Parents of singletons often ask me what bedtime is like with twins and/or three kids. I always reply that its not that bad since we have such a good system. Let me guide you through that system. The D.A.V.I.D. system.
D – Dinner – Always at the same time.
Give choices but not options. The answer to “Do you want broccoli or do you want cauliflower?” is either “broccoli” or “cauliflower”. The answer to “What veggies do you want?” or “Do you want broccoli or cauliflower?” could be “none” or “no”. If they don’t eat then they just skip to the final step in D.A.V.I.D. which is DUNGEON.
Just kidding. Don’t skip ahead yet, I’m kidding. I just try to have good food available. If they’re hungry they’ll eat it. If not, they will have something equally healthy available for breakfast which they will definitely eat (or else they’ll go back to that dungeon they slept in).
A – Activity – Play and get the sillies out.
Dance parties are great. Try asking Alexa to “play the top songs in China”. They are always upbeat and you’re not expected to know the words. Whatever you do, take an extra second to plan something to direct their witching hour energy into something productive rather than constantly try to course correct bad behavior while you’re busy doing something else.
Or, do what I do and let them do whatever they want as long as it makes them tired. This will eventually end in tears over someone not sharing, someone oversharing, or someone pooping then crying about it (which is a form of oversharing).
Once I’ve finished the dishes and everyone has starting crying its time to clean up!
V – Value – Prove YOUR value to ME.
Clean up. Make that play room sparkle for the next morning so it isn’t so clear that everything went to hell as soon as I got home from work and took over. Please. I beg you. I’ll give you a cookie if you clean. C’mon! CLEAN!
I – Indecency/Illiteracy
Once the house is clean its bath time. And by bath time I mean prison shower. Three kids in a tub sprayed with a shower hose while their hands are up against the wall. I wish I was kidding but this is the most efficient way to bathe three kids at once.
After bath its time to read some books. Even when Maria is home I love this time of night. I’m not a big reader myself but I love that Maria is and I want that for the kids. I love that they love books. I love that they can always be comforted by a book. I love that Owen is already reading on his own. I love that they want more books before bed and not more TV shows. I love that they love reading.
What do I not love? Green eggs and ham.
D – Disengage Completely
After soothing them with my calming reading voice its time for bed. That’s it. A kiss goodnight. I love you. Shut the door.
Hasn’t failed yet.*
*Except when Alice wants to be tucked in again, or Owen is thirsty, or Sebastian can’t find his stuffed animal in his covers, or when its too dark, or when they’re not tired yet, or they want to know if its daytime or nighttime in the Philippines, or they want to ask if I know what 5+3 is, or they want to ask if we can go to Legoland tomorrow…