There are certain things only I know about. Secrets, tricks, that keep everything ticking along around here. Strategies that ensure people eat their food with minimal fuss, naps are had, tantrums don't go on for four days. It's a result of me being home with the boys all the time, that I've come to know all these things. And I'm guessing other mums and dads have a collection of tricks that they use to keep things together too.
And I was thinking the other night, as I was doing the nightly ritual to get Oliver off to sleep - what if someone other than me had to look after the boys for a few days? They wouldn't know all the secret things that are needed for things to not fall apart.
Okay so nothing wouldn't actually fall apart, but part of me would like to think they would.
And then I remembered, I AM going away, in September, for the weekend with some girlfriends. Wahoo! But. The thing is, J will be in charge while I'm away and he doesn't know the secrets.
I decided a list of at least some of the tricks needs to be disclosed.
1. When putting Oliver down for a nap, don't for a second think you'll be able to put him in the crib awake and hope he'll fall asleep on his own. You'll need to follow these steps carefully: First, feed him from the bottle until his eyelids become heavy. Next hold him horizontally facing into your chest. Bounce up and down for about five minutes, whispering "shhhhh... shhhhh". If he startles or begins to squirm, immediately begin lunges (they must be REALLY big lunges in order for the technique to work). When his breathing pattern tells you he's asleep, gently lower him into the crib at the EXACT angle you are holding him. Once his body reaches the bed, stay there - bent over in the most awkward, back breaking position for two minutes, in case he wakes up. Then very slowly remove your arms from around him without disturbing him. Creep out of the room and hope like hell he doesn't wake up. Because if he does, the entire procedure will need to be repeated.
2. When the laundry needs to be done, you must swiftly and quietly move downstairs to the laundry room without Matthew hearing a thing, because he doesn't like when you're downstairs and he's upstairs. Load the washing machine, then note: From the time you close the washer door, you'll have approximately seven seconds before he starts calling your name and comes looking for you. Be warned, if you take more than seven seconds to get back up the stairs (you'll need to sprint), Matthew will already be halfway down, and the meltdown will have begun.
3. If Oliver begins to pull the grumpy face - the one that indicates he's about to let rip, quickly approach, singing anything that involves the words clip, clop, tip, top, flip, flop, pip, pop. That should delay the crying for at least 30 seconds while you hurry and get a bottle ready.
4. If all fails, if nap time has been and gone without anyone napping, if everyone is simultaneously beginning a tantrum, simply put on Cars and crack open the goldfish crackers.