My toddlers have become all consuming (hence the lack of posts!). Definitely think every phase has its highs and lows. At the moment the highs certainly outweigh the lows but it is not easy with four toddlers all at once.
A few months ago the naps disappeared completely from our house. This is the final connection to baby and that’s now gone. We have a full day to fill! In my experience toddlers have plenty of energy that needs to be burnt off by the end of the day to ensure we get a good sleep (more about that later). So if we are not running around the park at least once a day, everyone suffers. Winter weather can mean this isn’t always easy to do. So twice a day, every day we have some sort of activity. Some days this includes playgroup (girls in three mornings) or montissori (my son) but mostly means I am constantly planning and trying think up ways to keep us on the move. This is definitely an exhausting phase. I generally get to the end of the day, after hearing “mum, mum, mum, mum” a thousand time and collapse in a zombie like state on the couch.
So with this in mind and activity needed no matter what the weather, I brought three with me to the local shopping center. It’s a large, vast space generally packed with people doing the same thing when it rains. At the start all three stayed reasonably close to me while I repeated ‘stay close to mummy, don’t run, stay close to mummy!’ Over and over. Until one had a tantrum and the other two ran off. So I became that frantic woman, struggling to hold onto one screaming child while running around calling my kids. They completely disappeared out of my sight. It might have been a minute but it felt like eternity. So lesson well and truly learnt! We will now rule out shopping centers for a while. Thankfully the weather has started to improve which means there’s more options.
So sleep……… oh the biggest nightmare in this house. Honestly I am getting to end of my patience (which after nearly four years isn’t too bad!) Every single night, bar one or two odd lucky occasions, I am woken at least once or twice or three times. It’s clear why this is used as a form of torture. I could list off the reasons but I would be here all day, just to say that every night is different. If I get two nights sleep I start falling into a false sense of hope and then on the third night – here we go again. I tried to do the ‘win a golden star’ if everyone sleeps but that just became a competition between them so had to cool down on the awarding. My mother suggested ear plugs but as I’m the only adult in the house I reckon this might be slightly irresponsible. However, if I do come up with a solution I will happily share but for the moment I contend with a grateful supply of melatonin.
I started this post by saying the highs outweigh the lows and this is so true. Recently I’ve noticed we have started to really cement together as a family. It’s wonderful when this starts to happen. My relationship with each child is very individual but when we come together (and there’s no arguing) it can be magical.