you were up first yesterday, you are the last up today.
Our Amazon Echo keeps the time for us. This takes me out of the equation and eliminates me from being the “bad guy”. You can set up alarms that go off to help keep you on track and queue the rhythm and movement for the day. These are our weekday alarms:
6:30 AM, 7:05 AM, 7:30 PM, 9:00 PM
We’ve done this for a couple of years now, even before we had Alexa, I just used my iPhone before that. The Echo is better because everyone is queued, even if I’m not around. They boys just know what to do now.
Using this system, I don’t have to hear all of this all of the time:
“Moooom, he’s looking at me in the bathroom!”
“Moooom, he’s trying to pee on me!”
“Moooom, he peed in the bathtub again!”
“Moooom, I don’t want anyone else in here!”
“Leave me alone!!!”
“Hahahaha, look! We’re crossing streams again!”
Shower curtain ripped open, shower curtain ripped closed, giggles, repeat. (This one is like a skewer to the brain for me)
“Moooom, I don’t wanna [bathe], [brush my teeth], [get ready for x]… the list goes on and on. They know now that if they want to be in there alone, that they get it done.
As an added bonus, it helps me troubleshoot problem behavior. If you have only girls, please look away, this may kill you.
When you go into the bathroom, and there is [whatever] [wherever], then you know already who was in there last. You know it was the last boy, because anyone else would have been tattled on QUICK! I’ve personally found pee on the bathroom mirror, poop on the rug (and in the tub), toothpaste spread out all over the counter and sinks, and much more. As a side note, I used to get the boys all their own colors of toothpaste to find the culprit, but what I found was that the boys NEVER used their own toothpaste to make a mess… what?!$%
People ask me all the time how we do it. How do we manage these 3 fabulously energetic boys? This is it, this is the cogs to the operation. We don’t always succeed, but we do better when we stick closer to this schedule.
Let me know if you have any questions at all. I’d be happy to answer any as best as I can.
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