After the Morning Routine a couple of days ago, it begs the question, what about the evening?
Well. If you gave me a gold star for our morning organization, you can take it back now.
There is some variation day-to-day but generally, we try to stick to the following:
At 5:30 p.m., I sign off of work. I’m a workaholic, so it’s usually more like 5:45 p.m. after V has sent the kids into the office to ensure that I can’t work anymore.
We’ll start dinner somewhere between 5:45 and 6:15 p.m. A couple nights a week, V attends exercise classes at the YMCA that start at 6:30 p.m., so I may or may not be solo for the night.
For dinner, when everything goes right, we try to have some civil conversation. What we most regularly do is “thumbs up and thumbs down” where each person shares the singular best and worst part of their day.
Dinner usually has an extra layer of stress compared to breakfast. Someone will eat their food so slow, it is in danger of mold growing on it between the time they pick it up off their plate and when it reaches their mouth. The twins will probably insist they need to go to the bathroom, but then refuse to do anything once they’re on their potties.
In any case, we try to set an endtime to dinner and stick to it. We’ll head upstairs, bathe some subset of the kids, and get everyone into their nightgowns.
Typically, this is a mess of activity. We try to have everyone in some order layout their clothes for tomorrow, brush their teeth, stop the twins from throwing every book off of their bookshelf, everyone using the restroom.
Either V and I will split between the younger three and the older two, or I’ll have the older two read in their rooms while I put down the younger three. This typically consists of a couple of short stories, singing a couple of church songs—their form of prayer right now—and rocking the twins.
For the older girls, sometimes I’ll read to them, but increasingly the girls read to me. After reading or, fairly often, we’ll be running late and forego the reading, O will read out of kid’s devotional book she bought at a book fair last year and then we’ll pray Night Prayer together.
Then the light goes out, ideally between 7:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Daddy zones out for about 15 minutes.
Then the work of resetting the house begins. V will put in any laundry newly sorted since the last load and I’ll start tackling the dishes and cleaning the kitchen.
This will usually take us until 10 or 10:30. Many nights, V has orders for the bakery and will begin on them while I read, hack around on something, or write a post.
We’ll both stay up too late, but I’ll try to be upstairs ready for sleep around midnight.
While this isn’t anything nearly as organized as our morning routine, we’re still kicking, I don’t get a headache every night, and my hair isn’t fully grey, so I’ll count it as a win.